Case: Camden County Jail Inmates v. Parker

3:82-01946 | U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

Filed Date: June 14, 1982

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

The plaintiff class, inmates in the Camden County Jail (CCJ) of New Jersey, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on June 14, 1982, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging the constitutionality of their confinement. The plaintiff class alleged that the totality of the circumstances resulting from prison overcrowding caused inadequate provision of living space, sanitary facilities, visitation, recreation, medical services, religious activities and the absence of a class…

The plaintiff class, inmates in the Camden County Jail (CCJ) of New Jersey, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on June 14, 1982, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 challenging the constitutionality of their confinement. The plaintiff class alleged that the totality of the circumstances resulting from prison overcrowding caused inadequate provision of living space, sanitary facilities, visitation, recreation, medical services, religious activities and the absence of a classification system. As relief, the plaintiffs sought a declaration that the conditions were unconstitutional, access to professional medical, dental and psychological services, a classification system, expanded visitation, opportunities to engage in recreation, access to a law library and an injunction to require a reduction in the jail population. The plaintiffs were represented by the Office of the Public Advocate.

On July 16, 1982, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Judge Harold Ackerman) appointed Worral F. Mountain to serve as Special Master and to examine the conditions at CCJ. Sidney M. Shreiber later replaced Worral Mountain as Special Master. A consent judgment was ordered on November 18, 1982, which set forth specific remedies as to the provision of an adequate classification system, library, medical treatment, recreation and visitation. On December 23, 1986, the Second Amended Consent Judgment (SACJ) was entered and addressed remaining issues at the existing jail as well as providing for the delivery of services and programs at the new proposed county jail. The SACJ placed further requirements upon the CCJ to provide inmates with active recreation, passive recreation (i.e. television programming), reading materials, a law library, and a new visitation policy. The SACJ provided for monitoring and inspection as well as sanctions for non-compliance. Fines were imposed several times in 1987 for the county's failure to comply with the SACJ. In March 1988, the new jail for Camden County was opened. On September 13, 1988, Judge Ackerman held that the District Court maintained jurisdiction over the instant class action suit even though the county had closed the old facility, subject of the original complaint, and opened a new jail. Camden County Jail Inmates v. Parker, 123 F.R.D. 490 (D.N.J. 1988). The Court found that overcrowding at the old facility was only one of the county's policies which the inmates had challenged. Therefore, the Court retained subject matter jurisdiction over the matter and the power to enforce the SACJ.

After submission of a report by Special Master Schreiber regarding the new jail, a subsequent consent decree was issued on August 19, 1994, by Judge Ackerman. This decree set forth additional guidelines regarding jail population, medical care, and monitoring and enforcement. The decree also maintained the provisions of the SACJ.

The docket in this case was not available on PACER, and accordingly, we do not have further information on the case.

Summary Authors

Tom Madison (2/11/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Ackerman, Harold Arnold (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Mitchell, T. Gary (New Jersey)

Reisner, Susan L. (New Jersey)

Silver, Susan Remis (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brown, Catherine M. (New Jersey)

Maloney, Joseph T. (New Jersey)

Millenky, Robert G. (New Jersey)

Poritz, Deborah T. (New Jersey)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Expert/Monitor/Master

Mountain, Worral F. (New Jersey)

Judge(s)

Ackerman, Harold Arnold (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Mitchell, T. Gary (New Jersey)

Reisner, Susan L. (New Jersey)

Silver, Susan Remis (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brown, Catherine M. (New Jersey)

Maloney, Joseph T. (New Jersey)

Millenky, Robert G. (New Jersey)

Poritz, Deborah T. (New Jersey)

Other Attorney(s)

Wilson, Howard (New Jersey)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Mountain, Worral F. (New Jersey)

Schreiber, Sidney M. (New Jersey)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:82-01946

Opinion

123 F.R.D. 490, 1988 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 15028

Sept. 13, 1988

Sept. 13, 1988

Order/Opinion

3:82-01946

Consent Decree

Aug. 5, 1994

Aug. 5, 1994

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 12, 2022, 3:13 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: New Jersey

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 14, 1982

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Plaintiffs are inmates at the Camden County Jail in New Jersey.

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Camden County Jail (Camden), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1982 - None

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Law library access

Recreation / Exercise

Religious programs / policies

Sanitation / living conditions

Visiting

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Type of Facility:

Government-run