Case: Mawson v. Wideman

3:78-cv-01096 | U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: Nov. 9, 1978

Closed Date: April 21, 1989

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In November 1978, inmates confined at the Luzerne County Prison, a jail, filed a Section 1983 class action suit, pro se, in the Middle District of Pennsylvania against county officials. Plaintiffs alleged that certain conditions of confinement were substandard and in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Specifically, plaintiffs complained of: inadequate access to courts, medical care, exercise, supplies, and mail; supervision of inmates by other inmates; denial of due process prior to punishmen…

In November 1978, inmates confined at the Luzerne County Prison, a jail, filed a Section 1983 class action suit, pro se, in the Middle District of Pennsylvania against county officials. Plaintiffs alleged that certain conditions of confinement were substandard and in violation of the Eighth Amendment. Specifically, plaintiffs complained of: inadequate access to courts, medical care, exercise, supplies, and mail; supervision of inmates by other inmates; denial of due process prior to punishment; racial segregation; overcrowding; and denial of access to the commissary. The district court (Judge Richard Paul Conaboy) appointed Northern Pennsylvania Legal Services to represent plaintiffs and certified the class. Mawson v. Wideman, 84 F.R.D. 116 (M.D. Pa. 1979).

The parties reached an agreement, which was approved by the court in December 1981. In 1985 the court determined that defendants had not adequately complied with the terms of the consent decree and appointed Major John D. Case to act as a Master for the purpose of investigating conditions at the prison and reporting to the court.

In October 1987, defendants filed a motion to terminate the 1981 consent decree and to close the case. Following several hearings the court granted defendants motion to terminate the order and closed the case in April 1989. Mawson v. Dorris, 1989 WL 132157 (M.D. Pa. April 12, 1989).

The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the most recent decision, dated April 21, 1989.

Summary Authors

Eoghan Keenan (6/10/2005)

People


Judge(s)

Conaboy, Richard Paul (Pennsylvania)

Muir, Malcolm (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bragg, O. Randolph (Pennsylvania)

Meek, Robert W. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Gill, Thomas F. (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Conaboy, Richard Paul (Pennsylvania)

Muir, Malcolm (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bragg, O. Randolph (Pennsylvania)

Meek, Robert W. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Gill, Thomas F. (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:78-cv-01096

Memorandum and Order

84 F.R.D. 116, 1979 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 8940

Oct. 26, 1979

Oct. 26, 1979

Order/Opinion

81-01294

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

720 F.2d 665

Aug. 25, 1983

Aug. 25, 1983

Order/Opinion

3:78-cv-01096

Memorandum and Order

Mawson v. Dorris

1989 WL 132157, 1989 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 13006

April 21, 1989

April 21, 1989

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated June 7, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 9, 1978

Closing Date: April 21, 1989

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

inmates confined at the Luzerne County Prison

Attorney Organizations:

NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Luzerne County Prison (Luzerne), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Availably Documents:

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: 1981 - 1989

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Law library access

Library (non-law) access

Mail

Recreation / Exercise

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Type of Facility:

Government-run