Case: Inmates of Milwaukee County Jail v. Petersen

2:70-00545 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Filed Date: Sept. 29, 1970

Closed Date: Jan. 17, 1973

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Pretrial detainees of the Milwaukee County Jail filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin under 42 U.S.C. §1983. Specifically, they alleged that inadequacies in relation to medical care, recreational facilities, sanitation, and access to counsel violated their constitutional rights. The inmates were represented by the Corrections Legal Services Program, Freedom Through Equality, Inc., the Wisconsin Civil Liberties Union, and the NAACP Legal Defense and E…

Pretrial detainees of the Milwaukee County Jail filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin under 42 U.S.C. §1983. Specifically, they alleged that inadequacies in relation to medical care, recreational facilities, sanitation, and access to counsel violated their constitutional rights. The inmates were represented by the Corrections Legal Services Program, Freedom Through Equality, Inc., the Wisconsin Civil Liberties Union, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.

On January 12, 1971, the court (Judge Myron L. Gordon) issued the first opinion in the case, holding that the action could not be maintained as a class action because there was too much turnover in the inmate population. Inmates of Milwaukee County Jail v. Peterson, 51 F.R.D. 540 (E.D.Wis.1971).

On January 17, 1973, Judge Gordon issued a second opinion in the case, holding that the policies and procedures at the jail were unconstitutional. Inmates of Milwaukee County Jail v. Peterson, 353 F.Supp. 1157 (E.D.Wis. 1973). He stated that injunctive relief would have been granted had this been a class action lawsuit, but since that status was denied and the prisoners who initiated the lawsuit were no longer at the jail, no relief was granted.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (6/14/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Gordon, Myron L. (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bass, Stanley A. (New York)

Kelly, Walter F. (Wisconsin)

Martin, Kent A. (Wisconsin)

Steinglass, Steven H. (Wisconsin)

Sutton, Robert E. (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bonifas, James J. (Wisconsin)

Russell, Robert P. (Wisconsin)

Thompson, Thomas A. (Wyoming)

Judge(s)

Gordon, Myron L. (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bass, Stanley A. (New York)

Kelly, Walter F. (Wisconsin)

Martin, Kent A. (Wisconsin)

Steinglass, Steven H. (Wisconsin)

Sutton, Robert E. (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bonifas, James J. (Wisconsin)

Russell, Robert P. (Wisconsin)

Thompson, Thomas A. (Wyoming)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:70-00545

Decision and Order

Jan. 12, 1971

Jan. 12, 1971

Order/Opinion

2:70-00545

Reported opinion

Jan. 17, 1973

Jan. 17, 1973

Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated Sept. 7, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Wisconsin

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 29, 1970

Closing Date: Jan. 17, 1973

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmates of Milwaukee County Jail alleging inadequacies in relation to medical care, recreational facilities, sanitation, and access to counsel violated constitutional rights

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Milwaukee County Jail (Milwaukee), 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: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Loss or damage to property

Mail

Phone

Recreation / Exercise

Sanitation / living conditions

Search policies

Visiting

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run