Case: Mary & Crystal v. Ramsden

3:77-cv-00208 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Filed Date: May 27, 1977

Closed Date: 1980

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 27, 1977, Mary, a resident of the Goodland State Camp (a Wisconsin juvenile correctional institution), brought a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § § 1983 and 1988 against the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, the Administrator of the Division of Corrections, and the Superintendent of Goodland State Camp. She was joined in her lawsuit by Crystal, another resident, in October, 1977. The plaintiffs, filing in The United States District Court for…

On May 27, 1977, Mary, a resident of the Goodland State Camp (a Wisconsin juvenile correctional institution), brought a class action lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § § 1983 and 1988 against the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, the Administrator of the Division of Corrections, and the Superintendent of Goodland State Camp. She was joined in her lawsuit by Crystal, another resident, in October, 1977. The plaintiffs, filing in The United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, sought declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief against the defendants for the alleged imposition of cruel and unusual punishment and for violations of due process.

Added to the complaint by amendment (as defendants) were the Superintendent of Wisconsin Correction Camp System, Director of the Bureau of Investigations, the Goodland Camp social worker and Mary's psychologist. The class action was certified on August 9, 1977 by the District Court (Judge James E. Doyle). However, in 1978 Goodland camp was closed, rendering injunctive relief moot.

In March, 1978, the Court (Judge Doyle) submitted a special verdict regarding the plaintiffs' money damage claims. Plaintiffs were awarded over $9,000.00 compensation and $20,000.00 attorney's fees. The Court held that the prolonged solitary confinement of the juveniles without a chance to present evidence on their behalves, the refusal of psychiatric treatment to one juvenile, and the exposure of each plaintiff to dangerous physical conditions constituted cruel and unusual punishment and was in violation of the plaintiffs' due process rights.

The defendants appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, claiming several errors in instruction. The plaintiffs appealed the District Court's reduction of fees awarded to their attorneys, and the award of attorney's fees to two defendants, who had been retained in the suit for an unreasonably prolonged period of time by the plaintiffs.

The Court of Appeals (Chief Judge Thomas Edward Fairchild) affirmed and modified the District Court's order on November 21, 1980. Mary & Crystal v. Ramsden, 635 F.2d 590 (7th Cir. 1980). The award of attorney's fees on behalf of the plaintiffs was reversed and remanded.

We have no further information on this case.

Summary Authors

Stacey Jensen (5/23/2006)

People


Judge(s)

East, William G. (Oregon)

Fairchild, Thomas Edward (Wisconsin)

Swygert, Luther Merritt (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dixon, Thomas E. (Wisconsin)

Peck, Harry F. (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Petersen, James H. (Wisconsin)

Judge(s)

East, William G. (Oregon)

Fairchild, Thomas Edward (Wisconsin)

Swygert, Luther Merritt (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dixon, Thomas E. (Wisconsin)

Peck, Harry F. (Wisconsin)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Petersen, James H. (Wisconsin)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

78-01954

78-01955

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

635 F.2d 590

Nov. 24, 1980

Nov. 24, 1980

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 23, 2022, 3:14 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Wisconsin

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 27, 1977

Closing Date: 1980

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Residents of the Goodland State Camp, a Wisconsin juvenile correctional institution.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Damages

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Assault/abuse by staff

Classification / placement

Confinement/isolation

Disciplinary procedures

Disciplinary segregation

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run