Case: Hertz v. Cleary

3AN-81-5274 | Alaska state trial court

Filed Date: 1981

Closed Date: Sept. 12, 1994

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1981, inmates filed a class action lawsuit against the state of Alaska in state court challenging the conditions of Alaska's correctional facilities. The class consisted of all inmates who were or would be incarcerated in Alaska prisons and Alaska inmates serving sentences in federal facilities. In 1983, the parties entered into settlement agreements and several issues were reserved for trial, which was held in 1984. In 1985, the superior court entered an order setting population caps. A…

In 1981, inmates filed a class action lawsuit against the state of Alaska in state court challenging the conditions of Alaska's correctional facilities. The class consisted of all inmates who were or would be incarcerated in Alaska prisons and Alaska inmates serving sentences in federal facilities. In 1983, the parties entered into settlement agreements and several issues were reserved for trial, which was held in 1984. In 1985, the superior court entered an order setting population caps. An appeal was stayed to allow settlement negotiations. On August 1, 1990, the Final Settlement Agreement was reached and it was subsequently modified after comments from class members.

Prior to the comment period, inmate Sidney Hertz moved to intervene as a plaintiff in the litigation. He also later moved to extend the comment period and filed proposed changes to the settlement agreement. The Superior Court, Third Judicial District in Anchorage (Judge Karen L. Hunt) did not rule on the motion to intervene and treated his other motions as comments. Hertz appealed and the Supreme Court of Alaska (Judge Rabinowitz) held that the superior court did not err in denying Hertz's motion to intervene. Hertz v. Cleary, 835 P.2d 438 (Alaska 1992).

In 1993, defendants moved to modify provisions of the settlement agreement to increase maximum capacity limits due to financial constraints. An expert reported that there had been significant improvements in the prison conditions since the settlement agreement was reached. An order by Judge Hunt dated October 25, 1993 allowed defendants to increase capacity at two prisons but denied any other modifications. Judge Hunt granted plaintiffs' motion to reconsider in late 1993.

Plaintiffs moved for an order holding the defendants in contempt for failure to comply with population caps in the original settlement agreement. On September 9, 1994, Judge Hunt ordered the state of Alaska to pay sanctions for every day that the statewide prison population exceeded capacity agreed upon in the settlement agreement. It also ordered the DOC to provide monthly population reports.

Summary Authors

Angela Heverling (4/7/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Burke, Edward O. (Arizona)

Compton, Allen T. (Alaska)

Hunt, Karen L. (Alaska)

Rabinovitz, David (Wisconsin)

Rabinowitz, Jay Andrew (Alaska)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Taylor, R. Scott (Alaska)

Volland, Philip R. (Alaska)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cole, Charles E. (Alaska)

Sanders, Vance A. (Alaska)

Stark, Michael J. (Alaska)

Judge(s)

Burke, Edward O. (Arizona)

Compton, Allen T. (Alaska)

Hunt, Karen L. (Alaska)

Rabinovitz, David (Wisconsin)

Rabinowitz, Jay Andrew (Alaska)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Taylor, R. Scott (Alaska)

Volland, Philip R. (Alaska)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cole, Charles E. (Alaska)

Sanders, Vance A. (Alaska)

Stark, Michael J. (Alaska)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Matthews, Stanley (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

No. S-4261

Opinion

Alaska state supreme court

835 P.2d 438, 1992 Ala.LEXIS 53

May 29, 1992

May 29, 1992

Order/Opinion

3AN-81-5274

Decision and Order: Defendants' Motion for Relief and Judgment

Cleary v. Smith

Oct. 25, 1993

Oct. 25, 1993

Order/Opinion

3AN-81-5274

Motion to Reconsider Decision and Order: Defendant's Motion for Relief from Judgment

Cleary v. Smith

Nov. 4, 1993

Nov. 4, 1993

Pleading / Motion / Brief

3AN-81-5274

Memorandum in Support of Motion to Reconsider Decision and Order: Defendant's Motion for Relief from Judgment

Cleary v. Smith

Dec. 28, 1993

Dec. 28, 1993

Pleading / Motion / Brief

3AN-81-5274

Decision and Order (Plaintiffs' Motion for Sanctions

Cleary v. Smith

Sept. 12, 1994

Sept. 12, 1994

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Alaska

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1981

Closing Date: Sept. 12, 1994

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All inmates who were or would be incarcerated in Alaska prisons and Alaska inmates serving sentences in federal facilities

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Fairbanks Correctional Center, State

Spring Creek Correctional Center, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1990 - None

Issues

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Pre-PLRA Population Cap

Type of Facility:

Government-run