Case: Morgan v. City of Houston

4:76-cv-00629 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Filed Date: April 12, 1976

Closed Date: Aug. 1, 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1976, a lawsuit was filed the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on behalf of inmates who were incarcerated for failure to pay a fine, alleging that the City of Houston violated their due process rights because they had not been given the opportunity to show whether they could afford to pay the fines, they were not provided with lawyers, and they were not informed of their right to defer payment rather than face incarceration. The complaint further alleged that conditions…

In 1976, a lawsuit was filed the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on behalf of inmates who were incarcerated for failure to pay a fine, alleging that the City of Houston violated their due process rights because they had not been given the opportunity to show whether they could afford to pay the fines, they were not provided with lawyers, and they were not informed of their right to defer payment rather than face incarceration. The complaint further alleged that conditions at the Houston City Jail were unconstitutional. The inmates sought injunctive and declaratory relief. Specific details about proceedings early in the case are not available because we only found a digital copy of the paper form of the docket, and we do not have access to the orders and pleadings that were filed.

In 1979, the Court (Judge Sim Lake) certified a class and allowed the litigation to proceed as a class action. Another case, filed in 1980, was consolidated into this case.

On September 25, 1989, the parties entered into a consent decree, which established procedures for medical care, food service, provision of a pharmacy, 24-hour medical intake, 24-hour medical call, and training for health workers. It also provided for the closure of the Municipal Prison Farm, the implementation of capital improvements for the construction of police command stations and lock-up facilities. The consent decree required the City to pay $41,933.04 in attorney fees as well.

In October 1994, the plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce provisions of the decree relating to portions of the medical policies, specifically complaining of the failure to implement 24-hour medical intake, failure to provide certain medical screenings, and the provision of on-call pharmacists. In 1996, the parties agreed to an order for the enforcement of the consent decree provisions, and for the provision of attorney fees and court costs in the amount of $12,747.89 to the plaintiffs (for a combined total of $54,680.93 when combined with previous attorney fees paid by the City).

On February 8, 2011, the plaintiffs alleged that the City still had periods of overcrowding, which resulted increased the likelihood of violence among inmates and between inmates and staff. However, because the City has substantially complied with almost all provisions of the consent decree, and has been able to reduce crowding since the status conference, the Court granted defendant's motion to terminate the consent decree on August 1, 2013.

Summary Authors

Denise Lieberman (11/14/2005)

Maurice Youkanna (7/8/2014)

Related Cases

Ortiz v. Turner, Southern District of Illinois (1977)

People


Judge(s)

Lake, Simeon Timothy III (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Daniel, Luke (Texas)

Nelson, Eric (Washington)

Vaughn, Stephen (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Camprice, Robert (Texas)

Chan, Andrea (Texas)

Higley, Timothy James (Texas)

Judge(s)

Lake, Simeon Timothy III (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Daniel, Luke (Texas)

Nelson, Eric (Washington)

Vaughn, Stephen (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Camprice, Robert (Texas)

Chan, Andrea (Texas)

Higley, Timothy James (Texas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
127

4:76-cv-00629

Docket

Morgan v. City of Houston, Texas

May 29, 1997

May 29, 1997

Docket

4:76-cv-00629

Docket

Aug. 1, 2013

Aug. 1, 2013

Docket
103

4:76-cv-00629

80-01546

Notice of Class Action and Proposed Settlement

Morgan v. City of Houston, Texas

Sept. 11, 1989

Sept. 11, 1989

Notice Letter
107

4:76-cv-00629

80-01546

Consent Decree

Morgan v. City of Houston, Texas

Sept. 25, 1989

Sept. 25, 1989

Settlement Agreement
108

4:76-cv-00629

80-01546

Motion for Enforcement of Consent Decree and for Sanctions

Morgan v. City of Houston, Texas

Oct. 25, 1994

Oct. 25, 1994

Pleading / Motion / Brief
143

4:76-cv-00629

Order [Granting Motion to Terminate Consent Decree]

Aug. 1, 2013

Aug. 1, 2013

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 12, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against City Of Houston filed by Freddie Morgan, Tommie Mae Flakes Ames.(jewilliams, ) (Entered: 05/27/2009)

April 12, 1976

April 12, 1976

127

HARD COPY DOCKET SHEET Entries 1 through 126., filed. (jewilliams, ) Modified on 5/27/2009 (jewilliams, ). (Entered: 05/27/2009)

June 11, 1996

June 11, 1996

Clearinghouse
129

ORDER granting 128 Motion to Substitute Agreed Jail Expert.(Signed by Judge Sim Lake) Parties notified.(hcarr, ) (Entered: 05/28/2009)

May 28, 2009

May 28, 2009

130

Unopposed MOTION for Status Conference Conference by Tommie Mae Flakes Ames, Freddie Morgan, filed. Motion Docket Date 2/28/2011. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A − Consent Decree, # 2 Exhibit B − Order, # 3 Exhibit C − Inspection Reports, # 4 Exhibit D − Agreed Order, # 5 Proposed Order Order on Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for Status Conference)(Vaughan, Stephen) (Entered: 02/07/2011)

Feb. 7, 2011

Feb. 7, 2011

131

ORDER granting 130 Unopposed MOTION for Status Conference Conference ( Status Conference set for 3/11/2011 at 03:30 PM in Courtroom 9B before Judge Sim Lake).(Signed by Judge Sim Lake) Parties notified.(hcarr, ) (Entered: 02/08/2011)

Feb. 8, 2011

Feb. 8, 2011

132

AO 435 TRANSCRIPT ORDER FORM by Andrea Chan. This is to order a transcript of Hearing held on 3/11/2011 before Judge Sim Lake (Original), filed. (mmapps, ) (Entered: 03/14/2011)

March 14, 2011

March 14, 2011

133

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Sim Lake. Proceedings held on 3/14/2011. Appearances: Stephen M Vaughan, Andrea Chan.(Court Reporter: C. Barron), filed.(jewilliams, ) (Entered: 03/14/2011)

March 14, 2011

March 14, 2011

134

TRANSCRIPT re: Status Conference held on 3−11−2011 before Judge Sim Lake. Court Reporter/Transcriber C. Barron. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 6/20/2011., filed. (cbarron, ) (Entered: 03/22/2011)

March 22, 2011

March 22, 2011

135

Notice of Filing of Official Transcript as to 134 Transcript. Party notified, filed. (mmapps, ) (Entered: 03/23/2011)

March 23, 2011

March 23, 2011

136

ADVISORY by City Of Houston, filed.(Chan, Andrea) (Entered: 04/11/2011)

April 11, 2011

April 11, 2011

Archive Data: FRC Shipment id: 9426, Accession number: 021−94−0482, Location number: A2406324, Box number: 1, Type of documents sent to FRC: c, Date documents shipped to FRC: 10/15/1994, Disposal authority: IIA7b(2), Disposal date: **/**/****, Restriction code: N, Notes: 1976−1978 Civil case files closed after trial. Notes 2: closed 12/91. Notes 3: 7/13/05: NARA Interim Ctrl #NRF−021−05−0010, filed. (dkellyadi, ) (Entered: 09/22/2011)

Sept. 22, 2011

Sept. 22, 2011

137

MOTION to Substitute Attorney Timothy Higley in place of Andrea Chan by City Of Houston, filed. Motion Docket Date 5/30/2013. (Higley, Timothy) (Entered: 05/09/2013)

May 9, 2013

May 9, 2013

138

ORDER granting 137 MOTION to Substitute Attorney Timothy Higley in place of Andrea Chan, Attorney Andrea Chan terminated. (Signed by Judge Sim Lake) Parties notified. (aboyd) (Entered: 05/10/2013)

May 10, 2013

May 10, 2013

139

Unopposed MOTION for Stephen M. Vaughan to Withdraw as Attorney by Tommie Mae Flakes Ames, Freddie Morgan, filed. Motion Docket Date 6/7/2013. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order Order on Unopposed Motion to Withdraw as Class Counsel Due to Retirement)(Vaughan, Stephen) (Entered: 05/17/2013)

May 17, 2013

May 17, 2013

140

NOTICE of Setting. Parties notified. Motion Hearing set for 5/31/2013 at 03:00 PM in Courtroom 9B before Judge Sim Lake, filed. (aboyd) (Entered: 05/22/2013)

May 22, 2013

May 22, 2013

141

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Sim Lake. MOTION HEARING held on 5/31/2013 denying 139 Unopposed MOTION for Stephen M. Vaughan to Withdraw as Attorney. Appearances:Lynette Fons and Don Flemming for Defendant. Stephen M Vaughan. (Court Reporter: A. Manley), filed. (aboyd) (Entered: 05/31/2013)

May 31, 2013

May 31, 2013

142

MOTION Terminate Consent Decree by City Of Houston, filed. Motion Docket Date 7/19/2013. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Exhibits 1−4)(Fleming, Donald) (Entered: 06/28/2013)

June 28, 2013

June 28, 2013

144

FINAL JUDGMENT − The Consent Decree entered on 9/21/1989 is terminated. This action is dismissed with prejudice. (Signed by Judge Sim Lake) Parties notified. (aboyd) (Entered: 08/01/2013)

Aug. 1, 2013

Aug. 1, 2013

Case Details

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 12, 1976

Closing Date: Aug. 1, 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmates incarcerated for failure to pay a fine.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

City of Houston (Houston), City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $54,680.93

Order Duration: 1989 - 2013

Content of Injunction:

Hire

Monitoring

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students

Assault/abuse by staff

Conditions of confinement

Failure to train

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Totality of conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Pre-PLRA Population Cap

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Medical care, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run