Case: Courtney v. Bishop

Docket No. Not Available | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas

Filed Date: May 28, 1967

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On May 28, 1967, Robert Courtney filed a pro-se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, alleging cruel and unusual treatment while he was held in solitary confinement at Cummins Farm, an Arkansas state prison. Private counsel was assigned to represent Plaintiff, and a second complaint, which was based on another placement in solitary confinement subsequent to filing of the first complaint, was filed on December 18, 1967, and was…

On May 28, 1967, Robert Courtney filed a pro-se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, alleging cruel and unusual treatment while he was held in solitary confinement at Cummins Farm, an Arkansas state prison. Private counsel was assigned to represent Plaintiff, and a second complaint, which was based on another placement in solitary confinement subsequent to filing of the first complaint, was filed on December 18, 1967, and was incorporated into the first complaint. Plaintiff was specifically alleging that he was arbitrarily placed in solitary confinement, and was deprived of adequate and sanitary food, medical and psychiatric treatment, and was beaten by prison officials.

On January 26, 1968, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas (Judge Oren Harris) dismissed the complaint, finding that Plaintiff had not been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment. Plaintiff was not arbitrarily held in solitary confinement; rather, he was confined the first time for being intoxicated and scratching another inmate, and the second time for stabbing another inmate twice in the back. On the other issues, the court found that the Plaintiff had failed to prove cruel and unusual treatment.

On April 21, 1969, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (Judge Marion Charles Matthes) affirmed. Courtney v. Bishop, 409 F.2d 1185 (8th Cir. 1969). On November 10, 1969, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari. Courtney v. Bishop, 90 S.Ct. 235 (1969).

Summary Authors

Megan Raynor (4/2/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Matthes, Marion Charles (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Robinson, Robert L. Jr. (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Langston, Don (Arkansas)

Lyon, Philip K. (Arkansas)

Purcell, Joe (Arkansas)

Judge(s)

Matthes, Marion Charles (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Robinson, Robert L. Jr. (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Langston, Don (Arkansas)

Lyon, Philip K. (Arkansas)

Purcell, Joe (Arkansas)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

19312

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

409 F.2d 1185, 1969 U.S.App.LEXIS 12731

April 21, 1969

April 21, 1969

Order/Opinion

00540

Memorandum Decision

Supreme Court of the United States

396 U.S. 915, 90 S.Ct. 235, 24 L.Ed.2d 192

Nov. 10, 1969

Nov. 10, 1969

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 21, 2022, 3:05 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Arkansas

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: May 28, 1967

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Prisoner alleging cruel and unusual treatment inflicted upon him during solitary confinement in state penal institution

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Arkansas State Penitentiary, State

Cummins Farm, 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: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Disciplinary segregation

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run