Case: Casey v. Lewis

2:90-cv-00054 | U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona

Filed Date: Jan. 12, 1990

Closed Date: May 22, 2000

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a Section 1983 case brought in federal district court for the District of Arizona (Judge Roger Strand) by prisoners. The plaintiffs, represented by the National Prison Project of the ACLU, filed the class action complaint on January 12, 1990. The complaint named as plaintiffs all current and future adults, male and female, in the custody of the Arizona Department of Corrections. The defendants were officials of the Arizona Department of Corrections. The primary allegations of the co…

This is a Section 1983 case brought in federal district court for the District of Arizona (Judge Roger Strand) by prisoners. The plaintiffs, represented by the National Prison Project of the ACLU, filed the class action complaint on January 12, 1990. The complaint named as plaintiffs all current and future adults, male and female, in the custody of the Arizona Department of Corrections. The defendants were officials of the Arizona Department of Corrections. The primary allegations of the complaint were defendants' deliberate indifference to prisoners' serious medical needs, failure to provide prisoners meaningful access to the courts and counsel, and failure to provide prisoners due process in segregation assignments, in alleged violation of the First, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Based on these claims, plaintiffs requested equitable relief.

Plaintiffs soon after filed an amended class action complaint that included additional claims regarding defendants' failure to accommodate handicapped prisoners and denial of equal protection of the law to female prisoners. The District Court granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification on June 27, 1990.

According to the docket, the matter was consolidated with Arnold v. Lewis, Civil Action No. 91-CV-1808, MH-AZ-001, on September 3, 1992.

On September 6, 1991, the District Court held: blanket prohibition of attorney contact visits in certain prison units was invalid, and a policy prohibiting assignment of HIV positive prisoners to food service employment violated the Rehabilitation Act. Casey v. Lewis, 773 F. Supp. 1365 (D. Ariz. 1991). Defendants appealed this decision. The Ninth Circuit vacated in part and reversed in part, holding that the prohibition against certain inmates having visitation with attorneys was reasonably related to legitimate penological interests and that the HIV positive inmates lacked standing to challenge the food service policy. Casey v. Lewis, 4 F.3d 1516 (9th Cir. 1993).

In a separate decision, the District Court held that the law library facilities and inmate access violated the prisoners' right of access to courts. Casey v. Lewis, 834 F. Supp. 1553 (D. Ariz. 1992). Defendants appealed. The Ninth Circuit affirmed in part, vacated in part holding that defendants legal access program unconstitutionally denied inmates access to courts. Casey v. Lewis, 43 F.3d 1261 (9th Cir. 1994). Certiorari was granted and the Supreme Court reversed and remanded. Lewis v. Casey, 518 U.S. 343 (1996). Speaking for the Court, Justice Scalia held that the inmates couldn't establish an actual injury based on an allegation that the law library was sub par in a theoretical sense. Justice Scalia also held that delays of up to 16 days for inmates to receive legal materials did not violate their constitutional right of access to the courts, provided that the delays were reasonably related to legitimate penological interests. The Court vacated the part of the district court's order regarding law libraries. The rest of the order remained in force.

While the appellate and Supreme Court litigation unfolded, in a series of decisions from 1991 to 1993, the District Court held: the treatment available to mentally ill inmates violated the Eighth Amendment; unequal treatment of male and female inmates violated the equal protection rights of female inmates; and the failure to provide handicap access to disabled inmates violated the Eighth Amendment rights of inmates. Casey v. Lewis, 834 F. Supp. 1477 (D. Ariz. 1993); 834 F. Supp. 1569 (D. Ariz. 1993). However, the District Court also held that inmate classification and administrative segregation policies did not create liberty interests for inmates in a particular classification. Casey v. Lewis, 837 F. Supp. 1009 (D. Ariz. 1993).

In February 1999 Magistrate Judge Virginia Mathis recommended the court find defendants to be in ""substantial compliance"" with the injunction regarding mental health and also requested that a special master be appointed for a 9-month period of observation to ensure that defendants are still found to be in substantial compliance. All parties filed a stipulation for entry of order adopting Judge Mathis' report and recommendation. Judge Strand granted the stipulation. In May 2000, all parties filed a stipulation for dismissal regarding termination of injunctive relief and dismissal of the matter. On May 22, 2000, Judge Strand granted the stipulation and dismissed the action.

Summary Authors

Eoghan Keenan (4/17/2005)

Related Cases

Wilkinson v. MacDougall, District of Arizona (1981)

Arnold v. Lewis, District of Arizona (1991)

People


Judge(s)

Farris, Joseph Jerome (Washington)

Lay, Donald Pomery (Minnesota)

Muecke, Charles Andrew (Arizona)

O'Scannlain, Diarmuid Fionntain (Oregon)

Pregerson, Dean D. (California)

Scalia, Antonin (District of Columbia)

Strand, Roger Gordon (Arizona)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Adams, Stuart H. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Aiyetoro, Adjoa A. (District of Columbia)

Bendheim, Alice L. (Arizona)

Judge(s)

Farris, Joseph Jerome (Washington)

Lay, Donald Pomery (Minnesota)

Muecke, Charles Andrew (Arizona)

O'Scannlain, Diarmuid Fionntain (Oregon)

Pregerson, Dean D. (California)

Scalia, Antonin (District of Columbia)

Strand, Roger Gordon (Arizona)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Adams, Stuart H. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Aiyetoro, Adjoa A. (District of Columbia)

Bendheim, Alice L. (Arizona)

Cohen, Leslie J. (District of Columbia)

Fathi, David Cyrus (District of Columbia)

Fox, Tannis L. (Arizona)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cooper, Charles Justin (District of Columbia)

Dennis, Thomas John (Arizona)

Hochuli, Edward G. (Arizona)

Kirk, Michael W. (District of Columbia)

Lewis, David C. (Arizona)

Morrow, James Russel (Arizona)

Overholser, Sonia (Arizona)

Struck, Daniel Patrick (Arizona)

Teply, R. Elizabeth (Arizona)

Wake, Neil Vincent (Arizona)

Warzynski, Michael (Arizona)

Weineke, Kathleen L. (Arizona)

Other Attorney(s)

Alexander, Elizabeth R. (District of Columbia)

Shely, Robert W (Arizona)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:90-cv-00054

Docket (PACER)

May 22, 2000

May 22, 2000

Docket
1

2:90-cv-00054

Class Action Complaint

Jan. 12, 1990

Jan. 12, 1990

Complaint

2:90-cv-00054

Amended Class Action Complaint

Jan. 12, 1990

Jan. 12, 1990

Complaint
243

2:90-cv-00054

Amended Memorandum and Order

773 F.Supp. 1365, 1991 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 12623

Sept. 6, 1991

Sept. 6, 1991

Order/Opinion
369

2:90-cv-00054

91-01808

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

803 F.Supp. 246, 1992 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 13799

Sept. 3, 1992

Sept. 3, 1992

Order/Opinion
385

2:90-cv-00054

91-01808

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law: Access to the Courts

834 F.Supp. 1553, 1992 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 21694

Nov. 13, 1992

Nov. 13, 1992

Order/Opinion
404

2:90-cv-00054

91-01808

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law: Medical, Dental and Mental Health Care

834 F.Supp. 1477, 1993 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 12584

March 19, 1993

March 19, 1993

Order/Opinion
409

2:90-cv-00054

91-01808

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

834 F.Supp. 1569, 1993 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 12318

April 5, 1993

April 5, 1993

Order/Opinion
424

2:90-cv-00054

91-01808

Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law

837 F.Supp. 1009, 1993 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 12282

April 30, 1993

April 30, 1993

Order/Opinion

91-16513

Opinon

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

4 F.3d 1516, 1993 U.S.App.LEXIS 24409

Sept. 23, 1993

Sept. 23, 1993

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 31, 2022, 3 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Arizona

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 12, 1990

Closing Date: May 22, 2000

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

prisoners of the Arizona Department of Corrections

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

ACLU National Prison Project

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Arizona State Prison (Florence), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

U.S. Supreme Court merits opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1991 - 2000

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Administrative segregation

Classification / placement

Disciplinary procedures

Disciplinary segregation

Education

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Law library access

Library (non-law) access

Totality of conditions

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Sex discrimination

Type of Facility:

Government-run