Case: West v. Redman

1:78-cv-00014 | U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware

Filed Date: Jan. 12, 1978

Closed Date: June 30, 1993

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

The plaintiff, an inmate at the Delaware Correctional Center, brought suit in 1978, seeking damages under Section 1983 and alleging physical and psychological mistreatment by prison guards and officials. The plaintiff was subsequently certified as a class representative. The complaint was filed pro se, but a Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (CLASI) attorney took on the case and filed an amended class action complaint seeking injunctive relief against disciplinary procedures at the prison th…

The plaintiff, an inmate at the Delaware Correctional Center, brought suit in 1978, seeking damages under Section 1983 and alleging physical and psychological mistreatment by prison guards and officials. The plaintiff was subsequently certified as a class representative. The complaint was filed pro se, but a Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. (CLASI) attorney took on the case and filed an amended class action complaint seeking injunctive relief against disciplinary procedures at the prison that allegedly violated the due process clause. In January 1980, the attorney left the legal services organization for private practice but continued his representation. In April 1980, the night before trial, plaintiff's damage claim was settled and the class claim for injunctive relief was provisionally settled.

In December 1980, the remaining matters in the case were referred to Magistrate Richard Powers. One of the issues remaining was the award of fees to the Plaintiff's attorney. Magistrate Powers determined that $52,714 was a reasonable attorney's fee. Defendants challenged the part of the calculation that increased a lodestar by both a contingency and a quality factor.

District Judge Stapleton first determined that a Magistrate's Order awarding statutory attorney's fees involves the disposition of a prisoners' petition and therefore subject to a de novo determination. West v. Redman, 530 F.Supp 546 (D. Del. 1982). Defendants first argued that plaintiff's attorney, who worked for a non-profit organization, should not be eligible for the contingency fee increase contending it should only be applied when a firm assumes a substantial financial risk by undertaking the case. The court held that the magistrate was not foreclosed from applying a contingency factor because, like for-profit firms, non-profits have to make decisions based on a cost benefit analysis and the availability of receiving contingency fees encourages them to take on ''harder'' cases they might otherwise turn down. Defendants next argued that plaintiff's attorney should not be eligible for the contingency fee for the time he was in private practice as plaintiff's chances of success were almost certain at that point. The court held that contingency of success is to be determined at the beginning of a case, and should not be modified at different stages. Finally with respect to the challenged quality factor, the court held that the adjustment was not justified as the record did not prove that plaintiff's attorney possessed an unusual degree of skill. The opinion does not state what the newly calculated attorney fee is, but it is presumably $52,714 less the quality factor of ten percent of the lodestar ($28,494) or $49,865.

A PACER docket begins in 1991 with a plaintiffs' request for permission to conduct limited discovery; a request that Magistrate Sue Robinson granted. There was apparently some kind of enforcement litigation that lasted the next two years; its outcome is unclear. Apparently she became a judge sometime in 1992, and the case was reassigned to her in that capacity. The docket ends with Judge Robinson's denial of defendants' motion for stay, denying defendants' motion for relief from judgment, but with no other indication of any substantive outcome; on the same date as those denials (June 30, 1993), the case is marked ""closed.""

Summary Authors

Sherrie Waldrup (9/12/2005)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4744589/parties/north-emerson-west-v-spencer/


Judge(s)

Robinson, Sue Lewis (Delaware)

Stapleton, Walter King (Delaware)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Shachtman, Douglas A. (Delaware)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Kafader, Edward F. (Delaware)

Lewis, Lawrence (Delaware)

Welch, John K. (Delaware)

Judge(s)

Robinson, Sue Lewis (Delaware)

Stapleton, Walter King (Delaware)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Shachtman, Douglas A. (Delaware)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Kafader, Edward F. (Delaware)

Lewis, Lawrence (Delaware)

Welch, John K. (Delaware)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:78-cv-00014

Docket (PACER)

North Emerson West v. Spencer

June 30, 1993

June 30, 1993

Docket

1:78-cv-00014

Opinion

Jan. 11, 1982

Jan. 11, 1982

Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4744589/north-emerson-west-v-spencer/

Last updated Aug. 24, 2022, 3:06 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
275

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Sue L. Robinson on 8/28/2008. (nmf)

Sept. 3, 2008

Sept. 3, 2008

RECAP
222

MOTION by Hassan Umar Sharif, for Leave to conduct limited disc. Opening brief due 2/21/91 re: [222-1] motion (ssb) (Entered: 02/14/1991)

Feb. 7, 1991

Feb. 7, 1991

223

MOTION by Hassan Umar Sharif, for order requiring defts' compliance to Magis. order dtd. 12/12/90 Opening brief due 2/27/91 re: [223-1] motion (ssb) (Entered: 02/14/1991)

Feb. 13, 1991

Feb. 13, 1991

So Ordered granting [223-1] motion for order requiring defts' compliance to Magis. order dtd. 12/12/90 ( signed by Magistrate Sue L. Robinson ) Notice to pltf. & Foster (ssb) (Entered: 03/21/1991)

March 19, 1991

March 19, 1991

224

ORDER granting [222-1] motion for Leave to conduct limited disc. w/defts' required to resp. to disc. rqsts. w/i 30 days ( signed by Magistrate Sue L. Robinson ) copies to: pltf. & Foster (ssb) (Entered: 03/21/1991)

March 19, 1991

March 19, 1991

225

REQUEST for Production of Documents by Hassan Umar Sharif (ssb) (Entered: 04/04/1991)

April 3, 1991

April 3, 1991

226

NOTICE of attorney appearance for Thomas E. Adams, Bryan Allaband, Robert D. Brooks, Thomas Donohue, Donald C. Fox, Wm. L. McKinney, Daniel Pierce, George M. Pippin, Mark Redman, Walter W. Redman, Robert M. Shell, Alexander Spencer, Charles R. Tucker, Frederick N. Van Sant, James Vaughn, Samuel Wheeler, James A. Williams, Norman Yankowitt by Lawrence W. Lewis, Esq. (ssb) (Entered: 04/16/1991)

April 12, 1991

April 12, 1991

227

MOTION by Thomas E. Adams, Bryan Allaband, Robert D. Brooks, Thomas Donohue, Donald C. Fox, Wm. L. McKinney, Daniel Pierce, George M. Pippin, Mark Redman, Walter W. Redman, Robert M. Shell, Alexander Spencer, Charles R. Tucker, Frederick N. Van Sant, James Vaughn, Samuel Wheeler, James A. Williams, Norman Yankowitt for Leave to File resp. to pltfs' mot. for relief from jdmt. ; Opening brief due 4/26/91 re: [227-1] motion (ssb) (Entered: 04/16/1991)

April 12, 1991

April 12, 1991

228

Resp. Filed by Thomas E. Adams, Bryan Allaband, Robert D. Brooks, Thomas Donohue, Donald C. Fox, Wm. L. McKinney, Daniel Pierce, George M. Pippin, Mark Redman, Walter W. Redman, Robert M. Shell, Alexander Spencer, Charles R. Tucker, Frederick N. Van Sant, James Vaughn, Samuel Wheeler, James A. Williams, Norman Yankowitt to pltfs' motion for relief from jdmt. (ssb) (Entered: 04/16/1991)

April 12, 1991

April 12, 1991

So Ordered granting [227-1] motion for Leave to File resp. to pltfs' mot. for relief from jdmt. ( signed by Magistrate Sue L. Robinson ) Notice to all parties. (ssb) (Entered: 04/22/1991)

April 19, 1991

April 19, 1991

229

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Thomas E. Adams, Bryan Allaband, Robert D. Brooks, Thomas Donohue, Donald C. Fox, Wm. L. McKinney, Daniel Pierce, George M. Pippin, Mark Redman, Walter W. Redman, Robert M. Shell, Alexander Spencer, Charles R. Tucker, Frederick N. Van Sant, James Vaughn, Samuel Wheeler, James A. Williams, Norman Yankowitt resp. to pltf's 1st rqst. for prod. docs. (ssb) (Entered: 05/07/1991)

May 6, 1991

May 6, 1991

230

MOTION by Hassan Umar Sharif for authorization to file Discovery ; pro. order; Opening brief due 6/6/91 re: [230-1] motion (ssb) (Entered: 05/24/1991)

May 23, 1991

May 23, 1991

So Ordered granting [228-1] answer brief requesting this court to order reopening of jgmt. ( signed by Magistrate Sue L. Robinson ) Notice to all parties. (ssb) (Entered: 06/17/1991)

June 14, 1991

June 14, 1991

231

MOTION for Douglas Shachtman, Esq. to Withdraw as Attorney for pltf. ; Opening brief due 7/17/91 re: [231-1] motion (ssb) (Entered: 07/05/1991)

July 3, 1991

July 3, 1991

232

ORDER granting [231-1] motion for Douglas Shachtman, Esq. to Withdraw as Attorney for pltf. ( signed by Magistrate Sue L. Robinson ) copies to: pltfs' & cnsl. (ssb) (Entered: 07/18/1991)

July 15, 1991

July 15, 1991

233

CASE reassigned to Judge Sue L. Robinson from Judge Joseph J. Farnan, Jr. (copies to pltfs', JJF & SLR) (ssb) (Entered: 02/21/1992)

Feb. 20, 1992

Feb. 20, 1992

234

NOTICE of substitution of attorney appearance for Walter W. Redman by John K. Welch in lieu of Lawrence Lewis, Esq. (lf) (Entered: 03/09/1992)

March 6, 1992

March 6, 1992

235

ORDER, vacating magistrate ( signed by Judge Sue L. Robinson ) copies to: cnsl (lf) (Entered: 06/17/1992)

June 17, 1992

June 17, 1992

CASE NO LONGER REFERRED TO Judge Unspecified (lf) (Entered: 06/17/1992)

June 17, 1992

June 17, 1992

237

Pltf's enforcement of Court Order (lf) (Entered: 10/29/1992)

Oct. 21, 1992

Oct. 21, 1992

238

First set of admissions by PLtf George X. Robinson (lf) (Entered: 11/20/1992)

Nov. 19, 1992

Nov. 19, 1992

239

Second Document request directed to all defts' by pltf George X. Robinson (lf) (Entered: 11/20/1992)

Nov. 19, 1992

Nov. 19, 1992

240

MOTION by pltf George X. Robinson for order deciding pltfs' motion for relief from judgment or order pursuant to Federal Civil RUle 60 (b) re: [240-1] motion (lf) (Entered: 11/20/1992)

Nov. 19, 1992

Nov. 19, 1992

241

NOTICE of change of address of pltf George X. Robinson; New address D.C.C. (lf) (Entered: 11/20/1992)

Nov. 19, 1992

Nov. 19, 1992

242

Answer Brief Filed by Thomas E. Adams, Bryan Allaband, Robert D. Brooks, Thomas Donohue, Donald C. Fox, Wm. L. McKinney, Daniel Pierce, George M. Pippin, Mark Redman, Walter W. Redman, Robert M. Shell, Alexander Spencer, Charles R. Tucker, Frederick N. Van Sant, James Vaughn, Samuel Wheeler, James A. Williams, Norman Yankowitt [240-1] motion for order deciding pltfs' motion for relief from judgment or order pursuant to Federal Civil RUle 60 (b) Reply Brief due 12/2/92 (lf) (Entered: 11/30/1992)

Nov. 25, 1992

Nov. 25, 1992

243

MOTION by D.R. Hubbard, North Emerson West, Hassan Umar Sharif, Salih Muhammad Al-Shabazz, Hassan Umar Sharif to Strike [243-1] motion (lf) (Entered: 12/08/1992)

Dec. 7, 1992

Dec. 7, 1992

244

NOTICE of filing of discovery response by Thomas E. Adams, Bryan Allaband, Robert D. Brooks, Thomas Donohue, Donald C. Fox, Wm. L. McKinney, Daniel Pierce, George M. Pippin, Mark Redman, Walter W. Redman, Robert M. Shell, Alexander Spencer, Charles R. Tucker, Frederick N. Van Sant, James Vaughn, Samuel Wheeler, James A. Williams, Norman Yankowitt (lf) (Entered: 12/21/1992)

Dec. 17, 1992

Dec. 17, 1992

245

NOTICE of filing of discovery response; re: response to pltfs' 2nd rqst for production of documents by Thomas E. Adams, Bryan Allaband, Robert D. Brooks, Thomas Donohue, Donald C. Fox, Wm. L. McKinney, Daniel Pierce, George M. Pippin, Mark Redman, Walter W. Redman, Robert M. Shell, Alexander Spencer, Charles R. Tucker, Frederick N. Van Sant, James Vaughn, Samuel Wheeler, James A. Williams, Norman Yankowitt (lf) (Entered: 12/21/1992)

Dec. 17, 1992

Dec. 17, 1992

246

Answer Brief Filed by Thomas E. Adams, Bryan Allaband, Robert D. Brooks, Thomas Donohue, Donald C. Fox, Wm. L. McKinney, Daniel Pierce, George M. Pippin, Mark Redman, Walter W. Redman, Robert M. Shell, Alexander Spencer, Charles R. Tucker, Frederick N. Van Sant, James Vaughn, Samuel Wheeler, James A. Williams, Norman Yankowitt [243-1] motion to Strike [243-1] motion Reply Brief due 12/24/92 (lf) (Entered: 12/21/1992)

Dec. 17, 1992

Dec. 17, 1992

247

Letter dated 11/12/92 from Marian Harris to Warden Snyder; Re: response to letter from inmate George X. Robinson (lf) (Entered: 01/06/1993)

Jan. 6, 1993

Jan. 6, 1993

248

INTERROGATORIES propounded by D.R. Hubbard, North Emerson West, Hassan Umar Sharif, Salih Muhammad Al-Shabazz, Hassan Umar Sharif to Thomas E. Adams, Bryan Allaband, Robert D. Brooks, Thomas Donohue, Donald C. Fox, Wm. L. McKinney, Daniel Pierce, George M. Pippin, Mark Redman, Walter W. Redman, Robert M. Shell, Alexander Spencer, Charles R. Tucker, Frederick N. Van Sant, James Vaughn, Samuel Wheeler, James A. Williams, Norman Yankowitt (lf) (Entered: 01/07/1993)

Jan. 6, 1993

Jan. 6, 1993

249

REQUEST for Admissions by D.R. Hubbard, North Emerson West, Hassan Umar Sharif, Salih Muhammad Al-Shabazz, Hassan Umar Sharif (lf) (Entered: 01/12/1993)

Jan. 11, 1993

Jan. 11, 1993

250

NOTICE OF FILING OF DISCOVERY RESPONSE by Thomas E. Adams, Bryan Allaband, Robert D. Brooks, Thomas Donohue, Donald C. Fox, Wm. L. McKinney, Daniel Pierce, George M. Pippin, Mark Redman, Walter W. Redman, Robert M. Shell, Alexander Spencer, Charles R. Tucker, Frederick N. Van Sant, James Vaughn, Samuel Wheeler, James A. Williams, Norman Yankowitt to Discovery Re: [249- 1] admission requested (lf) (Entered: 02/08/1993)

Feb. 5, 1993

Feb. 5, 1993

251

RESPONSE by Thomas E. Adams, Bryan Allaband, Robert D. Brooks, Thomas Donohue, Donald C. Fox, Wm. L. McKinney, Daniel Pierce, Norman Yankowitt to Discovery Re: [248-1] interrogatory(s) requested (lf) (Entered: 02/08/1993)

Feb. 5, 1993

Feb. 5, 1993

252

ORDER denying [243-1] motion to Strike [243-1] motion, denying [240- 1] motion for order deciding pltfs' motion for relief from judgment or order pursuant to Federal Civil RUle 60 (b); denying defendants' motion for relief from judgment [228]; denying defendants' motion for stay [242] - ( signed by Judge Sue L. Robinson ) copies to: pltfs and cnsl. (pr) (Entered: 06/30/1993)

June 30, 1993

June 30, 1993

Case closed (pr) (Entered: 07/01/1993)

June 30, 1993

June 30, 1993

285

MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by Judge Sue L. Robinson on 6/17/2009. (lid)

June 19, 2009

June 19, 2009

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Delaware

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 12, 1978

Closing Date: June 30, 1993

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

inmates at the Delaware Correctional Center

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Delaware Correctional Center, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1980 - None

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Disciplinary procedures

Discrimination-area:

Discipline

Type of Facility:

Government-run