Case: Costello v. Wainwright

3:72-cv-00109 | U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida

Filed Date: Feb. 9, 1972

Closed Date: 1993

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On February 9, 1972, prisoners of the state of Florida filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the Florida Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The plaintiffs, alleging that their constitutional rights had been violated by inadequate medical care, insufficient staffing, overcrowding, and poor sanitation, asked the court for an injunction closing Florida's prison system to additional entrants and requiring the defendants to …

On February 9, 1972, prisoners of the state of Florida filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the Florida Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The plaintiffs, alleging that their constitutional rights had been violated by inadequate medical care, insufficient staffing, overcrowding, and poor sanitation, asked the court for an injunction closing Florida's prison system to additional entrants and requiring the defendants to reduce the current inmate population to levels consistent with constitutional standards.

On May 22, 1975, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida (Judge Charles R. Scott) denied the defendants' request for a three-judge court and granted the plaintiffs a preliminary injunction, holding that the conditions in question violated the plaintiffs' constitutional rights. Costello v. Wainwright, 397 F.Supp. 20 (M.D.Fl. 1975). The court ordered the defendants to reduce the state's inmate population to "emergency capacity" (as defined by a 1972 report prepared for the Florida Division of Corrections by the American Justice Institute) within one year, and to reduce that population to "normal capacity" by December 1, 1976. The court ordered the defendants to give each inmate his or her own bed upon which to sleep. The defendants appealed.

On July 25, 1975, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit granted the defendants a temporary stay of the district court's order pending appeal. On January 15, 1976, the Fifth Circuit (Judge Elbert Parr Tuttle) vacated the stay and affirmed the district court's decision. Costello v. Wainwright, 525 F.2d 1239 (5th Cir. 1976). The defendants requested a rehearing en banc. On March 3, 1976, the Fifth Circuit agreed to hear the case en banc. Costello v. Wainwright, 528 F.2d (5th Cir. 1976).

On September 27, 1976, the en banc Fifth Circuit (Judge Paul Hitch Roney) vacated the district court's decision and set the case for reconsideration by a three-judge panel. The court held that the district court's order requiring the defendants to lower inmate population levels was beyond the power of a single federal judge because the relief granted stretched beyond the legal ability of the defendants to comply. Costello v. Wainwright, 539 F.2d 547 (5th Cir. 1976). The plaintiffs filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.

On March 21, 1977, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a per curiam opinion reversing the en banc judgment of the Fifth Circuit and remanding the case for reconsideration. The Court held that a three-judge panel was not required at the district court level, thus the Fifth Circuit could hear the appeal on the merits of the case. Costello v. Wainwright, 430 U.S. 325 (1977).

On May 31, 1977, the en banc Fifth Circuit declined to hear the appeal on the merits of the case and reinstated the Fifth Circuit panel's January 15, 1976 affirmation of the district court's original decision. Costello v. Wainwright, 553 F.2d 506 (5th Cir. 1977).

On October 23, 1979, the parties entered into a settlement agreement regarding the issues related to overcrowding. The agreement established a formula for determining the state prison system's maximum capacity and provided that the population of the system would never exceed that maximum capacity. On February 11, 1980, the district court (Judge Scott) approved the agreement as a consent decree. Costello v. Wainwright, 489 F.Supp. 1100 (M.D.Fla. 1980).

According to later opinions, the parties entered into additional consent decrees on July 27, 1981, regarding the issues of food service, overcrowding, and health care. Several years later, the plaintiffs asked the district court to hold the defendants in contempt for failure to honor the agreement relating to health care. On August 22, 1985, the district court (Judge Susan Harrell Black) appointed a special master (Joseph R. Julin from the University of Florida College of Law) to survey the medical situation in the prison system.

On December 18, 1987, the district court (Judge Black) entered yet another consent decree in the case. The decree held Richard L. Dugger, the Secretary of the Department of Corrections, in civil contempt of the court's earlier orders and enjoined him from failing to comply with the court's further orders. The decree enjoined the defendants' use of inmates in the provision of healthcare in prisons and ordered the defendants to make over-the-counter medications available to the general population in all housing units. The decree further required the defendants to transfer inmates requiring emergency care to an appropriate community hospital, to furnish x-rays within a reasonable amount of time, to provide necessary nursing care, to have each inmate in the prison system medically evaluated, and to properly educate and train their medical staff.

On October 9, 1992, the special master filed a report recommending that the district court close the case. On March 30, 1993, the district court (Judge Black) adopted the special master's recommendation and closed the case. Celestineo v. Singletary, 147 F.R.D. 258 (M.D.Fla. 1993).

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (6/26/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Ainsworth, Robert Andrew Jr. (Louisiana)

Black, Susan Harrell (Florida)

Corrigan, Timothy J. (Florida)

Dyer, David William (Georgia)

Gee, Thomas Gibbs (Louisiana)

Gewin, Walter Pettus (Alabama)

Godbold, John Cooper (Louisiana)

Roney, Paul Hitch (Florida)

Scott, Charles Ray (Florida)

Thornberry, William Homer (Texas)

Judge(s)

Ainsworth, Robert Andrew Jr. (Louisiana)

Black, Susan Harrell (Florida)

Corrigan, Timothy J. (Florida)

Dyer, David William (Georgia)

Gee, Thomas Gibbs (Louisiana)

Gewin, Walter Pettus (Alabama)

Godbold, John Cooper (Louisiana)

Roney, Paul Hitch (Florida)

Scott, Charles Ray (Florida)

Thornberry, William Homer (Texas)

Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (Florida)

Tuttle, Arthur J. (Michigan)

Wisdom, John Minor (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brown, Sharon Jacobs (Florida)

du Fresne, Elizabeth J. (Florida)

Greenberg, Jack (New York)

Jacobs, Sharon B. (Florida)

Sheppard, William J. (Florida)

Simon, Tobias (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Barley, John A. (Florida)

Butterworth, Robert A. (Florida)

Gearey, Raymond W. (Florida)

McKenzie, Sydney H. III (Florida)

Oxner, Jerry E. (Florida)

Peters, James Allen (Florida)

Sherrill, William C. Jr. (Florida)

Shevin, Robert L. (Florida)

Smith, Jim (Florida)

Stinson, Donna H. (Florida)

Tucker, Kimberly Jeanene (Florida)

Vail, E. Jason (Florida)

Other Attorney(s)

Graves, William C. (District of Columbia)

Landsberg, Brian K. (District of Columbia)

Utley, Margie A. (District of Columbia)

Vanderhoff, David J.W. (District of Columbia)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Cullen, Robert W. (Georgia)

Wainwright, Louie L. (Florida)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

Costello v. Dugger

Feb. 28, 2005 Docket

Order and Preliminary Injunction and Opinion

397 F.Supp. 20

May 22, 1975 Order/Opinion

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

525 F.2d 1239

Jan. 15, 1976 Order/Opinion

On Petition for Rehearsing and Petition for Rehearsing En Banc

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

528 F.2d 1381

March 3, 1976 Order/Opinion

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

539 F.2d 547

Sept. 27, 1976 Order/Opinion

Reported Opinion

Supreme Court of the United States

430 U.S. 325, 97 S.Ct. 1191, 51 L.Ed.2d 372

March 21, 1977 Order/Opinion

Memorandum Decision

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

553 F.2d 506

March 31, 1977 Order/Opinion

Consent Order and Judgment, and Stipulation of Dismissal

Oct. 23, 1979 Settlement Agreement

Settlement Agreement

Oct. 23, 1979 Settlement Agreement

Objections to Proposed Settlement (edited version)

Jan. 1, 1980 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Title Description External URL

Mass Incarceration and the Paradox of Prison Conditions Litigation

Heather Schoenfeld

This article examines how prison conditions litigation in the 1970s, as an outgrowth of the civil rights movement, inadvertently contributed to the rise of mass incarceration in the United States. Us… Dec. 1, 2010

Problem-Solving Criminal Justice and the Ideal of Responsive Courts

Susan Verbeck

The United States is achieving good results with the so-called problem solving courts. In the best-known variant, the 'drug court', judges are explicitly concerned with solving the social problem of … Jan. 1, 2011

Advocacy Coalitions, Shifting Priorities and Disability Services: An Integrative and Iterative Approach to Exlpaining Policy Change

Leanne S. Giordono

Under the label “Supported Employment,” services that promote competitive, integrated employment (CIE) for working-age adult with intellectual and developmental disabilities have been federally funde… Jan. 1, 2018 https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/j098zg832

Docket

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

ECF Number Description Date Link

CASE CLOSED. (slc) (Entered: 04/01/1993)

March 30, 1993
1

NOTICE to Federal Monitor Robert Collin by Michael Scott Warren (sms) Modified on 02/25/1998 (Entered: 02/25/1998)

Feb. 25, 1998
2

ORDER striking [1-1] notice to Federal Monitor Robert Collin; the Clerk shall send plaintiff a civil rights complaint form and affidavit of indigency ( Signed by Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger on 2/27/98) ctc (sms) (Entered: 03/02/1998)

March 2, 1998

SEE PAPER DOCKET FOR ALL PLEADINGS DATED PRIOR TO 2/25/98 (previous documents not numbered) (sms) Modified on 10/18/1999 (Entered: 10/12/1999)

Oct. 12, 1999
3

MOTION by Michael A Sanders for declaratory statement , or in the alternative for writ of scire facias referred to Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger STRICKEN and returned per order #4 (sms) Modified on 10/18/1999 (Entered: 10/13/1999)

Oct. 12, 1999
4

ORDER striking [3-1] motion for declaratory statement, [3-2] motion for writ of scire facias; all pro se pleadings must be submitted through class counsel, William J. Sheppard; the clerk is directed to return the pleading ( Signed by Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger ) ctc (seg) (Entered: 10/18/1999)

Oct. 15, 1999
5

AFFIDAVIT of Indigency filed by Michael Sanders (seg) Modified on 10/22/1999 (Entered: 10/22/1999)

Oct. 22, 1999
6

EMERGENCY MOTION by Richard E. Gourley with memorandum in support for temporary restraining order Rule 65(b) pending the entry of a preliminary injunction pursuant to Rule 65 (a) Fed.R.Civ.P. referred to Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger (stricken per order #7 and returned to pro se party) (ejw) Modified on 06/12/2000 (Entered: 06/06/2000)

June 6, 2000
7

ORDER striking [6-1] motion for temporary restraining order Rule 65(b) pending the entry of a preliminary injunction pursuant to Rule 65 (a) Fed.R.Civ.P., as all pro se pleadings must be submitted through class counsel, William J. Sheppard; and the clerk shall return this document to Mr. Gourley ( Signed by Judge Ralph W. Nimmons Jr. ) ctc (slc) (Entered: 06/12/2000)

June 9, 2000
8

EMERGENCY MOTION by Lynn E. Young for temporary restraining order pursuant to Rule 65(b) , and to enforce health care settlement agreement approved 11/02/81 and of May, 1991 referred to Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger (STRICKEN by Order #11) (lss) Modified on 06/28/2000 (Entered: 06/19/2000)

June 19, 2000
10

MOTION by Richard E. Gourley for relief from judgment , and to recall Order pursuant to Rule 60(B), Fed. R. Civ. P. (ls) (Entered: 06/27/2000)

June 26, 2000
11

ORDER striking [8-2] motion to enforce health care settlement agreement approved 11/02/81 and of May, 1991, striking [8-1] motion for temporary restraining order pursuant to Rule 65(b), striking [9-2] motion to enforce health care settlement agreement approved 11/02/81 and May, 1991, striking [9-1] motion for temporary restraining order pursuant to Rule 65(b); directing the Clerk to return said documents to Lynn E. Young and Walter Thompkins ( Signed by Judge Ralph W. Nimmons Jr. ) ctc (ls) (Entered: 06/28/2000)

June 26, 2000

MOTION(S) referred: [10-1] motion for relief from judgment referred to Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger, [10-2] motion to recall Order pursuant to Rule 60(B), Fed. R. Civ. P. referred to Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger (ls) (Entered: 08/21/2000)

Aug. 21, 2000
12

ORDER denying [10-1] motion for relief from judgment, denying [10-2] motion to recall Order pursuant to Rule 60(B), Fed. R. Civ. P. ( Signed by Judge Ralph W. Nimmons Jr. ) ctc (ls) (Entered: 08/31/2000)

Aug. 30, 2000

FRC record data: accession # 021-96-0160; agency box # 1-18 (pleadings/depositions), 19 (depositions/exhibits), 20-39 (exhibits), 40 (exhibits/5 vol. final survey), 41 (1990 final medical survey), 42-48 (transcripts); location # J0190754; perm record. (mk) (Entered: 12/05/2000)

Dec. 5, 2000
13

MOTION by Michael Scott Warren dissolution tampercy PLRA notice for requested investigation STRICKEN Per Order (Doc. 17) (lrb) Modified on 03/19/2003 (Entered: 02/13/2003)

Feb. 10, 2003
14

MOTION by Jorge F. Llerena, Mark Torres, Rodolfo G. Ortiz to reinstate clas action due to defendants' breach of teh overcrowding settlement agreement and contempt to court order ; STRICKEN Per Order (Doc. #17) (lrb) Modified on 03/19/2003 (Entered: 03/04/2003)

March 4, 2003
15

ORDER of recusal ( signed by Judge Harvey E. Schlesinger ) ctc (lrb) (Entered: 03/14/2003)

March 14, 2003
16

NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT to the Honorable Sr. Judge John H. Moore II . ctc (lrb) (Entered: 03/14/2003)

March 14, 2003
17

ORDER striking [13-1] motion dissolution tampercy PLRA notice for requested investigation, striking [14-1] motion to reinstate class action due to defendants' breach of the overcrowding settlement agreement and contempt to court order ( Signed by Sr. Judge John H. Moore II ) ctc (lrb) Modified on 04/03/2003 (Entered: 03/19/2003)

March 19, 2003
18

MOTION by former counsel for Michael V. Costello for relief from order entered 3/18/03 (lrb) (Entered: 04/25/2003)

April 24, 2003
20

MOTION by Jorge F. Llerena, Mark Torres, Rodolfo G. Ortiz to strike [17-1] order , and reinstate all pleadings filed in this case ; STRICKEN Per Order (Doc. #27) (lrb) Modified on 05/14/2004 (Entered: 05/06/2003)

May 6, 2003
21

Notice of Inquiry by Michael V. Costello; Clerk responded (pwd) (Entered: 07/14/2003)

July 11, 2003
22

INTRODUCTION OF EVIDENCE of by Rodolfo G. Ortiz (lrb) (Entered: 09/30/2003)

Sept. 29, 2003
23

MOTION by Rodolfo G. Ortiz for hearing on several motions , and to rule on several motions ; STRICKEN Per Order (Doc. #27) (lrb) Modified on 05/14/2004 (Entered: 09/30/2003)

Sept. 29, 2003

CLERK responded to inquiry from Rodolfo Ortiz (lrb) (Entered: 02/02/2004)

Feb. 2, 2004
24

ORDER of recusal the undersigned hereby recuses himself and this case is returned to the Clerk of Court for reassignment in accordance with established procedures ( signed by Sr. Judge John H. Moore II ) ctc (lrb) (Entered: 04/06/2004)

April 6, 2004
25

NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT to the Honorable Judge Timothy J. Corrigan . ctc (lrb) (Entered: 04/06/2004)

April 6, 2004

MAGISTRATE JUDGE CASE ASSIGNMENT Magistrate assigned: Howard T. Snyder (lrb) (Entered: 04/26/2004)

April 26, 2004
26

NOTICE of tampering and retaliation by Michael Scott Warren (lrb) (Entered: 04/26/2004)

April 26, 2004
27

ORDER granting [18-1] motion for relief from order entered 3/18/03 and William J. Sheppard, Esq. is relieved from any further obligation in this case; the Clerk is directed to strike all pro se pleadings not previously stricken that have been filed since the entry of this Court's las order 3/19/03; the Clerk is directed to strike all pro se pleadings that may be filed in the future and return them ( Signed by Magistrate Judge Howard T. Snyder ) ctc (lrb) (Entered: 05/14/2004)

May 13, 2004
28

MOTION for joinder as a party plaintiff and substitution of defendant for a superseding cause of action for order to show cause by Marzuq Al-Hakim. (LRB) Modified on 3/1/2005 STRICKEN and returned per Order, [Doc. 27], documents sent as directed in Order, [Doc. 27] (LRB). (Entered: 02/28/2005)

Feb. 28, 2005

State / Territory: Florida

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 9, 1972

Closing Date: 1993

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

all prisoners in Florida

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Florida Department of Corrections, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

U.S. Supreme Court merits 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: 1980 - 1993

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Sanitation / living conditions

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Pre-PLRA Population Cap

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run