Case: Lewis v. Evans

4:84-cv-00251 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia

Filed Date: July 11, 1984

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

We have not been able to obtain any of the filings or opinions issued in this case. However, another case, Garvey v. Allen, No. CV486-230, 1987 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1148 (S.D. Ga. Jan. 14, 1987) (Judge Berry Edenfield), alleging non-compliance with a court order in Lewis, has revealed some details. In Garvey, the plaintiff, a prisoner at the Coastal Correction Institution, filed a law suit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia alleging that he had b…

We have not been able to obtain any of the filings or opinions issued in this case. However, another case, Garvey v. Allen, No. CV486-230, 1987 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1148 (S.D. Ga. Jan. 14, 1987) (Judge Berry Edenfield), alleging non-compliance with a court order in Lewis, has revealed some details. In Garvey, the plaintiff, a prisoner at the Coastal Correction Institution, filed a law suit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia alleging that he had been unconstitutionally deprived of his property rights under the Fourteenth Amendment when prison officials seized a chessboard from his cell during a search. Specifically, he claimed that his constitutional rights had been violated by the defendants' non-compliance with the contraband seizure policy provided in the Lewis v. Evans consent order.

Based on this claim, it can be understood that Lewis brought suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia against prison officials alleging, at a minimum, deficiencies in policies and procedures regarding searches of cells and seizure of contraband. That suit resulted in the district court entering a consent decree in October 1985. Lewis v. Evans, CV484-251 (S.D. Ga. Oct. 22, 1985). That consent decree provided that when property is deemed "nuisance contraband," inmates are allowed to present evidence of ownership and misclassification as contraband within seven days of its confiscation. If the inmate could establish both, the item must be returned.

In the subsequent Garvey litigation interpreting this decree, the district court rejected plaintiff Garvey's argument and granted defendants' motion for summary judgment. Garvey v. Allen, No. CV486-230, 1987 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1148 (S.D. Ga. Jan. 14, 1987) (Judge Berry Edenfield). First, the court held that the consent order in Lewis v. Evans provided adequate post-deprivation remedies to prevent an unconstitutional deprivation of property without due process. Moreover, under that consent order, the plaintiff was free to bring evidence during the first seven days after confiscation, but deliberately refused to avail himself of that option. The consent order, the court said, did not guarantee a specific forum nor did it place an affirmative duty on the prison to schedule a hearing. Finally, the court held that violations of consent decrees should be redressed through contempt proceedings, and not section 1983 actions, as such violations are often not violations of constitutional rights.

Neither the Lewis nor the Garvey dockets are available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the January 14, 1987 court opinion.

Summary Authors

Sherrie Waldrup (3/6/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Edenfield, Berry Avant (Georgia)

Judge(s)

Edenfield, Berry Avant (Georgia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:86-cv-00230

Opinion

Garvey v. Allen

1987 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 1148

Jan. 14, 1987

Jan. 14, 1987

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 8, 2022, 3:18 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Georgia

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 11, 1984

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Prisoner alleging confiscation of his chessboard by a prison guard

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Coastal Correctional Institution, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

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: 1985 - 0

Issues

General:

Search policies

Type of Facility:

Government-run