Case: Smith v. Fairman

2:80-02076 | U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Filed Date: April 10, 1980

Closed Date: 1982

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1980, an inmate at the Pontiac Correctional Center (Pontiac), a maximum security state penitentiary located in Pontiac, Illinois, filed this class action civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, alleging unconstitutional overcrowded conditions and double celling practices. Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification.The District Court (Judge Harold Albert Baker, J) certified the c…

In 1980, an inmate at the Pontiac Correctional Center (Pontiac), a maximum security state penitentiary located in Pontiac, Illinois, filed this class action civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, alleging unconstitutional overcrowded conditions and double celling practices. Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification.

The District Court (Judge Harold Albert Baker, J) certified the case as a class action on October 30, 1980. The class was defined as: "All present and future inmates of the Pontiac Correctional Center who are, have been, or will be punished for refusing to accept a double cell."

The case proceeded to trial before the District Court on April 14, 1981. Twenty-three witnesses testified over a period of nine days of trial. Following the trial, the District Court issued its Findings Of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Memorandum Opinion and Final Order. The Court held that the double celling conditions at Pontiac Correctional Center constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) was ordered to submit a plan to the court within 6- days to remedy the overcrowded conditions at the Pontiac Correctional Center at the earliest date possible by moving to single occupancy celling. Smith v. Fairman, 528 F.Supp. 118 (C.D.Il.1981). The IDOC appealed.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Circuit Judge Bauer) reversed and held that the institutional practice of housing two prisoners in a single cell did not violate the Eighth Amendment. Smith V. Fairman, 690 F.2d 122 (1982), cert, denied, 103 S.Ct. 2125 (1983).

We have no further information on this case.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (3/1/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Baker, Francis Elisha (Indiana)

Bauer, William Joseph (Illinois)

Campbell, William Joseph (Illinois)

Wood, Diane Pamela (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Heinz, William D. (Illinois)

Solovy, Jerold S. (Illinois)

Varner, Christopher L. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Carroll, James R. (Illinois)

Sullivan, William G. (Illinois)

Sutherland, Suzan (Illinois)

Judge(s)

Baker, Francis Elisha (Indiana)

Bauer, William Joseph (Illinois)

Campbell, William Joseph (Illinois)

Wood, Diane Pamela (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Heinz, William D. (Illinois)

Solovy, Jerold S. (Illinois)

Varner, Christopher L. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Carroll, James R. (Illinois)

Sullivan, William G. (Illinois)

Sutherland, Suzan (Illinois)

Other Attorney(s)

Davies, Thomas Y. (Illinois)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:80-02076

Findings of fact, conclusions of law, memorandum opinion and final Order

528 F.Supp. 186

Nov. 3, 1981

Nov. 3, 1981

Order/Opinion

81-02859

82-01052

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

690 F.2d 122

Jan. 6, 1983

Jan. 6, 1983

Order/Opinion

82-06481

Memorandum Decision

Supreme Court of the United States

461 U.S. 946, 103 S.Ct. 2125, 77 L.Ed.2d 1304

May 23, 1983

May 23, 1983

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 10, 2022, 3:09 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 10, 1980

Closing Date: 1982

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Indigent prisoner at the Pontiac Correctional Center alleging that prisoners had been denied rights under the Eighth Amendment by being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment arising from overcrowded conditions and double celling practices

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), State

Pontiac Correctional Center, 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:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1980 - 1982

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Type of Facility:

Government-run