Case: Brown v. Beck

1:77-cv-00056 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia

Filed Date: April 28, 1977

Closed Date: 1998

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On April 28, 1977, plaintiffs filed a class action suit against officials at the Richmond County Jail ("Richmond") in Augusta, Georgia. The United States District Court in the Southern District of Georgia certified the class and subsequently created sub-classes. After a year of litigation, the parties negotiated a stipulation, and the court entered a consent decree in 1978. A year later, plaintiffs filed a motion for a judgment of contempt because of inadequate medical treatment of an inmate…

On April 28, 1977, plaintiffs filed a class action suit against officials at the Richmond County Jail ("Richmond") in Augusta, Georgia. The United States District Court in the Southern District of Georgia certified the class and subsequently created sub-classes. After a year of litigation, the parties negotiated a stipulation, and the court entered a consent decree in 1978. A year later, plaintiffs filed a motion for a judgment of contempt because of inadequate medical treatment of an inmate. The District Court (Judge Dudley Bowen) denied plaintiffs' motion. Brown v. Beck, 481 F. Supp. 723 (S.D. Ga. 1980).

By late 1996, the defendants had still not complied with the consent decree, and the District Court (Judge Bowen) issued an Order directing the transfer of prisoners to alleviate overcrowding, and also ordered the hiring of additional staff. In September of 1997, plaintiffs moved for a show cause order, asking the Court to order defendants to show why further relief should not be granted and why defendants should not be held in contempt. The Court granted the motion and set a show cause hearing. At the hearing, the Court (Judge Bowen) ordered defendants to submit daily reports to the Court until further notice. Four days later, on September 29, 1997, the Court issued an Order establishing a timetable for the mandatory decrease in jail population, to be achieved by the year's end, and setting deadlines for the establishment of programs aimed at maintaining a clean environment and conducting operational maintenance of the facility. The Court further ordered that daily reports on the inmate population were to be made to the Court until further notice. A few months later, the Court granted plaintiffs' motion for interim attorneys' fees.

On December 19, 1997, the defendants moved to dismiss and close the case. In their motion, defendants stated that on November 19, the Augusta-Richmond County Detention Center opened and inmates from Richmond were transferred to that facility. As a result, the overcrowding at Richmond had been remedied. Defendants also contended that they had cured all deficiencies and made all repairs as set forth in the Court's September 29 Order. Plaintiffs did not respond to the motion. At a February 2, 1998 hearing, the Court granted defendants' motion, dismissing the case. The Court also granted plaintiffs' final motions for attorneys' fees.

Summary Authors

Lauren Cutson (5/20/2005)

Dan Whitman (11/2/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Bowen, Dudley Hollingsworth Jr. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cromartie, John L. Jr. (Georgia)

Cullen, Robert W. (Georgia)

Miller, Martha A. (Georgia)

Wilkinson, Charles L. III (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Atkinson, Kirby G. (Georgia)

Bolton, Arthur K. (Georgia)

Childers, Neal B. (Georgia)

Daniel, Robert C. Jr. (Georgia)

Harris, Roy V. (Georgia)

Judge(s)

Bowen, Dudley Hollingsworth Jr. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cromartie, John L. Jr. (Georgia)

Cullen, Robert W. (Georgia)

Miller, Martha A. (Georgia)

Wilkinson, Charles L. III (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Atkinson, Kirby G. (Georgia)

Bolton, Arthur K. (Georgia)

Childers, Neal B. (Georgia)

Daniel, Robert C. Jr. (Georgia)

Harris, Roy V. (Georgia)

Jackson, Stanley G. (Georgia)

Revell, Harry D. (Georgia)

Wall, James B. (Georgia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Rogers v. Webster

March 11, 2010 Docket

Order

481 F.Supp. 723

Jan. 9, 1980 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Georgia

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 28, 1977

Closing Date: 1998

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmates of Richmond County Jail in Augusta, Georgia.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Richmond County Jail (Richmond), County

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: at least 17867.74

Order Duration: 1978 - 1998

Content of Injunction:

Reporting

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Sanitation / living conditions

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run