Case: Mercer v. Mitchell

4:74-00195 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia

Filed Date: Sept. 9, 1974

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 1974, a group of inmates filed a section 1983 class action suit, claiming that the Chatham County Jail was extremely overcrowded. Defendants agreed that the jail was overcrowded, and litigation abated during construction of a new jail. After completion of the new jail, inmates who remained in the old jail renewed their challenge to the crowded conditions of the old jail once again, and, in 1981, the District Court for the Southern District of Georgia (Judge Berry Edenfield) placed a tempor…

In 1974, a group of inmates filed a section 1983 class action suit, claiming that the Chatham County Jail was extremely overcrowded. Defendants agreed that the jail was overcrowded, and litigation abated during construction of a new jail. After completion of the new jail, inmates who remained in the old jail renewed their challenge to the crowded conditions of the old jail once again, and, in 1981, the District Court for the Southern District of Georgia (Judge Berry Edenfield) placed a temporary cap of 446 inmates on the jail and ordered defendants to reduce the population to a manageable level. Over the next several years, plaintiffs tried on several occasions to have the court hold defendants in contempt of the court order, but the court refused. Finally, in 1988, the court fined defendants over $30,000 for violating the population cap. Defendants appealed.

In 1990, the Eleventh Circuit vacated the district court's decision and remanded for further proceedings in order to allow defendants the opportunity to show cause why they were not in contempt. Mercer v. Mitchell, 908 F.2d 763 (11th Cir. 1990). The docket for this case is not available on PACER, and therefore our information ends with the last reported decision in 1990.

Summary Authors

Lauren Cutson (5/20/2005)

People


Judge(s)

Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bass, James F. Jr. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Garrard, Emily E. (Georgia)

Judge(s)

Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bass, James F. Jr. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Garrard, Emily E. (Georgia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

89-08267

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

908 F.2d 763

Aug. 8, 1990

Aug. 8, 1990

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 13, 2022, 3 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Georgia

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 9, 1974

Case Ongoing: Perhaps, but long-dormant

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

inmates of the Chatham County Jail

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Chatham County jail (Chatham), County

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: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1981 - 0

Issues

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Pre-PLRA Population Cap

Type of Facility:

Government-run