Case: Fisher v. Koehler

1:83-cv-02128 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: March 18, 1983

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 18, 1983, inmates filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Department of Corrections for the City of New York. The inmates challenged violent conditions at the New York City Correctional Institution for Men. Plaintiffs were represented by the Legal Aid Society of New York City's Prisoners' Rights Project. On July 13, 1988, following a lengthy trial, the district court (Judge Morris E. L…

On March 18, 1983, inmates filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Department of Corrections for the City of New York. The inmates challenged violent conditions at the New York City Correctional Institution for Men. Plaintiffs were represented by the Legal Aid Society of New York City's Prisoners' Rights Project.

On July 13, 1988, following a lengthy trial, the district court (Judge Morris E. Lasker) found that violence at the facility by inmates and staff violated the Eighth Amendment. Fisher v. Koehler, 692 F.Supp. 1519 (S.D.N.Y. 1988). The court found that inadequate conditions in the facility, such as overcrowding, inadequate staff, problems with classification, and inadequate systems for reporting abuse, contributed to an environment where inmates suffered ongoing physical abuse. The court gave the defendants an opportunity to submit a plan to address the violations. Both parties submitted proposals and the court approved a decree on July 14, 1989. Fisher v. Koehler, 718 F.Supp. 1111 (S.D.N.Y. 1989). The decree included a new system of classification whereby violent or vulnerable inmates were housed separately, addressed overcrowding, and created a new policy regarding the use of force by staff. The decree also increased staffing and inmate supervision and provided for monitoring. Defendants sought approval for a new policy related to reporting uses of force. Judge Lasker approved the policy on November 8, 1989. Fisher v. Koehler, No. 83-2128, 1989 WL 135912 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 8, 1989).

On appeal, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (per curium) upheld the district court's finding that the conditions in the facility were unconstitutional and held that the district court's remedy was reasonable. Fisher v. Koehler, 902 F.2d 2 (2d Cir. 1990).

Summary Authors

Angela Heverling (4/5/2006)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6364392/parties/fisher-v-ward/


Judge(s)

Feinberg, Wilfred (New York)

Kaufman, Irving Robert (New York)

Lasker, Morris Edward (Massachusetts)

Walker, John Mercer Jr. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Boston, John (New York)

Spencer, Claudette R. (New York)

Weinstein, Philip L. (New York)

Wilker, Dale A. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brutten, Caren S. (New York)

Hsu, Hway-Ling (New York)

Judge(s)

Feinberg, Wilfred (New York)

Kaufman, Irving Robert (New York)

Lasker, Morris Edward (Massachusetts)

Walker, John Mercer Jr. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Boston, John (New York)

Spencer, Claudette R. (New York)

Weinstein, Philip L. (New York)

Wilker, Dale A. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brutten, Caren S. (New York)

Hsu, Hway-Ling (New York)

Koerner, Leonard J. (New York)

Kolikoff, Fred (New York)

Kovner, Victor A. (New York)

Leoussis, Fay (New York)

Morgenroth, Diane J. (New York)

Mosenson, Steven H. (New York)

Thom, William J. (New York)

Zimroth, Peter L. (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

Fisher v. Ward

March 18, 1983 Docket

Opinion

692 F.Supp. 1519

July 13, 1988 Order/Opinion

Reported Opinion

718 F.Supp. 1111

July 14, 1989 Order/Opinion

Opinion

1989 WL 135912, 1989 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 13264

Nov. 8, 1989 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

902 F.2d 2

April 16, 1990 Order/Opinion

Plaintiffs' Proposed Remedial Order (Annotated)

None Pleading / Motion / Brief

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/6364392/fisher-v-ward/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

ENDORSEMENT on Declaration in Support of Request to Proceed In Forma Pauperis, I.F.P. REQUEST IS GRANTED. (Signed by Judge Charles L. Brieant on 3/18/83) (jeh, ) Modified on 5/8/2006 (jeh, ). (Entered: 05/08/2006)

March 18, 1983 PACER
2

COMPLAINT against Benjamin Ward, Gloria Lee, Arthur Cinotti, Julian Hooper, William O'Donnell, Earl Murphy, Barbara Radin, David Sencer, Allen Goldberg, Mel Kaye, Yale Pava, Edward Koch. Document filed by Charles Fisher, Edward Holohan, John Harris, Ledgure Davis, Lionel Lawson, Victor Ellis, John Thompson, Milton Gadson.(jeh, ) (Entered: 05/08/2006)

March 18, 1983 PACER

SUMMONS ISSUED as to Benjamin Ward, Gloria Lee, Arthur Cinotti, Julian Hooper, William O'Donnell, Earl Murphy, Barbara Radin, David Sencer, Allen Goldberg, Mel Kaye, Yale Pava, Edward Koch. (jeh, )

March 18, 1983 PACER

CASE REFERRED TO Judge Morris E. Lasker as possibly Related to 75cv3073. (jeh, )

March 18, 1983 PACER

CASE ACCEPTED AS RELATED TO 75cv3073. Notice of Assignment to follow. (jeh, )

April 4, 1983 PACER
3

NOTICE OF CASE ASSIGNMENT to Judge Morris E. Lasker. (jeh, ) (Entered: 05/08/2006)

April 4, 1983 PACER
13

STIPULATION AND ORDER Granting class certification. (Signed by Judge Morris E. Lasker on 06/16/83) (jeh, ) (Entered: 05/09/2006)

June 16, 1983 PACER
28

AMENDED ANSWER to 2 Complaint,. Document filed by Benjamin Ward, Gloria Lee, Arthur Cinotti, Julian Hooper, William O'Donnell, Earl Murphy, Barbara Radin, David Sencer, Allen Goldberg, Mel Kaye, Yale Pava, Edward Koch. (jeh, ) Modified on 5/9/2006 (jeh, ). (Entered: 05/09/2006)

July 19, 1984 PACER
41

ORDER REFERRING CASE TO MAGISTRATE JUDGE. Order that case be referred to the Clerk of Court for assignment to a Magistrate Judge for the completion of all Discovery matter. Referred to Magistrate Judge Leonard Bernikow. (Signed by Judge Morris E. Lasker on 12/13/85) (jeh, ) Modified on 5/9/2006 (jeh, ). (Entered: 05/09/2006)

Dec. 13, 1985 PACER
55

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATIONS; (Pltiff's Mag's FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATION) having reviewed the document in camera & having heard arguments of counsel defts' objection of relevancy is OVERRULED etc. as indicated. So ordered Mag. Bernikow. (Signed by Judge Leonard Bernikow on 10/27/86) (jeh, ) Modified on 5/9/2006 (jeh, ). (Entered: 05/09/2006)

Oct. 27, 1986 PACER
142

(Duplicate Original) MINUTE ORDER PURSUANT TO MEMORANDUM FROM THE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE OF THE U.S. COURTS, DATED JUNE 15TH, 1973....Case Closed administratively pursuant to Memorandum from the Administrative Office of the United States Courts dated June 15th, 1973 (Original filed in 81cv7729 KTD). (Signed by Judge Charles L. Brieant on 03/28/90) (jeh, ) Modified on 5/9/2006 (jeh, ). (Entered: 05/09/2006)

March 28, 1990 PACER
172

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge Harold Baer from John Boston and Jonathan S. Chasan dated 2/21/2006 re: Request that the Court approve a modification of the Fisher Order that will apply the newly revised directive to CIFM/EMTC. I agree to the provision noted above and that under the circumstances no proceeding under Rule 23(e) is necessary. (Signed by Judge Harold Baer on 4/20/2006) (jeh, ) Modified on 5/9/2006 (jeh, ). (Entered: 05/09/2006)

April 20, 2006 PACER
173

STIPULATION. IT IS ORDERED that 1. Upon the entry of a judgment in the above: cited Nunez litigation that incorporates the EMTC Fisher class into the Nunez class for purposes of their use of force claims, and makes the terms of the Nunez judgment regarding, excessive force applicable to the EMTC Fisher class, the following provisions of the Fisher remedial order, found at 718 F.Supp. 1123-28, shall cease to have any force and effect, as further specified in items IV through X herein. 2. All other remedial provisions in the Fisher litigation are unaffected by this Stipulation and shall remain in effect pending further order of the Court. (Signed by Judge Loretta A. Preska on 8/14/2015) (rjm) (Entered: 08/18/2015)

Aug. 18, 2015 PACER

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 18, 1983

Case Ongoing: Perhaps, but long-dormant

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

prisoners of the State of New York

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Correctional Institutions for Men (East Elmhurst), State

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

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1989 - 0

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students

Assault/abuse by staff

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Type of Facility:

Government-run