Case: Wilson v. Seiter

2:86-cv-01046 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Filed Date: Aug. 28, 1986

Closed Date: 1992

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On 08/28/1986, inmates of the Hocking Correctional Facility filed a Section 1983 suit, pro se, in the Southern District of Ohio against officials of the facility. Plaintiffs claimed violations of the Eighth Amendment, specifically alleging overcrowding, excessive noise, inadequate storage, inadequate heating and cooling, unclean lavatories, improper classification of prisoners, and unsanitary eating conditions. In 1991 the ACLU National Prison Project agreed to represent plaintiff.The parties…

On 08/28/1986, inmates of the Hocking Correctional Facility filed a Section 1983 suit, pro se, in the Southern District of Ohio against officials of the facility. Plaintiffs claimed violations of the Eighth Amendment, specifically alleging overcrowding, excessive noise, inadequate storage, inadequate heating and cooling, unclean lavatories, improper classification of prisoners, and unsanitary eating conditions. In 1991 the ACLU National Prison Project agreed to represent plaintiff.

The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment and the district court found in favor of the defendants. Plaintiffs appealed and the Court of Appeals affirmed. The Sixth Circuit (Judge James Harvey) held that appellants' claims of constitutional violations did not arise from specific conditions previously found to violate the Eighth Amendment and that the appellants failed to establish that prison conditions were a product of ""obduracy and wantonness and not mere negligence."" Wilson v. Seiter, 893 F.2d 861 (6th Cir. 1990).

Plaintiffs' petition for writ of certiorari was granted. Wilson v. Seiter, 498 U.S. 808 (1990). The Supreme Court vacated and remanded. Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia held that Eighth Amendment prison claims require an objective and subjective component. Plaintiffs must show that the conditions are objectively cruel and unusual and that they are the result of ""deliberate indifference"" by prison officials. The majority also held that the courts should not question the constitutionality of all conditions in their ""totality"" unless they ""have a mutually enforcing effect that produces the deprivation of a single, identifiable human need."" Wilson v. Seiter, 501 U.S. 294 (1991).

After reconsideration applying the ""deliberate indifference"" standard, the District Court (Judge James L. Graham) granted defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissed the case in a March 1992 opinion and order. Plaintiffs appealed, but the Court of Appeals affirmed.

Summary Authors

Eoghan Keenan (7/15/2005)

People


Judge(s)

Abel, Mark R. (Ohio)

Blackmun, Harry Andrew (District of Columbia)

Graham, James L. (Ohio)

Harvey, James (Michigan)

Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (District of Columbia)

Krupansky, Robert B. (Ohio)

Marshall, Thurgood (District of Columbia)

O'Connor, Sandra Day (District of Columbia)

Rehnquist, William Hubbs (District of Columbia)

Scalia, Antonin (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Abel, Mark R. (Ohio)

Blackmun, Harry Andrew (District of Columbia)

Graham, James L. (Ohio)

Harvey, James (Michigan)

Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (District of Columbia)

Krupansky, Robert B. (Ohio)

Marshall, Thurgood (District of Columbia)

O'Connor, Sandra Day (District of Columbia)

Rehnquist, William Hubbs (District of Columbia)

Scalia, Antonin (District of Columbia)

Souter, David Hackett (District of Columbia)

Stevens, John Paul (District of Columbia)

Wellford, Harry Walker (Tennessee)

White, Byron Raymond (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Alexander, Elizabeth R. (District of Columbia)

Chesley, Stanley Morris (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Eppler, Rita S. (Ohio)

Schoch, Frederick C. (Ohio)

Other Attorney(s)

Bryson, William Curtis (District of Columbia)

Dunne, John R. (District of Columbia)

Starr, Kenneth Winston (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:86-cv-01046

Docket (PACER)

Dec. 23, 1993

Dec. 23, 1993

Docket

88-03194

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

893 F.2d 861

Jan. 16, 1990

Jan. 16, 1990

Order/Opinion

89-07376

Brief for the United States as Amicus Curiae

Supreme Court of the United States

Oct. 1, 1990

Oct. 1, 1990

Pleading / Motion / Brief

89-07376

Memorandum Decision

Supreme Court of the United States

498 U.S. 808, 111 S.Ct. 41, 112 L.Ed.2d 17

Oct. 1, 1990

Oct. 1, 1990

Order/Opinion

89-07376

Memorandum Decision

Supreme Court of the United States

498 U.S. 1010, 111 S.Ct. 577, 112 L.Ed.2d 583

Dec. 10, 1990

Dec. 10, 1990

Order/Opinion

89-07376

Reported Opinion

Supreme Court of the United States

501 U.S. 294, 111 S.Ct. 2321, 115 L.Ed.2d 271

June 17, 1991

June 17, 1991

Order/Opinion

88-03194

Order

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

940 F.2d 664

July 29, 1991

July 29, 1991

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 10, 2022, 3:08 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
11

MOTION by plaintiff Pearly Wilson for summary judgment. This motion added per memo from Judge Graham on 8-2-91. () (bw) (Entered: 08/12/1991)

Nov. 10, 1986

Nov. 10, 1986

MOTION by plaintiff for admission of attorney Elizabeth Alexander and David C. Fathi pro hac vice () (bw) (Entered: 08/13/1991)

Aug. 12, 1991

Aug. 12, 1991

Remark; case file returned from the Supreme Court (ns) (Entered: 09/04/1991)

Sept. 4, 1991

Sept. 4, 1991

47

Supplemental memorandum by plaintiff Pearly Wilson to motion for summary judgment. This motion added per memo from Judge Graham on 8-2-91. [11-1] () (bw) (Entered: 09/09/1991)

Sept. 6, 1991

Sept. 6, 1991

48

MOTION by defendant Richard P Seiter to extend time until 10-4-91 to reply to pltf. filing ( no pgs: 3) (bw) (Entered: 09/28/1991)

Sept. 26, 1991

Sept. 26, 1991

49

REPLY by defendant Richard P Seiter () (bw) (Entered: 10/07/1991)

Oct. 4, 1991

Oct. 4, 1991

50

OPINION AND ORDER: by Judge James L. Graham: Defendants' 4/16/87 motion for summary judgment is Granted, dismissing case dismissing case (cc: all counsel) ( no pgs: 26) (tto) (Entered: 03/05/1992)

March 4, 1992

March 4, 1992

51

JUDGMENT: Defendant's 4/16/87 motion for summary judgment is Granted. This action is Dismissed (cc: all counsel) ( no pgs: 1) (tto) (Entered: 03/05/1992)

March 5, 1992

March 5, 1992

52

NOTICE OF APPEAL by plaintiff Pearly Wilson from Dist. Court decision,, [50-2] of 3/5/92 ( no pgs: 1) (tto) (Entered: 04/01/1992)

April 1, 1992

April 1, 1992

53

MOTION by plaintiff Pearly Wilson to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal ( no pgs: 4) (tto) (Entered: 04/01/1992)

April 1, 1992

April 1, 1992

54

ORDER by Judge James L. Graham granting motion to proceed in forma pauperis on appeal [53-1] (cc: all counsel) ( no pgs: 1) (tto) (Entered: 04/07/1992)

April 7, 1992

April 7, 1992

RECEIPT OF USCA APPEAL NUMBER - Number Assigned: 92-3332 (tto) (Entered: 04/16/1992)

April 14, 1992

April 14, 1992

TRANSCRIPT ORDER FORM unnecessary (tto) (Entered: 04/28/1992)

April 28, 1992

April 28, 1992

55

ORDER OF USCA 6th: denying the pltf. request for a remand and the deft. motion to dismiss the appeal is granted and dismissing the appeal [52-1] ( no pgs: 2) (bw) (Entered: 08/26/1992)

Aug. 21, 1992

Aug. 21, 1992

56

ORDER OF USCA 6th: Wilson's request for a remand is DENIED and the appellees' motion to dismiss this appeal without vacating the District Court's judgment is GRANTED; Issued as MANDATE, 9/11/92 ( no pgs: 2) (aq) (Entered: 09/15/1992)

Sept. 14, 1992

Sept. 14, 1992

57

MOTION by plaintiff to reopen the case () (bw) (Entered: 12/15/1993)

Dec. 14, 1993

Dec. 14, 1993

58

ORDER by Judge James L. Graham denying motion to reopen the case [57-1] (cc: all counsel) ( no pgs: 1) (bw) (Entered: 12/27/1993)

Dec. 23, 1993

Dec. 23, 1993

Case Details

State / Territory: Ohio

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 28, 1986

Closing Date: 1992

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmates alleging cruel and unusual punishments

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Hocking Correctional Facility (Nelsonville), 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

U.S. Supreme Court merits opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1992 - None

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Sanitation / living conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Type of Facility:

Government-run