Case: Battle v. Anderson

6:72-cv-00095 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma

Filed Date: April 24, 1972

Closed Date: 2001

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On April 24, 1972, Bobby Battle, an inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, filed a lawsuit pro se in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Oklahoma corrections officials. On March 15, 1973, the district court granted the United State's motion to intervene pursuant to Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000h-2. Battle was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma and private counsel and th…

On April 24, 1972, Bobby Battle, an inmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, filed a lawsuit pro se in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Oklahoma corrections officials. On March 15, 1973, the district court granted the United State's motion to intervene pursuant to Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000h-2. Battle was represented by the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma and private counsel and the case was eventually certified as a class action. In 1973, before the case went to trial, a riot occurred at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.

On May 30, 1974, the district court (Judge Luther L. Bohanon) found that several conditions in the prison violated the constitution. Battle v. Anderson, 376 F.Supp. 402 (E.D.Ok. 1974). These included racial segregation, the punishment of detainees prior to disciplinary hearings, conditions of confinement, use of chemical agents in punishment, medical care, denial of publications, and denial of opportunity to gather for religious services. Judge Bohanon issued an order addressing all of these areas. The order included provisions requiring defendants to cease using race in its classification system, to cease disciplining inmates by placing them in 72-hour solitary confinement, to cease the unjustified use of chemical agents, and to provide inmates opportunities to engage in group religious services.

In June of 1977, the district court ordered defendants to reduce populations at two state penal facilities, the facility at McAlester and the Oklahoma State Reformatory at Granite, by transferring inmates to other institutions. On appeal, the United States Court of Appeal for the Tenth Circuit (Judge James Emmett Barrett) affirmed. Battle v. Anderson, 564 F.2d 388 (10th Cir. 1977).

In December of 1981, the State of Oklahoma requested relief from a provision of a previous order that prohibited the double celling of inmates. On January 12, 1982, the district court entered an order permitting double celling at four facilities. On April 23, 1982, the district court vacated that order to allow double celling throughout the entire state, but noted that the order was not permanent. On October 12, 1982, the court entered an order requiring the state to submit a plan for returning to single celling conditions.

On appeal the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's orders and held that the district court should maintain jurisdiction over the Oklahoma prison system until it can assure that there are no constitutional violations and that there is no expectation that further violations will occur. Battle v. Anderson, 708 F.2d 1523 (10th Cir. 1983).

On December 30, 1983, the district court (Judge Frank Howell Seay) dismissed the case after determining that conditions were constitutional, even though there were several areas of previous court orders where defendants were not in compliance. These were access to courts, racial integration, and equal protection guarantees for women. On appeal, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals examined each of these subjects. Battle v. Anderson, 788 F.2d 1421 (10th Cir. 1986). It affirmed the dismissal regarding all issues except racial discrimination. The dismissal was vacated and remanded for further proceedings regarding that issue.

On May 11, 1993, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a decision of the district court to allow an inmate to file a separate action against the defendants. Battle v. Anderson, Nos. 92-7086, 92-7101, 1993 WL 152672 (10th Cir. May 11, 1993).

The PACER docket, which begins in 1996, indicates that litigation continued for several years. On January 26, 2001, Judge Michael Burrage granted defendants' motion to terminate under the Prison Litigation Reform Act.

Summary Authors

Angela Heverling (5/18/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Barrett, James Emmett (Colorado)

Bohanon, Luther Lee (Oklahoma)

Brorby, Wade (Wyoming)

Doyle, James Edward (Wisconsin)

Holloway, William Judson Jr. (Oklahoma)

McKay, Monroe G. (Utah)

McWilliams, Robert Hugh Jr. (Colorado)

Meredith, James Hargrove (Missouri)

Payne, James H. (Oklahoma)

VanBebber, George Thomas (Kansas)

Judge(s)

Barrett, James Emmett (Colorado)

Bohanon, Luther Lee (Oklahoma)

Brorby, Wade (Wyoming)

Doyle, James Edward (Wisconsin)

Holloway, William Judson Jr. (Oklahoma)

McKay, Monroe G. (Utah)

McWilliams, Robert Hugh Jr. (Colorado)

Meredith, James Hargrove (Missouri)

Payne, James H. (Oklahoma)

VanBebber, George Thomas (Kansas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bane, Mary E. (Oklahoma)

Bullock, Louis Werner (Oklahoma)

Days, Drew S. III (District of Columbia)

Dimsey, Dennis J. (District of Columbia)

Gehres, Michele T. (Oklahoma)

Jones, Stephen (Ohio)

Seymour, R. Thomas (Oklahoma)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Anthony, Robert Morley (Oklahoma)

Avant-Pybas, Michael (Oklahoma)

Babb, Charles K. (Oklahoma)

Bradford, Elizabeth J. (Oklahoma)

Cartwright, Jan Eric (Oklahoma)

Crowe, Paul (Oklahoma)

Deleshaw, Kenneth Jr. (Oklahoma)

Derryberry, Larry (Oklahoma)

Douglas, John E. (Oklahoma)

Edmondson, W. A. Drew (Oklahoma)

Gotcher, Willard (Oklahoma)

Gruber, Thomas W. (Oklahoma)

Hodgins, Amalija J. (Oklahoma)

Hurst, Guy Lee (Oklahoma)

Kennedy, Kay Karen (Oklahoma)

McCoy, Gloyd L. (Oklahoma)

Minietta, Michele (Oklahoma)

Nance, Robert A. (Oklahoma)

Robinson, James M. (Oklahoma)

Silverman, Scott J. (Oklahoma)

Turpen, Michael C. (Oklahoma)

Other Attorney(s)

Allen, Frank D. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Barnett, Walter W. (District of Columbia)

Bowman, Robert C. (District of Columbia)

Carvin, Michael Anthony (District of Columbia)

Cheng, Christopher N. (District of Columbia)

Cooper, Charles Justin (District of Columbia)

Landsberg, Brian K. (District of Columbia)

Lerner, Louise A. (District of Columbia)

Nelson, Melody Noble (Oklahoma)

Ory, Charles (District of Columbia)

Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)

Peraertz, Louis E. (District of Columbia)

Pyle, Richard A. (Oklahoma)

Queen, Jesse H. (District of Columbia)

Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia)

Richardson, Gary L. (Oklahoma)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Shea, Quinlan J. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Sheran, Thomas R. (District of Columbia)

Sperling, Sheldon J. (Oklahoma)

Utley, Margie A. (District of Columbia)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Moore, Alfred (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Williams v. Saffle

Nov. 4, 2004 Docket

Memorandum Opinion; Judgment, Decree, Injunction and Order for Remedial Action

376 F.Supp. 402

May 30, 1974 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

564 F.2d 388

Nov. 22, 1977 Order/Opinion

Order

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

708 F.2d 1523

May 6, 1983 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

788 F.2d 1421

April 16, 1986 Order/Opinion

Order and Judgment

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

993 F.2d 1551

May 11, 1993 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Docket

Last updated May 28, 2022, 3:15 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Oklahoma

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 24, 1972

Closing Date: 2001

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

inmates at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Oklahoma State Penitentiary (McAlester), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1974 - 2001

Issues

General:

Disciplinary procedures

Mail

Religious programs / policies

Restraints : chemical

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run