Case: Capps v. Atiyeh

3:80-00141 | U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

Filed Date: Jan. 29, 1980

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Inmates in the Oregon State Correctional Institute and the Oregon State Penitentiary filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that the conditions of their confinement inflicted cruel and unusual punishment forbidden by the Eighth Amendment. Specifically, the inmates contended that the institutions were so crowded that the conditions were likely to cause physical and mental deterioration. The plaintiffs sought…

Inmates in the Oregon State Correctional Institute and the Oregon State Penitentiary filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, claiming that the conditions of their confinement inflicted cruel and unusual punishment forbidden by the Eighth Amendment. Specifically, the inmates contended that the institutions were so crowded that the conditions were likely to cause physical and mental deterioration. The plaintiffs sought injunctive relief to reduce the inmate population at the prisons.

On, August 22, 1980, the District Court (Judge James M. Burns) held that the conditions present at the institutions constituted cruel and unusual punishment and were constitutionally impermissible. He therefore granted the requested injunction. Capps v. Atiyeh, 495 F. Supp. 802 (D. Ore. 1980). Subsequently, Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, acting as Circuit Justice, stayed the injunction pending resolution of Rhodes v. Chapman, 452 U.S. 337 (1981), which at that time was pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Capps/West v. Atiyeh, 449 U.S. 1312 (1981). On June 15, 1981, the Supreme Court held in Rhodes that double-celling did not constitute an Eighth Amendment violation. Following the Supreme Court's opinion, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judges Anthony McLeod Kennedy, Arthur Lawrence Alacorn, and William P. Copple) vacated the injunction in Atiyeh and remanded the case for "further consideration and specific findings" in light of Chapman. Capps v. Atiyeh, 652 F.2d 823 (9th Cir. 1981). On remand, the District Court (Judge Burns) held that prison conditions met Eighth Amendment requirements in the matters of violence and guard behavior, segregation and isolation, inmate idleness and classification, shelter and sanitation, and the provision of mental health services. However, the court held that there were constitutional deficiencies in the provision of medical care, the process of milk pasteurization at the dairy farm serving the prisons, and fire safety at the prison dairy farm. Capps v. Atiyeh, 559 F. Supp. 894 (D. Ore. 1983). Because this case predates PACER, a docket is unavailable. This is is as much as we know about the case.

Summary Authors

David Terry (4/10/2006)

Megan Richardson (7/18/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Alarcón, Arthur Lawrence (California)

Brennan, William Joseph Jr. (District of Columbia)

Burns, James Milton (Oregon)

Copple, William Perry (Arizona)

Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (District of Columbia)

Rehnquist, William Hubbs (District of Columbia)

Stevens, John Paul (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

DeLessio, Patricia (Oregon)

Haber, Roy S. (Oregon)

Stalker, Robert A. Jr. (Washington)

Judge(s)

Alarcón, Arthur Lawrence (California)

Brennan, William Joseph Jr. (District of Columbia)

Burns, James Milton (Oregon)

Copple, William Perry (Arizona)

Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (District of Columbia)

Rehnquist, William Hubbs (District of Columbia)

Stevens, John Paul (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

DeLessio, Patricia (Oregon)

Haber, Roy S. (Oregon)

Stalker, Robert A. Jr. (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Frohnmayer, David B. (Oregon)

Linder, Virginia L. (Oregon)

Long, Stanton F. (Oregon)

McAlister, J. Scott (Oregon)

McCulloch, John (Oregon)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:80-00141

80-06014

Opinion

Aug. 22, 1980

Aug. 22, 1980

Order/Opinion

00625

Reported Opinion

Atiyeh v. Capps

Supreme Court of the United States

Feb. 4, 1981

Feb. 4, 1981

Order/Opinion

00625

[Denying motion to vacate stay]

Atiyeh v. Capps

Supreme Court of the United States

March 9, 1981

March 9, 1981

Order/Opinion

80-03404

Order

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Aug. 3, 1981

Aug. 3, 1981

Order/Opinion

3:80-00141

80-06014

Amended Supplemental Opinion and Order

Feb. 25, 1983

Feb. 25, 1983

Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated Sept. 1, 2022, 3:11 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Oregon

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 29, 1980

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmates in the Oregon State Correctional Institute and the Oregon State Penitentiary

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Oregon State Penitentiary, State

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: 1983 - 0

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Conditions of confinement

Fire safety

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Type of Facility:

Government-run