Case: Mason v. Peyton

68-05611 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Filed Date: Feb. 2, 1968

Closed Date: 1974

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This class action civil rights pro se lawsuit was filed on February 2, 1968 against the Virginia prison system, alleging unlawful racial segregation of inmates and general unconstitutional conditions of confinement.Our information in this case is limited to the typed docket for the U.S. District Court in Virginia, which is somewhat difficult to read.According to the docket, the District Court initially entered a TRO, prohibiting the defendants from the following: denying inmate access to attorn…

This class action civil rights pro se lawsuit was filed on February 2, 1968 against the Virginia prison system, alleging unlawful racial segregation of inmates and general unconstitutional conditions of confinement.

Our information in this case is limited to the typed docket for the U.S. District Court in Virginia, which is somewhat difficult to read.

According to the docket, the District Court initially entered a TRO, prohibiting the defendants from the following: denying inmate access to attorneys; using instruments against inmates to cause physical pain, except in situations of self defense; using tear gas except in extreme circumstances; denying mattresses and bedding to inmates; denying access to the courts and using solitary confinement in a manner that would cause inmates mental or physical harm.

A trial on the matter commenced in December of 1968 and continued into 1969. The District Court separated the claims of general prisoner mistreatment from the segregation claims. On October 16, 1969, the District Court entered an order and injunction calling for defendants to desegregate the Virginia prison system and to report to the Court as to their efforts to do so. It appears that following that order, memorandums were filed with the Court detailing the status of compliance with the desegregation order.

On July 19, 1974, the District Court ordered that the case be dismissed.

We have no further information on this matter.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (2/17/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Bryan, Albert Vickers Jr. (Virginia)

Butzner, John Decker Jr. (Virginia)

Merhige, Robert Reynold Jr. (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Freedman, Lawrence R. (District of Columbia)

Hirschkop, Phillip J. (Virginia)

Rosenfeld, David (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Button, Robert Y. (Virginia)

Harp, Reno S. III (Virginia)

Lefcoe, Vann H. (Virginia)

Wayte, Edward J (Virginia)

Judge(s)

Bryan, Albert Vickers Jr. (Virginia)

Butzner, John Decker Jr. (Virginia)

Merhige, Robert Reynold Jr. (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Freedman, Lawrence R. (District of Columbia)

Hirschkop, Phillip J. (Virginia)

Rosenfeld, David (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Button, Robert Y. (Virginia)

Harp, Reno S. III (Virginia)

Lefcoe, Vann H. (Virginia)

Wayte, Edward J (Virginia)

Witt, W. Luke (Virginia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

68-05611

Docket

Feb. 19, 1974

Feb. 19, 1974

Docket

68-05611

Docket

Feb. 19, 1974

Feb. 19, 1974

Docket

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 11, 2022, 3:20 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Virginia

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 2, 1968

Closing Date: 1974

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All inmates in the Virginia prison system.

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Commonwealth of Virginia, State

Virginia State Penitentiary, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

42 U.S.C. § 1981

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1968 - 1974

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Administrative segregation

Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students

Bathing and hygiene

Classification / placement

Racial segregation

Totality of conditions

Type of Facility:

Government-run