Case: Fluellen v. Wetherington

1:02-cv-00479 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Filed Date: Feb. 20, 2002

Closed Date: 2003

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On February 20, 2002, a group of prisoners with mental illness and/or intellectual disabilities incarcerated at Phillips State Prison filed a 42 U.S.C. §1983 class action lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Corrections and Phillips State Prison in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta Division). Plaintiffs alleged that they were subject to physical, mental, and sexual abuse, excessive use of force, improper and prolonged placement in administrative and dis…

On February 20, 2002, a group of prisoners with mental illness and/or intellectual disabilities incarcerated at Phillips State Prison filed a 42 U.S.C. §1983 class action lawsuit against the Georgia Department of Corrections and Phillips State Prison in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Atlanta Division). Plaintiffs alleged that they were subject to physical, mental, and sexual abuse, excessive use of force, improper and prolonged placement in administrative and disciplinary segregation, and an on-going risk of suicide, self-injury, and death, in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12131, et seq.

Plaintiffs sought to represent a class of "all individuals whose abilities to cope with the demands of life within the correctional environment are impaired or in need of monitoring due to mental illness and/or an intellectual disability, who are now or will be in the future incarcerated in Phillips State Prison." On March 21, 2003, the District Court (Judge Julie E. Carnes) denied, without prejudice, Plaintiffs' motion for class certification on grounds that the definition of the proposed class was too vague and indefinite to be workable and that Plaintiffs failed to meet the prerequisites of numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation. The court thereby severed the claims of each individual plaintiff, directing them to file individual complaints within thirty days of the court's Order.

The court specified that the individual claim of Plaintiff Lacoya Fluellen would continue to be maintained in the current action (styled Fluellen, et al. v. Wetherington, et al., 1:02-CV-479-JEC) but that Fluellen, like the other individual plaintiffs, would have to file an amended complaint within thirty days. The court further emphasized the its refusal to certify the class was without prejudice and that, if the plaintiffs could, in the future, more adequately define the proposed class, the court would again consider a motion for class certification.

Fluellen, however, feared for his safety at Phillips State Prison and wished to transfer out of the facility. (See Ralph v. Adams, Order [Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss], located in database at PC-GA-0013-0001.) Because he could not accept such transfer while the lawsuit was pending, Fluellen, on April 9, 2003, dismissed his claim without prejudice. The case was terminated on the same day.

The District Court stated that, given the procedural posture, the voluntary dismissal by Fluellen meant that there was no longer any case. (See Ralph v. Adams, Order [Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss], located in database at PC-GA-0013-0001.) An amended class action complaint would thus have to be filed in the name of a different plaintiff. Consequently, Plaintiff's counsel chose Richard Ralph to be the named plaintiff in the purported class action and, on January 29, 2004, filed an amended class action complaint in the related case of Ralph v. Adams. Ralph v. Adams appears in our database as PC-GA-0013.

Summary Authors

Vidhya Reddy (3/4/2008)

Related Cases

Ralph v. Adams, Northern District of Georgia (2004)

People


Judge(s)

Carnes, Julie E. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baker, Thurbert E. (Georgia)

Bright, Stephen B. (Georgia)

Chartoff, Marion D. (Georgia)

Geraghty, Sarah E. (Georgia)

Kung, Lisa L. (Georgia)

Serwer, Tamara H. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Amideo, William F. (Georgia)

Hennkel, Craig (Georgia)

Jones, John Custer (Georgia)

Judge(s)

Carnes, Julie E. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baker, Thurbert E. (Georgia)

Bright, Stephen B. (Georgia)

Chartoff, Marion D. (Georgia)

Geraghty, Sarah E. (Georgia)

Kung, Lisa L. (Georgia)

Serwer, Tamara H. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Amideo, William F. (Georgia)

Hennkel, Craig (Georgia)

Jones, John Custer (Georgia)

Pacious, Kathleen Mary (Georgia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

May 14, 2004 Docket
10

First Amended Complaint (Refiled)

March 20, 2002 Complaint
32

Order

2003 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 21712

March 21, 2003 Order/Opinion
35

Order Pursuant to Federal Rule 41 Granting Voluntary Dismissal of Civil Action

April 9, 2003 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

CLASS ACTION COMPLAINT filed and summons(es) issued. Consent form to proceed before U.S. magistrate and pretrial instructions given to attorney FILING FEE $ 150.00 RECEIPT # 484517 (syh) (Entered: 02/22/2002)

Feb. 20, 2002
2

MOTION by plaintiffs for class certification with brief in support. (syh) Modified on 02/28/2002 (Entered: 02/22/2002)

Feb. 20, 2002

SUBMITTED to Judge Julie E. Carnes on [2-1] motion for class certification (jph) (Entered: 03/12/2002)

March 12, 2002
3

MOTION by defendants for a more definite statement with brief in support. (jph) (Entered: 03/14/2002)

March 13, 2002
4

Response by plaintiff to [3-1] motion for a more definite statement (jph) (Entered: 03/18/2002)

March 15, 2002
5

AMENDED COMPLAINT by plaintiff adding Eddie Evans, Eleanor Brown (jph) (Entered: 03/18/2002)

March 15, 2002

SUBMITTED to Judge Julie E. Carnes on [3-1] motion for a more definite statement (FILE IN CHAMBERS) (jph) (Entered: 03/18/2002)

March 18, 2002
6

ORDER by Judge Julie E. Carnes striking [1-1] complaint, [2-1] motion for class certification, [4-1] response, and [5-1] amended complaint. Pla is directed to refile them w/i 5 days. Parties are reminded to comply w/LR 5.1B regarding font (cc by CRD) (jph) Modified on 03/20/2002 (Entered: 03/20/2002)

March 19, 2002
8

REFILED MOTION by plaintiff for class certification with brief in support. (jph) Modified on 03/21/2002 (Entered: 03/21/2002)

March 20, 2002
9

REFILED Response by plaintiffs to [3-1] motion for a more definite statement (jph) Modified on 03/21/2002 (Entered: 03/21/2002)

March 20, 2002
10

REFILED AMENDED COMPLAINT by plaintiff adding Eddie Evans and Eleanor Brown (jph) (Entered: 03/21/2002)

March 20, 2002

SUBMITTED to Judge Julie E. Carnes on [8-1] motion for class certification and [3-1] motion for a more definite statement (jph) (Entered: 03/21/2002)

March 21, 2002
11

Objections by defendants to [8-1] motion for class certification (jph) (Entered: 04/02/2002)

April 1, 2002
12

Reply brief to [3-1] motion for a more definite statement by defendants. (jph) (Entered: 04/09/2002)

April 8, 2002
13

MOTION by defendants to dismiss with brief in support. (jph) (Entered: 04/09/2002)

April 8, 2002
14

ORDER by Judge Julie E. Carnes directing dft to file a reply brief w/i 10 days to pla's response to [3-1] motion for a more definite statement setting out the specific info they seek (cc by CRD) (jph) (Entered: 04/10/2002)

April 9, 2002

Terminated submissions. (jph) (Entered: 04/10/2002)

April 9, 2002
15

Joint MOTION to extend time thru 4/26/02 for filing LR 16.2 Preliminary report and discovery schedule (to JEC) (jph) (Entered: 04/11/2002)

April 10, 2002
16

REPLY by plaintiff to response to [8-1] motion for class certification (jph) (Entered: 04/16/2002)

April 15, 2002

SUBMITTED to Judge Julie E. Carnes on [8-1] motion for class certification, [3-1] motion for a more definite statement (jph) (Entered: 04/16/2002)

April 16, 2002
17

CONSENT ORDER by Judge Julie E. Carnes GRANTING [15-1] joint motion to extend time thru 4/26/02 for filing LR 16.2 Preliminary report and discovery schedule (cc) (jph) (Entered: 04/17/2002)

April 16, 2002
18

Response by plaintiff to [13-1] motion to dismiss (jph) (Entered: 04/17/2002)

April 16, 2002

SUBMITTED to Judge Julie E. Carnes on [13-1] motion to dismiss (FILE IN CHAMBERS) (jph) (Entered: 04/26/2002)

April 26, 2002
19

Preliminary Report and Discovery Schedule. (to judge) (jph) (Entered: 04/29/2002)

April 26, 2002
20

MOTION by plaintiff for leave to supplement the response to pre-answer motion to dismiss with supplement to response. (jph) (Entered: 05/30/2002)

May 24, 2002
21

MOTION by defendants to dismiss plas Lane Cherry, Robert Hampton, and Norman Maddox based upon mootness with brief in support. (jph) (Entered: 05/31/2002)

May 29, 2002

SUBMITTED to Judge Julie E. Carnes on [20-1] motion for leave to supplement the response to pre-answer motion to dismiss (FILE IN CHAMBERS) (jph) (Entered: 06/14/2002)

June 14, 2002

SUBMITTED to Judge Julie E. Carnes on [21-1] motion to dismiss plas Lane Cherry, Robert Hampton, and Norman Maddox based upon mootness (FILE IN CHAMBERS) (jph) (Entered: 06/18/2002)

June 18, 2002
23

ENDORSED ORDER by Judge Julie E. Carnes APPROVING [19-1] preliminary statement (cc) (jph) (Entered: 08/27/2002)

Aug. 23, 2002
24

SCHEDULING ORDER by Judge Julie E. Carnes regarding request of discovery. The Court will determine when the discovery period begins when it issues an Order on the motions to dismiss. The Court directs the parties to present a joint status memorandum by 10/18/02. [24-1] order to be submitted on 10/21/02 (cc) (jph) (Entered: 08/28/2002)

Aug. 27, 2002
25

Joint MOTION to extend time for filing joint status memorandum (to JEC) (jph) (Entered: 10/21/2002)

Oct. 18, 2002
26

CONSENT ORDER by Judge Julie E. Carnes GRANTING [25-1] joint motion to extend time for filing joint status memorandum until 11/8/02 (cc) (jph) (Entered: 10/29/2002)

Oct. 28, 2002
27

STATUS REPORT by plaintiffs on Joint Status Memorandum. (jph) (Entered: 11/12/2002)

Nov. 8, 2002
28

UNILATERAL STATUS REPORT by defendants per order of 8/27/02 (jph) (Entered: 11/14/2002)

Nov. 12, 2002
29

Addendum to [27-1] status report by plaintiffs (jph) (Entered: 11/14/2002)

Nov. 14, 2002

SUBMITTED to Judge Julie E. Carnes on [24-1] order, [28-1] status report, and [27-1] status report (FILE IN CHAMBERS) (jph) (Entered: 12/18/2002)

Dec. 18, 2002
30

MOTION by plaintiffs for preliminary injunction with brief in support. (jph) (Entered: 02/24/2003)

Feb. 20, 2003
31

Response by defendants to [30-1] motion for preliminary injunction. (jph) (Entered: 03/12/2003)

March 10, 2003

SUBMITTED to Judge Julie E. Carnes on [30-1] motion for preliminary injunction (FILE IN CHAMBERS) (jph) (Entered: 03/12/2003)

March 12, 2003

SUBMITTED to Judge Julie E. Carnes on (jph) (Entered: 03/13/2003)

March 13, 2003
32

ORDER by Judge Julie E. Carnes DENYING without prejudice [3-1] motion for a more definite statement by defendants, DENYING without prejudice [8-1] motion for class certification by plaintiffs, DENYING without prejudice [13-1] motion to dismiss by defendants; Answer to complaint due 3/31/03 for all defendants, GRANTING [20-1] motion for leave to supplement the response to pre-answer motion to dismiss, DENYING without prejudice [21-1] motion to mootness by defendants. Pla Fluellen shall file an amended complaint within 30 days from this order. The Court further severs the claims of the remining twenty plas and directs these plas to file individual complaints, within 30 days of this order. The Clerk shall be directed to docket each such complaint under its own individual case number. A status conference is scheduled for 4/10/03 at 10:00am (cc by CRD) (jph) (Entered: 03/24/2003)

March 21, 2003

Terminated submissions. (aar) (Entered: 03/28/2003)

March 28, 2003
33

MOTION by plaintiffs for reconsideration of [32-1] order denying class certification , and for leave to amend complaint with brief in support. (jph) (Entered: 04/09/2003)

April 7, 2003
34

VOLUNTARY DISMISSAL by plaintiff LaCoya Fluellen pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(i), FRCP. (to JEC) (jph) (Entered: 04/09/2003)

April 7, 2003
35

ORDER by Judge Julie E. Carnes GRANTING [34-1] voluntary dismissal without prejudice pursuant to FRCP 41(a)(1)(i). (cc) (jph) (Entered: 04/09/2003)

April 9, 2003

Case terminated. (jph) (Entered: 04/09/2003)

April 9, 2003
36

Motion HEARING held before Judge Julie E. Carnes regarding [30-1] motion for preliminary injunction. Court directed pla to pick new pla and file an amended complaint and parties conduct discovery for 90 days. (jph) (Entered: 04/10/2003)

April 10, 2003

VERBAL ORDER by Judge Julie E. Carnes DENYING W/O PREJUDICE [30-1] motion for preliminary injunction by plaintiffs. Motion for reconsideration will remain pending. (jph) (Entered: 04/10/2003)

April 10, 2003
37

Response by defendants to [33-1] motion for reconsideration of [32-1] order denying class certification, [33-2] motion for leave to amend complaint (jph) (Entered: 04/21/2003)

April 18, 2003

Proposed Amended Complaint by plaintiff Richard Ralph. (to JEC) (jph) (Entered: 07/10/2003)

July 8, 2003
38

MOTION by defendants to dismissi as to Richard Ralph with brief in support. (jph) (Entered: 07/24/2003)

July 22, 2003
39

Response by plaintiff Richard Ralph to [38-1] motion to dismiss as to Richard Ralph. (jph) (Entered: 08/01/2003)

July 30, 2003

SUBMITTED to Judge Julie E. Carnes on [32-1] order and [0-0] amended complaint(In chambers) (jph) (Entered: 08/01/2003)

Aug. 1, 2003
40

REPLY by defendant to response to [38-1] motion to dismissi as to Richard Ralph (jph) (Entered: 08/05/2003)

Aug. 4, 2003

SUBMITTED to Judge Julie E. Carnes on [38-1] motion to dismiss as to Richard Ralph (FILE IN CHAMBERS) (jph) (Entered: 08/12/2003)

Aug. 12, 2003
41

ORDER by Judge Julie E. Carnes DENYING the [38-1] motion to dismiss by defendants. The Court DIRECTS the clerk to assign the Amended Complaint a new civil action number to establish Richard Ralph v. Alan Adams and Michelle Martin as a new case. (See civil action number: 1:04-cv-257-JEC.) (cc by CRD) (aaq) Modified on 01/30/2004 (Entered: 01/30/2004)

Jan. 29, 2004

Terminated submissions. (aaq) (Entered: 01/30/2004)

Jan. 30, 2004
42

MOTION by defendant for reconsideration of [41-1] order with brief in support. (jph) (Entered: 02/03/2004)

Feb. 3, 2004
43

Dft's Withdrawal of [42-1] motion for reconsideration of [41-1] order due to mootness. (jlm) (Entered: 02/09/2004)

Feb. 6, 2004

Pla Richard Ralph's Response to [43-1] withdrawal filed in 1:04-257-JEC on 2/13/04) (jlm) (Entered: 02/19/2004)

Feb. 17, 2004
44

Certificate of service as to defendants re: Dft's response to pla's first interrogatories. (jlm) (Entered: 05/18/2004)

May 14, 2004

State / Territory: Georgia

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 20, 2002

Closing Date: 2003

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmates at Phillips State Prison whose abilities to cope with the demands of life within the correctional environment are impaired or in need of monitoring due to mental illness and/or mental retardation [Class Not Certified]

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Georgia Department of Corrections, State

Phillips State Prison, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.

Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Issues

General:

Administrative segregation

Assault/abuse by staff

Disciplinary segregation

Personal injury

Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff

Suicide prevention

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Affected Gender:

Male

Medical/Mental Health:

Intellectual/Developmental Disability

Mental health care, general

Suicide prevention

Type of Facility:

Government-run