Case: Brooks v. Ward

3:80-00414 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina

Filed Date: Dec. 18, 1980

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 18, 1980, acting pro se, four prisoners filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina against the superintendent of a unit of the North Carolina Department of Correction (NCDC). The plaintiffs sought damages, injunctive and declaratory relief on behalf of themselves and all white prisoners similarly situated, alleging that conditions of confinement in this particular facility violated constitutional and statutory rights. The court appointed priva…

On December 18, 1980, acting pro se, four prisoners filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina against the superintendent of a unit of the North Carolina Department of Correction (NCDC). The plaintiffs sought damages, injunctive and declaratory relief on behalf of themselves and all white prisoners similarly situated, alleging that conditions of confinement in this particular facility violated constitutional and statutory rights. The court appointed private counsel on April 22, 1982, who filed an amended complaint on June 15, 1982, on behalf of all prisoners then or to be confined in the particular facility. The amendment added six additional defendants, dropped the damages claim and added a claim of retaliatory transfer. The latter claim was rejected in a jury trial on October 18, 1982. The amended complaint's claims of unconstitutional conditions of confinement cited overcrowding, inadequate screening, diagnosis and classification procedures, inadequate medical procedures, and inadequate vocational and educational opportunities. The totality of conditions at the NCDC facilities also allegedly violated the plaintiffs' constitutional and statutory rights.

After two plaintiffs completed their sentences and were voluntarily dismissed from the case, a motion to add other plaintiffs and a motion for class certification were filed on December 6, 1982. The more expansive class thus sought included all present and future prisoners in twelve NCDC facilities in the administrative region designated the South Piedmont Area. The defendants then sought to dismiss the entire suit on the ground of mootness.

On April 8, 1983, an order of U.S. District Judge James Bryan McMillan denied the defense motion, ruling that any mootness was created by the act of the defendants in transferring plaintiffs away from the complained-of prison unit. In view of the advanced stage of the discovery process and without a sufficient showing of prejudice to the defendants, Judge McMillan also rejected defense challenges to the intervention of the additional plaintiffs and to the certification of the class. Brooks v. Ward, 97 F.R.D. 529 (W.D. N.C. 1983).

We have no further information about this case.

Summary Authors

Mike Fagan (4/29/2008)

People


Judge(s)

McMillan, James Bryan (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Berger, Joel (New York)

Greenberg, Jack (New York)

Lawrence, Melinda (North Carolina)

Lesesne, Louis L. Jr. (North Carolina)

Smith, Norman B. (North Carolina)

Winter, Steven L. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Capone, Lucien III (North Carolina)

Judge(s)

McMillan, James Bryan (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Berger, Joel (New York)

Greenberg, Jack (New York)

Lawrence, Melinda (North Carolina)

Lesesne, Louis L. Jr. (North Carolina)

Smith, Norman B. (North Carolina)

Winter, Steven L. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Capone, Lucien III (North Carolina)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Order

97 F.R.D. 529

April 8, 1983 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: North Carolina

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 18, 1980

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All prisoners who are or will be confined in those facilities administered by the North Carolina Department of Correction and located in the administrative region designated South Piedmont area.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

North Carolina Department of Correction, State

Union County Prison Unit, County

Case Details

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Totality of conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Affected Gender:

Male

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run