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NCJ Number: 66018 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES FOR HANDLING PRISONER CIVIL RIGHTS CASES IN THE FEDERAL COURTS
Author(s): ANON
Corporate Author: Federal Judicial Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 120
Sponsoring Agency: Federal Judicial Ctr
Washington, DC 20002
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: Federal Judicial Ctr
Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building
One Columbus Circle, NE
Washington, DC 20002
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: DISCUSSION OF THE ROLE OF THE FEDERAL COURT IN HANDLING 'CONDITIONS-OF-CONFINEMENT' COMPLAINTS BY BOTH STATE AND FEDERAL PRISONERS FOCUSES PRIMARILY ON STATE PRISONER CASES BROUGHT UNDER 42 U.S.C. SECTION 1983.
Abstract: A LOOK AT THE RATIONALE BEHIND GIVING SPECIAL CONSIDERATION TO PRISONER CONDITIONS-OF-CONFINEMENT CASES CONCENTRATES ON THE VOLUME OF SUCH CASES (TYPICALLY LARGE) AND THE IMPORTANCE AND DIFFICULTY OF IDENTIFYING THE MERITORIOUS CASES SINCE MOST ARE FRIVOLOUS. THE PROCEDURAL COMPLEXITY OF PRISONER RIGHTS CASES, IN WHICH INDIGENT PRISONERS GENERALLY RELY ON UNCOMPENSATED COUNSEL OR REPRESENT THEMSELVES, AND THE ISSUE OF DIRECT ACCESS TO FEDERAL COURTS ALSO SUGGEST A NEED TO REVIEW PROCEDURES REGARDING THESE CASES. THE HISTORY OF THE FEDERAL COURT ROLE IN STATE PRISONER CASES SHOWS THREE STAGES OF PRISONER ACCESS TO THESE COURTS. THE 'HANDS-OFF' DOCTRINE CHARACTERIZED A STAGE DURING WHICH FEDERAL COURTS REFUSED TO BECOME INVOLVED IN DECISIONS ABOUT THE PROPRIETY AND CONSTITUTIONALITY OF METHODS FOR DEALING WITH PRISONERS. THE 'OPEN-DOOR' POLICY COLORED A STAGE IN WHICH INMATES HAD IMMEDIATE ACCESS TO FEDERAL COURTS REGARDLESS OF EXHAUSTION OF STATE REMEDIES. THE FINAL STAGE, THE REEVALUATION PERIOD, HOWEVER, SAW LIMITATIONS IMPOSED ON FEDERAL COURT INVOLVEMENT IN PRISONER COMPLAINT CASES. IT SEEMS INCREASINGLY EVIDENT FROM JUDICIAL DECISIONS THAT STATE COURTS DO IN FACT SHARE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ENFORCEMENT OF RIGHTS GUARANTEED BY 42 U.S.C. 1983 SINCE MANY OF THESE CASES DO NOT CONCERN QUESTIONS OF CONSTITUTIONALITY. THEREFORE, EACH DISTRICT COURT HAVING A SUBSTANTIAL CASELOAD OF PRISONER COMPLAINTS SHOULD ADOPT A COMPLAINT FORM (AND OTHER RELATED FORMS), INSTITUTE A CENTRALIZED METHOD OF PROCESSING THESE COMPLAINTS, AND DEVELOP PROCEDURES AND FORMS FOR PROCEEDING IN FORMA PAUPERIS, FOR DISMISSING THE COMPLAINT, AND FOR SERVICING THE COMPLAINT AND SUMMONS. STANDARDS SHOULD BE FOLLOWED REGARDING PROVISION OF A COUNSEL TO THE DEFENDANT, MOTIONS, DISMISSAL, FILING OF ANSWERS BY DEFENDANT, SPECIAL REPORTS FROM THE DEFENDANT, PRETRIAL CONFERENCES, AND EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS. RECOMMENDED STANDARDS AND FORMS FOR SUCH CASES ARE APPENDED. A STATE-BY-STATE ANALYSIS OF STATE COURT JURISDICTION OVER ACTIONS UNDER SECTION 1983 IS APPENDED. EXTENSIVE FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED AND CASE LAW CITED. (WJR)
Index Term(s): Court rules; Federal courts; Inmate lawsuits; Jurisdiction; Laws and Statutes; Pretrial procedures; Prisoner's rights; Pro se defense; State courts; Trial procedures
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66018

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