Henderson et al v. Bentley et al
OPINION. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 9/30/13. (djy, )
IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF ALABAMA, NORTHERN DIVISION
LOUIS HENDERSON, DANA
HARLEY, ALBERT KNOX, JAMES
DOUGLAS, ALQADEER HAMLET,
and JEFFREY BEYER, on
behalf of themselves and
of those similarly
KIM THOMAS, Commissioner, )
Alabama Department of
MITCHEM, Warden, Limestone )
FRANK ALBRIGHT, Warden,
Julia Tutwiler Prison
for Women; BETTINA CARTER, )
Warden, Decatur Work
Release/ Community Work
Center; EDWARD ELLINGTON, )
Warden, Montgomery Women’s )
Facility, in their
CIVIL ACTION NO.
The plaintiffs in this lawsuit, representing a class
incarcerated in Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC)
facilities, challenge the ADOC's policy of categorically
opportunity to be considered for various rehabilitative
services and programs offered to other prisoners.
have named as defendants ADOC Commissioner Kim Thomas and
the wardens of the four ADOC facilities that house HIVpositive prisoners.
In December 2012, this court ruled that the
inmates on the basis of a disability (HIV status) in
violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and § 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794. See Henderson v.
Thomas, 913 F. Supp. 2d 1267 (M.D. Ala. 2012) (Thompson,
J.). The court instructed the parties to meet and attempt
to agree on relief. On August 1, 2013, the parties
returned to the court with a motion for the court to
enforceable in this court, and a private agreement, which
is enforceable only in state court under principles of
contract law. Joint Mot. for Prelim. Approval and Notice
of Proposed Settlement (Doc. No. 284).
settlement agreements, the objections to the agreements,
and the representations by counsel and after two fairness
hearings held at the prisons that house the majority of
proposed settlement agreements and enter the parties’
In the late 1980s, the ADOC began to test inmates for
HIV and to segregate those inmates who tested positive.
The department took these steps amidst a climate of fear
regarding HIV and AIDS. Scientists were not yet certain
as to how HIV was transmitted, and, since the infection
was so new, there were not yet adequate treatments. To
Soon after Alabama began segregating HIV-positive
inmates, a group of inmates filed suit challenging the
After years of litigation, both this district
court, see Harris v. Thigpen, 727 F. Supp. 1564 (M.D.
Ala. 1990) (Varner, J.), and Eleventh Circuit Court of
Appeals, see Onishea v. Hopper, 171 F.3d 1289 (11th Cir.
1999), found that segregation of HIV-positive prisoners
was justified--primarily based on the dangerousness of
Today, the prognosis for a person who contracts HIV
has changed drastically. With proper treatment, a person
with HIV can live as long as one without HIV, and the
danger that he will infect another is much lower. In
light of this changing medical reality for people with
segregating HIV-positive inmates violated the Americans
Henderson v. Thomas, 913 F. Supp. 2d 1267 (M.D. Ala.
2012) (Thompson, J.).
remedial plan, and, in June 2013, the parties entered
Capel, Jr. On July 30, the parties reached an agreement
to settle all remaining claims with two agreements: a
primary agreement enforceable in federal court and a
private agreement enforceable in state court. On August
1, the parties filed a joint motion to ask the court to
adopt, preliminarily, the agreements, both of which are
signed by plaintiffs’ counsel and defendant Kim Thomas,
Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections.
On August 6, 2013, the court granted the motion to
approve the two settlement agreements preliminarily. The
court further approved the parties’ plan for notifying
soliciting and receiving class members’ feedback.
The court held two fairness hearings on the proposed
settlement. On September 24, 2013, the court held a
fairness hearing at Tutwiler Prison, during which the
court heard testimony from class representative Dana
Harley, two other members of the class, and Warden Bobby
Barrett. Two days later, on September 26, the court held
a fairness hearing at Limestone Correctional Facility,
representative Jeffrey Beyer, six other members of the
class, and Captain Guy Noe.
II. DESCRIPTION OF PROPOSED SETTLEMENT
The proposed settlement consists of two agreements:
a primary agreement, enforceable in this court, and a
private agreement, enforceable in state court.
segregating HIV-positive inmates within facilities. The
agreement further allows for HIV-positive inmates to be
eligible for assignment to ten additional facilities
within the ADOC system, and it ends the HIV-specific
restrictions on work-release.1 Incoming prisoners who test
positive for HIV will no longer be sent to an isolation
cell. The parties agree that the ADOC will train staff,
inmates, and medical providers about HIV before HIVpositive inmates are transferred to new facilities. To
1. ADOC facilities are separated by gender. Before
this litigation, women with HIV were assigned to Tutwiler
Prison (the only women’s prison in the system) and to
Montgomery Women’s Center for work release. The primary
agreement allows for women to be placed at Birmingham
Work Release, the final remaining women’s facility in the
There are many more ADOC facilities for men. Before
this litigation, a man with HIV would arrive at Kilby
Correctional Facility for classification. He could then
be sent only to Limestone Correctional Facility or
Decatur Work Release. The primary agreement enables an
HIV-positive inmate to be transferred to Donaldson
Correctional Facility, Fountain Correctional Facility,
Loxley Work Release, Staton Correctional Facility,
Bullock Correctional Facility, Elmore Correctional
Facility, St. Clair Correctional Facility, Mobile Work
Release, and Red Eagle Work Center.
ensure that inmates who have HIV continue to receive
necessary treatment, the ADOC will install telemedicine
units in certain facilities and will maintain an Acute
Care Unit at Limestone. The ADOC will take several steps
to protect inmates’ medical confidentiality and will
establish a zero-tolerance policy for harassment of HIVpositive prisoners, including ending the practice of
making inmates wear armbands that correspond to their HIV
status. The primary agreement establishes a schedule for
implementing these changes and provides for a monitoring
and dispute-resolution regime.
The private agreement expands the provisions of the
primary agreement to all of the ADOC’s facilities, fully
desegregating prisoners with HIV and allowing the ADOC to
remove HIV status from prisoners’ non-medical files.
Both agreements expire on June 30, 2015, unless the
agreement is extended by the parties or the primary
agreement is extended by order of the court. (The private
agreement provides that it will last as long as the
provides for the ADOC to pay $ 1.3 million in attorney’s
fees and costs to class counsel.
Judicial policy favors voluntary settlement of classaction cases. Bennett v. Behring Corp., 737 F.2d 982, 986
(11th Cir. 1984). However, the court retains a role in
the evaluation and approval of settlements, including
ensuring that any settlement complies with all relevant
law. There are three provisions that require this court’s
review. First, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e)
standards which must be satisfied before the court can
approve a class action settlement. Second, the Prison
requirements for prospective relief in cases involving
prisons, including when that prospective relief takes the
§ 3626(a)(1) & (c)(1). Finally, because the proposed
plaintiffs’ counsel, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
23(f) requires that the court find that such a fee award
is “reasonable” and provides for a procedure to do so.
The court will take up each of these requirements in
A. Rule 23(e)
Before approving a settlement agreement in a class
action, “a court has a heavy, independent duty to ensure
that the settlement is ‘fair, adequate, and reasonable.’”
Laube v. Campbell, 333 F. Supp. 2d 1234, 1238 (M.D. Ala.
2004) (Thompson, J.). This review is “essential to ensure
adequate representation of class members who have not
participated in shaping the settlement.” Fed. R. Civ. P.
23(e) advisory committee’s note. In its review of the
settlement, the court must determine whether notice to
the class was adequate, Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e)(1), and
must examine comments and objections from the members of
the class, as well as the opinion of class counsel.
Laube, 333 F. Supp. 2d at 1238.
“The court must ensure that all class members are
informed of the agreements and have the opportunity to
voice their objections.” Laube, 333 F. Supp. 2d at 1246;
Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(e)(1). In this case, plaintiffs’
counsel and the defendants provided many opportunities
for members of the class to learn about the proposed
settlement and to offer objections and comments about it.
delivered to each member of the class a copy of the
proposed settlements, a notice summarizing the proposed
settlement, and a form for objections to the settlement.
In an evidentiary submission, the defendants provided
documentation of this notice to class members at Kilby,
Decatur Work Release, and Montgomery Women’s Center. Exs.
B to Billups, Ellington, and Files Affs. (Doc. Nos. 3003, 300-6, 300-9). They further provided documentation for
class members at Tutwiler and Limestone at the hearings
on September 24 and 26, 2013. Defs. Exs. 1 and 3.
Class counsel visited each of the five facilities
housing class members during the week of August 19, 2013.
Counsel made efforts to schedule their meetings such that
a majority of the class was able to attend, and they
discussed the settlement extensively. The court finds
23(e)(1)’s notice requirement.
ii. Objections and Comments
Twenty-seven class members submitted objections and
comments to the proposed settlement. Of these, 24 were
submitted from Limestone Correctional Facility, two were
submitted from Tutwiler Prison, and one was submitted
from Montgomery Women’s Facility.
Five of the class members who submitted comments
settlement, although two of them also had concerns about
specific aspects of the settlement. Most of the other
structure of the settlement. However, one objector was
concerned that the desegregation itself would undermine
the success and privileges he had earned in segregated
The court could identify 44 discrete comments and
objections in submissions from 27 different inmates. Five
of these comments were statements of support for the
settlement. The remaining comments fell into six general
categories: money damages, medical care, the process of
confidentiality, and other issues.
Money Damages: Nine inmates wrote that they believed
compensation and that they were disappointed that there
was no provision for such compensation in the settlement.2
While § III.A of the primary settlement agreement does
compensation, it does not preclude class members from
seeking compensation in a future suit.
contained a claim for money damages. Furthermore, this
class was certified as under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2).
Memorandum Opinion and Order (Doc. No. 188). That section
of Rule 23 is available for only suits that primarily
seek injunctive or declaratory relief, and a court can
only offer monetary relief that is “‘incidental’ to the
claims for equitable and declaratory relief.” Cooper v.
Southern Co., 390 F.3d 695, 720-21 (11th Cir. 2004).
2. One of these inmates was particularly displeased
that the plaintiffs’ attorneys would receive $ 1.3
million in compensation, while the class members would
not receive any monetary compensation. The court finds
that the amount of attorney’s fees is reasonable given
the work performed by the attorneys. See infra, § III.C.
The court recognizes the class members’ legitimate
senses of grievance for the treatment to which they were
balanced against the substantial benefits plaintiffs will
derive from the settlement agreement, as well as with the
fact that the objectors are permitted to file or maintain
their actions for monetary damages.” Austin v. Hopper, 28
F. Supp. 2d 1231, 1237 (M.D. Ala. 1998) (Thompson, J.)
(quotation marks and ellipsis omitted).
Medical Care: Six of the comments raised concerns
involved care for conditions unrelated to HIV. These
comments alleged inadequate care for mental illness,
cancer, ulcers, and breast reduction. Since these issues
of general access to health care are not at the core of
unreasonable for failing to address these concerns.
However, three of those comments focused specifically
on access to HIV-related care. One class member was
medications on hand and that this would disrupt the
consistent treatment that allows many inmates to stay
medical staff would take his “sick calls” seriously,
whether they involved simple diagnoses or more complex
proposal to use telemedicine to provide HIV care in some
facilities. He pointed out that other inmates may notice
revealing the inmate’s HIV status.
The proposed settlement takes several steps to ensure
that class members will have consistent access to medical
care. Each primary-care clinician at a facility housing
an inmate with HIV will receive training on HIV care from
the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s 1917 Clinic.
§ II.E.4. Furthermore, before the ADOC will transfer an
HIV-positive inmate to a new facility which is not able
to provide in-person HIV-specific consultation, the ADOC
will install telemedicine units. Since the ADOC intends
to use those telemedicine units to provide access to a
wide range of specialist medical providers, an inmate’s
use of the units would not necessarily imply that he was
HIV-positive. In testimony at the September 26 fairness
hearing, the ADOC informed the court of its system for
transfers. This system ensures that all inmates with
chronic disease, including those with HIV, receive their
prescriptions. The proposed settlement also establishes
a designated procedure for complaints that an inmate is
members expressed concern that the settlement’s complaint
complaint mechanisms which an inmate could use to address
an issue with his pharmaceutical or medical care. The
ensure that members of the class will receive their
medications and adequate care.
raised an issue with the process by which inmates who
objected based on an understanding that all of the male
Correctional Facility and then reclassified from that
location. Two of the comments expressed concern that a
reclassification through Kilby will indirectly signal to
many other inmates and prison staff that the inmates who
associated Kilby with the past trauma of being diagnosed
with HIV and immediately placed in solitary confinement.
At the September 26 fairness hearing, there was
extensive explanation of the proposed transfer process
from Limestone. Although the ADOC at one point proposed
that all of the male class members would be re-classified
through Kilby in one large group, the current plan is for
the class members to be re-classified in the same manner
disciplinary-free for the six months prior to transfer,
he can make a lateral transfer request for a particular
facility. As a part of its general transfer process, the
ADOC takes these requests into consideration, but does
not guarantee that they will be honored. If a class
member is not disciplinary free at the time of transfer,
he will be transferred according to the ADOC’s needs.
settlement agreement, the court finds that it addresses
the class members’ objections and has confidence in the
ADOC’s good faith in the representations that were made
at the September 26 hearing.
Confidentiality: Five class members expressed concern
that, even with full implementation of the settlement,
their HIV status would be made public. One class member
expressed concern that there would be backlash among
prison staff or other inmates, which would lead those
concerned that HIV-negative inmates from Limestone may
end up in the facility to which he will be transferred
and that those inmates will reveal his status to others.
All five inmates expressed some collateral concern that
the revelation of their HIV status could lead to conflict
or violence from other inmates.
The court notes that the settlement includes several
provisions to address the risks of noncompliant staff or
inmates who may breach medical confidentiality or harass
inmates who have HIV. First, all inmates and staff will
receive training on HIV and the settlement. Also, the
establish a zero-tolerance policy for harassment of HIVpositive
disciplinary sanction of any staff member who violates
the medical confidentiality of an inmate by revealing his
HIV status. If class counsel learn that the ADOC is
failing to implement these policies fully, they can begin
provided by each agreement, and, if mediation does not
solve the problem, can seek an order from the court. The
adequately protect inmates from malicious or negligent
violation of their medical confidentiality, as well as
any corresponding harassment.
Speed of Implementation: Four class members objected
to the speed at which the settlement process is scheduled
inmates more quickly. One inmate at Limestone noted that,
as of August 19, the facility was still using armbands
positive. In fact, as of the September 26 hearing, class
members were still wearing these armbands. An inmate at
Tutwiler noted that, as of August 20, she was still being
held from work release. However, at the September 24
hearing, that class member, B.G., testified that she had
been allowed on work release after she had sent her
When considering a settlement, the court must weigh
settlement. “A settlement is in large measure a reasoned
choice of certainty over a gamble.” Paradise v. Wells,
686 F. Supp. 1442, 1446 (M.D. Ala. 1988) (Thompson, J.).
Even in a case where the court has adjudicated most
issues of liability, it can take a court significant time
develop an adequate settlement. While the court takes
into consideration these class members’ sense of urgency
confinement, rejecting this settlement would in fact
exacerbate the class members’ concerns.
Other Issues: The remaining seven comments concerned
a wide range of issues. Two objectors were utilizing the
desegregation, they would be put at the bottom of long
waiting lists for access to similar programming. One
objector was concerned that the settlement would lead to
his transfer to a higher-security facility, which would
settlement will not change the behavior of guards who may
still carry a strong anti-HIV bias. An inmate felt that
parole board may inappropriately use his status to deny
him parole.3 Finally, an objector complained about the
food at Limestone, in part because he was concerned that
he receive a medically adequate diet.
After reviewing the written objections and testimony
of class members and after a close examination of the
3. The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles is not
a party to this litigation. To the extent that parole
boards are inappropriately taking HIV status into account
in their parole decisions, that issue would not be
addressed by this litigation or this settlement.
proposed settlement agreements, the court finds that full
member’s concerns will remain, the court finds that the
plaintiffs outweigh these residual concerns.
iii. View of Class Counsel
members, the court should also consider the opinion of
class counsel. Pettway v. American Cast Iron Pipe Co.,
576 F.2d 1157, 1215 (5th Cir. 1978);4 Gaddis v. Campbell,
301 F. Supp. 2d 1310, 1315 (M.D. Ala. 2004) (Thompson,
4. The Eleventh Circuit has adopted as precedent all
decisions of the former Fifth Circuit rendered prior to
October 1, 1981, and all Former Fifth Circuit Unit B and
non-unit decisions rendered after October 1,1981. See
Stein v. Reynolds Secur., Inc., 667 F.2d 33, 34 (11th
Cir. 1982); Bonner v. City of Prichard, 661 F.2d 1206,
1207 (11th Cir. 1981)(en banc).
Plaintiffs’ counsel agreed to this settlement only
after this court’s judgment in their favor on the issue
counsel first began to investigate this case, counsel
conducted dozens of interviews with members of the class,
administration and HIV care.
Pls. Br. In Support of Mot.
For Attorney’s Fees and Costs (Doc. No. 257) at 11-12. In
fact, counsel themselves are experts in prison litigation
Litigation Reform Act, see infra) and in litigation on
behalf of people with HIV. These attorneys, taking into
account both their own experience and the opinions of
experts, conclude that the settlement is fair, adequate,
conducted at arms length, and there is no indication that
the parties colluded in drafting this settlement. The
court takes seriously the view of class counsel that the
settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable.
iv. Court’s Assessment of the Settlement Agreements
The court must now assess for itself whether the
settlement is fair, adequate, and reasonable. “Relevant
plaintiffs’ likelihood of success at trial [on remaining
issues]; the complexity, expense, and likely duration of
the lawsuit; and the range of possible recovery.” Laube,
333 F. Supp. 2d at 1246.
The parties reached the proposed settlement after a
trial in which the plaintiffs prevailed on nearly all
questions of liability. However, for the court to develop
injunctive relief absent such a settlement would require
the expense of significant time, effort, and money by the
parties and time and effort by the court. Such a process
would also significantly delay relief for the members of
In light of these factors and after a careful and
independent review of the proposed settlement agreements,
the court is satisfied that they are a fair, adequate,
and reasonable resolution to this litigation.
B. Prison Litigation Reform Act
“The PLRA strictly limits the prospective relief a
conditions.” Gaddis, 301 F. Supp. 2d at 1313. The PLRA’s
§ 3626(c)(1). However, private settlement agreements that
are only enforceable in state court do not need to abide
by the PLRA’s requirements. 18 U.S.C. § 3626(c)(2). In
this case, the parties have developed two agreements. The
primary agreement is enforceable by this court and is
therefore a consent decree, governed by the PLRA. The
private agreement, on the other hand, does not require a
The PLRA provides that “a court shall not grant or
approve any prospective relief unless the court finds
that such relief [(1)] is narrowly drawn, [(2)] extends
no further than necessary to correct the violation of a
Federal right, and [(3)] is the least intrusive means
necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right.”
18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(1)(A).
The court must also “give
substantial weight to any adverse impact on public safety
or the operation of a criminal justice system caused by
the relief.” 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(1)(B).
The PLRA generally requires that the court “engage in
a specific, provision-by-provision examination of [a]
consent decree, measuring each requirement against the
statutory criteria.” Cason v. Steckinger, 231 F.3d 777,
785 (11th Cir. 2000). However, “[t]he parties are free to
make any concessions or enter into any stipulations they
deem appropriate,” and the district court does not need
particularized findings concerning any facts or factors
about which there is not dispute.” Id. at 785 n.8.
In this case, the parties all agree that the consent
§ 3626(a)(1)(A). They stipulate accordingly in § III.F of
the primary agreement. The court would note that this
agreement’s short time frame and its application to only
a limited number of the ADOC’s facilities.
The court further finds that the primary agreement
will have no adverse effect on public safety or the
operation of the criminal-justice system. See 18 U.S.C.
§ 3626(a)(1)(B). In fact, by integrating HIV-positive
inmates within the ADOC’s normal structure of housing and
programming, it may even be easier to maintain order and
security among those inmates with HIV, as opposed to the
carrots and a limited range of sticks to address inmates’
In sum, the court is satisfied that it is in full
C. Rule 23(h)
Rule 23(h) “provides a format for all awards of
attorney fees and nontaxable costs in connection with a
class action.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 advisory committee’s
The rule requires that the attorneys seeking fees
and costs “that are authorized by law or by the parties’
agreement” move for those fees and provide notice to the
class. Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(h)(1). After allowing for class
members or defendants to object to the award of fees, the
court must make findings of fact and conclusions of law
that the award sought is reasonable. Fed. R. Civ. P.
Under the proposed settlement, counsel would receive
$ 1.3 million in attorney’s fees and costs. As noted
settlement, class counsel referred the court to their
documentation of fees and costs that was filed on January
4, 2013. Pls. Br. In Support of Mot. For Attorney’s Fees
and Costs (Doc. No. 251). At that time, plaintiffs’
attorneys properly moved, in accordance with Fed. R. Civ.
attorney’s fees and $ 248,230 in non-taxable costs.
court finds that this motion, with the notice of the fee
award in the settlement notice, satisfies the procedural
requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(h)(1).
Piambino v. Bailey, 610 F.2d 1306, 1328 (5th Cir. 1980).
Montgomery, 836 F.2d 1292, 1299 (11th Cir. 1988). Under
determination [of fees] is to multiply hours reasonably
expended by a reasonable hourly rate” to determine the
‘lodestar.’ Id. “After the lodestar is determined ... the
court must next consider the necessity of an adjustment.”
Id. at 1302. “In determining the lodestar figure and
whether it should be adjusted upwards or downwards, the
court is guided by the 12 factors set out in Johnson v.
Georgia Highway Express, Inc., 488 F.2d 714, 717-19 (5th
Cir. 1974).”5 Simpleville Music v. Mizell, 511 F. Supp. 2d
1158, 1161 (M.D. Ala. 2007) (Thompson, J.).
Plaintiffs’ counsel present thorough documentation of
the hours spent on this case. Pls. Br. in Support of Mot.
Exhibits). They further provide extensive evidence that
attorneys of counsel’s caliber working on a case of this
complexity.(The court notes in passing that counsel seek
fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12205 (ADA) and 29 U.S.C.
§ 794a (Rehabilitation Act). As a result, their fees are
not limited by the PLRA’s restriction on hourly rates for
5. These factors are: (1) the time and labor
required; (2) the novelty and difficulty of the
questions; (3) the skill required to perform the legal
services properly; (4) the preclusion of other employment
by the attorney due to acceptance of the case; (5) the
customary fee in the community; (6) whether the fee is
fixed or contingent; (7) time limitations imposed by the
client or circumstances; (8) the amount involved and the
results obtained; (9) the experience, reputation, and
ability of the attorneys; (10) the “undesirability” of
the case; (11) the nature and length of the professional
relationship with the client; and (12) awards in similar
attorney’s fees are authorized under section 1988." 42
U.S.C. § 1997e(d)(1).) Counsel’s calculations establish
a lodestar of $ 1,955,218.05
$ 1,300,000, which equates to an adjustment of 66.5%,
approximately two-thirds. Absent an agreement between the
parties, the court would not adjust the lodestar downward
so drastically. Plaintiffs’ counsel took on a case with
three stigmas: the stigma attached to HIV, the stigma
attached to prison-reform litigation, and finally, a
consensus among many attorneys that these claims were
barred by res judicata. Navigating legal and logistical
challenges, counsel prevailed as to liability and have
reached a settlement which addresses the concerns of the
class. In light of these challenges and counsel’s effort,
the court finds that $ 1,300,000 is a reasonable amount
for attorney’s fees and costs.
This settlement is by no means perfect, and it will
not provide the members of the class with everything that
they could possibly desire. The court heard as much at
However, the settlement will nonetheless make a large
representative Dana Harley testified:
“[W]e’ve been waiting for this for a
long time. We’ve talked about it over
the years. And just being able to be
looked at as an individual and not based
on where I live or where I sleep or
where I work due to my HIV status,
that’s a big change.”
Over the decades of litigation on this issue, there are
many individuals who have helped make this “big change”
happen. The court wishes to acknowledge these individuals.
First, the court acknowledges the dedication and hard
work of Dana Harley, Jeffrey Beyer, and all of the other
class representatives past and present. At the fairness
hearings, the court heard the extent of the hard work that
the representatives undertook: serving as a conduit for
information between their fellow inmates and counsel;
voicing the concerns of those who were not comfortable
mediation process to reach a final settlement. The court
has been quite impressed with the poise and eloquence of
Ms. Harley and the other representatives over the course
of the litigation. There is a great deal of potential
waiting to be unleashed once they finish serving their
Second, the court wishes to express its gratitude to
Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel who ably shepherded the
parties through the development of these agreements. These
agreements are clearly the result of careful and arduous
negotiation. Judge Capel’s efforts to bring the parties
together and maintain momentum toward a compromise were
Commissioner Kim Thomas in resolving this litigation.
Since the court found that it was unlawful to continue
segregating HIV-positive prisoners, Commissioner Thomas
has shown a clear commitment to bringing the ADOC into
compliance with federal law.
The parties’ stipulated order will be entered.
DONE, this the 30th day of September, 2013.
/s/ Myron H. Thompson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?