In 2012, CREEC and the Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law prevailed in litigation on behalf of Troy Anderson, a prisoner with mental illness who was held in administrative segregation (solitary confinement) at the Colorado State Penitentiary (CSP). Anderson sued the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) for (among other things) lack of outdoor exercise. In August 2012, the judge issued a Final Order and Judgment declaring the lack of outdoor exercise at CSP unconstitutional.
Because it was an individual action, that decision only applied to Mr. Anderson. The CDOC responded to the order by moving Mr. Anderson from CSP to Sterling Correctional Facility. What about everyone else? The CDOC had not solved the lack of outdoor exercise at CSP.
The Decoteau case challenges the lack of outdoor exercise at CSP on a class basis, that is, as a class action on behalf of all inmates in administrative segregation at that facility. We initially started with three named plaintiffs — Ryan Decoteau, Anthony Gomez, and Dominic Duran — who have experienced the same lack of exercise as Mr. Anderson. Recently, Judge Martinez granted class certification to the case under Rule 23(b)(2), certifying a class defined as follows:
All inmates who are now or will in the future be housed in administrative segregation at the Colorado State Penitentiary and who are now or will in the future be subjected to the policy and practice of refusing to provide such inmates access to outdoor exercise.
Here are some of the major pleadings:
- Class Action Complaint
- Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification
- Reply Brief in Support of Motion for Class Certification
- Order Granting Plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification
- Plaintiffs’ Motion to Modify Class Definition
- Plaintiffs’ Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
- Plaintiffs’ Opposition to Defendants’ Cross-Motion to Redefine the Class and Reply in Support of Motion to Modify Class Definition
- Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief in Support of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
- Plaintiffs’ Response to Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment