If You Are a Prisoner at Ely State Prison, a Class Action Lawsuit May Affect Your Rights

This was posted on Make the Walls Transparent, June 9, 2009 and received by them as an email from the ACLU.

NOTE TO FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF INMATES AT ELY STATE PRISON: If you have a loved on inside Ely State Prison, please print this article and send it in to them. This notice should be placed in in the law library, infirmary, and each housing area of Ely State Prison, Ely, Nevada, for the duration of this action. Ely State Prison is a locked down prison where inmates are not allowed go to the law library, or permitted to walk around on the housing units freely. When they are allowed out of their cells it’s only to go to the yard or shower; they are handcuffed and escorted and it is not likely guards are going to allow them to stop and read the postings. If they are in the infirmary, it may not be posted where they can see it. With this in mind, it is very important that every inmate housed inside Ely State Prison knows about this class action lawsuit. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Amy Fettig, National Prison Project of the ACLU, 915 15th Street, NW — 7th Floor, Washington, DC 20005.

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEVADA

Riker v. Gibbons, Civil Action No. 3:08-CV-00115-LRH-RAM.
If you are a prisoner at Ely State Prison, a class action
lawsuit may affect your rights.
The Federal Court authorized this notice.

* Prisoners have sued prison officials and other state officials in federal court, alleging inadequate medical care at Ely State Prison (ESP) in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

* The Federal Court has allowed the lawsuit to proceed as a class action on behalf of “All prisoners who are now, or in the future will be, in the custody of the Nevada Department of Corrections at Ely State Prison in Ely, Nevada.” If you are a prisoner at Ely State Prison, you are a member of this class.

* The Federal Court has not decided whether or not prison officials and other state officials (“the Defendants”) have done anything to violate the rights of the prisoners (“the Plaintiffs”) to adequate medical care. The Plaintiffs’ lawyers must prove their claims against the Defendants at a trial. The United States District Court for the District of Nevada is overseeing this class action.

* The lawsuit is known as Riker v. Gibbons, Civil Action No. 3:08-CV-00115-LRH-RAM.

1. What is this lawsuit about?

This lawsuit claims that the Defendants are violating the constitutional rights of prisoners at
ESP by failing to provide prisoners with access to care for their serious medical needs.

2. What are the Plaintiffs asking for?

The Plaintiffs in this case have asked only for injunctive relief, not for money damages.
Injunctive relief means that if Plaintiffs win the lawsuit, the Court will order the Defendants
to provide access to care for prisoners’ serious medical needs. This class action does not
seek money damages.

3. Am I part of this Class?

All prisoners who are currently incarcerated at ESP are members of the class and any
prisoner who is transferred to ESP in the future will also be part of the class. You are a
member of the class only while you are incarcerated at Ely. If you are transferred out of ESP
or released from ESP, you will no longer be a member of the class.

4. Do I have to participate in this lawsuit?

No. Unless you are a named plaintiff, you are not required to participate in this lawsuit in
any way. Note that if you do not participate in the lawsuit, but you are still a prisoner at ESP,
any changes in medical care ordered by the Court will still apply to you.

5. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The Court has appointed the National Prison Project of the ACLU, the ACLU of Nevada, and
the law firm of Holland & Knight LLP to represent all class members in this case. These
lawyers are called “Class Counsel.” You will not owe class counsel any money for their
services in this case.

If you want to communicate with Class Counsel about this case, you may write to them at the
following address:
Amy Fettig
National Prison Project of the ACLU
915 15th Street, NW — 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

6. Should I get my own lawyer?

You do not need to hire your own lawyer to be part of this class action lawsuit for injunctive
relief because Class Counsel is working on your behalf. If you want your own lawyer, you
can have a lawyer enter an appearance in this case on your behalf. You will likely have to
pay that lawyer, however.

Class Counsel cannot represent you in any damages case. If you want to sue Defendants for damages, you cannot do so in this Class Action lawsuit. If you wish to bring a damages case you will need to first follow the rules of the Nevada Department of Corrections for
exhausting administrative remedies.

This Notice will be posted in the law library, infirmary, and each housing
area for the duration of this action, by order of the
United States District Court.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
ORDER FROM THE COURT ON THE POSTING OF THE INFORMATION

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA

3:08-CV-00115-LRH-RAM

DAVID RIKER et al., Plaintiffs,

v.

JAMES GIBBONS et al., Defendants

STIPULATED CLASS NOTICE AND ORDER

Pursuant to the Court’s Order, dated March 31, 2009 [Dkt. #40], the parties submit the attached stipulated class notice to be posted in the law library, infirmary, and each housing area of Ely State Prison, Ely, Nevada, for the duration of this action. See Attachment A.

Dated: April 30, 2009

Respectfully Submitted,
ORDER

IT IS SO ORDERED:

DATED this 5th day of May, 2009

___________________________________
HON. LARRY R. HICKS
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Emailed to MTWT by Amy Fettig of the National Prison Project of the ACLU in Washington, DC.

Article printed from Make The Walls Transparent: http://makethewallstransparent.org

URL to article: http://makethewallstransparent.org/2009/06/if-you-are-a-prisoner-at-ely-state-prison-a-class-action-lawsuit-may-affect-your-rights/

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