Department of Corrections lawsuits/settlements (Department of Corrections)

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Department of Corrections of Georgia .
Status
Completed

Communications

From: Beryl Lipton

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the Georgia Open Records Act, I hereby request the following records:

Copies of all reports, lists, or databases detailing the lawsuits, grievances, or other mediated conflicts in which this agency was listed as a party. This should include all such lawsuits and otherwise in which this agency was listed either as a plaintiff or a defendant in all instances through the end of 2015. This should also include all such lawsuits, settlements, and otherwise in which was named a party any representative of this agency, any individual acting in some capacity on behalf of this agency, or any company, corporation, or contractor providing services on behalf of this agency. Please include all available segregable data, including but not limited to the parties involved, the nature of the complaint, the date on which proceedings began, the date on which the resolution was reached, the nature of the resolution, the amount used to settle the conflict, any records related to associated legal fees incurred as part of the conflict, etc. This should include requests for funds used to cover settlement agreements, court costs, or other expenses related to lawsuits.

Further clarification can be provided upon request.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 3 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Beryl Lipton

From: Mitchell, Jason

Ms. Lipton:

In reference to your Open Records Act request, I pulled a list of litigation matters from our database. It shows the parties, the court, the court case numbers, when we sent the suit to the Attorney General’s Office, and the prison that the suit is related to. The data starts in 2010, and more recent cases have more information entered into the fields. We generally only keep the complaint that was served on our employee and a cover sheet.

I estimate that it would take an average of 30 minutes per case file to search, retrieve, redact, and produce scanned images of our records. O.C.G.A. § 50-18-71(c) allows agencies to charge the prorated hourly salary of the lowest paid full-time employee who has the necessary skill and training to perform the request. Our lowest paid employee who can retrieve the records is a secretary who is paid $13.46/hour. The cost for all of those records would be 4417 records x .5 hours/record x $13.46/hour would be $29,726.41. If you want to identify some specific records to narrow your search and reduce costs let me know.

In regards to your request about grievances, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 42-5-36(a) inmate grievances are not subject to release under the Open Records Act.

In regards to your request for information on mediated conflicts, we are still attempting to determine if we have any documents responsive to this request. I anticipate being able to complete our response to this request by January 27, 2016.

If there are other records that you believe would be responsive to your request, please let me know.

Jason Mitchell
Assistant Counsel
Georgia Department of Corrections
Office of Legal Services
478-992-5243
jason.mitchell@gdc.ga.gov<mailto:jason.mitchell@gdc.ga.gov>

From: Mitchell, Jason

Ms. Lipton:

In reference to your request about mediated conflicts, the only mediation that we do that does not start off as litigation, which would have been logged in the file that was already provided, would be EEOC issues. I have contacted human resources, and the following cases were handled by mediation. This list covers issues going back to 2009.

Felicia Coleman, 846-2010-19652
Kenya Watts, 846-2012-53799
Audrey Manuel, 410-2011-03041
Teresa Harvey,410-2015-03252
Wanquilla Andrews, 846-2014-35104
Lashondra Stephens, 410-2012-01804
Jessica Solomon, 846-2010-79775

The fact that we engage in mediation is not confidential, but the information that is discussed in mediation is confidential, and would not be subject to release under the Open Records Act pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-18-72(a)(1) and 5 U.S.C. § 574(b).

Sincerely,

Jason Mitchell
Assistant Counsel
Georgia Department of Corrections
Office of Legal Services
478-992-5243
jason.mitchell@gdc.ga.gov<mailto:jason.mitchell@gdc.ga.gov>

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Mr. Mitchell,

Thank you for your messages. Would it require research to provide some financial estimate of settlement or lawsuit costs?

Thanks again for your help.

Best,
Beryl

Files