The opinion of the court was delivered by: WERKER
This action was commenced on April 16, 1973 as a purported class action by plaintiffs under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of the civil rights of the plaintiffs who were then inmates of the Dutchess County Jail. The complaint demanded only injunctive relief.
Honorable Murray I. Gurfein, former District Judge now Circuit Judge, to whom the case was originally assigned held an evidentiary hearing on July 2, 5 and 6 and on July 13, 1973 inspected the Jail at Poughkeepsie, New York. Thereafter on July 25, 1973 the parties entered into a stipulation in effect settling the action. The stipulation was "So Ordered" by Judge Gurfein on July 30, 1973 and a memorandum was filed by Judge Gurfein providing inter alia :
"The action is dismissed upon the stipulation being filed subject to reopening or the institution of contempt proceedings in the event of a wilful failure to comply with the aforementioned order of the Court."
On December 8, 1975 plaintiffs moved this Court for an order:
1. adjudging the defendant Lawrence M. Quinlan (the "Sheriff") to be in civil contempt of this court's order of July 30, 1973;
2. compelling compliance with that order; and
3. awarding to plaintiffs' counsel reasonable attorneys fees and the costs incurred in prosecuting those motions.
The court scheduled a hearing on that motion for February 2, 1976. It is estimated that the hearing will take 5 days to complete.
Plaintiff's counsel has now moved this court for an order under 28 U.S.C. § 141 directing that the hearing be held at a special session of the District Court at Poughkeepsie, New York.
The basis for plaintiffs' motion is that plaintiffs' proof will consist largely of testimony by inmates, guards, physicians and public officials all of whom work or reside in or near Poughkeepsie, New York.
Approximately ten inmates are expected to testify, and if a hearing is held in New York City the transportation and housing of these inmates will undoubtedly be a burden upon both the Dutchess County and Federal authorities.
Furthermore if the hearing is held in Poughkeepsie the calling of guards and inmates will less adversely affect the jail routine and the court's schedule given the uncertainty of developments in hearings of this type as testimony is adduced. Certainly the hearing would ...