December 12, 2016
Appeal from the District Court of the Virgin Islands (D.C.
No. 1-14-cv-00110) District Judge: Honorable Wilma A. Lewis
A. DiRuzzo, III (Argued) Jeffrey J. Molinaro Fuerst Ittleman
David & Joseph, PL Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellant
Kimberly L. Salisbury (Argued) Office of Attorney General of
Virgin Islands Department of Justice Counsel for
Before: CHAGARES, JORDAN, and HARDIMAN, Circuit Judges.
HARDIMAN, Circuit Judge.
Ronald Gillette is an inmate at Golden Grove Correctional
Facility on St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Gillette filed
suit in the District Court for the Virgin Islands alleging
various constitutional and statutory claims. Most significant
to this appeal, Gillette moved the District Court to convene
a three-judge court under the Prison Litigation Reform Act.
The District Court denied Gillette's motion, finding that
he had not satisfied the prerequisites for convening a
three-judge court. Before the District Court could adjudicate
the merits of Gillette's claims, he filed this appeal.
Because the District Court's order denying Gillette's
motion for a three-judge court is neither a final order nor
subject to any exception to the final judgment rule, we will
dismiss Gillette's appeal for lack of jurisdiction.
filed his initial complaint in December 2014 and amended it
in March 2015. The amended complaint alleges claims under:
(1) 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (2) Bivens v. Six Unknown
Named Agents of Federal Bureau of Narcotics, 403 U.S.
388 (1971); (3) Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; and
(4) the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Gillette
claims "he is being subjected to cruel and unusual
punishment due to the failure to provide constitutionally
mandated medical and mental health treatment, and for being
subject to the deplorable conditions of Golden Grove, which
also violates the ADA." Gillette v. Prosper,
2016 WL 912195, at *1 (D.V.I. Mar. 4, 2016) (quoting Amended
Compl. ¶ 3).
amended complaint asserts that Appellees denied Gillette
adequate medical care, failed to protect inmates, provided
inadequate training or supervision of prison staff, failed to
protect Gillette from suicidal action, and violated the ADA
and Rehabilitation Act. Gillette sought from the District
Court an order: (1) declaring that the conditions at Golden
Grove violate the Eighth Amendment, the Virgin Islands Bill
of Rights (48 U.S.C. § 1561), and the ADA; (2) awarding
Gillette compensatory damages for the alleged violations of
his constitutional and statutory rights; and (3) granting
injunctive relief discharging Gillette from detention or, in
the alternative, transferring him to another facility that
comports with the Eighth Amendment, the Virgin Islands Bill
of Rights, and the ADA.
District Court acknowledged that Gillette's "claims
regarding denial of adequate medical care, failure to protect
from suicidal action, and violations of the ADA and
Rehabilitation Act . . . are particularized in that"
they involve allegations specific to Gillette
"(e.g., [Gillette] has a brain cyst, a history
of suicidal ideation, and 'heat-sensitive
disabilities')." Gillette, 2016 WL 912195,
at *1. Nevertheless, the District Court found that
Gillette's remaining claims-"failure to protect from
attack" and "inadequate training or
supervision"-"are inextricably intertwined with the
[ongoing] litigation between the United States and the Virgin
Islands regarding the conditions of Golden Grove."
Id.; see United States v. Territory of Virgin
Islands, No. 86-265 (D.V.I.) (the Golden Grove
Golden Grove Litigation, initiated in 1986, the United States
sued "the Government of the Virgin Islands pursuant to
the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act
('CRIPA'), 42 U.S.C. § 1997, alleging that the
inmates at Golden Grove were being deprived of their
constitutional rights under the Eighth Amendment."
Gillette, 2016 WL 912195, at *1. The parties
promptly entered into a consent decree in which the Virgin
Islands agreed to try to remedy the conditions at Golden
Grove. After the consent decree was entered, the parties
continued to litigate the conditions at the prison. "The
District Court entered several additional orders when the
conditions at Golden Grove failed to improve according to
plan, including a 1990 Plan of Compliance, a 2003 Stipulated
Agreement, a 2007 Remedial Order, and three additional orders
in December 2009, February 2010, and December 2010."
United States v. Territory of Virgin Islands, 748
F.3d 514, 517 (3d Cir. 2014). In May 2013, the District Court
approved a settlement agreement in the Golden Grove
Litigation, which called for extensive systemic changes in
the areas of "safety and supervision, "
"medical and mental health care, " "fire and
life safety, " and "environmental health" and
safety. Id. at 518-19 (describing 2013 Order). In
June 2013, the Court also appointed a Monitor, who
"lends expertise to the reform effort and provides
quarterly reports on Golden Grove's compliance with the
[2013 Order]." Gillette, 2016 WL 912195, at *1.
Gillette's allegations in this case track closely those
raised in the Golden Grove Litigation and the 2013 Order. His
claims "are also similar to the claims he raised when he
attempted to intervene in the Golden Grove Litigation."
Id. at *2. In that case, he "argued that he
should be permitted to intervene because, as a prisoner of
Golden Grove, he has a cognizable interest in . . . the
Golden Grove Litigation." Id. The District
Court denied Gillette's motion, and we affirmed. We
explained that Gillette's interests were adequately
represented by the United States because, "as an inmate
of Golden Grove, [he was] the 'exact constituent' the
United States [was] attempting to protect." ...