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Case Name Johnson v. California PC-CA-0041
Docket / Court 2:95-cv-01192-CBM-JC ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On February 24, 1995, an African-American prisoner of the California Department of Corrections filed a pro se suit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, alleging that the Department's violated his constitutional rights by racially segregating prisoners and ... read more >
On February 24, 1995, an African-American prisoner of the California Department of Corrections filed a pro se suit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, alleging that the Department's violated his constitutional rights by racially segregating prisoners and extorting money from inmates by overcharging for telephone use. The Plaintiff was frequently transferred among California prisons and was always initially double-celled with another African-American upon his arrival to a new prison. The Department contented that the double celling policy was a legitimate security measure that prevented violence caused by racial gangs.

The Department of Corrections moved to dismiss, and the Plaintiff filed a series of amended complaints, culminating in a Third Amended Complaint. The District Court dismissed it for failure to state a claim and the Plaintiff appealed. The Ninth Circuit reversed in part and affirmed in part. The District Court was instructed to appoint Johnson pro bono counsel on remand. Johnson v. State of Cal., 207 F.3d 650 (9th Cir. 2000).

On remand, the District Court (Chief Judge Consuelo B. Marshall) granted summary judgment for prison officials on qualified immunity grounds. Plaintiff appealed. The Court of Appeals (Circuit Judge O'Scannlain) affirmed, holding that the Department policy did not violate the Equal Protection Clause. Johnson v. State of California, 321 F.3d 791 (9th Cir.2003). Plaintiff's request for rehearing and rehearing en banc were denied. Johnson v. California, 336 F.3d 1117 (9th Cir. 2003). The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari. Johnson v. California, 540 U.S. 1217, 124 S.Ct. 1505, 158 L.Ed.2d 151 (2004).

The Supreme Court found that plaintiff's equal protection challenge to the CDC's policy should have been reviewed under the strict scrutiny standard. As the lower courts applied a lesser standard of review to plaintiff's challenge, the decision was reversed and remanded. Johnson v. California, 543 U.S. 499, 125 S.Ct. 1141, 160 L.Ed.2d 949 (2005).

Upon remand to the Ninth Circuit, the parties entered into a Settlement Agreement. Under the terms of the Agreement, the stated goal of the Department of Corrections was to treat all prisoners without subjection to any form of racial segregation. To achieve that goal, the Department agreed to integrate cells, by creating housing protocols for assigning cellmates, starting first with reception centers and then general population cells. Details of the integration plan were to be set forth in a Confidential Draft Organizational Plan, which was to be provided to plaintiff's counsel.

Additionally, the Settlement Agreement provided that the Plaintiff would receive a payment of $12,000. The case would be remanded to the District Court for a determination of attorneys' fees.

Dan Dalton - 12/04/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Corrections
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Racial segregation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Asian/Pacific Islander
Black
White
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)
Plaintiff Description California inmate challenged the Department's policy of racially segregating inmates in reception units.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Links The Oyez Project, Johnson v. California, 543 U.S. 499 (2005).
www.oyez.org
Posted: Feb. 23, 2005
By: Oyez Project (IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:95-cv-01192-CBM-JC (C.D. Cal.) 05/02/2007
PC-CA-0041-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Per Curiam Opinion (Ninth Circuit) 03/21/2000 (207 F.3d 650)
PC-CA-0041-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Fourth Amended Complaint 07/05/2000
PC-CA-0041-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Opinion (Ninth Circuit) 02/25/2003 (321 F.3d 791)
PC-CA-0041-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order (Ninth Circuit) 07/28/2003 (336 F.3d 1117)
PC-CA-0041-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Certiorari Granted (Supreme Court) 03/01/2004 (540 U.S. 1217)
PC-CA-0041-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Amicus Curiae Motion Granted (Supreme Court) 09/28/2004 (542 U.S. 964)
PC-CA-0041-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Supreme Court Opinion 02/23/2005 (543 U.S. 499)
PC-CA-0041-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Settlement and Release Agreement 12/12/2005
PC-CA-0041-0001.pdf | Detail
Judges Breyer, Stephen Gerald (SCOTUS, First Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0002
Brunetti, Melvin T. (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0004 | PC-CA-0041-0005 | PC-CA-0041-0006
Chooljian, Jacqueline (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
PC-CA-0041-9000
Ferguson, Warren John (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0006
Fletcher, Betty Binns (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0004
Ginsburg, Ruth Bader (SCOTUS, D.C. Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0002
Hug, Procter Ralph Jr. (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0005 | PC-CA-0041-0006
Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (SCOTUS, Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0002
Marshall, Consuelo Bland (C.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0041-0005 | PC-CA-0041-9000
Nelson, Dorothy Wright (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0004 | PC-CA-0041-0006
O'Connor, Sandra Day (SCOTUS)
PC-CA-0041-0002
O'Scannlain, Diarmuid Fionntain (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0005 | PC-CA-0041-0006
Pregerson, Dean D. (C.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0041-0006
Rehnquist, William Hubbs (SCOTUS)
PC-CA-0041-0002
Reinhardt, Stephen Roy (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0006
Scalia, Antonin (SCOTUS, D.C. Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0002
Souter, David Hackett (SCOTUS, First Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0002
Stevens, John Paul (SCOTUS, Seventh Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0002
Thomas, Clarence (SCOTUS, D.C. Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0002
Wardlaw, Kim McLane (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0041-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allan, Aaron P. (California)
PC-CA-0041-0005 | PC-CA-0041-0006 | PC-CA-0041-9000
Deixler, Bert H. (California)
PC-CA-0041-0003 | PC-CA-0041-0005 | PC-CA-0041-9000
Forsheit, Tanya (California)
PC-CA-0041-0005 | PC-CA-0041-0006
Forsythe, Tawnya (California)
PC-CA-0041-9000
Hilger, Jeffrey Thomas Garcia (California)
PC-CA-0041-0006 | PC-CA-0041-9000
Ingber, Kenneth S. (California)
PC-CA-0041-0003 | PC-CA-0041-9000
Tellem, Nicole (California)
PC-CA-0041-9000
Thompson, Lois D. (California)
PC-CA-0041-0006 | PC-CA-0041-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Anderson, Robert R. (California)
PC-CA-0041-0005
Crown, Allen Robert (California)
PC-CA-0041-0005
Gifford, Paul D. (California)
PC-CA-0041-0005
Grunder, Frances T. (California)
PC-CA-0041-0001
Lockyer, Bill (California)
PC-CA-0041-0005
Lungren, Daniel E. (California)
PC-CA-0041-9000
Russell, Jay C. (California)
PC-CA-0041-9000
Spiegel, Barbara (California)
PC-CA-0041-0004 | PC-CA-0041-9000
Turner, Sara E. (California)
PC-CA-0041-0004 | PC-CA-0041-0005 | PC-CA-0041-9000
Williamson, George H. (California)
PC-CA-0041-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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