University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Prison Legal News v. Tilton PC-CA-0042
Docket / Court 34-2007-00883573-CU-PT ( State Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Prison Legal News
Case Summary
On December 18, 2007, Prison Legal News ("PLN"), a non-profit organization that reports on news and litigation involving detention facilities, filed suit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") in the California Superior Court for the City and County of ... read more >
On December 18, 2007, Prison Legal News ("PLN"), a non-profit organization that reports on news and litigation involving detention facilities, filed suit against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") in the California Superior Court for the City and County of Sacramento. Plaintiff sought disclosure of documents under the California Public Records Act, California Government Code, ยงยง 6250 et seq. Plaintiff requested declaratory and injunctive relief for immediate disclosure of the requested records.

On November 9, 2007, plaintiff had submitted a Public Record Act request to defendant in which it requested documents pertaining to torts, overcrowding, and civil rights claims filed against the CDCR. While the Public Records Act mandated disclosure within 10 days, plaintiff alleged that defendant did not respond in any way; this suit followed.

The information we have on this case is limited. However, in an order from December 23, 2009, the Superior Court (Judge Chang) noted that in the two years the litigation had been pending, defendant had done nothing of any significance to comply with the request except "to complain that the request is unduly burdensome." Judge Chang ordered defendant to produce the records by March 1, 2010. Specifically, defendant was ordered to produce documents related to "Paid Adult Legal Claims" from 2002-2007 in cases where defendant paid out more than $25,000 in settlement or judgment. Defendant claimed that it might not have possession of the final versions of each document and would have to redact the documents for privileged or exempt information. Thus, Judge Chang also ordered defendant to provide plaintiff with identifying information, including case numbers, for all 742 cases by February 1, 2010 so plaintiff could determine if any of the documents were available online.

As of December 2, 2014, we have no further information available on this case.

Dan Dalton - 12/20/2007
Samantha Kirby - 12/02/2014


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Content of Injunction
Required disclosure
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Records Disclosure
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Plaintiff Description Prison Legal News, a non-profit organization that reports on news and litigation involving detention facilities
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
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 Prison Legal News Homepage
Prison Legal News
By: Prison Legal News
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Verified Petition for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 12/18/2007
PC-CA-0042-0001.pdf | Detail
Order Directing Disclosure of Public Records 12/23/2009
PC-CA-0042-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Prison Legal News
Judges Chang, Shelleyanne W. L. (State Trial Court)
PC-CA-0042-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Rifkin, Lori Ellen (California)
PC-CA-0042-0001
Rosen, Sanford Jay (California)
PC-CA-0042-0001
Walczak, Kenneth M. (California)
PC-CA-0042-0001
Whelan, Amy (California)
PC-CA-0042-0001
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers Wright, Paul (Washington)
PC-CA-0042-0001

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