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Case Name Johnson v. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department JC-CA-0059
Docket / Court 2:08-cv-03515-DDP-JTL ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Jail Conditions
Special Collection California's Prisoners' Rights Bar article
Post-PLRA enforceable consent decrees
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Southern California
Hadsell, Stormer & Renick
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On May 29, 2008, three prisoners with mobility impairments housed in Los Angeles County jail facilities filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department under the Americans with Disabilities Act and ... read more >
On May 29, 2008, three prisoners with mobility impairments housed in Los Angeles County jail facilities filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs sued the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. They challenged alleged discrimination against people with disabilities in the Los Angeles County jail system. Represented by private counsel, the Disability Rights Legal Center, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, the plaintiffs asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief as well as attorney's fees, on the grounds that the County of Los Angeles and the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department did not provide an acceptable level of access, services, or accommodations to inmates with disabilities.

The plaintiffs specifically claimed that while being processed there were no accessible bathroom facilities, and that once they were housed in the jail they were denied physical therapy and outdoor exercise, along with not being allowed to participate in most jail programs. They alleged as well that the jails failed to provide access features in bathrooms such as grab bars in the showers or toilets. Wheelchairs were rarely provided for disabled inmates and, if they were provided, were in a state of disrepair. Finally, the plaintiffs alleged that prisoners' required medications were given inconsistently.

On June 9, 2008, the plaintiffs moved to certify the class and for a preliminary injunction. On August 13, 2008, the parties agreed to stay the proceedings and enter into settlement negotiations. On December 12, 2008, due to the lack of response from the defendants, the plaintiffs filed a request for lift of stay. On June 8, 2009, the court ordered that the stipulated stay would automatically expire on July 9, 2009.

On June 10, 2010, the plaintiffs filed their first amended complaint. On November 12, 2010, the plaintiffs refiled their motion for class certification.

On May 5, 2011, the plaintiffs requested a temporary restraining order enjoining the defendants from disciplining class members for their failure or inability to get out of their wheelchairs. On May 12, 2011, Judge Pregerson denied the plaintiffs' application for a temporary restraining order. 2011 WL 1812746 (C.D. Cal. May 12, 2011).

On October 15, 2012, Judge Pregerson granted class certification via an in chambers order.

The parties entered into settlement negotiations, and on October 31, 2014, settled the case. The defendants agreed to an enforceable injunction, under which they would provide: access to all programming despite mobility disabilities, physical therapy and outdoor recreation, physical accessibility to the jail, working wheelchairs and prostheses, ADA coordinators on staff, a new grievance form, and reasonable accommodations when requested.

The Agreement provided that it would remain in effect for three years "after which time its provisions will automatically terminate unless the Court determines that, based on applicable law and specific findings of fact, that it is necessary to extend the duration of this Agreement." Monitoring was set to be performed by the Los Angeles Office of the Inspector General. The agreement is court-enforceable, but there are no stipulations relating the underlying facts.

On November 24, 2014, Judge Dean Pregerson preliminarily approved the class settlement. On March 24, 2015, Judge Pregerson granted the plaintiffs' motion for $2,200,000 in attorney's fees and granted final approval of the class settlement. On June 8, 2015, Judge Pregerson dismissed the case, but retained jurisdiction to enforce the settlement if necessary.

Xin Chen - 04/19/2012
Jessica Kincaid - 10/25/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Hire
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Preliminary relief denied
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reasonable Accommodation
Reporting
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Administrative segregation
Bathing and hygiene
Failure to train
Grievance Procedures
Housing
Recreation / Exercise
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) County of Los Angeles
Los Angeles County Jail
Los Angeles Sheriff's Department
Plaintiff Description People with physical disabilities and disabling mental conditions, who because of those disabilities or conditions need appropriate accommodations, housed in LA County jail facilities.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Southern California
Hadsell, Stormer & Renick
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2015 - 2018
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing JC-CA-0018 : Rutherford v. Block (C.D. Cal.)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  Insurer Must Pay $100.5 Million in Redlining Case
The New York Times
Written: Oct. 27, 1998
By: Joseph B. Treaster
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Nationwide Settles Virginia Redlining Suit
Property Casualty 360
Written: May. 06, 2000
By: Amanda Levin
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:08-cv-03515-DDP-JTL (C.D. Cal.) 06/08/2015
JC-CA-0059-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 05/29/2008
JC-CA-0059-0001.pdf | Detail
Class Action Motion 06/09/2008
JC-CA-0059-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion and Notice for Preliminary Injunction 06/30/2008
JC-CA-0059-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memo in Support of Motion for Preliminary Injunction 06/30/2008
JC-CA-0059-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint 06/10/2010
JC-CA-0059-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification and Memorandum of Points and Authorities 11/12/2010
JC-CA-0059-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Application for Temporary Restraining Order 05/12/2011 (2011 WL 1812746) (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0059-0013.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 10/31/2014
JC-CA-0059-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source:
Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement, Directing Notice to the Class and Scheduling a Fairness Hearing 11/24/2014 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0059-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Reasonable Attorney's Fees 03/24/2015 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0059-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Granting Final Approval of Class Settlement 03/24/2015 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0059-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Dismissing Case, with Prejudice, with Retention of Jurisdiction to Enforce the Settlement if Necessary 06/08/2015 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0059-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Judges Hillman, Stephen J. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0059-9000
Pregerson, Dean D. (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0059-0009 | JC-CA-0059-0010 | JC-CA-0059-0011 | JC-CA-0059-0012 | JC-CA-0059-0013 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bayley, Kevin Michael (California)
JC-CA-0059-9000
Bhatti, Umbreen (California)
JC-CA-0059-9000
Bird, Melinda R. (California)
JC-CA-0059-0001 | JC-CA-0059-0003 | JC-CA-0059-0004 | JC-CA-0059-0005 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Dai, Cornelia (California)
JC-CA-0059-0001 | JC-CA-0059-0004 | JC-CA-0059-0005 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Diaz, Richard Brian (California)
JC-CA-0059-9000
Eckert, Helen C (California)
JC-CA-0059-0001 | JC-CA-0059-0003 | JC-CA-0059-0004 | JC-CA-0059-0005 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Gipson, Benjamin M (California)
JC-CA-0059-9000
Green, Tiffany (California)
JC-CA-0059-0001 | JC-CA-0059-0003 | JC-CA-0059-0004 | JC-CA-0059-0005 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Keeny, Christy Virginia (California)
JC-CA-0059-0001 | JC-CA-0059-0003 | JC-CA-0059-0004 | JC-CA-0059-0005 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Martin, Gregory A. (California)
JC-CA-0059-9000
Masters, Anna Segobia (California)
JC-CA-0059-9000
Parks, Shawna L (California)
JC-CA-0059-0001 | JC-CA-0059-0003 | JC-CA-0059-0004 | JC-CA-0059-0005 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Pearlman, Paula D. (California)
JC-CA-0059-0001 | JC-CA-0059-0003 | JC-CA-0059-0004 | JC-CA-0059-0005 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Price, Jessica G. (California)
JC-CA-0059-9000
Rosenbaum, Mark Dale (California)
JC-CA-0059-0001 | JC-CA-0059-0003 | JC-CA-0059-0004 | JC-CA-0059-0005 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Sagheb, S Shane (California)
JC-CA-0059-9000
Smerek, Stephen R. (California)
JC-CA-0059-0007 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Stormer, Dan Lewis (California)
JC-CA-0059-0001 | JC-CA-0059-0003 | JC-CA-0059-0004 | JC-CA-0059-0005 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Strugar, Matthew D. (California)
JC-CA-0059-9000
Strugar, Matthew D. (New York)
JC-CA-0059-0006
Teukolsky, Lauren K. (California)
JC-CA-0059-0001 | JC-CA-0059-0003 | JC-CA-0059-0004 | JC-CA-0059-0005 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Ulin, John C. (California)
JC-CA-0059-0001 | JC-CA-0059-0003 | JC-CA-0059-0004 | JC-CA-0059-0005 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Uzeta, Michelle (California)
JC-CA-0059-9000
Walker, Amanda N (California)
JC-CA-0059-0001 | JC-CA-0059-0003 | JC-CA-0059-0004 | JC-CA-0059-0005 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Allen, Matthew Philip (California)
JC-CA-0059-9000
Beach, Paul B (California)
JC-CA-0059-0008 | JC-CA-0059-9000
Clark, Justin W. (California)
JC-CA-0059-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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