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Case Name California First Amendment Coalition v. California Department of Correction CJ-CA-0011
Docket / Court CV-96-01291-VRW ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In 1996, nonprofit organizations whose members include journalists (California First Amendment Coalition and Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter), represented by the ACLU of Northern California and private counsel, sued officials at the San Quentin Prison and California ... read more >
In 1996, nonprofit organizations whose members include journalists (California First Amendment Coalition and Society of Professional Journalists, Northern California Chapter), represented by the ACLU of Northern California and private counsel, sued officials at the San Quentin Prison and California Department of Corrections in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Plaintiffs challenged a regulation barring public viewing of lethal injection execution procedures prior to the actual administration of the lethal injection, arguing that the regulation violated the First Amendment.

On May 1, 1996, the District Court (Judge Vaughn R. Walker) entered a preliminary injunction prohibiting defendants from preventing observations of executions. On August 5, 1996, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judges Proctor Hug, Jr., Mary M. Schroeder, and A. Wallace Tashima) affirmed the preliminary injunction in an unpublished memorandum disposition. Cal. First Amend. Coalition v. Calderon, 92 F.3d 1191, 1996 WL 442471 (9th Cir. 1996).

On February 27, 1997, the District Court granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. Cal First Amend. Coalition v. Calderon, 956 F.Supp. 883 (N.D. Cal. 1997). Defendants appealed. On July 23, 1998, the Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for determination of whether the plaintiffs had produced sufficient evidence to show that the prison regulation was an exaggerated response to the defendants' security and safety concerns. Cal. First Amend. Coalition v. Calderon, 150 F.3d 976 (9th Cir. 1998).

On remand, the District Court heard evidence regarding defendants' security concerns and the reasonableness of the regulation in addressing them. On July 26, 2000, the District Court permanently enjoined the defendants from preventing viewing of the execution procedures. Cal. First Amend. Coalition v. Woodford, No. C-9601291-VRW, 2000 WL 33173913 (N.D. Cal. 2000). Defendants appealed again.

On August 2, 2002, the Court of Appeals (Judges Myron H. Bright, Betty B. Fletcher, and Raymond C. Fisher) affirmed. Writing for the court, Judge Fisher held that the public enjoys a First Amendment right to view executions, and that the prison regulation impermissibly restricted this right. Cal. First Amend. Coalition v. Woodford, 299 F.3d 868 (9th Cir. 2002).

Chris Sullivan - 07/28/2005


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Death Penalty
Lethal Injection - General
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) San Quentin State Prison
Plaintiff Description Nonprofit organizations whose members included journalists who attended and reported on state executions challenging regulation barring public viewing of lethal injection execution procedures prior to actual administration of the lethal injection
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1996 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2005
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Links Philadelphia Forfeiture
http://ij.org/case/philadelphia-forfeiture/
By: Institute for Justice (Institute for Justice)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
3:96−cv−01291 (N.D. Cal.) 02/15/2005
CJ-CA-0011-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum [Affirming Preliminary Injunction] 08/05/1996 (92 F.3d 1191)
CJ-CA-0011-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order [Granting Motion for Summary Judgment] 02/28/1997 (956 F.Supp. 883) (N.D. Cal.)
CJ-CA-0011-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion [USCA Reversing and Remanding to District Court] 04/28/1998 (138 F.3d 1298)
CJ-CA-0011-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order [USCA Reversing and Remanding to District Court] 07/23/1998 (150 F.3d 976)
CJ-CA-0011-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order [Denying Motion for Summary Judgment] 01/28/2000 (88 F.Supp.2d 1083) (N.D. Cal.)
CJ-CA-0011-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion [Granting Judgment in Favor of Plaintiffs] 07/26/2000 (2000 WL 33173913) (N.D. Cal.)
CJ-CA-0011-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion [USCA Affirming Permanent Injunction] 08/02/2002 (299 F.3d 868)
CJ-CA-0011-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Browning, James Robert (Ninth Circuit)
CJ-CA-0011-0006
Fisher, Raymond C. (Ninth Circuit)
CJ-CA-0011-0007
Hawkins, Michael Daly (Ninth Circuit)
CJ-CA-0011-0005 | CJ-CA-0011-0006
Hug, Procter Ralph Jr. (Ninth Circuit)
CJ-CA-0011-0002
Pregerson, Dean D. (C.D. Cal.)
CJ-CA-0011-0006
Schroeder, Mary Murphy (Ninth Circuit)
CJ-CA-0011-0002
Tashima, Atsushi Wallace (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
CJ-CA-0011-0002
Walker, Vaughn R. (N.D. Cal.)
CJ-CA-0011-0001 | CJ-CA-0011-0003 | CJ-CA-0011-0004 | CJ-CA-0011-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Coffin, Lynne S. (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Evans, Kelli M. (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Fried, David M. (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Hersh, Jill (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Kass, Michael J. (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Ross, Jeffrey Steven (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Schlosser, Alan Lawrence (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Druliner, David P. (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Lee, Susan Duncan (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Lockyer, Bill (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Mayer, Karl S. (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Niver, Ronald E. (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Patterson, Thomas S. (California)
CJ-CA-0011-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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