University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Pederson v. County of Plumas JC-CA-0075
Docket / Court 2:89-cv-01659-JFM ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection California Jail Population Caps
Attorney Organization Hadsell, Stormer & Renick
Prisoners Rights Union
Case Summary
On December 4, 1989, prisoners at the Plumas County Jail filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the County of Plumas. The plaintiffs, represented by the Prisoner Rights Union and by private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 198 ... read more >
On December 4, 1989, prisoners at the Plumas County Jail filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the County of Plumas. The plaintiffs, represented by the Prisoner Rights Union and by private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, challenging the constitutionality of their conditions of confinement. Specifically, they alleged problems with overcrowding, unequal access for women prisoners, lack of exercise, inadequate access to medical, dental and mental health treatment, lack of law library access, and lack of adequate visiting time and other contact with people in the outside world, and claimed that these problems constituted violations of the First, Fourth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

The PACER docket begins on September 12, 1990, when the Court (Judge Lawrence K. Karlton) ordered the County not to hold any warrantless arrestee who had not been provided with a determination of probable cause before a judge within 36 hours of his or her arrest.

There are several multiple-month gaps between entries over the following two years, but the principal developments are clear. On January 21, 1992, the Court (Judge John F. Moulds) certified the proposed class of prisoners, and on February 10, the parties submitted a consent decree for the Court's approval. Under the terms of the decree, the County agreed to maintain all housing units at the jail at or below their rated capacities, with an overall capacity of 37; to provide prisoners with sufficient storage space for their personal belongings and with adequate clothing and food; to allow prisoners one hour of exercise per day five days a week; to provide regular access to adequate medical, dental, and mental health care services; to allow visits of at least a half an hour each at least two days per week; to provide women prisoners with equal access to programs and work opportunities and to always have at least one female guard working each shift; to provide prompt physical access to the law library; to provide access to a pay phone, a television and non-legal reading material; and to allow inspection by the fire marshal and comply with any recommendations the fire marshal makes. The County also agreed to develop, implement and make known to the prisoners rules of conduct, a grievance procedure, disciplinary procedures, and visitation policies and procedures. Finally, the County agreed to allow plaintiffs' counsel to make reasonable inspections to ascertain its compliance with the decree.

The Court (Judge Moulds) approved the consent decree on April 21, 1992, and ordered the County to pay the plaintiffs $65,000 in attorneys' fees on June 12, 1992.

Since the decree was entered, several prisoners at the jail, representing themselves, have petitioned the Court for enforcement of the decree, most recently in 2006. Each time, the Court has directed them to contact plaintiffs' counsel to seek enforcement. No action has been taken on these petitions, though on April 1, 2013, the Court signed a joint stipulation modifying the consent decree as to the population cap and staffing provisions.

On March 27, 2015, plaintiffs filed a request for a status conference, alleging that noncompliance with the Consent Decree. On April 17, 2015, the Court (Magistrate Judge Kendall Newman) ordered the County to file a response two weeks later, "setting forth the status of compliance with the Consent Decree."

Christopher Schad - 07/11/2012
Maurice Youkanna - 07/05/2014
- 04/24/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Auditing
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Recordkeeping
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Pre-PLRA Population Cap
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Counseling
Disciplinary procedures
Fire safety
Grievance Procedures
Law library access
Mail
Phone
Recreation / Exercise
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Visiting
Voting
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) County of Plumas
Plaintiff Description Prisoners at the Plumas County jail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Hadsell, Stormer & Renick
Prisoners Rights Union
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1992 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1992
Case Ongoing Yes
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 ]

Docket(s)
2:89-cv-01659-JFM (E.D. Cal.) 04/17/2015
JC-CA-0075-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Consent Decree 02/10/1992
JC-CA-0075-0001.pdf | Detail
Joint Stipulation to Amendment of Consent Decree 04/01/2013 (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0075-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Request for Status Conference [Includes declarations on compliance] 03/27/2015
JC-CA-0075-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [directing Defendants to report on compliance] 04/17/2015 (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0075-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Moulds, John F. (E.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0075-9000
Newman, Kendall J (E.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0075-0002 | JC-CA-0075-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Comiskey, Paul Wayne (California)
JC-CA-0075-0002 | JC-CA-0075-0003 | JC-CA-0075-9000
Ellis, Lincoln Wolf (California)
JC-CA-0075-0003
Herman, Richard P. (California)
JC-CA-0075-9000
Jackson, Michael Bruce (California)
JC-CA-0075-0002 | JC-CA-0075-9000
Persons, Paul Turner (California)
JC-CA-0075-0001 | JC-CA-0075-9000
Stormer, Dan Lewis (California)
JC-CA-0075-0002 | JC-CA-0075-0003 | JC-CA-0075-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Jamison, Michael S. (California)
JC-CA-0075-0001 | JC-CA-0075-9000
Mansell, Stephen Leo (California)
JC-CA-0075-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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