University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Torres v. County of Merced JC-CA-0077
Docket / Court 2:93-cv-00357 ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection California Jail Population Caps
Attorney Organization Prisoners Rights Union
Case Summary
On March 4, 1993, prisoners at the Merced County Jail filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the County of Merced. Plaintiffs, represented by the Prisoner Rights Union and by private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, ... read more >
On March 4, 1993, prisoners at the Merced County Jail filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the County of Merced. Plaintiffs, represented by the Prisoner Rights Union and by private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of their constitutional rights. Among other issues, plaintiffs challenged the overcrowding of the jail and their lack of access to a law library. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

On March 25, the Court (Judge Garland E. Burrell) granted a lodged stipulation by the parties and ordered the issuance of a temporary restraining order, the content of which is unclear from the docket.

On April 16, 1993, again following a stipulation by the parties, the Court (Judge Burrell) issued an injunction which granted the following relief: (1) the County was enjoined from bedding prisoners on the floor, (2) the maximum bed capacity at the mail jail was set at 182, (3) the addition of more beds was prohibited, (4) the sheriff was authorized to release prisoners if the jail system came within ten percent of being filled and to refuse additional prisoners if the jail was filled.

The parties also stipulated that the class should be certified, and on June 30, 1993, the Court (Judge Burrell) issued an order granting certification.

A settlement was preliminarily approved, and a hearing on its fairness, reasonableness and adequacy was scheduled for September 14, 1994, but there is no indication on the docket that the settlement ever received final approval.

On February 9, 2000, after issuing an order to show cause why the case should not be dismissed and receiving no reply, the Court (Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows) dismissed the case.

Christopher Schad - 07/12/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Pre-PLRA Population Cap
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Law library access
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) County of Merced
Plaintiff Description prisoners at Merced County jails
Indexed Lawyer Organizations 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 1993 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2000
Case Ongoing No
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)
2:93-cv-00357-GGH-GGH (E.D. Cal.) 05/26/2009
JC-CA-0077-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 03/04/1993
JC-CA-0077-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: District Court
Stipulation and Order 04/16/1993 (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0077-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: District Court
Order 08/03/1994 (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0077-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: District Court
Judges Hollows, Gregory G. (E.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0077-0003 | JC-CA-0077-9000
Moulds, John F. (E.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0077-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Comiskey, Paul Wayne (California)
JC-CA-0077-0001 | JC-CA-0077-0002 | JC-CA-0077-0003 | JC-CA-0077-9000
Herman, Richard P. (California)
JC-CA-0077-0001 | JC-CA-0077-0002 | JC-CA-0077-0003 | JC-CA-0077-9000
Persons, Paul Turner (California)
JC-CA-0077-0001 | JC-CA-0077-0002 | JC-CA-0077-0003 | JC-CA-0077-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Berrey, Allen R. (California)
JC-CA-0077-0002 | JC-CA-0077-9000
Hagar, John H. Jr. (California)
JC-CA-0077-0002 | JC-CA-0077-0003 | JC-CA-0077-9000
Myers, Dennis L (California)
JC-CA-0077-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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