University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Rodriguez v. Stanislaus County JC-CA-0084
Docket / Court 1:90-cv-00601 ( 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 September 26, 1990, prisoners in the Stanislaus County jail system filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the county and the county sheriff, challenging their conditions of confinement. The prisoners, represented by the Prisoner ... read more >
On September 26, 1990, prisoners in the Stanislaus County jail system filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the county and the county sheriff, challenging their conditions of confinement. The prisoners, represented by the Prisoner Rights Union and private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging a violation of their rights under the Eight Amendment. Specifically, they claimed that the county jails were overcrowded and, among other things, provided inadequate access to law libraries and to medical, dental and mental health care. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

On October 12, 1990, the plaintiffs moved the District Court for a preliminary injunction, and on February 27, 1991, following discovery, the Court (Chief Judge Robert E. Coyle) adopted the recommendations of Magistrate Judge John F. Moulds and granted a limited injunction, prohibiting prisoners from being bedded on the floor, prohibiting the addition of more beds to the prison during the case, and authorizing the Sheriff to release prisoners when the jail was 90% full. The Court also certified the case as a class action.

The parties began negotiations to settle the case in 1991, and in March 1992 they came to an agreement. Like the preliminary injunction, the settlement enjoined the County from bedding prisoners on the floor and allowed the Sheriff to deny new prisoners and release current prisoners when the jail came within ten percent of its maximum capacity; in addition, it settlement also addressed issued with law library access and medical, dental and mental health care. It applied to the Men's Jail, the Public Safety Center, the Men's Honor Farm, and the Female Facility (closed in 1993).

The Court (Judge Oliver W. Wanger) approved the settlement and terminated the case on May 4, 1992. Three days later, the Court (Magistrate Judge Moulds) ordered defendants to pay plaintiffs' attorney fees.

In 2008, a class member filed a motion seeking enforcement of the settlement, but the Court referred the movant to class counsel. The settlement was still in effect in 2012, and played a part in the County's application for state funds to finance an expansion of its jail facilities.

Christopher Schad - 07/20/2012


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Pre-PLRA Population Cap
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Law library access
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 Stanislaus
Plaintiff Description prisoners in the Stanislaus County jail system
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 Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1991 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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)
1:90-cv-00601-REC-JFM (E.D. Cal.) 06/18/2008
JC-CA-0084-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief Class Action 12/19/1990
JC-CA-0084-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: District Court
Findings and Recommendations 01/10/1991 (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0084-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: District Court
Order Re: Preliminary Injunction and Class Certification 02/25/1991 (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0084-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: District Court
Stanislaus County's Application for State Funding for Jail Extension Project 01/10/2012
JC-CA-0084-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Coyle, Robert Everett (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0084-0004 | JC-CA-0084-9000
Moulds, John F. (E.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0084-0004 | JC-CA-0084-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Comiskey, Paul Wayne (California)
JC-CA-0084-0002 | JC-CA-0084-0003 | JC-CA-0084-0004 | JC-CA-0084-9000
Goodfellow, James F. (California)
JC-CA-0084-9000
Herman, Richard P. (California)
JC-CA-0084-0002 | JC-CA-0084-0003 | JC-CA-0084-0004 | JC-CA-0084-9000
Magana, Ramon (California)
JC-CA-0084-0003
Persons, Paul Turner (California)
JC-CA-0084-0002 | JC-CA-0084-0003 | JC-CA-0084-0004 | JC-CA-0084-9000
Stormer, Dan Lewis (California)
JC-CA-0084-0002 | JC-CA-0084-0003 | JC-CA-0084-0004 | JC-CA-0084-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hagar, John H. Jr. (California)
JC-CA-0084-0002 | JC-CA-0084-0004 | JC-CA-0084-9000
Krausnick, Michael Harold (California)
JC-CA-0084-0002 | JC-CA-0084-0004 | JC-CA-0084-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -