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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Wyckoff v. County of Tehama JC-CA-0087
Docket / Court 2:92-cv-01472 ( 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 September 4, 1992, prisoners at the Tehama County Jail and the Work/Education Facility filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California again the County and the County Sheriff, challenging the constitutionality of their conditions of confinement. The ... read more >
On September 4, 1992, prisoners at the Tehama County Jail and the Work/Education Facility filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California again the County and the County Sheriff, challenging the constitutionality of their conditions of confinement. The plaintiffs, represented by the Prisoner Rights Union and private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that, among other things, the overcrowding at the jail and the lack of access to the law library violated the Eight Amendment. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

On the same day that they filed their complaint, plaintiffs moved the Court for a preliminary injunction, and on September 15, 1992, they moved for a temporary restraining order. Plaintiffs filed a second motion for a temporary restraining order, this one relating to law library access on September 30, 1992. The District Court (Magistrate Judge John F. Moulds) held preliminary hearings on the plaintiffs' motions on October 1, 1992, and on November 3 ordered additional oral argument on the preliminary injunction.

On November 25, 1992, the parties stipulated to and the Court (Magistrate Judge Moulds) ordered an injunction that barred defendants from bedding inmates on the floor, set maximum capacities for the County Jail and the Work/Education Facility, barred defendants from adding beds over capacity, authorized the Sheriff to release prisoners from a housing unit if it came within 10% of capacity, and required the Sheriff to release prisoners or refuse new prisoners if a facility reached capacity. The order was set to expire when 75% of a new addition to the County Jail was occupied.

The parties conducted discovery of the course of the following months, and an eight-day trial was held starting June 22, 1993.

The docket indicates that defendants implemented new law library procedures, but does not detail how they differed from the previous procedures; after this, there is a four-year gap in activity.

The docket picks up again in 1997, with several status conferences, and then on February 25, 1998, the Court (Magistrate Judge Moulds) issues an order giving notice that a class action settlement has been reached, with a fairness hearing set for April 23, 1998. Under the terms of the settlement, the old part of the Tehama County Jail was to operate with a maximum bed capacity of 106 and defendants were to inform plaintiffs counsel whenever the old side operated at 90% of capacity for 30 continuous night. Defendants also agree to pay $55,000 in attorneys' fees.

After the fairness hearing, the Court (Judge Garland E. Burrell) approved the settlement and entered judgment on April 24, 1998. The docket indicates no further developments of note as of the date of this summary.

Christopher Schad - 07/23/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
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 Tehama
Plaintiff Description prisoners at the Tehama County Jail and Work/Education Facility
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 1992 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1998
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)
2:92-cv-01472-JFM (E.D. Cal.) 06/29/1998
JC-CA-0087-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 09/28/1992
JC-CA-0087-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Offer of Judgment 09/29/1992 (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0087-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: District Court
Stipulation and Order 09/29/1992 (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0087-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: District Court
Proposed Temporary Restraining Order 09/30/1992
JC-CA-0087-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: District Court
Notice of Class Action Settlement Agreement 02/23/1998
JC-CA-0087-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: District Court
Stipulation re. Final settlement Agreement; order 04/24/1998 (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0087-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: District Court
Judges Burrell, Garland Ellis Jr. (E.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0087-0006
Moulds, John F. (E.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0087-0002 | JC-CA-0087-0005 | JC-CA-0087-0006 | JC-CA-0087-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Comiskey, Paul Wayne (California)
JC-CA-0087-0001 | JC-CA-0087-0002 | JC-CA-0087-9000
Herman, Richard P. (California)
JC-CA-0087-0001 | JC-CA-0087-0002 | JC-CA-0087-9000
Jackson, Michael Bruce (California)
JC-CA-0087-0001 | JC-CA-0087-0002 | JC-CA-0087-9000
Merin, Mark E. (California)
JC-CA-0087-0001 | JC-CA-0087-0002 | JC-CA-0087-9000
Persons, Paul Turner (California)
JC-CA-0087-0001 | JC-CA-0087-0002 | JC-CA-0087-0005 | JC-CA-0087-0006 | JC-CA-0087-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Buck, Nelson Dean (California)
JC-CA-0087-0003 | JC-CA-0087-0004 | JC-CA-0087-0005 | JC-CA-0087-0006 | JC-CA-0087-9000
Hagar, John H. Jr. (California)
JC-CA-0087-0003 | JC-CA-0087-0004 | JC-CA-0087-0005 | JC-CA-0087-0006 | JC-CA-0087-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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