University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Hecker v. CDCR PC-CA-0059
Docket / Court 2:05-cv-02441-LKK-JFM ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection California's Prisoners' Rights Bar article
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld
Case Summary
On December 1, 2005, a group of California prisoners with mental illness filed this suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The prisoners filed against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ... read more >
On December 1, 2005, a group of California prisoners with mental illness filed this suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The prisoners filed against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act. The prisoners, represented by the Legal Aid Society, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and private counsel, asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the prison system's policies regarding prisoners with mental disabilities violated the ADA. Specifically, the prisoners challenged the prison system's policies of 1) adding four classification points to any prisoner with mental illness; 2) preventing prisoners with mental illness from attending programming; 3) requiring that any prisoners taking specific medications be kept inside during yard when the temperature increased over 90 degrees; and 4) preventing prisoners with mental illness from taking jobs inside prison, among other allegations. The case was assigned to Judge Lawrence Karlton.

(The procedural history comes from Docket 124-3.) Following the defendants' motion to dismiss, the relationship between this case and Coleman v. Brown came into issue. Coleman, PC-CA-0002 in this Clearinghouse, was a class-action lawsuit filed by mentally ill California inmates under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against CDC alleging that mental health care provided at most California penal institutions violated their constitutional rights. Coleman was also in front of Judge Karlton. In this case, instead of ruling on the motion to dismiss (and before the prisoners were able to file a motion to certify the class,) on March 15, 2007, Judge Karlton referred the case to the special master of the Coleman case to make "a report and recommendation as to whether the claims raised [in Hecker] can be resolved within the remedial phase of [Coleman]." The case was stayed pending that report. 2007 WL 836806.

On June 12, 2007, the Coleman special master and the deputy special master gave their report and recommendation. The report concluded that the parties' were not able to "negotiate[e] an agreement to consolidation or merger of the Hecker claims into the Coleman case at this time." On December 14, 2007, the prisoners filed a motion to lift the stay. The Court did not rule on the motion. In the meantime, intense litigation proceeded in Coleman.

The prisoners filed a renewed motion to lift the stay on September 19, 2012. On October 19, 2012, the Court denied the prisoners' motion without prejudice to its renewal, as appropriate, not later than March 1, 2013, and the parties were directed to meet and confer with the Coleman Special Master to determine whether any Hecker issues could be resolved in the Coleman remedial process. In the midst of that meet and confer process in January 2013 the state moved to terminate the Coleman case. Therefore, the parties were not able to agree to resolve Hecker issues within the Coleman remedial process. (In the end, the Coleman termination motion was not granted.)

On March 1, 2013, the Hecker plaintiffs filed a renewed motion to lift the stay. On April 12, 2013, Magistrate Judge Dale A. Drozd denied the prisoners' motion "without prejudice to its renewal, as appropriate, not later than September 5, 2013." He ordered the parties to continue to meet and confer with the Coleman Special Master, and directed that any renewed prisoners' motion to lift the stay be "accompanied by a joint report by the parties and approved by the Coleman special master."

In July 2014, the parties reached a settlement. Judge Karlton granted preliminary approval of the settlement on August 7, 2014, before retiring later that month. The case was assigned to Judge Kimberly Mueller, who approved the settlement agreement on March 2, 2015. The CDC agreed to implement revised policies to ensure that prisoners with psychiatric disabilities would not be unlawfully excluded from prison programs and services or be discriminated against because of their disabilities. The Settlement Agreement also provided that the implementation of these revised policies would be monitored by the Special Master appointed by the Court in Coleman. The Court in Coleman would also retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of the settlement agreement. The parties also agreed that the CDC would pay attorneys' fees and costs through the periodic fees process in Coleman.

The settlement agreement stated that termination of the Coleman litigation would
terminate the issues that had been or were being resolved under the agreement. As of February 23, 2016, monitoring and implementation of the settlement agreements in both cases is ongoing.

Jonathan Forman - 08/04/2013
Jessica Kincaid - 02/23/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Reporting
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Classification / placement
Work release or work assignments
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) California Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Mentally disabled prisoners in California
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2015 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PC-CA-0002 : Coleman v. Brown (E.D. Cal.)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
2:05−cv−02441 (E.D. Cal.) 03/02/2015
PC-CA-0059-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 12/01/2005
PC-CA-0059-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 02/23/2006
PC-CA-0059-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 05/02/2006 (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0059-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Stipulation and Order 09/14/2006 (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0059-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 10/20/2006
PC-CA-0059-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Findings and Recommendations 02/27/2007
PC-CA-0059-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/14/2007 (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0059-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/15/2007 (2007 WL 836806) (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0059-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Report and Recommendation of the Coleman Special Master regarding consolidation and/or resolution of Hecker claims. 06/12/2007
PC-CA-0059-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Relief from Stay to Pursue Mediation, Seek Class Certification, and Update Plaintiffs by Filing Third Amended Complaint 12/14/2007
PC-CA-0059-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Defendants' Motion for an Extension of Time to File an Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Relief from Stay 01/10/2008 (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0059-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Renewed Motion for Relief from Stay 09/19/2012
PC-CA-0059-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 10/18/2012 (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0059-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 10/18/2012 (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0059-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement (With Attachments) 08/05/2014
PC-CA-0059-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement 08/07/2014 (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0059-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Order for Final Approval of Settlement Agreement; Attached Settlement Agreement 03/02/2015 (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0059-0017.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Drozd, Dale Alan (E.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
PC-CA-0059-9000
Karlton, Lawrence K. (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0059-0006 | PC-CA-0059-0009 | PC-CA-0059-0016
Moulds, John F. (E.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
PC-CA-0059-0003 | PC-CA-0059-0007 | PC-CA-0059-0008 | PC-CA-0059-0010 | PC-CA-0059-0011 | PC-CA-0059-0012
Mueller, Kimberly Jo (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0059-0017 | PC-CA-0059-9000
Monitors/Masters Keating, Joseph Michael (Florida)
PC-CA-0059-0001
Lopes, Matthew (Rhode Island)
PC-CA-0059-0001
Tillman, Lisa Anne (California)
PC-CA-0059-0001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bien, Michael W. (California)
PC-CA-0059-0002 | PC-CA-0059-0014 | PC-CA-0059-0015 | PC-CA-0059-9000
Bossing, Lewis (California)
PC-CA-0059-0002
Center, Claudia B. (California)
PC-CA-0059-0002 | PC-CA-0059-0004 | PC-CA-0059-0005 | PC-CA-0059-0007 | PC-CA-0059-0013 | PC-CA-0059-0015 | PC-CA-0059-9000
Galvan, Ernest (California)
PC-CA-0059-0015 | PC-CA-0059-9000
Nolan, Thomas Bengt (California)
PC-CA-0059-9000
Thompson, Blake (California)
PC-CA-0059-0015 | PC-CA-0059-9000
Whelan, Amy (California)
PC-CA-0059-0002 | PC-CA-0059-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Franklin, Kurt A. (California)
PC-CA-0059-0007 | PC-CA-0059-9000
Harris, Kamala D. (California)
PC-CA-0059-0015
Jacob, Renju Palanilkumuryil (California)
PC-CA-0059-9000
Liu, Dorothy S. (California)
PC-CA-0059-9000
Nayeri, Sahar (California)
PC-CA-0059-9000
Quinn, Michael James (California)
PC-CA-0059-0015 | PC-CA-0059-9000
Roost, Kenneth (California)
PC-CA-0059-9000
Russell, Jay C. (California)
PC-CA-0059-0015 | PC-CA-0059-9000
Other Lawyers Brown, Edmund G. Jr. (California)
PC-CA-0059-0001

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