University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Mendoza v. County of Tulare JC-CA-0100
Docket / Court NA ( State Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection California Jail Population Caps
Case Summary
On November 1, 1978, prisoners at the Tulare County Jail filed a class action lawsuit in the Superior Court of California against the County of Tulare and several of its officers. The plaintiffs brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law, challenging their conditions of confinement. ... read more >
On November 1, 1978, prisoners at the Tulare County Jail filed a class action lawsuit in the Superior Court of California against the County of Tulare and several of its officers. The plaintiffs brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law, challenging their conditions of confinement. Specifically, they complained of unconstitutional overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, inadequate medical and dental care, failure to provide a law library and meaningful access to the courts, failure to provide educational, rehabilitative or vocational training programs, inadequate provisions for visitation, failure to properly segregate the prisoner population, inadequate and unsanitary meals, failure to advise prisoners of jail regulations, and lack of access to voter registration. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

On January 17, 1979, the defendants filed a general demurrer, and on March 19, the trial court granted it, dismissing the complaint without leave to amend. It found that there was no community of interest among the members of the proposed class and that declaratory relief was not necessary or proper when habeas relief would be more quick and efficient.

The plaintiffs appealed, and on January 5, 1982, the California Court of Appeal (Associate Justice Baca) reversed the trial court's judgment, holding that plaintiffs had standing and that declaratory relief was proper. , 180 Cal. Rptr. 347 (Cal. Ct. App. 1982). It directed the trial court to allow plaintiffs to amend their pleadings.

As of the date of this summary, we have no information about subsequent developments in this case.

Christopher Schad - 08/21/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Administrative segregation
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Law library access
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Visiting
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) County of Tulare
Plaintiff Description prisoners at the Tulare County Jail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
[Court of Appeal] Opinion [Reversing the Trial Court's Judgment of Dismissal] 01/05/1982 (180 Cal.Rptr. 347)
JC-CA-0100-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Justia
Judges Baca, Robert T. (State Appellate Court)
JC-CA-0100-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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