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Case Name Parsons v. Ryan PC-AZ-0018
Docket / Court 2:12-cv-00601 ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Post-PLRA enforceable consent decrees
Solitary confinement
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Prison Law Office
Case Summary
This case is a direct descendant of Gamez v. Ryan, docket number CV-10-2070-PHX-JWS (MEA). That case was dismissed with prejudice on March 21, 2012 after the district court judge determined that the third amended complaint added additional claims and plaintiffs that were not within the ... read more >
This case is a direct descendant of Gamez v. Ryan, docket number CV-10-2070-PHX-JWS (MEA). That case was dismissed with prejudice on March 21, 2012 after the district court judge determined that the third amended complaint added additional claims and plaintiffs that were not within the contemplation of the court at the time that it dismissed the second amended complaint with leave to amend. See related cases for further information about that case.

On March 22, 2012, fourteen Arizona prisoners brought this suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona against the Arizona Department of Corrections (ADOC), under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU, the Prison Law Center and private counsel, sought both declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the ADOC deprived plaintiffs of adequate health care and that even when prisoners were allowed access to treatment, they did not receive adequate care. They also alleged that the defendants subjected prisoners in isolation to unconstitutional conditions.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, that the plaintiffs did not sufficiently exhaust administrative remedies and that their claims were moot. The District Court (Judge Neil Wake) denied the motion as to all three claims.

On March 6, 2013, Judge Wake granted plaintiff's motion for class certification, finding that all the prerequisites for class certification had been met. Parsons v. Ryan, 289 F.R.D. 513 (D. Ariz. 2013). The class included all prisoners who were subjected to any of the following practices: failure to provide timely access to health care; failure to provide timely emergency treatment; failure to provide necessary medication and medical devices; insufficient health care staffing; failure to provide care for chronic diseases and protection from infectious disease; failure to provide timely access to medically necessary specialty care; failure to provide timely access to basic dental treatment; practice of extracting teeth that could be saved by less intrusive means; failure to provide mentally ill prisoners medically necessary mental health treatment (i.e. psychotropic medication, therapy, and inpatient treatment); and/or failure to provide suicidal and self-harming prisoners basic mental health care. The class certification also included subclasses of prisoners who were held in isolation and suffered from any of the following practices: inadequate psychiatric monitoring because of chronic understaffing; use of chemical agents against inmates on psychotropic medications; lack of recreation; extreme social isolation; constant cell illumination; limited property; and/or insufficient nutrition.

On July 10, 2013, defendants appealed the grant of class certification to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The following day, defendants filed an Emergency Motion to Stay, in the District Court, pending adjudication of the appeal. Judge Wake denied defendants' emergency motion on August 9, 2013, weighing heavily the nature of the allegations and the potential risk to plaintiffs. To mitigate the burden on defendants and to conserve judicial resources, Judge Wake set firm parameters for the completion of discovery.

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the grant of class certification on June 5, 2014. Parsons v. Ryan, 754 F.3d 657 (9th Cir. 2014). Defendants petitioned for rehearing en banc on July 3, 2014.

On May 16, 2014, defendants filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, which was denied on August 7, 2014 (2014 WL 3887867). The defendants' primary argument was that the named plaintiffs received constitutionally adequate medical and dental care and therefore lacked standing. Judge Wake denied summary judgment on this point because the plaintiffs were not challenging care on any particular occasion, but exposure to the risk of harm stemming from inadequate policies and practices. The District Court also denied summary judgment on the conditions of solitary confinement claim. While the defendants argued that each particular practice or condition challenged was constitutional, the District Court stressed that the relevant issue was whether the totality of the conditions in the isolation units exposed the prisoners to a substantial risk of serious ham (a lack of social interaction and environmental stimulation).

On October 14, 2014, the parties filed a Stipulation. Defendants agreed to remedy the ADOC health care system by meeting more than 100 performance measures, including performing particular screenings and procedures, meeting staffing requirements, and providing interpreters for health services. The agreement also required defendants to reform policies relating to prisoners with serious mental illnesses in isolation units. Modifications included increasing access to mental health treatment and increasing time spent outside of the cell, and restricting the use of pepper spray to a last resort in preventing serious injury or escape. Finally, the settlement provided for ongoing monitoring and oversight by the plaintiffs' lawyers. The parties consented to the exercise of jurisdiction by the District Court over disputes arising out of the Stipulation, and agreed not to move to terminate the Stipulation for at least four years. Defendants agreed to pay $4.9 million in attorneys' fees and costs and up to $250,000 a year in reasonable fees for enforcement in the future.

Jonathan Forman - 07/07/2013
Samantha Kirby - 10/28/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Hire
Monitoring
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Administrative segregation
Conditions of confinement
Counseling
Failure to train
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Loss or damage to property
Pepper/OC spray
Personal injury
Record-keeping
Recreation / Exercise
Restraints : chemical
Sanitation / living conditions
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Hepatitis
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Self-injurious behaviors
Skin Infections
Suicide prevention
Tuberculosis
Untreated pain
Vision care
Wound care
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Arizona Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Fourteen Arizona prisoners alleging deficiencies in the Department of Corrections health care system
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Prison Law Office
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 2014 - 2018
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PC-AZ-0017 : Gamez v. Ryan (D. Ariz.)
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)
2:12-cv-601 (D. Ariz.) 10/22/2014
PC-AZ-0018-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Lawsuit Charges Arizona Prison Officials with Failing to Provide Adequate Health Care, Inhumane Use of Solitary Confinement 03/06/2012
PC-AZ-0018-0003.pdf | Detail
Class Action Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 03/22/2012
PC-AZ-0018-0001.pdf | Detail
Order [Denying Motion to Dismiss] 10/10/2012 (D. Ariz.)
PC-AZ-0018-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Class Certification] 03/05/2013 (289 F.R.D. 513) (D. Ariz.)
PC-AZ-0018-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Expert Report of Craig Haney, Ph.D., J.D. 11/07/2013
PC-AZ-0018-0023.pdf | Detail
Confidential Report of Robert L. Cohen, M.D. 11/08/2013
PC-AZ-0018-0005.pdf | Detail
Confidential Report of Todd Randall Wilcox, M.D., M.B.A., C.C.H.P.-A 11/08/2013
PC-AZ-0018-0008.pdf | Detail
Expert Report of Pablo Stewart, M.D. 11/08/2013
PC-AZ-0018-0011.pdf | Detail
Confidential Expert Report of Jay Shulman, DMD, MA, MSPH 11/08/2013
PC-AZ-0018-0016.pdf | Detail
Expert Report of Eldon Vail 11/08/2013
PC-AZ-0018-0020.pdf | Detail
Expert Report of Brie Williams, M.D., M.S. 11/08/2013
PC-AZ-0018-0025.pdf | Detail
Supplemental Expert Report of Pablo Stewart, M.D. 12/09/2013
PC-AZ-0018-0012.pdf | Detail
Supplemental Expert Report of Brie Williams, M.D., M.S. 12/09/2013
PC-AZ-0018-0026.pdf | Detail
Confidential Rebuttal Report of Robert L. Cohen, M.D. 01/31/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0006.pdf | Detail
Confidential Rebuttal Report of Todd Randall Wilcox, M.D., M.B.A., C.C.H.P.-A 01/31/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0009.pdf | Detail
Rebuttal Expert Report of Pablo Stewart, M.D. 01/31/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0013.pdf | Detail
Confidential Rebuttal Report of Jay Shulman, DMD, MA, MSPH 01/31/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0017.pdf | Detail
Rebuttal Declaration of Eldon Vail 01/31/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0021.pdf | Detail
Rebuttal Report of Craig Haney, J.D. Ph.D. 01/31/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0024.pdf | Detail
Rebuttal Expert Report of Brie Williams, M.D., M.S. 01/31/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0027.pdf | Detail
Confidential Supplemental Report of Robert L. Cohen, M.D. 02/24/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0007.pdf | Detail
Second Supplemental Expert Report of Pablo Stewart, M.D. 02/24/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0014.pdf | Detail
Confidential Supplemental Expert Report of Jay Shulman, DMD, MA, MSPH 02/24/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0018.pdf | Detail
Supplemental Report of Eldon Vail 02/24/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0022.pdf | Detail
Confidential Supplemental Report of Todd Randall Wilcox, M.D., M.B.A., C.C.H.P.-A 04/02/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0010.pdf | Detail
Opinion 06/05/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0030.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion [9th Circuit Court of Appeals] 06/05/2014 (754 F.3d 657)
PC-AZ-0018-0031.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order [Denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment] 08/07/2014 (2014 WL 3887867) (D. Ariz.)
PC-AZ-0018-0029.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Supplemental Expert Report of Pablo Stewart, M.D 08/29/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0015.pdf | Detail
Second Confidential Supplemental Expert Report of Jay Shulman, DMD, MA, MSPH 08/29/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0019.pdf | Detail
Stipulation 10/14/2014
PC-AZ-0018-0028.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Judges Medsker, R Scott Court not on record
PC-AZ-0018-9000
Noonan, John T. Jr. (Ninth Circuit)
PC-AZ-0018-0031
Reinhardt, Stephen Roy (Ninth Circuit)
PC-AZ-0018-0030 | PC-AZ-0018-0031
Wake, Neil Vincent (D. Ariz.)
PC-AZ-0018-0002 | PC-AZ-0018-0004 | PC-AZ-0018-0029 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Watford, Paul Jeffrey (Ninth Circuit)
PC-AZ-0018-0031
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ahlers, James A (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Alewelt, Jennifer (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Amiri, Amir Q. (California)
PC-AZ-0018-0028
Barr, Daniel C. (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Brantley, Kevin (California)
PC-AZ-0018-0028
Calderon, Sophia Helena (California)
PC-AZ-0018-9000
Du Mee, Matthew B (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Durkin, Brenna (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028
Eidenbach, Kristin T (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Fathi, David Cyrus (District of Columbia)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0020 | PC-AZ-0018-0021 | PC-AZ-0018-0022 | PC-AZ-0018-0023 | PC-AZ-0018-0024 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Fettig, Amy (District of Columbia)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0020 | PC-AZ-0018-0021 | PC-AZ-0018-0022 | PC-AZ-0018-0023 | PC-AZ-0018-0024 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Flood, Kelly Joyce (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0020 | PC-AZ-0018-0021 | PC-AZ-0018-0022 | PC-AZ-0018-0023 | PC-AZ-0018-0024 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Freeman, Taylor (Texas)
PC-AZ-0018-0028
George, Warren E. Jr. (California)
PC-AZ-0018-0028
Gerlicher, Amelia Morrow (Alaska)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Gray, John H (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Hardy, Alison (California)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0020 | PC-AZ-0018-0021 | PC-AZ-0018-0022 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Hosseini, Ilham A (California)
PC-AZ-0018-9000
Kader, Sarah Eve (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Kendrick, Corene Thaedra (California)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0020 | PC-AZ-0018-0021 | PC-AZ-0018-0022 | PC-AZ-0018-0023 | PC-AZ-0018-0024 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Kiernan, David C (California)
PC-AZ-0018-9000
Levinson, Dara (California)
PC-AZ-0018-0028
Lyall, James Duff (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0020 | PC-AZ-0018-0021 | PC-AZ-0018-0022 | PC-AZ-0018-0023 | PC-AZ-0018-0024 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Mamedova, Kamilla (New York)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Messina, Jennifer K (New York)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Mitchell, Caroline N. (California)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Norman, Sara Linda (California)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0020 | PC-AZ-0018-0021 | PC-AZ-0018-0022 | PC-AZ-0018-0023 | PC-AZ-0018-0024 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Peters, Jerica Lyn (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028
Pochoda, Daniel Joseph (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0020 | PC-AZ-0018-0021 | PC-AZ-0018-0022 | PC-AZ-0018-0023 | PC-AZ-0018-0024 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Quereshi, Ajmel (District of Columbia)
PC-AZ-0018-0020 | PC-AZ-0018-0021 | PC-AZ-0018-0022 | PC-AZ-0018-0023 | PC-AZ-0018-0024 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Rauh, Sarah (California)
PC-AZ-0018-9000
Rico, Jose De Jesus (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028
Ripke, Jill L (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Roberts, Douglas (California)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Ross, Jessica Janespar (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028
Ryerson, Thomas D (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Specter, Donald H. (California)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-0020 | PC-AZ-0018-0021 | PC-AZ-0018-0022 | PC-AZ-0018-0023 | PC-AZ-0018-0024 | PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Suh, Eun Ae (Texas)
PC-AZ-0018-9000
Szanto, Ruth (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0001 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Varma, Asim (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Wilkes, John Laurens (Texas)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Acedo, Nicholas Daniel (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Bojanowski, Timothy J (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Cloman, Courtney Rachel (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-9000
Fletcher, Ashlee B (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Gottfried, Michael Evan (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Horne, Thomas C. (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028
Lee, Jacob B. (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028
Love, Rachel (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Orcutt, Anne Marie (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Rand, Lucy Marie (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Struck, Daniel Patrick (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Watanabe, Katherine Emiko (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-9000
Wieneke, Kathleen L (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-0028 | PC-AZ-0018-9000
Zuerlein, Ashley Brook (Arizona)
PC-AZ-0018-9000
Other Lawyers Matthews, Warren W. (Alaska)
PC-AZ-0018-0003

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