University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Basra v. Cate PC-CA-0061
Docket / Court 2:11-cv-01676-SVW-FMO ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Southern California
Case Summary
On February 25, 2011, plaintiff, an inmate at the California Men's Colony Correctional Facility ("CMC") filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in his official capacity and ... read more >
On February 25, 2011, plaintiff, an inmate at the California Men's Colony Correctional Facility ("CMC") filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against the Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in his official capacity and the Warden of the California Men's Colony, in her official and individual capacities. The plaintiff, represented by the ACLU and private counsel, asked the court for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief barring defendants from enforcing the CMC's grooming policy, claiming that the policy violated his rights under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act ("RLIUPA"). Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that as an individual who has practiced Sikhism his entire life, including adhering to the requirement of keeping Kesh by not shaving his beard or cutting his hair, the grooming policy and subsequent disciplinary sanctions violated his rights under RLIUPA.

The plaintiff filed motion for a preliminary injunction on March 3, 2011, which was continued throughout the case until settlement. On March 15, 2011, the United States of American filed a motion to intervene, pursuant to RLIUPA, which granted the United States the authority to intervene in or bring an action for injunctive or declaratory relief to enforce RLIUPA.

On May 15, 2013, the parties filed a stipulated agreement to dismiss the case. The stipulated agreement established that the defendants would not discipline plaintiff under Title 15 California Code of Regulations section 3062(h); that defendants would expunge the plaintiff's record of any discipline imposed for violations of this section, and that the defendants would eliminate the beard length restriction from section 3062(h). On June 5, 2011, the parties requested that the Court stay all proceedings until the defendants' counsel amended section 3062(h).

On May 18, 2012, the District Court (Judge Stephen V. Wilson) dismissed the case with prejudice, as a result of a stipulated dismissal between the parties.

Christina Bonanni - 10/18/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Free Exercise Clause
Defendant-type
Corrections
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Religious programs / policies
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Religious Freedom Rest. Act/Religious Land Use and Inst. Persons Act (RFRA/RLUIPA)
Defendant(s) California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff was an inmate practicing Sikhism at the California Men's Colony Correctional Facility.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Southern California
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 2011 - 2012
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
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)
2:11-cv-01676-SVW-FMO (C.D. Cal.) 05/18/2012
PC-CA-0061-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 02/25/2011
PC-CA-0061-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
United States Motion to Intervene 03/15/2011
PC-CA-0061-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint in Intervention Pursuant to Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons 04/18/2011
PC-CA-0061-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 06/03/2011
PC-CA-0061-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal 05/15/2012 (C.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0061-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Wilson, Stephen Victor (C.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0061-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bagenstos, Samuel R. (District of Columbia)
PC-CA-0061-0002 | PC-CA-0061-0005
Birotte, Andre Jr. (California)
PC-CA-0061-0002 | PC-CA-0061-0005
Dang, Harsimran Kaur (California)
PC-CA-0061-0001 | PC-CA-0061-0006 | PC-CA-0061-0007 | PC-CA-0061-9000
Eliasberg, Peter J. (California)
PC-CA-0061-0001 | PC-CA-0061-0006 | PC-CA-0061-0007 | PC-CA-0061-9000
Gordon, Jonathan Mark (California)
PC-CA-0061-0001 | PC-CA-0061-0006 | PC-CA-0061-9000
Gunston, Emily A. (District of Columbia)
PC-CA-0061-0002 | PC-CA-0061-0005 | PC-CA-0061-0006 | PC-CA-0061-9000
Harris, Kamala D. (California)
PC-CA-0061-0006
Hooks, Cassandra E (California)
PC-CA-0061-0001 | PC-CA-0061-0006 | PC-CA-0061-0007 | PC-CA-0061-9000
Johnson-Brooks, Emily (California)
PC-CA-0061-0002 | PC-CA-0061-0005 | PC-CA-0061-9000
Lerner, Leib Mitchell (California)
PC-CA-0061-0001 | PC-CA-0061-0006 | PC-CA-0061-9000
Mach, Daniel (District of Columbia)
PC-CA-0061-0001 | PC-CA-0061-0006 | PC-CA-0061-0007 | PC-CA-0061-9000
Monteleone, Robyn-Marie L (California)
PC-CA-0061-0002 | PC-CA-0061-0005
Mygatt, Timothy D (District of Columbia)
PC-CA-0061-0002 | PC-CA-0061-0005
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
PC-CA-0061-0002 | PC-CA-0061-0005
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
PC-CA-0061-0002 | PC-CA-0061-0005
Trepel, Samantha Kay (District of Columbia)
PC-CA-0061-0002 | PC-CA-0061-0005 | PC-CA-0061-9000
Weidman, Leon W. (California)
PC-CA-0061-0002 | PC-CA-0061-0005
Defendant's Lawyers Des Jardins, Michelle A (California)
PC-CA-0061-0006 | PC-CA-0061-0007 | PC-CA-0061-0007 | PC-CA-0061-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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