University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Thomas v. Ponder PC-CA-0062
Docket / Court 3:06-cv-03581 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On June 05, 2006, a California prisoner incarcerated at Centinela State Prison, proceeding pro-se, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against the warden and two correctional officers, alleging violation of the plaintiff's constitutional ... read more >
On June 05, 2006, a California prisoner incarcerated at Centinela State Prison, proceeding pro-se, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California against the warden and two correctional officers, alleging violation of the plaintiff's constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants violated the First Amendment, Eighth Amendment, and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when they denied the plaintiff outdoor exercise for more than 11 months, did not allow him privileges that other inmates specifically received, and required him to sign a pledge form against his political beliefs.

On March 12, 2007, the defendants moved to dismiss the Eight Amendment claim on the grounds that the plaintiff had not exhausted his administrative remedies. The defendant withdrew this motion on February 20, 2008.

The defendants moved for summary judgment on the First Amendment and Equal Protection claims on April 11, 2007 and for summary judgment on the Eight Amendment claim on August 7, 2008. Both motions were granted by the District Court (Judge Maxine M. Chesney) on February 24, 2009.

On March 11, 2009, the plaintiff appealed the dismissal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On July 26, 2010, the Court of Appeals (Judge Stephen Reinhardt) reversed the dismissal and remanded the case back to the District Court.

On June 2, 2011, the defendants moved for summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds. On January 12, 2012, the District Court (Judge Maxine M. Chesney) denied defendants' motion for summary judgment and dismissed the plaintiff's claims for injunctive relief as moot due to him being transferred to another prison. The Court further referred the case to the federal Pro Bono Project for assignment of counsel for the plaintiff. On June 13, 2012, the parties settled and the plaintiff's claims were dismissed without prejudice pending payment of the settlement. On November 20, 2012, the Court entered a notification of satisfaction of settlement and dismissed the case with prejudice.

Anjali Biala - 10/11/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Conditions of confinement
Recreation / Exercise
Unconstitutional conditions of confinement
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Salinas Valley State Prison
Plaintiff Description A California prisoner denied exercise for eleven months
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
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)
3:06-cv-03581 (N.D. Cal.) 11/20/2012
PC-CA-0062-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Amended Complaint 07/02/2006
PC-CA-0062-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Plaintiff's Motions to Compel and For Sanctions; Granting Defendants' Motions for Protective Order and to Stay Discovery; Lifting Stay of Motion to Dismiss and Scheduling Further Briefing 01/14/2008 (2008 WL 142403) (N.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0062-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Defendants' Motions for Summary Judgment; Denying Plaintiff's Motions for Judicial Notice 02/24/2009 (2009 WL 481265) (N.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0062-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 04/07/2010 (611 F.3d 1144)
PC-CA-0062-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Defendantss' Motion for Summary Judgment on Qualified Immunity Grounds; Dismissing as Moot Plaintiff's Claims for Injunctive Relief; Referring Case to Federal Pro Bono Project for Assignment of Counsel; 01/12/2012 (N.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0062-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notification of Satisfaction of Settlement; and [Proposed] Order of Dismissal With Prejudice 11/09/2012
PC-CA-0062-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notification of Satisfaction of Settlement; and Order of Dismissal With Prejudice 11/20/2012 (N.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0062-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Chesney, Maxine M. (N.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0062-0008 | PC-CA-0062-0009 | PC-CA-0062-0010 | PC-CA-0062-9000
Reinhardt, Stephen Roy (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0062-0007
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berry, Michael A. (California)
PC-CA-0062-9000
Klepich, Michael J. (California)
PC-CA-0062-9000
Mitchell, Caroline N. (California)
PC-CA-0062-9000
Wallach, David L (California)
PC-CA-0062-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Harris, Kamala D. (California)
PC-CA-0062-0002 | PC-CA-0062-0004
Huynh, Neah (California)
PC-CA-0062-0002 | PC-CA-0062-0004 | PC-CA-0062-0007 | PC-CA-0062-9000
Patterson, Thomas S. (California)
PC-CA-0062-0002 | PC-CA-0062-0004
Zelidon-Zepeda, Jose Alfonso (California)
PC-CA-0062-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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