University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Johnson v. Woodford PC-CA-0063
Docket / Court 2:04-cv-05995 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On October 27, 2004, a prisoner of the Rastafarian faith, proceeding pro se, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against California State Prison Los Angeles County, alleging that by requiring him to shave his beard and cut his hair, the defendant violated 42 ... read more >
On October 27, 2004, a prisoner of the Rastafarian faith, proceeding pro se, filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California against California State Prison Los Angeles County, alleging that by requiring him to shave his beard and cut his hair, the defendant violated 42 USC S. 1983: (1) violation of his First Amendment right to free exercise of religion; (2) violation of the Religious Land Use & Institutionalized Persons Act; and (3) violation of his Eight Amendment rights by withdrawing privileges such as the right to outdoor exercise. The plaintiff sought monetary damages and injunctive relief.

On September 28, 2007, the District Court (Judge George H. King) granted summary judgment to defendants on the basis that they were entitled to qualified immunity with respect to all three claims. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment with respect to the plaintiff's first two claims, but vacated the judgment regarding his eighth amendment claim, holding that the plaintiff did suffer deprivation that rose to the level of an Eighth Amendment violation.

Upon remand to the District Court, the defendants requested leave to file a motion for summary judgment on plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claim. The plaintiff failed to file an opposition to the motion for summary judgment, and instead sought numerous extensions of time. The District Court granted the motion for summary judgment, based on plaintiff's failure to exhaust his claim that the denial of exercise privileges violated his eighth amendment rights. Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Plaintiff's claim without prejudice on April 20, 2010.

Anjali Biala - 10/14/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Freedom of speech/association
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)
42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) California Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Prisoner of the Rastafarian faith
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2010
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)
2:04-cv-05995-GHK-CT (C.D. Cal.) 12/22/2010
PC-CA-0063-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order 10/20/2006
PC-CA-0063-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 10/10/2010 (C.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0063-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Adopting Report and Recommendation of United States Magistrate Judge 10/10/2010 (2010 WL 4007299) (C.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0063-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges King, George H. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
PC-CA-0063-0002 | PC-CA-0063-0003 | PC-CA-0063-9000
Tashima, Atsushi Wallace (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0063-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barondess, Mark A. (California)
PC-CA-0063-9000
Miller, Daniel Stephen (California)
PC-CA-0063-9000
Procel, Brian (California)
PC-CA-0063-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bazan, John F. (California)
PC-CA-0063-9000
Coleman, Susan E. (California)
PC-CA-0063-9000
Des Jardins, Michelle A (California)
PC-CA-0063-9000
Ramirez, Eugene (California)
PC-CA-0063-9000
Sain, Anthony M. (California)
PC-CA-0063-9000
Other Lawyers Johnson, Harold E. (California)
PC-CA-0063-9000

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