University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name ACLU of New Mexico v. Board of Cty. Comm'nrs of Valencia County JC-NM-0001
Docket / Court 97-1318 LH/WWD ( D.N.M. )
State/Territory New Mexico
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On October 7, 1997, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and inmates in the Valencia County Jail in Los Lunas, New Mexico filed a class action lawsuit against the Board of County Commissioners, Valencia, New Mexico in the District Court for the District of New Mexico. The complaint ... read more >
On October 7, 1997, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and inmates in the Valencia County Jail in Los Lunas, New Mexico filed a class action lawsuit against the Board of County Commissioners, Valencia, New Mexico in the District Court for the District of New Mexico. The complaint sought declaratory and injunctive relief due to conditions in violation of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eight, and Fourteenth Amendments, 42 U.S.C. Sections 1983 and 1988, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Plaintiffs were represented by the ACLU and the New Mexico Civil Liberties Foundation. The complaint alleged that since 1990 the jail had been cited for numerous safety violations, including inadequate smoke evacuation systems, deteriorating plumbing and HVAC systems, and the presence of asbestos. Individual plaintiffs reported experiences of not receiving medication, inadequate hygiene, insect infestations, and lack of access to legal representation.

Defendants offered to confess judgment and plaintiffs accepted this offer. According to the final judgment, issued on December 10, 1997 by Judge C. Leroy Hanson, the Board of County Commissioners agreed to close the jail and not reopen it unless it met "appropriate minimum standards." A subsequent motion for attorney's fees was withdrawn.

Angela Heverling - 02/06/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Classification / placement
Counseling
Disciplinary procedures
Fire safety
Mail
Personal injury
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Suicide prevention
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Valencia County Adult Detention Center
Plaintiff Description inmates in the Valencia County Jail in Los Lunas, New Mexico
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Confession of Judgment
Order Duration 1997 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1997
Case Ongoing No
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)
97cv01318 (D.N.M.) 10/07/1997
JC-NM-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Complaint 10/07/1997
JC-NM-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Final Judgment 12/10/1997 (D.N.M.)
JC-NM-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
Correspondence 01/07/1998
JC-NM-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
Judges Hansen, Curtis LeRoy (D.N.M.)
JC-NM-0001-0002 | JC-NM-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cubra, Peter (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0001-0001 | JC-NM-0001-0002
Davis, Philip B. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0001-0001 | JC-NM-0001-0003
Frechette, Rod (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0001-0001
Hammel, Kathryn (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0001-0001
Hotchkiss, Todd (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0001-0001
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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