University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. v. San Diego JC-CA-0004
Docket / Court 91-0764 ( S.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Civil Rights Division Archival Collection
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On June 5, 1991, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit in the District Court for the Southern District of California, seeking an injunction barring San Diego County from denying the DOJ full access to the San Diego jail system. The DOJ sought to conduct a preliminary investigation for ... read more >
On June 5, 1991, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed suit in the District Court for the Southern District of California, seeking an injunction barring San Diego County from denying the DOJ full access to the San Diego jail system. The DOJ sought to conduct a preliminary investigation for violations of constitutional rights under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA). On July 22, 1991, the District Court (Judge John Rhoades) determined that the county's attempts to use state confidentiality laws, or any other state procedure, to limit the DOJ's access to the county jails frustrate the purpose of CRIPA and were therefore preempted. U.S. v. San Diego, No. 91-cv-764, 1991 WL 642768, at *2 (S.D. Cal. July 22, 1991). The court ordered that the preliminary injunction be granted.

The DOJ conducted an investigation in late 1991 but due to the system being in transition, the DOJ deferred making any findings until after conducting another investigation in March and April of 1993. On August 15, 1994, the DOJ sent San Diego County a findings letter, listing the unconstitutional conditions in its jail system. Violations included inadequate staffing, crowding, classification, dangerous practices, fire safety, and inadequate medical staff and procedures.

On December 12, 1995, the DOJ sent a letter to San Diego County stating that the minimum corrective measures seemed to be in place, and that further action under CRIPA was unwarranted. The DOJ suspended the investigation pending completion of a new intake facility, and closing of the Central Detention Facility. On February 15, 1996 the DOJ closed the file.

Jaclyn Adams - 02/24/2006


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Classification / placement
Fire safety
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) San Diego County
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 1991 - 1996
Case Closing Year 1996
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 ]

  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Written: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
91-CV-764 (S.D. Cal.) 10/25/1993
JC-CA-0004-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order Granting Motion for Preliminary Injunction 07/22/1991 (1991 WL 642768) (S.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0004-0005 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of San Diego County Jail System 07/01/1994
JC-CA-0004-0002 PDF | Detail
Memorandum re: Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of San Diego County Jail System 08/15/1994
JC-CA-0004-0001 PDF | Detail
FOIA Request 11/21/1994
JC-CA-0004-0004 PDF | Detail
Notice of Closed File re: San Diego Jails 12/15/1995
JC-CA-0004-0003 PDF | Detail
Judges Rhoades, John Skylstead Sr. (S.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0004-0005 | JC-CA-0004-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barrick, Andrew J. (District of Columbia)
JC-CA-0004-0002 | JC-CA-0004-0005 | JC-CA-0004-9000
Cornwell, John C. (District of Columbia)
JC-CA-0004-0005 | JC-CA-0004-9000
Neece, John R. (California)
JC-CA-0004-0005 | JC-CA-0004-9000
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
JC-CA-0004-0001 | JC-CA-0004-0002
Payne, Timothy R. (District of Columbia)
JC-CA-0004-0005 | JC-CA-0004-9000
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
JC-CA-0004-0002 | JC-CA-0004-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Fan, Ian (California)
JC-CA-0004-0004 | JC-CA-0004-0005 | JC-CA-0004-9000
Gattey, James M. (California)
JC-CA-0004-0005 | JC-CA-0004-9000
Gilbreath, Vicki Lee (California)
JC-CA-0004-0005 | JC-CA-0004-9000
Harmon, Lloyd (California)
JC-CA-0004-0004
Other Lawyers None on record

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