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Case Name Jones v. City and County of San Francisco JC-CA-0006
Docket / Court 91-3453 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
The plaintiffs originally filed this action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on October 2, 1991. The plaintiff class, consisting of certain pre-trial detainees housed at San Francisco Jail Number 3 (Jail No. 3) in San Bruno, California, ... read more >
The plaintiffs originally filed this action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on October 2, 1991. The plaintiff class, consisting of certain pre-trial detainees housed at San Francisco Jail Number 3 (Jail No. 3) in San Bruno, California, brought suit challenging the constitutionality of the conditions of their confinement. The original action, entitled William Besk v. City and County of San Francisco, lead to a Stipulation of Dismissal ("Besk Stipulation") filed by Senior Judge William H. Orrick on May 24, 1993, in which plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the action if defendants complied with the thirty-three requirements contained therein. Besk v. City and County of San Francisco, 1993 WL 181496 (N.D.Cal. 1993). The defendants' alleged violations of the Besk Stipulation requirements prompted the plaintiffs to reopen the case and file an amended complaint charging noncompliance. On April 22, 1994, the court appointed Allen F. Breed as Special Master to aid the court in determining whether the defendants complied with the terms of the Besk Stipulation. According to the Special Master's report of August 30, 1994, the defendants had improved some of the living conditions at Jail No. 3, but in many cases they failed to substantially comply with the Besk Stipulation.

On the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Senior Judge William H. Orrick) granted the motion in part. Jones v. City and County of San Francisco, 976 F.Supp. 896 (N.D.Cal. 1997). Judge Orrick held that the detainees had established due process violations based on defendants' inadequate response to fire safety risks at the jail, excessive risks of harm from earthquakes, physical defects in the jail's water, plumbing, and sewage systems, excessive noise levels, and poor lighting. The court found that fact questions precluded summary judgment as to alleged deficiencies in ensuring personal safety, in the jail's air quality, ventilation and heating, and in the privacy of attorney-client consultation. The court enjoined the defendants to draft a plan to remedy the described constitutional violations.

Judge Orrick subsequently approved the defendant's settlement plan on August 30, 1999. On March 27, 2000, Judge Orrick issued an order stating that if the defendants did not enter into a binding a contract to build a new jail by June 15, 2000, the court would vacate the stay of the action and order the City to close Jail No. 3 and to house those inmates elsewhere. On May 15, 2000, Judge Orrick found that the defendants had complied with the later settlement terms, and on May 31, 2000, Judge Orrick referred the case to the Federal Pro Bono Project. On August 18, 2000, the case was dismissed.

Kristen Sagar - 12/09/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Disciplinary procedures
Fire safety
Sanitation / living conditions
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) City of San Francisco
County of San Francisco
Plaintiff Description Certain pre-trial detainees housed at San Francisco Jail Number 3
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1993 - 2000
Case Closing Year 2000
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)
C-91-3453-WHO (N.D. Cal.) 09/18/2000
JC-CA-0006-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Stipulation of Dismissal 05/24/1993 (1993 WL 181496) (N.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0006-0002 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion and Order 07/18/1997 (976 F.Supp. 896) (N.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0006-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Orrick, William Horsley Jr. (N.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0006-0001 | JC-CA-0006-0002 | JC-CA-0006-9000
Monitors/Masters Breed, Allen F. (California)
JC-CA-0006-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cohen, Morton P. (California)
JC-CA-0006-0001 | JC-CA-0006-0002 | JC-CA-0006-9000
Parker, Beth H. (California)
JC-CA-0006-0001 | JC-CA-0006-0002 | JC-CA-0006-9000
Severson, James (California)
JC-CA-0006-0001 | JC-CA-0006-0002 | JC-CA-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Aftergut, Dennis (California)
JC-CA-0006-0002 | JC-CA-0006-9000
Baumgartner, Margaret (California)
JC-CA-0006-9000
Greenman, Martin L. (California)
JC-CA-0006-9000
Harrigan, James (California)
JC-CA-0006-0002
Hoeper, Joanne (California)
JC-CA-0006-0001 | JC-CA-0006-9000
Renne, Louise H. (California)
JC-CA-0006-0001 | JC-CA-0006-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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