University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Gates v. Deukmejian PC-CA-0004
Docket / Court 2:87-cv-01636-LKK-JFM ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Prison Conditions
Special Collection California's Prisoners' Rights Bar article
Attorney Organization Prison Law Office
Case Summary
On November 20, 1987, prisoners incarcerated at the California Medical Facility at Vacaville (CMF) and at the Northern Reception Center (NRC) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against CMF, NRC and the State of California in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of ... read more >
On November 20, 1987, prisoners incarcerated at the California Medical Facility at Vacaville (CMF) and at the Northern Reception Center (NRC) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against CMF, NRC and the State of California in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Sacramento Division. The plaintiffs, represented by the Prison Law Office, the American Civil Liberties Union, and private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging constitutionally deficient medical and psychiatric care at CMF and NRC. Further, the plaintiffs alleged that the conditions of confinement, including overcrowding and lack of wheelchair access, were unconstitutional, in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth amendments.

A two month trial began on September 11, 1989. On October 24, 1989, the United States filed a complaint in intervention, alleging many of the same deficiencies. And, in November, the parties began serious settlement negotiations. The negotiations resulted in a consent decree in which the defendants agreed to make many changes in the care and treatment of prisoners, including the AIDS subclass, without admission of wrongdoing or a court determination that changes were legally required. Specifically, the consent decree contained provisions respecting medical care issues, medical disability issues, mental health issues, AIDS, and general conditions issues including, among other things, law library access, housing assignments, sanitation, staffing, and exercise and emergency procedures. The consent decree also provided for its implementation. The Court approved the decree in Jan. 1990, and awarded the plaintiffs significant attorneys' fees. The defendants appealed the fee award.

On October 6, 1992, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Herbert Young Cho Choy) affirmed in part and reversed in part the District Court's attorneys' fees award. Gates v. Deukmejian, 977 F.2d 1300 (9th Cir. 1992). The Court held that certain methods the District Court used to calculate attorneys' fees constituted an abuse of discretion. On March 2, 1993, the Court amended on denial of rehearing. Gates v. Deukmejian, 987 F.2d 1392 (9th Cir. 1993).

After the defendants appealed the District Court's order interpreting the consent decree, and the plaintiffs cross-appealed, on November 4, 1994, the Ninth Circuit (Judge Procter Hug, Jr.) affirmed in part and reversed in part. Gates v. Rowland, 39 F.3d 1440 (9th Cir. 1994). Specifically, the Court held that staffing adequacy should be determined from a correctional perspective, that denying HIV+ inmates access to food service jobs did not violate the Rehabilitation Act, and that the District Court's award of attorneys' fees was not an abuse of discretion.

On August 3, 1995, the Ninth Circuit (Judge Hug) held that the District Court had jurisdiction to issue various enforcement orders, did not abuse its discretion with respect to medical enforcement orders, and was warranted in granting attorneys' fees; however, the Court held that the District Court did abuse its discretion with respect to its rejection of the use of gun to prevent imminent substantial property damages. Gates v. Gomez, 60 F.3d 525 (9th Cir. 1995).

On April 8, 1996, the Ninth Circuit (Judge Mary M. Schroeder) affirmed in part and reversed in part the District Court's award of attorneys' fees. Gates v. Shinn, 82 F.3d 422 (9th Cir. 1996).

On July 22, 1996, the District Court (Judge Karlton) denied the defendants' motion to terminate relief the Court had previously ordered.

After the defendants appealed the District Court's entrance of a civil contempt order against them for failing to provide sufficient medical evaluation and treatment for all inmates, on October 16, 1996, the Ninth Circuit (Judge Kleinfeld) vacated and remanded, finding that the consent decree was too vague with respect to the appropriate level of treatment to warrant a contempt order. Gates v. Shinn, 98 F.3d 463 (9th Cir. 1996).

As described in Coleman v. Schwarzenegger, 2007 WL 2695344 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 11, 2007), in December 1998, the parties entered a stipulation to dismiss this action, and to transition remaining issues into Coleman v. Wilson, PC-CA-0002 in this Clearinghouse. See Stipulation and Order Amending Plaintiff Class and Application of Remedy in Coleman, filed December 24, 1998.

Josh Altman - 11/04/2006


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Bathing and hygiene
Classification / placement
Counseling
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Law library access
Recreation / Exercise
Restraints : physical
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
HIV/AIDS
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) California Medical Facility at Vacaville
Northern Reception Center
State of California
Plaintiff Description Citizens of the United States presently confined at CMF and at NRC.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Prison Law Office
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1989 - 1998
Case Closing Year 1998
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-CA-0013 : U.S. v. California (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0002 : Coleman v. Brown (E.D. Cal.)
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)
2:87-cv-01636 (E.D. Cal.) 08/02/1999
PC-CA-0004-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Amended Complaint - Class Action 01/05/1988
PC-CA-0004-0009 PDF | Detail
Order 07/27/1988 (1988 WL 92568 / 1988 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 9111) (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0004-0016 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Complaint in Intervention of Plaintiffs in Gates v. Deukmejian, in U.S. v. California 10/24/1989
PC-CA-0004-0002 PDF | Detail
Notice of Settlement 12/01/1989
PC-CA-0004-0001 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree 12/08/1989 (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0004-0003 PDF | Detail
Opinion 03/11/1992 (977 F.2d 1300)
PC-CA-0004-0011 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 03/02/1993 (987 F.2d 1392)
PC-CA-0004-0010 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 11/04/1994 (39 F.3d 1439)
PC-CA-0004-0012 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 06/14/1995 (98 F.3d 463)
PC-CA-0004-0014 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 08/03/1995 (60 F.3d 525)
PC-CA-0004-0013 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum 02/14/1996 (82 F.3d 422)
PC-CA-0004-0015 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Order 07/22/1996 (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0004-0007 PDF | Detail
Judges Choy, Herbert Young Cho (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0004-0010 | PC-CA-0004-0011
Farris, Joseph Jerome (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0004-0011 | PC-CA-0004-0014
Goodwin, Alfred Theodore (D. Or., Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0004-0014
Hug, Procter Ralph Jr. (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0004-0012 | PC-CA-0004-0013
Karlton, Lawrence K. (E.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0004-0003 | PC-CA-0004-0007 | PC-CA-0004-0016 | PC-CA-0004-9000
Kleinfeld, Andrew Jay (Ninth Circuit, D. Alaska) [Magistrate]
PC-CA-0004-0014
Kozinski, Alex (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0004-0015
Moulds, John F. (E.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
PC-CA-0004-9000
Nelson, Dorothy Wright (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0004-0015
Rymer, Pamela Ann (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0004-0011
Schroeder, Mary Murphy (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0004-0015
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bien, Michael W. (California)
PC-CA-0004-0003 | PC-CA-0004-0009 | PC-CA-0004-0013 | PC-CA-0004-0014 | PC-CA-0004-0016
Coles, Matthew A. (California)
PC-CA-0004-0003 | PC-CA-0004-0009 | PC-CA-0004-0012 | PC-CA-0004-0016 | PC-CA-0004-9000
Di Donato, Paul A. (California)
PC-CA-0004-0002
George, Warren E. Jr. (California)
PC-CA-0004-0002 | PC-CA-0004-0003 | PC-CA-0004-0009 | PC-CA-0004-0016 | PC-CA-0004-9000
Greco, Cynthia Jo (California)
PC-CA-0004-0009 | PC-CA-0004-0016
Magorian, Christopher C. (California)
PC-CA-0004-0009 | PC-CA-0004-0016
Miller, Samuel R. (California)
PC-CA-0004-0010 | PC-CA-0004-0011
Rosen, Sanford Jay (California)
PC-CA-0004-0003 | PC-CA-0004-0010 | PC-CA-0004-0011 | PC-CA-0004-0012 | PC-CA-0004-0013 | PC-CA-0004-9000
Specter, Donald H. (California)
PC-CA-0004-0003 | PC-CA-0004-0009 | PC-CA-0004-0012 | PC-CA-0004-0016 | PC-CA-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Ching, James (California)
PC-CA-0004-0016
Crown, Allen Robert (California)
PC-CA-0004-0012 | PC-CA-0004-0013 | PC-CA-0004-9000
Cuneo, James B. (California)
PC-CA-0004-0003
Donhoff, John G. Jr. (California)
PC-CA-0004-0010 | PC-CA-0004-0011
Flynn, James Edmund (California)
PC-CA-0004-0003 | PC-CA-0004-0012 | PC-CA-0004-0013 | PC-CA-0004-0016 | PC-CA-0004-9000
Iglehart, Richard B. (California)
PC-CA-0004-0003
Murphy, Millard (California)
PC-CA-0004-0003 | PC-CA-0004-0016
Santoki, Michael Allen (California)
PC-CA-0004-0012
Siggins, Peter J. (California)
PC-CA-0004-0013 | PC-CA-0004-0014
Van de Kamp, John K. (California)
PC-CA-0004-0003 | PC-CA-0004-0016
White, Steve (California)
PC-CA-0004-0016
Other Lawyers Hansen, Ann M. (California)
PC-CA-0004-9000

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