This lawsuit was filed pro se by prisoners on March 27, 1986, in the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the California Department of Corrections and the California Institute for Men under 42 U.S.C. 1983. The plaintiffs alleged that unconstitutional conditions of confinement at the California Institute for Men (Chino) violated their Eighth Amendment and Fifth Amendment due process rights. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged issues regarding sanitation, classification, legal access, fire safety, and other conditions. In particular, the plaintiffs alleged violations caused by the prison's housing of 212 inmates in a gymnasium not designed to house inmates. The plaintiffs asked for injunctive, declaratory, and monetary relief.
The prisoners moved for appointment of counsel but was denied twice. On August 14, 1986, the docket indicates a notice of association of counsel for the plaintiffs. Then on September 29, 1986, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion to file an amended complaint. In 1987, the parties engaged in discovery and settlement negotiations, but a settlement could not be reached at the time. Instead, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint on July 13, 1987.
The parties engaged in additional discovery in preparation for a trial set for October 4, 1988. However, on September 20, 1988, the trial was postponed to allow more time for renewed settlement negotiations. On September 26, the parties notified the court that they had reached a tentative settlement agreement. The agreement addressed many aspects the inmates' conditions of confinement including: food, recreation opportunities, law library access, showers, laundry, medical care, procedures regarding placement when an inmate is transferred to the prison from a county jail, and asbestos removal from the facilities. The defendants also agreed to pay the plaintiffs $44,000 in attorney's fees. On October 6, 1988, the court granted the plaintiffs' motion for $22,000 in attorney's fees--the first half of the agreed amount of attorney's fees. Once the settlement was finalized, the case was dismissed on October 2, 1989.
The settlement agreement provided for compliance monitoring; according to the 1993 issue of the ACLU National Prison Project's Journal, this ended in 1993.Margo Schlanger - 07/10/2013
Jessica Kincaid - 04/21/2016