On December 28, 1973, seven inmates at the Adjustment Center in the California State Prison in San Quentin, California filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the California Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs asked ...
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On December 28, 1973, seven inmates at the Adjustment Center in the California State Prison in San Quentin, California filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the California Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as damages, alleging that their constitutional rights had been violated by the length and conditions of their confinement. In addition, they complained of interference with their visitation and mailing privileges, access to counsel, access to the courts, and access to the media, as well as inadequate medical care, lack of an adequate and wholesome diet, and other allegedly repressive measures to their physical and emotional detriment.
On February 10, 1976, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Judge Alfonso J. Zirpoli) enjoined the prison from using neck chains, holding that the prisoners had been subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of their constitutional rights. Specifically, the court held that the prisoners' rights had been violated by continuous segregation of prisoners 24 hours per day except for meager out of cell movements, denial of fresh air and regular outdoor exercise, unwarranted and cruel use of tear gas to remove prisoners from their cells, and excessive use of physical restraints. Spain v. Procunier, 408 F.Supp. 534 (N.D.Cal. 1976). The defendants appealed.
On June 15, 1979, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judge Anthony McLeod Kennedy) affirmed in part, reversing the district court's ruling that the use of mechanical restraints was unconstitutional and remanding the case back to the district court. Spain v. Procunier, 600 F.2d 189 (9th Cir. 1979).
Upon remand, the parties entered into a settlement, which included provision that the defendants would pay $70,000 in fees to the plaintiffs' attorneys. Shortly afterwards, the California Senate refused to appropriate the money to pay the fees. The Controller of the State of California appealed to the district court for orders adding certain State officials as party defendants and compelling them to pay the money. On March 10, 1981, the district court (Judge Zirpoli) added the necessary parties as defendants and ordered them to pay the funds with interest. The defendants appealed. On October 21, 1982, the Ninth Circuit (Judge Cecil F. Poole) affirmed the district court's order. Spain v. Mountanos, 690 F.2d 742 (9th Cir. 1982). We have no further information on the proceedings in this case.Kristen Sagar - 09/09/2006
Megan Richardson - 07/18/2014