University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Hydrick v. Wilson PC-CA-0038
Docket / Court 2:98-cv-07167-TJH-RNB ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On September 2, 1998, a group of sexual offenders who had been civilly confined in a state psychiatric hospital under California's Sexually Violent Predators Act (SVP Act) filed a class action lawsuit, pro se, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs filed suit in the United States District Court for ... read more >
On September 2, 1998, a group of sexual offenders who had been civilly confined in a state psychiatric hospital under California's Sexually Violent Predators Act (SVP Act) filed a class action lawsuit, pro se, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs filed suit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against the California Department of Corrections, Atascadero State Hospital, and hospital officials in both their official and individual capacities. Plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of their confinement, and sought class certification, declaratory and injunctive relief, and monetary damages against defendants in their individual capacities.

The District Court (Judge Terry J. Hatter) granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification on April 13, 2001.

On February 21, 2003, defendants filed a motion to dismiss on grounds that plaintiffs' suit was barred by the Eleventh Amendment, the state abstention doctrine, or qualified immunity. Judge Hatter summarily denied defendants' motion to dismiss on August 26, 2003. Defendants appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. By opinion issued June 1, 2006 and amended September 28, 2006, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the District Court's summary denial of defendants' motion to dismiss. Hydrick v. Hunter, 466 F.3d 676 (9th Cir. 2006) (amending Hydrick v. Hunter, 449 F.3d 978 (9th Cir. 2006)). Plaintiffs petitioned the Ninth Circuit for panel rehearing and for rehearing en banc; both motions were denied. The Circuit Court withdrew Hydrick v. Hunter, 466 F.3d 676 (9th Cir. 2006) and replaced it with a revised opinion. Hydrick v. Hunter, 500 F.3d 978 (9th Cir. 2007). The Circuit Court held that state hospital officials had qualified immunity to the extent that plaintiffs' claims relied on a First Amendment right not to participate in treatment sessions, but not to the extent that plaintiffs' claims alleged retaliation for filing lawsuits. The Circuit Court further held that plaintiffs stated a § 1983 claim for violations of their Fourth Amendment rights, and that hospital officials were entitled to qualified immunity with regard to procedural due process claims but not substantive due process claims.

On January 23, 2008, plaintiffs filed a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. On June 12, 2009, the Supreme Court granted plaintiffs' petition, vacated the judgment, and remanded to the Ninth Circuit for further consideration in light of the pleading standards of Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). Hunter v. Hydrick, 556 U.S. 1256 (2009). The Ninth Circuit directed the parties to submit briefing on the application of Iqbal. On January 12, 2012, the Ninth Circuit held that defendants were entitled to qualified immunity on plaintiffs' claims for money damages, because plaintiffs had inadequately pled defendants' individual liability for money damages. The Ninth Circuit permitted plaintiffs to proceed with their claims for declaratory and injunctive relief. Hydrick v. Hunter, 669 F.3d 937 (9th Cir. 2012).

The parties then engaged in settlement negotiations which were ultimately unsuccessful.

On December 28, 2013, plaintiffs filed a Motion for Leave to File Third Amended Complaint, which was denied by the District Court (Judge Terry Hatter) on July 7, 2014 on grounds of futility. Judge Hatter held that venue was improper because plaintiffs were transferred to a different facility and sought to amend their complaint to include allegations against their current conditions of confinement. Judge Hatter held that the underlying events plaintiffs sought to add occurred in Coalinga, CA, and thus plaintiffs needed to bring a separate action in the Eastern District of California where venue was proper to raise these claims. Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration on July 23, 2014, claiming that the District Court misapplied controlling legal standards governing leave to amend and federal venue principles. Plaintiffs asserted that the appropriate action would be to grant leave to amend and then transfer the case to the Eastern District of California. On October 16, 2014, Judge Hatter denied reconsideration because plaintiffs "[were] not arguing newly discovered evidence, the emergence of any new law or an error by the Court."

As of October 21, 2014, the docket has not been updated with any further filings.

Vidhya Reddy - 02/26/2008
Samantha Kirby - 10/21/2014

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Disciplinary procedures
Informed consent/involuntary medication
Restraints : physical
Strip search policy
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Atascadero State Hospital
California Department of Corrections
California Department of Mental Health
Plaintiff Description Civilly committed persons and those awaiting commitment at Atascadero State Hospital pursuant to California's Sexually Violent Predators (SVP) Act
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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 ]

  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ 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 ]

03-56712 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 01/28/2008
PC-CA-0038-9001 PDF | Detail
2:98-cv-07167-TJH-RNB (C.D. Cal.) 10/16/2014
PC-CA-0038-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Defendants-Appellants' Opening Brief (Ninth Circuit) 02/11/2004
PC-CA-0038-0003 PDF | Detail
Plaintiffs-Appellee's Answering Brief (Ninth Circuit) 07/02/2004
PC-CA-0038-0004 PDF | Detail
Defendants-Appellants' Reply to Appellees' Answering Brief (Ninth Circuit) 07/02/2004
PC-CA-0038-0005 PDF | Detail
Appellate Decision 06/01/2006 (449 F.3d 978)
PC-CA-0038-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Amended Appellate Decision 09/28/2006 (466 F.3d 676)
PC-CA-0038-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order [Withdrawing and Replacing 466 F.3d 676] 08/30/2007 (500 F.3d 978)
PC-CA-0038-0010 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion [Reversing and Remanding Case] 01/12/2012 (669 F.3d 937)
PC-CA-0038-0009 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Block, Robert N. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
Hatter, Terry J. Jr. (C.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-9000 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Pregerson, Harry (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0038-0006 | PC-CA-0038-0007 | PC-CA-0038-0009 | PC-CA-0038-0010
Schroeder, Mary Murphy (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0038-0006 | PC-CA-0038-0007 | PC-CA-0038-0009 | PC-CA-0038-0010
Trott, Stephen S. (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0038-0006 | PC-CA-0038-0007 | PC-CA-0038-0009 | PC-CA-0038-0010
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abascal, Manuel A. (California)
Comar, Dave Inder (California)
Davis, Kathryn M. (California)
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-0004 | PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-0006 | PC-CA-0038-0007 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Delgin, Jared A. (California)
Eberwine, Patricia A. (California)
Flick, Wayne S. (California)
Hayes, Matthew B. (California)
PC-CA-0038-0004 | PC-CA-0038-9000
Krischer, Joel E. (California)
PC-CA-0038-0004 | PC-CA-0038-9000
Kuo, Luke (California)
Landes, Ezra D. (California)
Malionek, Robert J. (California)
Nielson, Stuart G. (California)
PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Oberman, Jasmine Rebecca (California)
Rahnema, Shireen B. (California)
Spertus, James W. (California)
Wu, Anita P. (California)
Defendant's Lawyers Ackerson-Brazille, Karen (California)
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-9000
Bates, Eric D. (California)
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-9000 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Floyd, Cynthia S. (California)
Humes, James M. (California)
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Kim, Jennifer M. (California)
Lepkowsky, Darrell Lee (California)
Lockyer, Bill (California)
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Murphy, Randall R. (California)
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-0006 | PC-CA-0038-0007 | PC-CA-0038-9000 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Nagler, Patricia L. (California)
Rich, Jonathan E. (California)
Sanders, John H. (California)
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Snuggs, Carmen (California)
Waldow, Richard T. (California)
Other Lawyers None on record

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