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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Batchelder v. Geary JC-CA-0034
Docket / Court 5:71-cv-02017-RMW ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On October 20, 1971, inmates in the Santa Clara County Jail filed a civil rights lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, challenging the conditions of confinement at the Santa Clara County Jails. Due to the age of this case, our information on the procedural ... read more >
On October 20, 1971, inmates in the Santa Clara County Jail filed a civil rights lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, challenging the conditions of confinement at the Santa Clara County Jails. Due to the age of this case, our information on the procedural history is limited.

On April 13, 1973 District Court Judge Robert Francis Peckham issued a preliminary injunction against the County, finding that inmates were being denied adequate access to the courts and procedural guarantees in the disciplinary system. The Court ordered the parties to submit remedial plans to correct the deficiencies. The parties submitted plans and the District Court entered two consent decrees: (1) the "Access to the Courts Decree," which required the County to establish a law library for inmates; and (2) the "Amended Disciplinary Procedures Decree," which required the County to create a written code of rules and procedures to govern the imposition of in-jail disciplinary offenses.

In 1987, the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections began operating the County's jail system. It closed the jail libraries in 2003 and contracted with Legal Research Associates ("LRA") to serve inmates' legal research needs. Throughout the period of 1973 to 2005 both Decrees remained in effect.

The County then moved to terminate the Decrees under the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA), 18 U.S.C. § 3626(b). On November 15, 2005, the District Court (District Judge Ronald M. Whyte) terminated the Access to the Courts Decree and the Amended Disciplinary Procedures Decree in its entirety except to the extent that it entitled inmates to a written statement of the evidence upon which the disciplinary panel relied. On August 30, 2006 the Court issued an order leaving in effect the Amended Disciplinary Procedures Decree's written statement clause, but advised the County it could move to terminate that provision in one year, upon a showing that they were in full compliance with the written statement requirement. A final judgment, which restated the Court's orders regarding termination, was entered on March 6, 2007. The judgment order also allowed plaintiff's counsel to seek attorney's fees. Plaintiffs appealed.

On November 3, 2009, the Ninth Circuit (Circuit Judges Ferdinand Francis Fernandez and Sidney Runyan Thomas and Senior District Judge Ann Aldrich sitting by designation) dismissed the appeal for lack of juridiction because it was untimely. On January 5, 2010, the Ninth Circuit panel denied Plaintiffs' motions for rehearing and rehearing in banc.

Timothy Shoffner - 06/18/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
General
Disciplinary procedures
Law library access
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) County of Santa Clara
Plaintiff Description Inmates detained by Santa Clara County ("County") and in its jails.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1973 - 2007
Case Closing Year 2010
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)
5:71-cv-02017-RMW (N.D. Cal.) 06/15/2007
JC-CA-0034-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
07-15788 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 03/16/2008
JC-CA-0034-9001 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order on Motions to Terminate Consent Decrees 11/15/2005 (N.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0034-0001 PDF | Detail
Order on the Amended Disciplinary Procedures Decrees Written Statement Requirement and Remedy for Contempt 08/30/2006 (N.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0034-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment Terminating Access to the Court's Decree and Terminating in Part Amended Disciplinary Procedures Decree 03/08/2007 (N.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0034-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Appellants' Opening Brief 11/05/2007
JC-CA-0034-0004 PDF | Detail
Order Dismissing Appeal for Lack of Jurisdiction 11/03/2009 (352 Fed.Appx. 155)
JC-CA-0034-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Aldrich, Ann (N.D. Ohio)
JC-CA-0034-0005
Fernandez, Ferdinand Francis (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
JC-CA-0034-0005
Seeborg, Richard G. (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Thomas, Sidney Runyan (Ninth Circuit)
JC-CA-0034-0005
Whyte, Ronald M. (N.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0034-0001 | JC-CA-0034-0002 | JC-CA-0034-0003 | JC-CA-0034-0004 | JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baines, Robert A. (California)
JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Faulkner, William (California)
JC-CA-0034-0001 | JC-CA-0034-0003
Kaushik, Tara (California)
JC-CA-0034-0002 | JC-CA-0034-0003 | JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Kazantzis, Kyra A. (California)
JC-CA-0034-0001 | JC-CA-0034-0002 | JC-CA-0034-0003 | JC-CA-0034-0004 | JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
McManis, James H. (California)
JC-CA-0034-0001 | JC-CA-0034-0002 | JC-CA-0034-0003 | JC-CA-0034-0004 | JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Reedy, Michael Gannon (California)
JC-CA-0034-0004 | JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Sorenson, Douglas J. (California)
JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Wright, Eric W. (California)
JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Zahradka, James (California)
JC-CA-0034-0001 | JC-CA-0034-0002 | JC-CA-0034-0003 | JC-CA-0034-0004 | JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Berkman, Marcy L. (California)
JC-CA-0034-9001
Carr, Brian L. (California)
JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Harris, Aryn (California)
JC-CA-0034-0001 | JC-CA-0034-0002 | JC-CA-0034-0003
Ravel, Ann Miller (California)
JC-CA-0034-0001 | JC-CA-0034-0002 | JC-CA-0034-0003 | JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Schmid, Stephen H. (California)
JC-CA-0034-0001 | JC-CA-0034-0002 | JC-CA-0034-0003 | JC-CA-0034-0004 | JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Other Lawyers Haungs, Michael J. (District of Columbia)
JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Schumann, John (District of Columbia)
JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001
Uitti, Mary Beth (California)
JC-CA-0034-9000 | JC-CA-0034-9001

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