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Case Name Pierce v. Orange County JC-CA-0046
Docket / Court 8:01-cv-00981-ABC-MLG ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization Hadsell, Stormer & Renick
Case Summary
On October 18, 2001, pretrial detainees represented by attorney Barry Litt initiated a class action suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, challenging the conditions of confinement at the Orange County Jail (the "Jail"). Plaintiffs ... read more >
On October 18, 2001, pretrial detainees represented by attorney Barry Litt initiated a class action suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, challenging the conditions of confinement at the Orange County Jail (the "Jail"). Plaintiffs alleged that they were detained for unreasonable periods of time following the order for their release, denied rights under Stewart v. Gates (e.g., holding cell seats, outdoor exercise, dayroom and phone access) [See JC-CA-0054], and denied reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The District Court (Judge Gary L. Taylor) certified two classes, one for equitable relief and one for injunctive relief, on October 15, 2003. The injunctive relief class was later decertified on March 1, 2004. In response to various motions to dismiss, Plaintiffs filed several amended complaints, culminating in the final operative pleading, the Fifth Amended Complaint. The claims that survived dismissal involved meals, overcrowded holding cells, outdoor exercise, dayroom access, religious services, and access for people with disabilities.

On March 10, 2004, Judge Taylor sua sponte consolidated this action with Stewart v. Gates, 450 F.Supp. 583 (C.D.Cal. 1978), for the December 2004 trial. The Stewart case involved an injunction against the Jail that had been in effect since the mid-1970s. [See JC-CA-0054].

One plaintiff's personal injury claim was bifurcated from the main case and settled in December 2005.

On April 27, 2005, Judge Taylor entered judgment for the defendants on all claims. Plaintiffs appealed.

On March 24, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed much of the District Court's decision modifying and terminating portions of prior injunctive decrees. The Court of Appeals reversed the District Court's decision regarding the plaintiffs' right-to-worship, cruel and unusual punishment, and ADA claims. The appellate ruling stated that the religious services portion of the Stewart injunction was both narrowly drawn and needed to protect the freedom of these pretrial detainees to worship, so it should not have been modified by the District Court. The Ninth Circuit also held that providing only ninety minutes per week (about thirteen minutes per day) of out-of-cell exercise for pretrial prisoners in administrative segregation did not meet constitutional standards. Likewise, failure to provide accommodations for mobility- and dexterity-impaired pretrial prisoners did not comply with ADA requirements. The defendants' failure to remove certain physical barriers or make accommodations for disabled prisoners to navigate these barriers, as well as the Jail's inadequate accommodations of disabled prisoners' educational, recreational, and vocational programming needs, constituted ADA non-compliance. The Ninth Circuit also restored one disabled plaintiff's claims for damages based upon alleged mental and emotional harms, finding that these harms allegedly resulted from the ADA violations and should not have been dismissed by the District Court. Pierce v. County of Orange, 519 F.3d 985 (9th Cir. 2008). This order was amended on May 15, 2008 as part of the denial of rehearing en banc. Pierce v. County of Orange, 526 F.3d 1190 (9th Cir. 2008).

The case was remanded to the District Court for further fact-finding on the state of physical barriers to adequate access to bathrooms, showers, exercise areas, dayrooms, dining rooms, cells and all other areas to which disabled persons should have access, and to order remedial remedies as required.

On January 7, 2011, after another six-day bench trial, the District Court (Judge Audrey B. Collins) confirmed the ADA sub-class as pretrial detainees with either a mobility or dexterity impairment, and made detailed findings of fact as to the conditions in the various facilities. Judge Collins found ADA violations including physical barriers for disabled inmates, disparate access to services, recreation and programming, and noncompliant bathroom, shower, and living facilities. Judge Collins ordered the defendants to draft a comprehensive plan to correct these deficiencies. Pierce v. County of Orange, 761 F. Supp. 2d 915 (C.D. Cal. 2011).

On February 18, 2011, defendants submitted a Proposed Plan for addressing the issues presented in the January 7 ruling. After plaintiffs submitted their reply on March 11, 2011, the Proposed Plan was amended.

On June 28, 2011, the District Court entered judgment for the plaintiffs and accepted the defendant's final proposed plan for addressing the physical barriers identified in the factual findings and ensuring that disabled detainees are provided with equal access to programs, services, and activities as discussed therein. The Court's order also called for the appointment of a Monitor. Over the next year, the parties litigated attorneys' fees and issues regarding the Jail's compliance with the judgment.

On February 1, 2012, Judge Collins noted that while defendants had made substantial progress on the required physical modifications during the first six months following the Court's Order, they had not complied with several significant parts of the Order, including the housing of class members and the implementing of programmatic changes, as indicated in the Monitor's January 2012 report. The parties then resolved many of these issues. After receiving another quarterly report, on August 27, 2012, Judge Collins again noted that there were still key areas of noncompliance with the Order, particularly with regard to the programmatic aspects such as outdoor recreation.

On March 8, 2012, Judge Collins ordered defendants to pay approximately $2.99 million in attorneys' fees and $225,147.52 in litigation expenses. Pierce v. Cnty. of Orange, 905 F. Supp. 2d 1017 (C.D. Cal. 2012).

The injunction was due to expire on June 27, 2013. On June 3, 2013, plaintiffs filed a motion to stay the termination of the injunction and extend injunctive relief for two more years. Plaintiffs claimed that while defendants had made limited progress, the Jail remained largely out of compliance with the Court's Order in key respects, particularly with regard to 1) the classification and booking of class members, 2) the Department's policies and procedures, and 3) physical modifications.

Defendants filed an opposition to plaintiffs' motion, but the parties agreed that briefing should not proceed further until the Monitor issued his Eighth Quarterly Report in July 2013. On August 12, 2013, defendants filed a motion to terminate the injunction under the Prison Litigation Reform Act on the grounds that there were no current and ongoing violations of prisoners' federal rights.

Briefing on the cross-motions to extend and terminate injunctive relief was delayed as a result of a discovery issue regarding inmate medical records and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. On February 10, 2014, Judge Collins denied plaintiffs' motion to extend injunctive relief and granted defendant's motion to terminate the injunction. Judge Collins held that none of the three areas in which plaintiffs sought to extend the injunction presented current or ongoing violations of prisoners' federal rights.

On August 6, 2014, the District Court (Chief Judge George H. King) ordered that, pursuant to the parties' stipulation, defendant would pay plaintiffs' attorneys $115,000 to fully resolve all remaining fees and costs.

Timothy Shoffner - 06/29/2012
Samantha Kirby - 11/18/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Monitor/Master
Reasonable Accommodation
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Barrier Removal
Bathrooms
Buildings
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Over/Unlawful Detention
Phone
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Records Disclosure
Recreation / Exercise
Religious programs / policies
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Orange County
Plaintiff Description All pre-trial detainees held in Orange County jails after October 21, 2001, who were denied various rights under Stewart v. Gates and the ADA.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Hadsell, Stormer & Renick
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2011 - 2014
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing JC-CA-0054 : Stewart v. Gates (C.D. Cal.)
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)
8:01-cv-00981-ABC-MLG (C.D. Cal.) 09/30/2014
JC-CA-0046-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order Granting Defendants' Motion to Dismiss in Part, Denying Defendants' Motion for a More Definite Statement, and Granting Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend 08/26/2002 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Civil Minutes - Order Denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss and Motion for a More Definite Statement 11/26/2002 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation to Dismiss "Over-Detention Claims" of All Plaintiffs Except Plaintiff Fred Pierce; Order 03/13/2003 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation to Dismiss Plaintiff Fred Pierce's "Over-Detention Claim"; Order 06/23/2003 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation to Dismiss Plaintiffs' State Law Causes of Action Against Defendant County of Orange; Order 07/01/2003 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification 10/15/2003 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Defendants' Motions 03/01/2004 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment as to Defendant Carona 05/26/2004 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the Fifth Amended Complaint 06/04/2004 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment 11/02/2004 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0010 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [Judgment in favor of defendant] 04/27/2005
JC-CA-0046-0011 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Mandate [Ninth Circuit] 05/23/2008 (526 F.3d 1190)
JC-CA-0046-0012 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Filing Second Amended Complaint 03/23/2010
JC-CA-0046-0023 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law 01/07/2011 (761 F.Supp.2d 915) (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0013 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Proposed Plan, Submitted in Response to the Court's January 7, 2011 Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law 02/18/2011
JC-CA-0046-0015 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Reply to Defendant's Proposed Plan 03/11/2011
JC-CA-0046-0016 PDF | Detail
Rulings on Final Objections to Amended Plan 06/10/2011 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0014 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Defendant's Amended Final Plan Submitted Pursuant to the Court's June 27, 2011 Order 06/28/2011 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0017 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 06/28/2011 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0019 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order re Amendments to Correct Inaccuracies in the Court's June 28, 2011 Final Order on Defendant's Proposed Plan 09/06/2011
JC-CA-0046-0020 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Civil Minutes - General 02/01/2012 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0022 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs Memorandum Re: Orange County Jail Culture 02/08/2012
JC-CA-0046-0021 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order re Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys' Fees and Costs 03/08/2012 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0018 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Re Amendments to Clarify Language in the Court's June 28, 2011 Final Order on Defendant's Proposed Plan 07/30/2012 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0024 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion to Extend and Granting Motion to Terminate Injuctive Relief 02/10/2014 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0025 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on the Issue of Attorneys' Fees and Costs and Further Status Report to the Court 08/06/2014 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0026 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Collins, Audrey B. (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0013 | JC-CA-0046-0014 | JC-CA-0046-0017 | JC-CA-0046-0018 | JC-CA-0046-0019 | JC-CA-0046-0020 | JC-CA-0046-0022 | JC-CA-0046-0024 | JC-CA-0046-0025 | JC-CA-0046-9000
Fletcher, Betty Binns (Ninth Circuit)
JC-CA-0046-0012
King, George H. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0046-0026
Taylor, Gary L. (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0046-0001 | JC-CA-0046-0002 | JC-CA-0046-0003 | JC-CA-0046-0004 | JC-CA-0046-0005 | JC-CA-0046-0006 | JC-CA-0046-0007 | JC-CA-0046-0008 | JC-CA-0046-0009 | JC-CA-0046-0010 | JC-CA-0046-0011
Wistrich, Andrew J. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0046-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baltodano, Hernaldo J. (California)
JC-CA-0046-9000
Herman, Richard P. (California)
JC-CA-0046-0021 | JC-CA-0046-0023 | JC-CA-0046-0024 | JC-CA-0046-9000
Keeny, Christy Virginia (California)
JC-CA-0046-0016 | JC-CA-0046-0023 | JC-CA-0046-9000
Litt, Barrett S. (California)
JC-CA-0046-0023 | JC-CA-0046-0024 | JC-CA-0046-9000
Miller, Bryan Barnet (California)
JC-CA-0046-0003 | JC-CA-0046-0004 | JC-CA-0046-0005 | JC-CA-0046-9000
Panuco, Cindy (California)
JC-CA-0046-0024 | JC-CA-0046-9000
Sainath, Radhika (California)
JC-CA-0046-9000
Stormer, Dan Lewis (California)
JC-CA-0046-0023 | JC-CA-0046-0024 | JC-CA-0046-9000
Teukolsky, Lauren K. (California)
JC-CA-0046-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Beach, Paul B (California)
JC-CA-0046-9000
Golden, Jack W. (California)
JC-CA-0046-9000
Harrell, S. Frank (California)
JC-CA-0046-0003 | JC-CA-0046-0004 | JC-CA-0046-0005 | JC-CA-0046-9000
Lawrence, David D. (California)
JC-CA-0046-0008 | JC-CA-0046-0015 | JC-CA-0046-0023 | JC-CA-0046-0024 | JC-CA-0046-9000
Li, Haiyang (California)
JC-CA-0046-9000
Miller, Steven C. (California)
JC-CA-0046-9000
Phillips, Wendy J. (California)
JC-CA-0046-0023 | JC-CA-0046-0024 | JC-CA-0046-9000
Roberts, Jason S. (California)
JC-CA-0046-0003 | JC-CA-0046-0004 | JC-CA-0046-0005 | JC-CA-0046-0008 | JC-CA-0046-9000
Sprenger, Christina M. (California)
JC-CA-0046-0008 | JC-CA-0046-0015 | JC-CA-0046-0023 | JC-CA-0046-0024 | JC-CA-0046-9000
Szu, Raymond (California)
JC-CA-0046-9000
Turner, James L. (California)
JC-CA-0046-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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