University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Mims v. County of Fresno JC-CA-0079
Docket / Court 10CECG00528 ( State Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection California Jail Population Caps
Case Summary
In January or February 2010, Fresno Sheriff Margaret Mims laid off staff and shut down three floors of the county jail, substantially reducing capacity, because her budget wouldn't allow her to staff both the jail and patrol. Because of the jail population cap in Cruz v. Fresno, JC-CA-0066 (listed ... read more >
In January or February 2010, Fresno Sheriff Margaret Mims laid off staff and shut down three floors of the county jail, substantially reducing capacity, because her budget wouldn't allow her to staff both the jail and patrol. Because of the jail population cap in Cruz v. Fresno, JC-CA-0066 (listed below as a related case), the result was a substantial number of pretrial prisoner releases. The Fresno Board of Supervisors refused to give her any additional money and ordered her office to restore the jail staff; she brought this lawsuit in state court, claiming that as an elected official, only she had authority to decide the appropriateness of layoffs. In July 2010, Sheriff Mims won a preliminary injunction enabling her to carry out the layoffs, but the lawsuit continued.

On August 1, 2012, the court issued a tentative statement of decision, finding in favor of the County Board on the issues concerning whether the County Board may limit the number of Sheriff’s Department employees by position class and whether the County Board may take action below object level through the Sheriff’s budget.

On December 5, 2012, Fresno Superior Court Judge Mark Snauffer upheld the budget practices of the Fresno County Board, holding that the Board was within its powers to eliminate positions by classification and that the Board had the power to prescribe the level of funding for specific expenditures within the Sheriff’s Department, provided that the Board did not attempt to interfere with the Sheriff’s “deployment decisions” or investigative functions.

The case is now closed.

Margo Schlanger - 07/03/2012
Averyn Lee - 06/08/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Pre-PLRA Population Cap
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Conditions of confinement
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Fresno County Board of Supervisors
Plaintiff Description Fresno County Sheriff.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2010
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing JC-CA-0066 : Cruz v. County of Fresno (E.D. Cal.)
Docket(s)
10CECG00528 (State Trial Court)
JC-CA-0079-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/18/2012
General Documents
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Judges Franson, Donald R. (State Appellate Court) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0079-9000
Snauffer, Mark W. (State Trial Court) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0079-9000

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