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Case Name Cervantes v. Baldwin PC-OR-0010
Docket / Court Civil No. 92-70-JE ( D. Or. )
State/Territory Oregon
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On January 21, 1992, an Oregon state prisoner filed this class action lawsuit against the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the EOCI used racially segregated celling practices. Specifically, he ... read more >
On January 21, 1992, an Oregon state prisoner filed this class action lawsuit against the Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution (EOCI) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that the EOCI used racially segregated celling practices. Specifically, he alleged that EOCI segregated Hispanic prisoners, only allowing them to transfer if the prospective cellmates approved in writing.

The case was assigned to Magistrate Judge John Jelderks.

On February 11, 1992, the plaintiff moved to certify a class. The putative class definition is unknown, but it included prisoners currently incarcerated at EOCI.

The defendants moved for permission to interview all prospective class members. The plaintiff opposed the motion, and on April 14, 1992, Judge Jelderks denied it.

The court granted the plaintiff's motion to certify a class on May 11, 1992. The class definition is unavailable.

The defendants filed a new motion on June 5, 1992 for permission to depose “Hispanic surnamed inmates” currently imprisoned at EOCI. This motion was denied on July 30, 1992, although Judge Jelderks specified that if the plaintiff's attorneys met with absent class members to discuss this action, or if the defendants were found liable, the motion could be renewed.

On February 26, 1993, the defendants moved for summary judgement on the grounds of qualified immunity. On July 6, 1993, the court granted summary judgement for the defendants, although the plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration on July 19. That led to additional discovery and a reversal of the original summary judgment decision. Instead, the court granted partial summary judgement in favor of the plaintiffs. Judge Jelderks explained that summary judgement had initially been granted to the defendants because it appeared that the segregation of Hispanic prisoners was temporary. From further discovery, it appeared that this was not the case. Therefore, a qualified immunity defense that EOCI reasonably believed its actions were permissible was unavailable. Thus, partial summary judgement was granted to the plaintiff on August 22, 1994, and a renewed motion by the defendants for summary judgement was denied.

The parties continued depositions and entered into a settlement agreement, which was approved by Judge Jelderks on June 25, 1996, with an entry of judgement on behalf of the plaintiff. Final approval was granted on August 28, and the case was administratively closed. The Clearinghouse is unaware of the settlement’s terms or whether it provided for ongoing relief, although the absence of docket activity for more than 20 years suggests the case is over.

Samuel Poortenga - 10/30/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Corrections
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
General
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Racial segregation
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Eastern Oregon Correctional Institution
Plaintiff Description An Oregon state prisoner
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filed 01/21/1992
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
D. Or.
12/28/1998
3:92-cv-00070
PC-OR-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Or.
08/22/1994
Opinion (Denying Defendants' Renewed Motion for Summary Judgment and Granting Plaintiff's Renewed Motion for Partial Summary Judgment) [ECF# 98]
PC-OR-0010-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: ACLU National Prison Project
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Judges Jelderks, John A. (D. Or.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PC-OR-0010-0001 | PC-OR-0010-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Haber, Roy S. (Oregon) show/hide docs
PC-OR-0010-9000
Neal, Spencer M. (Oregon) show/hide docs
PC-OR-0010-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Larsen, Lynn David (Oregon) show/hide docs
PC-OR-0010-9000
Londahl, Jan Peter (Oregon) show/hide docs
PC-OR-0010-9000

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