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Case Name Salazar v. San Juan County Detention Center JC-NM-0010
Docket / Court 1:15-cv-00417-JB-LF ( D.N.M. )
State/Territory New Mexico
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On May 15, 2015, the mother of a deceased prison inmate filed this lawsuit against the San Juan County Detention Center, the San Juan County Regional Medical Center, and San Juan County in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff sought ... read more >
On May 15, 2015, the mother of a deceased prison inmate filed this lawsuit against the San Juan County Detention Center, the San Juan County Regional Medical Center, and San Juan County in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff sought damages and declaratory relief under 42 U.S.C. §1983, alleging wrongful death and violations of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the defendants’ actions and policies constituted severe and deliberate indifference to the medical needs of her son, who suffered injuries and death as a result of receiving insufficient medical care while incarcerated.

The plaintiff’s claims were consolidated with those of three other plaintiffs suing the San Juan County Detention Center, for the pretrial and discovery purposes, although the parties agreed that each case was to be tried separately. Two other individual plaintiffs had filed complaints alleging Eighth Amendment violations, ADA violations, negligence, and wrongful death in June 2015. On July 28, 2015, twenty-seven plaintiffs filed their Second Amended Complaint in the District of New Mexico in Burkee v. San Juan. The Burkee plaintiffs asserted causes of action for Eighth Amendment violations, negligence, ADA violations, and intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED). On August 24, 2015, the consolidated case was assigned to Judge James O. Browning.

On September 28, the plaintiffs moved for injunctive relief, requesting either that the court order the defendants to provide emergency medical care to the plaintiffs, or appoint an independent medical overseer for the facility. On November 17, the court dismissed all federal claims against the defendants, holding that the plaintiffs’ complaint did not meet the requisite pleading standards. On January 15, 2016, the court denied the motion for preliminary injunction on the grounds that the plaintiffs were unlikely to succeed on the merits of their claim. The plaintiffs each filed an amended complaint on February 29, 2016, alleging violations of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments as well as state tort claims.

The lead plaintiff in this case entered into a settlement agreement with the defendants, which was approved by the District Court on September 19, 2016. The details of the settlement were not made publicly available. On September 20, 2016, the court dismissed all claims under the A.D.A. and state law. On September 30, 2016, the court entered its final judgment, dismissing the lead plaintiff’s claims against the defendants with prejudice. Salazar v. San Juan Cnty. Det. Ctr., No. CIV 15-0417 JB/LF, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 141408, at *41 (D.N.M. Sep. 30, 2016). The case of one of the other individual wrongful death plaintiffs was also dismissed on September 30, 2016.

Following settlement and dismissal of the lead plaintiff's case, proceedings in two of the other consolidated cases continued. In the other individual wrongful death plaintiff's case, claims against the San Juan County Detention Center were dismissed on December 12, 2016. The claims against San Juan Regional Medical Center and its employees and agents on July 31, 2017.

In the Burkee case, the San Juan County Detention Center, its administrator, and San Juan County moved to dismiss the A.D.A. and state law claims, and Judge Browning granted the motion on September 20, 2016. On March 31, 2017, Judge Browning denied the San Juan Regional Medical Center's motion to dismiss the nine remaining plaintiffs' IIED claims and motion for summary judgment on the plaintiffs' state law claims. Judge Browning also granted the plaintiffs' August 15, 2016 motion to remand to state court. The court found that the remaining plaintiffs' federal claims had already been dismissed, and it declined to exercise its supplemental jurisdiction over the remaining state law claims, remanding the case to the Eleventh Judicial District Court, San Juan County, New Mexico. The court explained its rationale in an October 13, 2017 memorandum opinion. 301 F.Supp.3d 992 (D.N.M. 2017). Judge Browning issued a final judgment in the case on October 27, 2017. After discovery in the district court, the case was dismissed in the state court on June 12, 2018.

Nicholas Hazen - 03/04/2017
Sarah McDonald - 08/04/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
disability, unspecified
General
Conditions of confinement
Personal injury
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
State law
Defendant(s) San Juan County Detention Center
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are prisoners and deceased prisoners at the San Juan County Detention Center ("SJCDC").
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:15-cv-417 (D.N.M.)
JC-NM-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/27/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Violation of Civil Rights and Wrongful Death [ECF# 1]
JC-NM-0010-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/15/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Dismissing All Federal Claims Against Defendant San Juan Regional Center with Prejudice [ECF# 97] (D.N.M.)
JC-NM-0010-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/17/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 174] (2016 WL 335447) (D.N.M.)
JC-NM-0010-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/15/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order of Partial Dismissal of Plaintiff's Claims Against Defendants [ECF# 249] (D.N.M.)
JC-NM-0010-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/25/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 255]
JC-NM-0010-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/29/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 363] (2016 WL 5376320) (D.N.M.)
JC-NM-0010-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/20/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Judgment [ECF# 382] (D.N.M.)
JC-NM-0010-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/30/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 438] (D.N.M.)
JC-NM-0010-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/13/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Browning, James O. (D.N.M.)
JC-NM-0010-0002 | JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-0006 | JC-NM-0010-0007 | JC-NM-0010-0008 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Burns, Mitchel S. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0001 | JC-NM-0010-0002 | JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-0005 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Burns, Michael J. (Pennsylvania)
JC-NM-0010-9000
Edwards, Anna Holland (Colorado)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-0005 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Grossman, Erica (Colorado)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-0005 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Hatfield, Christian A. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0001 | JC-NM-0010-0002 | JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-0005 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Holland, John Robert (Colorado)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-0005 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Tucker, Gregory M. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0001 | JC-NM-0010-0002 | JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-0005 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Yoder, Jennifer D. (Minnesota)
JC-NM-0010-0001 | JC-NM-0010-0002 | JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-0005 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Calderon, Melissa Elise (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-9000
Childress, Ronald J. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Curtis, Robert J. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0002 | JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Dailey, Elaine R. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Eaton, Brett C. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Fowler, Kevin D. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Kelly, Ellen M. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0002 | JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Kuhn, Kevin J. (Colorado)
JC-NM-0010-9000
Maggiore, W Ann (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Marcus, Lawrence M. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Melendres, Paul (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-9000
Mowery, W. Mark (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Myers, Andrew J. (Florida)
JC-NM-0010-9000
Park, Alfred A. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Parkhani, Urvashi (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Terrazas, Jessica R. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-0003 | JC-NM-0010-0004 | JC-NM-0010-9000
Other Lawyers Rael, Feliz A. (New Mexico)
JC-NM-0010-9000

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