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Case Name Upshaw v. Alameda County JC-CA-0133
Docket / Court 3:18-cv-07814 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On December 31, 2018, three female pretrial detainees housed at the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County filed this class action lawsuit on behalf of a class of all women who were, or will be in the future, incarcerated in the Alameda County Jails, in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District ... read more >
On December 31, 2018, three female pretrial detainees housed at the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County filed this class action lawsuit on behalf of a class of all women who were, or will be in the future, incarcerated in the Alameda County Jails, in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued Alameda County and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office under 42 U.S.C. §1983 for violations of their rights under the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and state law. They claimed denial of basic human rights, cruel and unusual punishment, and intentional infliction of emotional stress due to the jail’s practice of interrupting the sleep of the plaintiffs. Represented by a private counsel, they sought monetary, injunctive, and declaratory relief. The case was assigned to Judge James Donato.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the jail had a policy of keeping lights on at all times and scheduling meals and activities designed to prevent inmates from sleeping for more than five and a half hours per night. The plaintiffs also contended that, in addition to the 24-hour light-on policy, the jail routinely engaged in actions that disrupt the inmates’ sleep, such as repeatedly shining bright white flashlights into prisoners’ eyes, banging keys and flashlights on metal doors, operating machines, and making announcements over the public address system.

On January 31, the court denied the plaintiffs’ ex parte motion for a temporary restraining order, but granted a preliminary injunction on March 27, 2019. In the order granting preliminary injunction, the court instructed the parties to jointly submit a proposal for a detailed version of the preliminary injunction that would meet the health needs of the prisoners while still satisfying the administrative requirements of the jail. The plaintiffs submitted a proposal, and the jail attempted to re-litigate the issuance of the injunction. The court adopted the plaintiffs’ proposed injunction on April 22, 2019. 377 F. Supp. 3d 1027.

On June 27, 2019, the plaintiffs moved for certification of a class on the question of whether the county’s “policies and practices depriving and disrupting women prisoners’ sleep violates plaintiffs’ and class member’s constitutional rights.” The court terminated that motion without prejudice on March 24, 2020.

In September 2019, the parties jointly requested that the case be referred to a magistrate judge for settlement discussions.

As of July 2020, settlement negotiations are in progress.

Lisa Koo - 01/31/2019
Gregory Marsh - 07/07/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Conditions of confinement
Grievance Procedures
Sanitation / living conditions
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Reproductive health care (including birth control, abortion, and others)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)
State law
Defendant(s) Alameda County
Alameda County Sheriff's Office
Plaintiff Description Three female pretrial detainees housed at the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California, in Alameda County and under the authority of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office on behalf of a class of all women who are now, or will be in the future, incarcerated in the Alameda County Jails.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2019 - n/a
Filed 12/31/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
3:18-cv-07814 (N.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0133-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/24/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
JC-CA-0133-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/31/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supplemental Order Re Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 38] (N.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0133-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/22/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Re Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 33] (377 F.Supp.3d 1027) (N.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0133-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/13/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Beeler, Laurel (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
JC-CA-0133-9000
Donato, James (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0133-0002 | JC-CA-0133-0003 | JC-CA-0133-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cunningham, Dennis (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0133-0001 | JC-CA-0133-9000
Huang, Yolanda (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0133-0001 | JC-CA-0133-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Peters, Temitayo O. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0133-9000
Slater, Michael Augusto (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0133-9000
Thomas, Gregory B. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0133-9000
Other Lawyers Bertling, Peter George (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0133-9000

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