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Case Name Ruelas v. County of Alameda JC-CA-0136
Docket / Court 4:19-cv-07637-JST ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On November 20, 2019, detainees and prisoners confined in the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the County of Alameda, its sheriff, Aramark Correctional Services, LLC, ... read more >
On November 20, 2019, detainees and prisoners confined in the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County filed this class-action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the County of Alameda, its sheriff, Aramark Correctional Services, LLC, and ten unnamed defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, while incarcerated, alleged they were forced to provide uncompensated labor for Aramark Correctional Services, a private, for-profit company. The plaintiffs claimed that Aramark’s failure to provide compensation for their labor and offer equal working conditions to men and women violated the Thirteenth Amendment, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (18 U.S.C. § 1589), the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection and Due Process clauses, and state law. Represented by a private law firm, the plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and declaratory and injunctive relief.

Aramark is a private, for-profit company that hired the plaintiffs to perform industrial food preparation and cleaning services. The plaintiffs alleged that the County coerced them to work for Aramark without pay by threatening to extend their sentences, impose solitary confinement, and withhold meals if they refused. In addition, the plaintiffs claimed that male prisoners were assigned to longer, daytime work shifts, and female plaintiffs were assigned to shorter, nighttime work shifts. That, the plaintiffs claimed, deprived women of equal opportunities to leave their cells and earn money.

The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on December 13, 2019. The hearing on the motion was held on March 4, 2020; the court (Judge Jon S. Tigar) has not yet issued an opinion. This case is ongoing.

Bogyung Lim - 03/08/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Equal Protection
Slavery/Involuntary servitude
Defendant-type
Corrections
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Forced labor
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Totality of conditions
Work release or work assignments
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), 18 U.S.C. § 1589
Defendant(s) Aramark Correctional Services, LLC
County of Alameda
Plaintiff Description Detainees and prisoners confined in the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County who were coerced to work for Aramark without pay.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 11/20/2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Court Docket(s)
N.D. Cal.
03/05/2020
4:19-cv-7637
JC-CA-0136-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Cal.
11/20/2019
Complaint [ECF# 1]
JC-CA-0136-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Tigar, Jon Steven (State Trial Court, N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0136-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Johns, Emily Rose Naomi (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0136-9000
Siegel, Daniel Mark (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0136-0001 | JC-CA-0136-9000
Weills, Anne Butterfield (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0136-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bahna, Christie Paulette (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0136-9000
Bosset, Eric C. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0136-9000
Chaput, Isaac Daniel (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0136-9000
Glaser, Joel Perry (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0136-9000
Lannin, Cortlin Hall (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0136-9000 | JC-CA-0136-9000
Mills, Jason S. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0136-9000
Plotkin, Thomas Ian (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0136-9000

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