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Case Name Gonzalez v. Ahern JC-CA-0137
Docket / Court 3:19-cv-07423-JSC ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On November 11, 2019, prisoners at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California, filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, the California Forensic Medical Group and Aramark Correctional ... read more >
On November 11, 2019, prisoners at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California, filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, the California Forensic Medical Group and Aramark Correctional Services under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983, and 1988. Two private Bay Area civil rights lawyers represented the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs claimed that defendants deprived plaintiffs of the rights to free speech and free association, to their right to the presumption of innocence, the right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment, and the right to protection and due process under the law, in violation of the First, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that Santa Rita’s unsanitary confinement conditions, wrongful denials of attorney visits, failure to provide medical care, and retaliation against inmates for speaking out and filing grievances violated these constitutional rights. In particular, this suit was filed less than one month after a sizable prisoner’s strike on October 17, 2019, in Santa Rita Jail protesting these conditions. Plaintiffs sought injunctive, declaratory compensatory, and punitive relief.

Plaintiffs sought class certification for all men incarcerated at Santa Rita Jail from November 12, 2017, through the present. Plaintiffs alleged that over 2,000 inmates were denied access to adequate food and conditions of confinement in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment as well as violation of their First Amendment free speech and Fifth Amendment due process rights.

Plaintiffs alleged that Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with for-profit medical provider California Forensic Medical Group and for-profit food provider ARAMARK have established inhumane living conditions at Santa Rita Jail. These conditions included presence of human bio waste and infestations of insects in the bathrooms, infestation of rat and bird droppings in food, lack of clean linens and toiletries, denial of outdoor recreational time, and grossly inadequate medical care. Plaintiffs also alleged that Defendants violated state regulations permitting regular visits and grievance procedures for prisoners.

As of February 9, 2020, the case is ongoing.

Dan Toubman - 02/09/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by staff
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary procedures
Excessive force
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Alameda County Sheriff's Office
Aramark Correctional Facility
California Forensic Medical Group
Plaintiff Description Male prisoners in Santa Rita Jail.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 11/11/2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing JC-CA-0142 : Mohrbacher v. Alameda County Sheriffs Office (N.D. Cal.)
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)
N.D. Cal.
12/16/2019
3:19-cv-7423
JC-CA-0137-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Cal.
11/12/2019
Complaint [ECF# 1]
JC-CA-0137-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Plaintiff's Lawyers Cunningham, Dennis (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0137-0001 | JC-CA-0137-9000
Huang, Yolanda (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0137-0001 | JC-CA-0137-9000

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