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Case Name Cullors v. County of Los Angeles JC-CA-0139
Docket / Court 2:20-cv-03760 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Southern California
Civil Rights Corps
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: On April 24, 2020, nine detainees at the Los Angeles County detention centers and a coalition of activists filed a class-action seeking adequate safety conditions at the Los Angeles County detention centers. The petitioners sought a writ of habeas corpus, declaratory and ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: On April 24, 2020, nine detainees at the Los Angeles County detention centers and a coalition of activists filed a class-action seeking adequate safety conditions at the Los Angeles County detention centers. The petitioners sought a writ of habeas corpus, declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as a temporary restraining order. The case is ongoing.
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On April 24, 2020, nine detainees at the Los Angeles County detention centers and a coalition of activists filed this putative class-action addressing the conditions of confinement at the Los Angeles County (LACJ) at the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The plaintiffs brought this lawsuit as a habeas petition under 28 U.S.C. under § 2241, a declaratory action under § 2201, and as an injunctive action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Specifically, they alleged that the Los Angeles County jails lacked reasonable safety precautions necessary to mitigate heightened health risks posed by COVID-19 in violation of the detainees’ Fourteenth and Eight Amendment rights, including some limited releases. The plaintiffs further alleged that the respondents’ failure to accommodate was discriminatory, which violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Disabled Persons Act.

The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief and a writ of habeas corpus mandating the immediate release of all individuals older than 55 and those with medical conditions. Additionally, the petitioners sought class-wide relief requiring compliance with the safety guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health. The plaintiffs also sought attorney fees and an expedited review of the petition. The plaintiffs were represented by the Civil Rights Corps, a UCLA Law clinic, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, and private attorneys. The case was assigned to Judge Dean D. Pregerson, then reassigned to Judge Dolly M Gee, who self-recused. On April 25, the case was reassigned to Judge R. Gary Klausner for further proceedings.

The plaintiff’s proposed class of those currently and to be held by the LACJ during the pandemic included the “Pretrial Equitable Relief Class” and “Post-Conviction Equitable Relief Class.” They were further subdivided into the “Pretrial Medically Vulnerable Subclass” and “Post-Conviction Medically Vulnerable Subclass,” both identified as medically vulnerable due to age or underlying health conditions.

Concurrently, the plaintiffs sought a TRO (temporary restraining order) and preliminary injunction requesting the release of the medically vulnerable subclass on non-monetary bail conditions.

On April 27, the defendants filed an opposition to the plaintiff’s motion for TRO, because the inmates have not exhausted other avenues available to them, which they claimed was required under the Prison Litigation Reform Act. The case is ongoing as of May 25.

Averyn Lee - 05/25/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Due Process: Substantive Due Process
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Sanitation / living conditions
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Mitigation Requested
COVID-19 Release Requested
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Special Case Type
Habeas
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Habeas Corpus, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2241-2253; 2254; 2255
Defendant(s) County of Los Angeles
Los Angeles County Sheriff
Plaintiff Description Nine detainees at the Los Angeles County detention centers; plaintiff’s proposed class included the “Pretrial" and “Post-Conviction Equitable Relief Class,” furtherdivided into the “Pretrial Medically Vulnerable Subclass” and “Post-Conviction Medically Vulnerable Subclass,” both identified as medically vulnerable due to age or underlying medical conditions
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Southern California
Civil Rights Corps
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 04/24/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
2:20-cv-03760 (C.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0139-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
JC-CA-0139-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/24/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Motion and Motion for Class Certification [Concurrently with Declarations; Exhibits; [Proposed] Order] [ECF# 6 (& 6-1 to 6-6)]
JC-CA-0139-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/24/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Motion for Preliminary Injunction; Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support Thereof Filed Concurrently With Declarations; Exhibits; [Proposed] Order [ECF# 13 (& 13-1 to 13-6), 16]
JC-CA-0139-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/24/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Ex Parte Application for Temporary Restraining Order [ECF# 28 (& 28-1 to 28-5)]
JC-CA-0139-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/27/2020
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Klausner, Robert Gary (C.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Balaban, Eric G. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0002 | JC-CA-0139-0004
Battles, Lindsay B. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0004 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Eliasberg, Peter J. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0002 | JC-CA-0139-0004 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Hubbard, Katherine (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0002 | JC-CA-0139-0004 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Karakatsanis, Alec (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0002 | JC-CA-0139-0004
Litt, Barrett S. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0004 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Littman, Aaron Michael (Georgia) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0002 | JC-CA-0139-0004 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Shanbhag, Shaleen (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0004 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Stormer, Dan Lewis (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0004 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Sukhija-Cohen, Tanya (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0002 | JC-CA-0139-0004 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Sweetser, Catherine Elizabeth (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0002 | JC-CA-0139-0004 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Virani, Alicia (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0002 | JC-CA-0139-0004 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Woods, Andrea (New York) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0002 | JC-CA-0139-0004
Zhen, Theresa (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0001 | JC-CA-0139-0004 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Baum, Andrew (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0003 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Beach, Paul B (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0003 | JC-CA-0139-9000
Clark, Justin W. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0139-0003 | JC-CA-0139-9000

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