University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers v. Newsom JC-CA-0140
Docket / Court S261827 ( State Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Juvenile Institution
Special Collection COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Northern California
ACLU of Southern California
Case Summary
COVID-19 Summary: This case was an emergency petition brought on behalf of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and criminal defense member organizations to challenge the conditions of incarceration in light of COVID-19 in California correctional facilities. The petitioners sought a release order to ... read more >
COVID-19 Summary: This case was an emergency petition brought on behalf of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and criminal defense member organizations to challenge the conditions of incarceration in light of COVID-19 in California correctional facilities. The petitioners sought a release order to reduce the number of individuals incarcerated so facilities could better comply with public health guidelines. The court denied the petition without prejudice on May 4, 2020.


On April 24, 2020, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and the Youth Justice Coalition started this case by filing a petition in the California Supreme Court. The petitioners--member organizations composed of system-involved individuals and attorneys representing detained clients--sued California’s governor and attorney general under state law. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU and private counsel, sought emergency and declaratory relief, claiming violations of the Eighth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause, and the California state constitution. Specifically, the petitioners alleged that California had not sufficiently acted to protect the health of California residents in jails and juvenile facilities from COVID-19 and that correctional facilities lacked infrastructure for physical distancing and adequate hygiene. They sought an order to release detained individuals such that facilities could create conditions consistent with public health guidance to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

On April 28, 2020 the state filed their preliminary opposition. The state contended that local officials in charge of their respective facilities had the duty to remedy any violations and that trial courts were better suited to resolve the factual issues raised in the petition. On April 30, the petitioners filed their reply.

On May 4, 2020 the California Supreme Court denied the petition without prejudice to future actions raising similar claims against these respondents in county superior courts. 2020 Cal. LEXIS 3096. In its reasoning, the court found that the petition sought remedies that involved a wide range of local conditions. According to the court, petitioners’ concerns invoked local responsibility for addressing facilities’ conditions. The order urged California superior courts to proceed rapidly to adequately respond to COVID-19. The case concluded.

Lily Sawyer-Kaplan - 06/14/2020


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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
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Bathing and hygiene
Conditions of confinement
Sanitation / living conditions
Medical/Mental Health
COVID-19 Release Denied
COVID-19 Release Requested
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Special Case Type
Appellate Court is initial court
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) California Attorney General
Governor of California
Plaintiff Description The National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys is a membership organizations of criminal defense attorneys handling adult and juvenile cases; California Attorneys for Criminal Justice is a membership organization of criminal defense attorneys in California; and the Youth Justice Coalition is a membership organization focused on youth in the criminal justice system
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Northern California
ACLU of Southern California
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 2020
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  ACLU Sues Governor in CA Supreme Court Over Pandemic Conditions
www.aclusocal.org
Date: Apr. 24, 2020
By: ACLU of Southern California
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
S261827 (State Court of Appeals)
JC-CA-0140-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/04/2020
Source: State Court Website
General Documents
Petition for Writ of Mandate
JC-CA-0140-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/24/2020
Source: ACLU
Order
JC-CA-0140-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/04/2020
Source: Public.Resource.Org
show all people docs
Judges Cantil-Sakauye, Tani Court not on record show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0002
Plaintiff's Lawyers Agarwal, Shilpi (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-9000
Bibring, Peter (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Eliasberg, Peter J. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Goodman, Melissa (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Guneratne, Kathleen (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Kreilkamp, Jacob S. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Lemoine, Melinda Eades (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Markovitz, Jonathan Paul (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Marquis, Estalyn S. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
McDermott, Sara A. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Rodriguez, Ariana E. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Stubbs, Cassandra (North Carolina) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Takei, Carl (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Temko, William D. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Templeton, Trevor N. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Torres-Guillen, Sylvia (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-0001 | JC-CA-0140-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Evans, Kelli M. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-9000
Hartz, Alisa Louise (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-9000
Sapp, David B. (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-9000
Zelidon-Zepeda, Jose Alfonso (California) show/hide docs
JC-CA-0140-9000

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