In August, 1992, an inmate at Calipatria State Prison filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against prison officials in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California. The plaintiff, at first represented by himself and later by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory, injunctive and monetary relief, alleging that the defendants had violated his First and Eighth Amendment rights. Specifically, the plaintiff contended that the defendants violated his right of access to the courts by failing to provide reasonable access to the prison law library and that the conditions of confinement violated the Eighth Amendment.
On March 29, 1993, the District Court (Judge Judith N. Keep) granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment with respect to the law library claim, denied summary judgment for all other claims, and ordered the defendants to improve inmate access to the law library. Judge Keep held that the defendants did not provide constitutionally adequate access to the law library and appointed Magistrate Judge Barry T. Moskowitz as Special Master to recommend to the District Court a plan to improve library access.
On May 11, 1993, the District Court (Judge Keep) denied the plaintiff's application for an order to show cause--an application which requested that the Court order the defendants to provide a constitutionally adequate prison library--construing it to be one for a preliminary injunction.
On June 7, 1993, the District Court (Judge Keep) granted several defendants' motions for summary judgment on the issue of damages with respect to the library access claim, as well as one defendant's motion for summary judgment on the claim that the plaintiff was denied food in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The plaintiff appealed.
In a September 1993 report, the Magistrate Court (Judge Moskowitz) recommended expanding the library's size, allowing inmates to have access to the stacks and to check out more books at a time, implementing a training program for inmate law clerks, and increasing inmate visits to the library. In addition, Judge Moskowitz recommended holding a compliance hearing to take place after six months.
On December 15, 2003, the District Court (Judge Keep) accepted Judge Moskowitz's plan. The defendants appealed.
On March 30, 1994, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Judges Betty B. Fletcher, Melvin T. Brunetti, and Stephen S. Trott) affirmed the in part and dismissed in part the District Court's June 7, 1993, decision. Dilley v. Gunn, 21 F.3d 1112 (9th Cir. 1994). The Court affirmed the District Court's denial of the plaintiff's request for a preliminary injunction and held that the District Court orders of March 29, 1993, and June 7, 1993, were not final judgments and therefore not appealable.
On September 8, 1995, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Judges Betty B. Fletcher, Charles E. Wiggins, and Ferdinand F. Fernandez) remanded the case with respect to the District Court's December 15, 1994, decision. Dilley v. Gunn, 64 F.3d 1365 (9th Cir. 1995). Judge Fletcher held that the appeal was moot because the plaintiff was no longer incarcerated at Calipatria, and remanded the case to determine whether the order granting injunctive relief should be vacated. In a concurring opinion, Judge Fernandez expressed doubt that the injunction could remain in effect after the matter had become moot.
On December 15, 1995, the District Court (Judge Keep) vacated the December 7, 1993, adoption of the Special Master's Report as well as the April 21, 1993, appointment of counsel. Judge Keep dismissed the case.Josh Altman - 06/01/2006