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Case Name California Correctional Peace Officers’ Association v. Schwarzenegger PC-CA-0036
Docket / Court 06CS01568 ( State Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On October 30, 2006, two unions (the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the Service Employees International Union Local 1000) and an individual California correctional officer filed suit against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and the California Department of ... read more >
On October 30, 2006, two unions (the California Correctional Peace Officers Association and the Service Employees International Union Local 1000) and an individual California correctional officer filed suit against Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in the Sacramento County Superior Court under state law. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs alleged that Governor Schwarzenegger's decision to declare a state of emergency based on overcrowding in California's prisons and then use the state of emergency to transfer California prisoners to out-of-state private prisons violated the California Emergency Services Act and the Civil Service Mandate of the California Constitution. The plaintiffs asked for declaratory and injunctive relief to stop the prisoner transfers and cancel the transfer contracts.

The case developed from longstanding overcrowding in California's prisons. On October 4, 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger issued the Prison Overcrowding State of Emergency Proclamation so that the State could ship thousands of inmates to out-of-state prisons to ease overcrowding. Following the Proclamation, the State contracted with two prison companies and began moving prisoners out of California.

On February 20, 2007, the Superior Court (Judge Gail Ohanesian) ruled that Governor Schwarzenegger's Emergency Proclamation was "unlawful," and held that the State of California was not allowed to contract for services that were usually performed by civil service employees within the state. The Court enjoined the CDCR from transferring any inmates out of state under contracts that were signed in accordance with the Emergency Proclamation. The defendants appealed, and on April 12, 2007, the court of appeals (Presiding Judge Arthur Scotland) issued an order staying the judgment of the Superior Court.

On June 4, 2008, the court of appeals reversed the decision of the trial court. Judge Scotland concluded that the Governor did not exceed his powers in declaring a state of emergency based on prison overcrowding and that records were sufficient to establish that services for which the CDCR contracted were “not available within civil service.” Therefore, the court held that the private contracts did not violate Article VII of the California Constitution, which restricts California from hiring private contractors to perform state functions. The matter was remanded to the trial court with directions to enter a new judgment denying the plaintiffs’ petition for injunctive relief on the same day. The plaintiffs were ordered to reimburse the defendants for the attorney costs of their appeal. 163 Cal. App. 4th 802.

Dan Dalton - 04/16/2007
Averyn Lee - 06/09/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Corrections
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)
Governor of California
Plaintiff Description Two unions that represent civil service employees in California seeking to protect the rights of their members and a correctional officer who belonged to one of the unions.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2006
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Additional Resources
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  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
Book
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
06CS01568 (State Trial Court)
PC-CA-0036-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/30/2006
C055327 (State Court of Appeals)
PC-CA-0036-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/12/2007
Source: State Court Website
C055327 (State Court of Appeals)
PC-CA-0036-9002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/25/2010
General Documents
Prison Overcrowding State of Emergency Proclamation
PC-CA-0036-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/04/2006
Ruling on Submitted Matter
PC-CA-0036-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/20/2007
Opinion (163 Cal.App.4th 802)
PC-CA-0036-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/04/2008
Source: Westlaw
show all people docs
Judges Ohanesian, Gail D. (State Trial Court) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0036-0001
Scotland, Arthur G. (State Appellate Court) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0036-0003 | PC-CA-0036-9001
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adam, Gregg Mclean (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0036-0001 | PC-CA-0036-9002
Albertine, Christine (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0036-0001
Harris, Paul Eugene (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0036-9000 | PC-CA-0036-9002
Sybesma, Benjamin C. (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0036-0001 | PC-CA-0036-9000 | PC-CA-0036-9002
Yank, Ronald (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0036-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Whitney, Vickie Pochelle (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0036-0001 | PC-CA-0036-9002

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