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Case Name Hydrick v. Wilson PC-CA-0038
Docket / Court 2:98-cv-07167-TJH-RNB ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Case Summary
On September 2, 1998, a group of sexual offenders who had been civilly confined in a state psychiatric hospital under California's Sexually Violent Predators Act (SVP Act) filed a class action lawsuit, pro se, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs filed suit in the United States District Court for ... read more >
On September 2, 1998, a group of sexual offenders who had been civilly confined in a state psychiatric hospital under California's Sexually Violent Predators Act (SVP Act) filed a class action lawsuit, pro se, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs filed suit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against the California Department of Corrections, Atascadero State Hospital, and hospital officials in both their official and individual capacities. Plaintiffs challenged the constitutionality of their confinement, and sought class certification, declaratory and injunctive relief, and monetary damages against defendants in their individual capacities.

The District Court (Judge Terry J. Hatter) granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification on April 13, 2001.

On February 21, 2003, defendants filed a motion to dismiss on grounds that plaintiffs' suit was barred by the Eleventh Amendment, the state abstention doctrine, or qualified immunity. Judge Hatter summarily denied defendants' motion to dismiss on August 26, 2003. Defendants appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. By opinion issued June 1, 2006 and amended September 28, 2006, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part the District Court's summary denial of defendants' motion to dismiss. Hydrick v. Hunter, 466 F.3d 676 (9th Cir. 2006) (amending Hydrick v. Hunter, 449 F.3d 978 (9th Cir. 2006)). Plaintiffs petitioned the Ninth Circuit for panel rehearing and for rehearing en banc; both motions were denied. The Circuit Court withdrew Hydrick v. Hunter, 466 F.3d 676 (9th Cir. 2006) and replaced it with a revised opinion. Hydrick v. Hunter, 500 F.3d 978 (9th Cir. 2007). The Circuit Court held that state hospital officials had qualified immunity to the extent that plaintiffs' claims relied on a First Amendment right not to participate in treatment sessions, but not to the extent that plaintiffs' claims alleged retaliation for filing lawsuits. The Circuit Court further held that plaintiffs stated a § 1983 claim for violations of their Fourth Amendment rights, and that hospital officials were entitled to qualified immunity with regard to procedural due process claims but not substantive due process claims.

On January 23, 2008, plaintiffs filed a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court. On June 12, 2009, the Supreme Court granted plaintiffs' petition, vacated the judgment, and remanded to the Ninth Circuit for further consideration in light of the pleading standards of Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009). Hunter v. Hydrick, 556 U.S. 1256 (2009). The Ninth Circuit directed the parties to submit briefing on the application of Iqbal. On January 12, 2012, the Ninth Circuit held that defendants were entitled to qualified immunity on plaintiffs' claims for money damages, because plaintiffs had inadequately pled defendants' individual liability for money damages. The Ninth Circuit permitted plaintiffs to proceed with their claims for declaratory and injunctive relief. Hydrick v. Hunter, 669 F.3d 937 (9th Cir. 2012).

The parties then engaged in settlement negotiations which were ultimately unsuccessful.

On December 28, 2013, plaintiffs filed a Motion for Leave to File Third Amended Complaint, which was denied by the District Court (Judge Terry Hatter) on July 7, 2014 on grounds of futility. Judge Hatter held that venue was improper because plaintiffs were transferred to a different facility and sought to amend their complaint to include allegations against their current conditions of confinement. Judge Hatter held that the underlying events plaintiffs sought to add occurred in Coalinga, CA, and thus plaintiffs needed to bring a separate action in the Eastern District of California where venue was proper to raise these claims. Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration on July 23, 2014, claiming that the District Court misapplied controlling legal standards governing leave to amend and federal venue principles. Plaintiffs asserted that the appropriate action would be to grant leave to amend and then transfer the case to the Eastern District of California. On October 16, 2014, Judge Hatter denied reconsideration because plaintiffs "[were] not arguing newly discovered evidence, the emergence of any new law or an error by the Court."

On December 13, 2015, plaintiffs filed a motion for change of venue to the Eastern District of California. On January 22, 2016, Judge Hatter denied the motion, saying that the transfer of venue would tax rather than conserve judicial resources. On April 12, 2016, defendants filed a motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, saying that because the Ninth Circuit dismissed the plaintiff’s damages claims against the defendants in their individual capacities, plaintiffs only had prospective claims for declaratory and injunctive relief against defendants in their official capacities as (former) Executive Directors of Atascadero State Hospital. But plaintiffs had not been treated at Atascadero since 2005, when they were moved to Coalinga, and so had no effective remedy for declaratory or injunctive relief against the current administrators of Atascadero. The court agreed that the case was now moot, and granted the motion to dismiss on May 13, 2016. Judge Hatter suggested the plaintiffs file a new suit in the Eastern District of California to remedy their complaints against Coalinga.

On June 9, 2015, plaintiffs filed an appeal to the 9th circuit, which affirmed the District Court’s decision on September 26, 2017. 711 Fed.Appx. 813. The case is now closed.

Vidhya Reddy - 02/26/2008
Samantha Kirby - 10/21/2014
Rachel Carpman - 10/25/2018

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Disciplinary procedures
Informed consent/involuntary medication
Restraints : physical
Strip search policy
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Atascadero State Hospital
California Department of Corrections
California Department of Mental Health
Plaintiff Description Civilly committed persons and those awaiting commitment at Atascadero State Hospital pursuant to California's Sexually Violent Predators (SVP) Act.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Filed 09/02/1998
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
Date: Spring 2008
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis Faculty)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  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
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 ]

03-56712 (U.S. Court of Appeals)
PC-CA-0038-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/28/2008
2:98-cv-07167-TJH-RNB (C.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0038-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/19/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Defendants-Appellants' Opening Brief (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0038-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/11/2004
Plaintiffs-Appellee's Answering Brief (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0038-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2004
Defendants-Appellants' Reply to Appellees' Answering Brief (Ninth Circuit)
PC-CA-0038-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2004
Appellate Decision (449 F.3d 978)
PC-CA-0038-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/01/2006
Source: Google Scholar
Amended Appellate Decision (466 F.3d 676)
PC-CA-0038-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/28/2006
Source: Google Scholar
Order [Withdrawing and Replacing 466 F.3d 676] (500 F.3d 978)
PC-CA-0038-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/30/2007
Source: Westlaw
Opinion [Reversing and Remanding Case] (669 F.3d 937)
PC-CA-0038-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/12/2012
Source: Westlaw
Order [ECF# 324] (C.D. Cal.)
PC-CA-0038-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/13/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [Ct. of App. ECF# 328] (711 Fed.Appx. 813)
PC-CA-0038-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Hatter, Terry J. Jr. (C.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-0011 | PC-CA-0038-9000 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Pregerson, Harry (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0006 | PC-CA-0038-0007 | PC-CA-0038-0009 | PC-CA-0038-0010
Sagar, Alka Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
Schroeder, Mary Murphy (Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0006 | PC-CA-0038-0007 | PC-CA-0038-0009 | PC-CA-0038-0010
Trott, Stephen S. (Ninth Circuit) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0006 | PC-CA-0038-0007 | PC-CA-0038-0009 | PC-CA-0038-0010
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abascal, Manuel A. (California) show/hide docs
Comar, Dave Inder (California) show/hide docs
Davis, Kathryn M. (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-0004 | PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-0006 | PC-CA-0038-0007 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Delgin, Jared A. (California) show/hide docs
Eberwine, Patricia A. (California) show/hide docs
Flick, Wayne S. (California) show/hide docs
Hayes, Matthew B. (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0004 | PC-CA-0038-9000
Krischer, Joel E. (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0004 | PC-CA-0038-9000
Kuo, Luke (California) show/hide docs
Landes, Ezra D. (California) show/hide docs
Malionek, Robert J. (California) show/hide docs
Nielson, Stuart G. (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Oberman, Jasmine Rebecca (California) show/hide docs
Rahnema, Shireen B. (California) show/hide docs
Spertus, James W. (California) show/hide docs
Wu, Anita P. (California) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Ackerson-Brazille, Karen (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-9000
Bates, Eric D. (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-9000 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Floyd, Cynthia S. (California) show/hide docs
Humes, James M. (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Kim, Jennifer M. (California) show/hide docs
Lepkowsky, Darrell Lee (California) show/hide docs
Lockyer, Bill (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Murphy, Randall R. (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-0006 | PC-CA-0038-0007 | PC-CA-0038-9000 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Nagler, Patricia L. (California) show/hide docs
Rich, Jonathan E. (California) show/hide docs
Sanders, John H. (California) show/hide docs
PC-CA-0038-0003 | PC-CA-0038-0005 | PC-CA-0038-9001
Snuggs, Carmen (California) show/hide docs
Waldow, Richard T. (California) show/hide docs

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