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Case Name Turay v. Seling PC-WA-0004
Docket / Court 91-664 ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On May 14, 1991, an inmate at the Washington Special Commitment Center (SCC) at McNeil Island, Washington, filed a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Washington State Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. SCC was a treatment ... read more >
On May 14, 1991, an inmate at the Washington Special Commitment Center (SCC) at McNeil Island, Washington, filed a pro se lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Washington State Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. SCC was a treatment center for sexually violent criminals, and the plaintiff alleged that his constitutional rights had been violated by various conditions of his confinement, including inadequate mental health treatment.

On March 28, 1994, the jury decided in favor of the defendants on all but one of the plaintiff's claims. The jury found that the defendants had failed to provide the plaintiff with constitutionally adequate mental health treatment. The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington (Judge William L. Dwyer) appointed Janice K. Marques to be Special Master and issued an injunction requiring the defendants to bring the SCC treatment program into compliance with constitutional standards. By October 15, 1996, the district court (Judge Dwyer) had permitted ten other male SCC inmates to intervene as plaintiffs for the limited purpose of participating in the administration and enforcement of the injunction. In doing this, the court consolidated the following cases with this action: Sharp v. Weston, Pedersen v. Hill, Hall v. Quasim, and Petersen v. Dehmer.

On February 15, 1996, and January 3, 1997, the plaintiffs asked the district court to hold the defendants in contempt for failure to comply with the court's order. The defendants replied by asking the court to dissolve the injunction. On February 5, 1997, the district court (Judge Dwyer) denied both motions. The court concluded that progress had been made, but that more remained to be done before full compliance was achieved.

On May 2, 1997, the district court noted that Laura McCollum had recently been committed to SCC as the facility's first female inmate, and granted her leave to intervene in the lawsuit. McCollum asked the court to enforce the injunction with regard to her by placing her in a treatment facility where she would not be the sole female resident, where she would not be housed with males, and where her treatment plan would not require her to participate in therapy with male sex offenders. On June 10, 1997, the district court (Judge Dwyer) granted her motion and ordered the defendants move her to a facility with the aforementioned specifications. The defendants appealed that order.

On October 20, 1998, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judge William W. Schwarzer) reversed the district court's decision to allow McCollum to intervene in the case, determining that she was not sufficiently similarly situated to the male plaintiffs to allow her to intervene. Cunningham v. David Special Commitment Center, 158 F.3d 1035 (9th Cir. 1998).

On November 15, 1999, the district court (Judge Dwyer) held the defendants in contempt of court for failure to take all reasonable steps within their power to comply with the 1994 injunction. As a sanction, the court ordered the defendants to pay into the registry of the court $50 per day per resident, beginning on May 1, 2000, unless the court determined that injunction compliance was complete or substantially complete before that day. The court later moved that date to May 8, 2000.

On May 5, 2000, the district court (Judge Dwyer) held that, despite having made progress, the defendants continued to provide constitutionally inadequate mental health treatment to the plaintiffs. The court denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the injunction, and partially granted the plaintiff's motion for contempt sanctions. In light of the progress that had been made, the court modified the contempt order, ruling that the monetary sanctions would accrue as previously determined, but that the court would not order those sanctions to be payable unless the defendants ceased to comply with the court's orders. Turay v. Seling, 108 F. Supp. 2d 1148 (W.D. Wash. 2000). The defendants appealed. On November 30, 2000, the Ninth Circuit (Judge Michael Daly Hawkins) affirmed the district court's decision. Sharp v. Weston, 233 F.3d 1166 (9th Cir. 2000).

The defendants again asked the district court to dissolve the injunction. On December 20, 2000, the district court (Judge Dwyer) found that the defendants were still not in compliance with the injunction and denied the defendants' request. The defendants appealed. On June 27, 2001, the Ninth Circuit (Judge James Robert Browning, Judge John Clifford Wallace, and Judge Thomas G. Nelson) dismissed the appeal, finding that they did not have jurisdiction over it. Turay v. Anderson, 12 F. App'x 618 (9th Cir. 2001).

On September 20, 2001, the district court (Judge Dwyer) accepted the resignation of Special Master Janice K. Marques. On January 18, 2002, the case was reassigned to Judge Barbara J. Rothstein due to Judge Dwyer's declining health. On July 6, 2004, the case was reassigned to Judge Ricardo Martinez. The court continued to hold annual compliance hearings and review status reports through March 2007. On March 23, 2007, the district court (Judge Ricardo S Martinez) granted the defendants' motion to dissolve the injunction in its entirety, and dismissed the case. Turay v. Richards, No. C91-0664RSM, 2007 WL 983132 (W.D. Wash. Mar. 23, 2007).

On January 29, 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dissolution of the injunction. The court held that, despite "discouraging trends" in the facility's treatment program, the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to reinstate injunctive relief or in vacating the remaining condition of the consent decree, as the present conditions comported with acceptable professional standards. Turay v. Richards, No. 07-35309, 2009 WL 229838 (9th Cir. Jan. 29, 2009), cert. denied, 558 U.S. 826 (2009).

Kristen Sagar - 06/13/2006
Dan Whitman - 03/06/2015

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Sex offender regulation
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Special Commitment Center
Plaintiff Description Sexually violent predators, civilly committed by state, challenging conditions of confinement as violative of due process
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Filed Pro Se Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 1994 - 2007
Filing Year 1991
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
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
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 ]

94-121 (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-9002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/31/2000
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
91-1128 (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/19/2003
94-211 (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-9003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/19/2003
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
95-1111 (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-9004.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/19/2003
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
96-415 (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-9005.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/19/2003
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
91-664 (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/18/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
2:91-cv-664 (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-9006.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/17/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Reported Opinion (158 F.3d 1035)
PC-WA-0004-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/20/1998
Source: Google Scholar
Stipulation and order re Sharp Plaintiff's Entitlement to Additional Attorneys' fees (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/12/1999
Findings of fact, conclusions of law and order re motions heard Oct. 19-21, 1999 (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/15/1999
Stipulation and Order regarding payment of attorneys' fees and costs (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/01/1999
Stipulation and order re Sharp Plaintiff's Entitlement to Attorneys' fees and costs (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/02/1999
Findings of Fact, Conlusions of Law, and Order Re: Motions Heard April 18-21, 2000 (108 F.Supp.2d 1148) (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/05/2000
Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion (233 F.3d 1166)
PC-WA-0004-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/30/2000
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum (12 Fed.Appx. 618)
PC-WA-0004-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/27/2001
Source: Google Scholar
Unpublished Opinion (56 Fed.Appx. 393)
PC-WA-0004-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/10/2003
Source: Google Scholar
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order Regarding October 20-21, 2003 (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/10/2004
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order Regarding October 21, 2004 (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/14/2005
Order Granting Motion to Dissolve Injunction (2007 WL 983132) (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-0013.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/23/2007
Ninth Circuit memorandum affirming dissolution of injunction [ECF# 2137] (2009 WL 229838) (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-0014.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/06/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Browning, James Robert (Ninth Circuit)
Brunetti, Melvin T. (Ninth Circuit)
Dwyer, William Lee (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-0001 | PC-WA-0004-0002 | PC-WA-0004-0003 | PC-WA-0004-0004 | PC-WA-0004-0008
Hawkins, Michael Daly (Ninth Circuit)
Lasnik, Robert S. (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-0005 | PC-WA-0004-9001 | PC-WA-0004-9003 | PC-WA-0004-9004 | PC-WA-0004-9005
Martinez, Ricardo S. (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0004-0006 | PC-WA-0004-0013 | PC-WA-0004-0014 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Nelson, Thomas G. (Ninth Circuit)
PC-WA-0004-0011 | PC-WA-0004-0012
Rawlinson, Johnnie B. (D. Nev., Ninth Circuit)
Schwarzer, William W (N.D. Cal.)
Wallace, John Clifford (S.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cross, John L. (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0008 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Donaghe, Sam (Washington)
Jones, Karen F. (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0003 | PC-WA-0004-0008 | PC-WA-0004-0010 | PC-WA-0004-0012 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9001 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Luna, Felix (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0001 | PC-WA-0004-0004 | PC-WA-0004-0010 | PC-WA-0004-0012 | PC-WA-0004-0013 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Lundahl, Donald Boyette (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Mandel, Judith M. (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0008 | PC-WA-0004-0009 | PC-WA-0004-0012 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Moughon, Caitlin J. (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0003 | PC-WA-0004-0012
Opgenorth, Mary (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0008 | PC-WA-0004-0012 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Phillips, John Wentworth (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0001 | PC-WA-0004-0004 | PC-WA-0004-0010 | PC-WA-0004-0012 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Rath, Lori K. (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0012 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Reimer, Joel S. (Washington)
Turay, Richard G. (Washington)
Younker, Rodney B. (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Defendant's Lawyers Anderson, Pamela H. (Washington)
Barron, Jillian (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Canova, Gregory P. (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0008 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9001 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Capps, Janet Leigh (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0008 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Coats, Sarah (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0001 | PC-WA-0004-0003 | PC-WA-0004-0004 | PC-WA-0004-0008 | PC-WA-0004-0009 | PC-WA-0004-0010 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9004 | PC-WA-0004-9005 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Croft, Allison Margaret (Washington)
Croll, Stephanie E. (Washington)
Eldred, David J. (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9003
Golan, Alex (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9003
Gregoire, Christine O. (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0001 | PC-WA-0004-0003 | PC-WA-0004-0004
Hamilton, Donna J. (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0013 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Hendricks, Catherine (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0013 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Isaki, Lucy (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0012 | PC-WA-0004-0013 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9003 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Kuffel, Thomas William (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9003
Lackie, Hugh T. (Washington)
Lang, Timothy Norman (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0013 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Marshall, Ronald S. (Washington)
Meyer, Jennifer Smith (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Perry, Mary Farver (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9003
Pheasant, Joann L. (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0008 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Ryan, Terrence James (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-0008 | PC-WA-0004-0012 | PC-WA-0004-0013 | PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9001 | PC-WA-0004-9006
Smith, Jennifer L. (Washington)
Stanhope, Allison Margaret (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-9000 | PC-WA-0004-9002
Tanner, Terry E. (Washington)
Vanscoy, Douglas W. (Washington)
Washington, Christopher A. (Washington)
PC-WA-0004-9002 | PC-WA-0004-9004
Wyckoff, Martin E. (Washington)
Other Lawyers Rarick, Penny (Washington)

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