University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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S P E C I A L   C O L L E C T I O N
Prison Law Office
Protecting the constitutional rights of California prisoners.

The Prison Law Office strives to improve the living conditions of California state prisoners by providing free legal services. The Prison Law Office represents individual prisoners, engages in class action and other impact litigation, educates the public about prison conditions, and provides technical assistance to attorneys throughtout the country.
The below cases represent a special subset of the full Clearinghouse collection.
Your search returned 32 results Save Search As:       
1 Torres v. Milusnic
2:20-cv-04450 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/16/2020 - Case Ongoing
Warden of Lompoc
Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex
Prison Conditions
PC-CA-0079
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a putative class action by five individuals held at Lompoc, a low-security prison facing one of the largest outbreaks of COVID-19 among U.S federal prisons. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants failed to undertake reasonable preventative measures, which allowed the virus to spread to 60% of those in custody. The ... [view]
2 Wilson v. Ponce
2:20-cv-04451 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/16/2020 - Case Ongoing
Warden of Terminal Island
Federal Correctional Institution, Terminal Island
Prison Conditions
PC-CA-0080
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a class action by individuals held at Terminal Island, a Care Level 3 medical facility designed for those with long-term medical needs. The plaintiffs alleged violations of their Eighth Amendment rights and sought declaratory and injunctive relief, and a writ of habeas corpus requiring immediate downsizing of the ... [view]
3 Teneng v. Trump
5:18-cv-01609 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 08/01/2018 - Closed
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Prison Conditions
Immigration and/or the Border
IM-CA-0129
Coding Complete
On August 1, 2018, six non-citizens detained at the Federal Correctional Institution Medium II, also called Victorville, filed this putative class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU and the Civil Rights Education Enforcement Center, among others, sued the ... [view]
4 Mays v. County of Sacramento
2:18-cv-02081 (E.D. Cal.)
Filed 07/31/2018 - Case Ongoing
County of Sacramento
Jail Conditions
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
JC-CA-0134
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This was a preexisting lawsuit addressing conditions of confinement in the Sacramento County Jail. On March 18, 2020, class counsel wrote the county to urge significant responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter urged population reductions, and a variety of other steps (increasing education, access to cleaning supplies, ... [view]
5 Murray v. Santa Barbara
2:17-cv-08805 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 12/06/2017 - Case Ongoing
County of Santa Barbara
Jail Conditions
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
JC-CA-0129
Santa Barbara County
Coding Complete
COVID-19 summary: This was a preexisting lawsuit addressing conditions of confinement in the Santa Barbara County Jail. On March 18, 2020, class counsel wrote the county to urge significant responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter urged population reductions, and a variety of other steps (increasing education, access to cleaning supplies, ... [view]
6 Topete v. County of San Bernardino
5:16-cv-00355 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 2016 - Case Ongoing
County of San Bernardino
Jail facilities
Jail Conditions
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
JC-CA-0125
San Bernardino County
Coding Complete
On February 29th, 2016, a convicted prisoner filed this class-action lawsuit against San Bernardino County in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The lawsuit was filed under 42 U.S.C.§1983, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act. Represented by the Prison Law Office and private counsel, ... [view]
7 Chavez v. County of Santa Clara
1:15-cv-05277 (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 11/18/2015 - Case Ongoing
County of Santa Clara
Santa Clara County jail
Jail Conditions
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
JC-CA-0123
Santa Clara County
Coding Complete
On November 18, 2015, pretrial detainees at the Santa Clara County Jail filed this class lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Northern California. The plaintiffs had been imprisoned in solitary confinement from November 2014 to November 2015 without knowing why they had been placed there or opportunities to appeal the decision. While in solitary, ... [view]
8 Gray v. County of Riverside
5:13-cv-00444 (C.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/08/2013 - Case Ongoing
Riverside County
Jail Conditions
JC-CA-0105
Riverside County
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This class action about medical care in the Riverside County jails settled in 2015. On April 4, 2020, plaintiffs brought a motion to enforce the consent decree, seeking implementation of expert-endorsed coronavirus-related protocols including social distancing. On April 16, the Court agreed, requiring planning and potentially ... [view]
9 Parsons v. Ryan
2:12-cv-00601 (D. Ariz.)
Filed 03/22/2012 - Case Ongoing
Arizona Department of Corrections
Prison Conditions
PC-AZ-0018
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: In this preexisting class action addressing medical care in Arizona's prisons, the district court denied COVID-19 emergency relief on March 23, 2020. Notwithstanding the grave threats posed by congregate imprisonment during the pandemic, the court held that the emergency measures sought by the plaintiffs were outside of its ... [view]
10 Hall v. Mims
1:11-cv-02047-LJO-BAM (E.D. Cal.)
Filed 12/13/2011 - Case Ongoing
Fresno County Sheriff's Office
Jail Conditions
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
JC-CA-0069
Fresno County
Coding Complete
On December 13, 2011, four inmates of the Fresno County Adult Detention Facilities filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. The plaintiffs sued the Fresno County Sheriff's Office under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. 2011 WL 11557976. The plaintiffs, represented by the Prison Law Office, Disability ... [view]
11 Mitchell v. Felker
2:08-cv-01196-RAJ (E.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/21/2008 - Closed 2016
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Prison Conditions
PC-CA-0056
Coding Complete
On May 21, 2008, a California inmate filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The plaintiff, originally proceeded pro se but eventually represented by private counsel and the Prison Law Center, asked the ... [view]
12 Porter v. Speirs
06AS03654 (State Court)
Filed 12/19/2006 - Closed
Sacramento County Juvenile Hall
Juvenile Institution
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
JI-CA-0015
San Benito County
Coding Complete
On December 19, 2006, a taxpayer filed an amended complaint in the Sacramento County, California, Superior Court naming, as defendants, the county's chief probation officer and the county's superintendent of schools. Plaintiff sought declaratory relief and to enjoin expenditure of public funds for alleged illegal conduct at the county's two ... [view]
13 L.H. v. Schwarzennegger
2:06-cv-02042-LKK-GGH (E.D. Cal.)
Filed 09/13/2006 - Closed 2014
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Criminal Justice (Other)
CJ-CA-0008
Coding Complete
On September 13, 2006, several Department of Juvenile Justice parolees filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. (They amended the complaint a week later.) The plaintiffs sued California and the persons and entities administering California's juvenile parole system under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In their ... [view]
14 Hixson v. Hope
CV 029154 (State Court)
Filed 04/26/2006 - Closed
San Joaquin County
Juvenile Institution
JI-CA-0014
San Joaquin County
Coding Complete
On April 26, 2006, taxpaying parents of a juvenile son incarcerated in the San Joaquin Juvenile Hall filed a complaint in the San Joaquin County, California, Superior Court naming, as defendant, the county's chief probation officer and seeking to enjoin expenditure of public funds for alleged illegal conduct at the juvenile hall. Plaintiffs had ... [view]
15 Waters v. Woodford
06-451449 (State Court)
Filed 04/19/2006 - Closed
Corrections Standards Authority
Juvenile Institution
JI-CA-0016
Coding Complete
On April 19, 2006, a taxpayer filed a complaint in the San Francisco County, California, Superior Court naming, as defendants, the members of the Correctional Standards Authority ("CSA") of the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. Plaintiff sought declaratory relief and to enjoin expenditure of public funds for alleged illegal ... [view]
16 Perez v. Tilton
3:05-cv-05241-JSW (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 12/19/2005 - Closed 2013
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR")
Prison Conditions
PC-CA-0033
Coding Complete
On December 19, 2005, a California state prisoner filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiff sought injunctive relief on behalf of himself and other prisoners for alleged unconstitutional conditions with respect to dental care provided by the California ... [view]
17 In re Lugo
SC135399A (State Court)
Filed 05/26/2004 - Closed
California Department of Corrections
Criminal Justice (Other)
CJ-CA-0003
Coding Complete
On May 26, 2004, a prisoner at San Quentin State Prison in California filed this habeas corpus petition under state law in the Marin County Superior Court. The petitioner claimed that after a denial of parole on February 25, 2003, the California Board of Parole Hearings (BPH) failed to conduct a subsequent parole hearing within a year, thereby ... [view]
18 Farrell v. Harper
RG03079344 (State Court)
Filed 01/16/2003 - Closed 2016
California Youth Authority (CYA)
Juvenile Institution
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
JI-CA-0013
Coding Complete
On January 16, 2003, a taxpayer whose juvenile nephew was a ward of the court filed this lawsuit in the Alameda County, California, Superior Court. The plaintiff filed under state law against the director of the California Youth Authority (CYA). She alleged that the CYA expended funds on policies, procedures, and practices that were illegal under ... [view]
19 Plata v. Brown (Newsom) / Coleman v. Brown Three-Judge Court
4:01-cv-01351 (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 04/05/2001 - Case Ongoing
California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation
Prison Conditions
PC-CA-0057
Coding Complete
COVID-19 Summary: This is a longstanding case addressing health care and conditions of confinement for prisoners with mental illness, in California. In front of a 3-judge court previously convened to address overcrowding, on March 25, 2020, plaintiffs sought emergency releases of particularly vulnerable prisoners in light of the COVID-19 pandemic ... [view]
20 Stevens v. CA Youth Authority
01-675 (E.D. Cal.)
Filed 04/04/2001 - Closed 2003
California Youth Authority
Juvenile Institution
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
JI-CA-0012
Coding Complete
On April 4, 2001, nine youths in custody of the California Youth Authority ("CYA") filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the CYA in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California. The youths, represented by both private counsel and counsel from the Disability Rights Advocates, sought injunctive and declaratory ... [view]
21 Budd v. Cambra
319578 (State Court)
Filed 03/13/2001 - Closed 2006
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)
Prison Conditions
PC-CA-0034
Coding Complete
On March 13, 2001, attorneys of the Prison Law Office in California filed suit in the San Francisco Superior Court on behalf of California taxpayers, Drs. Diane Budd and William-Zakee McGill, to challenge the failure of the California Department of Corrections (CDC) to comply with the California Health and Safety Code § 1253. On August 14, 2002 ... [view]
22 Plata v. Newsom
4:01-cv-01351-TEH (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 2001 - Case Ongoing
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
CA State Prisons
Prison Conditions
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
PC-CA-0018
Coding Complete
NOTE: All documents relating to the prison overcrowding proceedings in this case, which led to imposition of a statewide prison population cap, affirmed by the Supreme Court, are presented in a different case record, PC-CA-0057. See "related cases" below. Summary: On August 20, ... [view]
23 Clement v. California Department of Corrections
00-1860 (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 05/23/2000 - Closed 2004
California Department of Corrections
California DOC
Prison Conditions
PC-CA-0015
Coding Complete
On May 23, 2000, an inmate at the Pelican Bay State Prison filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against the California Department of Corrections. The plaintiff, who was represented by the ACLU and private counsel, sought injunctive relief and damages, alleging (1) that the ... [view]
24 Clark v. California
3:96-cv-01486-CRB (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 04/22/1996 - Case Ongoing
State of California
Prison Conditions
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
PC-CA-0005
Coding Complete
On April 22, 1996, two prisoners with developmental disabilities, incarcerated within facilities run by the California Department of Corrections (CDC), filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Rehabilitation Act (RA), ... [view]
25 Armstrong v. Newsom
4:94-cv-02307-CW (N.D. Cal.)
Filed 06/29/1994 - Case Ongoing
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Prison Conditions
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
PC-CA-0001
Coding Complete
On June 29, 1994, disabled prisoners and parolees in California filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California, charging that, on account of their disabilities, the two divisions of the California Youth and Adult Corrections Authority California, Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") and Board ... [view]
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