Case: Torres v. County of Merced

2:93-cv-00357 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

Filed Date: March 4, 1993

Closed Date: 2000

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 4, 1993, prisoners at the Merced County Jail filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the County of Merced. Plaintiffs, represented by the Prisoner Rights Union and by private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of their constitutional rights. Among other issues, plaintiffs challenged the overcrowding of the jail and their lack of access to a law library. They sought declaratory and injunctive r…

On March 4, 1993, prisoners at the Merced County Jail filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against the County of Merced. Plaintiffs, represented by the Prisoner Rights Union and by private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging violations of their constitutional rights. Among other issues, plaintiffs challenged the overcrowding of the jail and their lack of access to a law library. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

On March 25, the Court (Judge Garland E. Burrell) granted a lodged stipulation by the parties and ordered the issuance of a temporary restraining order, the content of which is unclear from the docket.

On April 16, 1993, again following a stipulation by the parties, the Court (Judge Burrell) issued an injunction which granted the following relief: (1) the County was enjoined from bedding prisoners on the floor, (2) the maximum bed capacity at the mail jail was set at 182, (3) the addition of more beds was prohibited, (4) the sheriff was authorized to release prisoners if the jail system came within ten percent of being filled and to refuse additional prisoners if the jail was filled.

The parties also stipulated that the class should be certified, and on June 30, 1993, the Court (Judge Burrell) issued an order granting certification.

A settlement was preliminarily approved, and a hearing on its fairness, reasonableness and adequacy was scheduled for September 14, 1994, but there is no indication on the docket that the settlement ever received final approval.

On February 9, 2000, after issuing an order to show cause why the case should not be dismissed and receiving no reply, the Court (Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows) dismissed the case.

Summary Authors

Christopher Schad (7/12/2012)

People


Judge(s)

Hollows, Gregory G. (California)

Moulds, John F. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Comiskey, Paul Wayne (California)

Herman, Richard P. (California)

Persons, Paul Turner (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Berrey, Allen R. (California)

Hagar, John H. Jr. (California)

Myers, Dennis L (California)

Judge(s)

Hollows, Gregory G. (California)

Moulds, John F. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Comiskey, Paul Wayne (California)

Herman, Richard P. (California)

Persons, Paul Turner (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Berrey, Allen R. (California)

Hagar, John H. Jr. (California)

Myers, Dennis L (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:93-cv-00357

Docket (PACER)

May 26, 2009

May 26, 2009

Docket
1

2:93-cv-00357

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

Torres v. Merced

March 4, 1993

March 4, 1993

Complaint
8

2:93-cv-00357

Stipulation and Order

Torres v. Merced

April 16, 1993

April 16, 1993

Order/Opinion
19

2:93-cv-00357

Order

Torres v. Merced

Aug. 5, 1994

Aug. 5, 1994

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 4, 2022, 3:21 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT to Honorable Garland E Burrell; Referred to Magistrate John F Moulds; fee status paid; Receipt # 143384;(old) Modified on 03/08/1993 (Entered: 03/08/1993)

March 4, 1993

March 4, 1993

2

APPLICATION by plaintiffs for TRO and ancillary relief set 3/25/93 at 9:00 before JFM; DECLARATIONS of Nicholas Joseph Torres, Jimmy Lee O'Brien and Heath Leo Steers (old) Modified on 03/08/1993 (Entered: 03/08/1993)

March 4, 1993

March 4, 1993

3

AMENDED APPLICATION by pltfs for TRO and ancillary relief; MEMORANDUM in support; DECLARATIONS of Nicholas J Torres, Jimmy Lee O'Brien and Heath Leo Steers (old) (Entered: 03/10/1993)

March 9, 1993

March 9, 1993

4

PROOF OF SERVICE by facsimile by pltf Nicholas Joseph Torres of application for TRO [2−1], complaint [1−1] (old) (Entered: 03/10/1993)

March 10, 1993

March 10, 1993

LODGED STIPULATION AND ORDER GRANTING application for temporary restraining order and ancillary relief and VACATING hearing date 3/25/93 (old) (Entered: 03/24/1993)

March 24, 1993

March 24, 1993

6

MINUTES of TRO hearing before Magistrate John F Moulds: matter ordered OFF CALENDAR; stipulation to be filed (old) (Entered: 03/26/1993)

March 25, 1993

March 25, 1993

7

ANSWER by dfts County of Merced, Tom Sawyer to complaint (old) (Entered: 04/01/1993)

March 31, 1993

March 31, 1993

LODGED stipulation and order re: injunctive relief (old) (Entered: 04/01/1993)

March 31, 1993

March 31, 1993

8

STIPULATION and ORDER by Judge Garland E Burrell GRANTING lodged stipulation for injunctive relief [0−0]; ORDERING: 1) dfts are EJOINED from bedding inmates on the floor; 2) maximum assigned bed capacity at the Main Jail is 182; 3) dfts are ENJOINED from adding beds to the Main Jail in each and every housing unit which exists on the date this stipulation is executed; 4) Sheriff if Merced County is authorized to release inmates from the Merced County Jail whenever the Merced County Jail system, or any specific housing unit therein, is w/i ten percent of being filled; Sheriff shall release inmates or refuse to accept newly−committed inmates whenever all beds in the Main Jail are filled; 5) either party may seek to modify or terminate this stipulation pursuant to standards set forth in RUFO v INMATES OF SUFFOLK COUNTY JAIL (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 04/16/1993)

April 16, 1993

April 16, 1993

LODGED stipulation re: class certification (old) (Entered: 06/11/1993)

June 8, 1993

June 8, 1993

9

STIPULATION and ORDER by Judge Garland E Burrell GRANTING lodged stipulation re: class certification [0−0]; ORDERING: action CERTIFIED as a CLASS ACTION pursuant to FRCP 23 (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 06/30/1993)

June 30, 1993

June 30, 1993

10

MINUTES of 2/3/94 before Magistrate John F Moulds settlement conference requested; Further Status Conference is SET for 5/26/94 at 1:30pm ; scheduling order to issue; settlement Judge will be drawn and parties will contact Judge for date (kb) (Entered: 02/04/1994)

Feb. 3, 1994

Feb. 3, 1994

11

ORDER by Magistrate John F Moulds ORDERING: Defendants may depose plaintiffs, and any party may depose a witness confined in a prison, upon condition that, at least 14 days before such a deposition, the deposing party shall serve all parties with the notice required by Fed R Civ P 30(b)(1); this matter is assigned to the Honorable Gregory G Hollows for a settlement conference, counsel for the parties shall arrange for a settlement conference to be held prior to the further status conference; status conference is SET for 5/26/94 at 1:30pm ; the parties shall submit status reports no later than 7 days before the Status conference (cc: all counsel) (kb) (Entered: 02/16/1994)

Feb. 16, 1994

Feb. 16, 1994

12

MAIL Returned Order [11−1], [11−2] addressed to counsel Paul Wayne Comiskey, Prisoner Rights Union, PO Box 1019, 2308 J Street, Suite C, Sacramento, CA 95812−1019 (kb) (Entered: 02/24/1994)

Feb. 22, 1994

Feb. 22, 1994

13

NOTICE by defendants County of Merced and Tom Sawyer of hearing Settlement conference SET for 4/26/94 at 2:30pm before GGH ( cc: GGH) (old) (Entered: 03/03/1994)

March 2, 1994

March 2, 1994

14

MINUTES of 4/26/94 before Magistrate Gregory G Hollows: case has not settled; Settlement conference is CONTINUED to 5/23/94 at 1:00pm (kb) (Entered: 04/28/1994)

April 26, 1994

April 26, 1994

15

LETTER to court from John Hagar counsel for defendants request that the Court continue for approximately 45 days the status conferences to allow time to completed settlement discussions (kb) (Entered: 05/05/1994)

May 5, 1994

May 5, 1994

16

ORDER by Magistrate John F Moulds ORDERING: Scheduling Conference reset to 8/4/94 at 3:00pm ; parties shall submit in duplicate and serve upon all other parties within 7 days preceding the conference status reports that address all matters set forth in this court's 2/16/94 order (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 05/18/1994)

May 18, 1994

May 18, 1994

17

MINUTE ORDER: further status conference in this matter is dropped from calendar 8/4/94 at 3:00pm (cc: all counsel) (kb) (Entered: 07/26/1994)

July 26, 1994

July 26, 1994

18

STIPULATION AND ORDER by Magistrate Judge Gregory G Hollows ORDERING: the parties stipulate to the Honorable Gregory G Hollows as the Judge for all purposes concerning the Final Judgement, Fairness Hearing and for the resolution of law library issues at the conclusion of the experiment period for at least 12 months or until the completion of construction whichever lasts longer ; counsel for the parties will communicate at least every 6 months concerning the status of this experiment; defendants shall pay to plaintiffs' counsel attorney fees in the amount of $12000 at the time of the filing of the Final Judgment (cc: all counsel) (kb) (Entered: 07/29/1994)

July 29, 1994

July 29, 1994

19

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Gregory G Hollows ORDERING: within 5 days of the filed date of this order defendants shall post copies of this Order with the attached proposed Stipulated Settlement Order as well as the attached Settlement Notice on every floor level of the County of Merced Main Jail and that Sandy Mush Branch Jail facility such that the inmates of said institutions have reading access to the postings; within 5 days of the filed date of this order, counsel for plaintiffs shall serve all named plaintiffs with a copy of this Order and all attachments by mail at the last address of record for each named plaintiff; this matter is scheduled for hearing before the Magistrate Judge Gregory G Hollows on 9/14/94 at 9:00am at which the court shall hear evidence and argument relating to the fairness, reasonableness and adequacy of the settlement (cc: all counsel) (kb) Modified on 08/05/1994 (Entered: 08/05/1994)

Aug. 5, 1994

Aug. 5, 1994

20

ORDER by Magistrate Judge John F. Moulds reassigning case to U.S. Magistrate Judge Gregory G Hollows (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 04/13/1995)

April 13, 1995

April 13, 1995

21

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows ORDERING: The parties to this action are ordered to show cause, within 30 days from the file date of this order, why this action should not be dismissed (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 12/09/1999)

Dec. 9, 1999

Dec. 9, 1999

22

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Gregory G. Hollows ORDERING: the parties to this action were ordered to show cause within 30 days why this action should not be dismissed; no response received CASE DISMISSED (cc: all counsel) (kdc) (Entered: 02/09/2000)

Feb. 9, 2000

Feb. 9, 2000

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF RECEIPT of Transmittal from FRC. (Flores, E) (Entered: 05/29/2009)

May 26, 2009

May 26, 2009

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

California Jail Population Caps

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 4, 1993

Closing Date: 2000

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

prisoners at Merced County jails

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Prisoners Rights Union

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

County of Merced (Merced), County

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Equal Protection

Freedom of speech/association

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1993 - 0

Issues

General:

Law library access

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Pre-PLRA Population Cap

Type of Facility:

Government-run