Case: Harris v. County of Placer

2:90-cv-00394 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

Filed Date: March 29, 1990

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Case Summary

On March 29, 1990, several prisoners in the Placer County jail system filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against Placer County. The plaintiffs, represented by the Prisoner Rights Union and private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging unconstitutional conditions of confinement and, in particular, overcrowding. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief.On July 20, 1990, the District Court (Senior Judge Thomas J. Macbride) issued…

On March 29, 1990, several prisoners in the Placer County jail system filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California against Placer County. The plaintiffs, represented by the Prisoner Rights Union and private counsel, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging unconstitutional conditions of confinement and, in particular, overcrowding. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

On July 20, 1990, the District Court (Senior Judge Thomas J. Macbride) issued a preliminary injunction regarding prisoner population capacities at the Placer County Jail. The injunction was amended on August 17, 1990, by Judge Lawrence K. Karlton and Magistrate Judge John F. Moulds; the content of the amendment is unclear from the docket.

The docket also contains few entries for the following two years; presumably, the parties were negotiating a settlement, as Magistrate Judge Peter A. Nowinski notified the court that the case had settled on July 24, 1992. Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants agreed, among other things, to a population cap of 100 percent capacity at the Placer County Mail Jail and Minimum Security facilities (646 people). To make this feasible, the settlement also authorized the sheriff to begin releasing prisoners when a facility is within ten percent of its rated capacity.

Following notice to the settlement class, Magistrate Judge Nowinski made a report and recommendation to the Court that the settlement should be approved, with the exception of a provision regarding the jail's "safety cell."

On April 16, 1993, the Court (Judge Karlton) adopted the magistrate's recommendation in full, and the settlement was approved.

The settlement was still in effect as of 2008, when the sheriff sent a letter to the Placer County Board of Supervisors informing the Board that it had released prisoners under the District Court's order every day of the last fiscal year and asking it to approve alternative sentencing programs to lighten its load.

Summary Authors

Christopher Schad (7/18/2012)

People


Judge(s)

Karlton, Lawrence K. (California)

Nowinski, Peter A. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Comiskey, Paul Wayne (California)

Herman, Richard P. (California)

Persons, Paul Turner (California)

Stormer, Dan Lewis (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Carden, Gerald O'Brien (California)

Hagar, John H. Jr. (California)

Judge(s)

Karlton, Lawrence K. (California)

Nowinski, Peter A. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Comiskey, Paul Wayne (California)

Herman, Richard P. (California)

Persons, Paul Turner (California)

Stormer, Dan Lewis (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Carden, Gerald O'Brien (California)

Hagar, John H. Jr. (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:90-cv-00394

Docket (PACER)

Harris v. Placer County

April 16, 1993

April 16, 1993

Docket

[Letter from the Sheriff to the County Board of Supervisors Regarding a] Resolution to Authorize Expansion of Alternative Sentencing Programs

Harris v. Placer County

No Court

Aug. 5, 2008

Aug. 5, 2008

Other

Resources

Docket

Last updated June 2, 2022, 3:06 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
5

ANSWER by defendant Placer County, defendant Donald J. Nunes (old) (Entered: 05/19/1990)

May 11, 1990

May 11, 1990

6

DEMAND for jury trial by defendant Placer County, defendant Donald J. Nunes (old) (Entered: 05/19/1990)

May 11, 1990

May 11, 1990

7

STIPULATION and ORDER by Magistrate John F. Moulds : In−court hearing set bef JFM 6/28/90 @ 9:00 PI (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 06/01/1990)

May 24, 1990

May 24, 1990

8

OPPOSITION by defendant Placer County, defendant Donald J. Nunes to deft's mtn/prelim injunction; memo Ps ; decl Steven E. Reader, Donald Lunsford. (old) (Entered: 06/19/1990)

June 14, 1990

June 14, 1990

10

PROOF OF SERVICE by defendant Placer County, defendant Donald J. Nunes of stipulation [7−2] (old) (Entered: 06/19/1990)

June 14, 1990

June 14, 1990

11

MINUTES of 6/28/90 for Pltf's preliminary injunction sumitted after parties inform Ct of status after further consultation. (old) (Entered: 07/05/1990)

June 28, 1990

June 28, 1990

12

ORDER ; Prel/Perm hearing reset to 7/19/90 @ 9:00am JFM (cont from 6/28/90 (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 07/09/1990)

July 5, 1990

July 5, 1990

13

MINUTES of pltfs mot/preliminary injunction: ordered off calendar. (old) (Entered: 07/25/1990)

July 20, 1990

July 20, 1990

14

PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION by Senior Judge Thomas J. MacBride: regarding prisoner population capacities of the Placer County Jail (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 07/25/1990)

July 20, 1990

July 20, 1990

15

ORDER by Honorable Lawrence K. Karlton and Honorable John F. Moulds GRANTING AMENDED PRELIM INJUNCTION; parties agreed to waive time for obj and ord to become immed effective; see order for details of injunction (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 08/22/1990)

Aug. 17, 1990

Aug. 17, 1990

16

NOTICE by plaintiff Michael − Harris, plaintiff Jason West, plaintiff Thomas George of change of firm name for Stormer (old) (Entered: 02/08/1991)

Jan. 31, 1991

Jan. 31, 1991

17

ORDER by Magistrate John F. Moulds reassiging case to PAN (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 05/14/1991)

April 11, 1991

April 11, 1991

18

REQUEST by plaintiff Michael Harris for inspection of jails by court (old) (Entered: 02/05/1992)

Feb. 5, 1992

Feb. 5, 1992

19

NOTICE by defendant Donald J. Nunes, defendant Placer County of association of attorney John H Hagar Jr (old) (Entered: 04/08/1992)

April 8, 1992

April 8, 1992

20

NOTIFICATION OF REQUEST by defendant Donald J. Nunes, defendant Placer County for court settlement conference; declaration of John Hagar (old) (Entered: 04/14/1992)

April 13, 1992

April 13, 1992

21

ORDER by Magistrate Peter A. Nowinski ; Settlement conference set for 6/19/92 at 9:00 (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 06/05/1992)

June 5, 1992

June 5, 1992

22

NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION by Magistrate Peter A Nowinski ORDERING Settlement conference HELD 6/19/92, case has SETTLED, on or beofre 8/3/92 defendant shall post copies of this order and proposed consent decree in conspicuous places throughout Placer Co Jail, on or before 8/31/92 class members may file written objections, questions RE the consent decree shall be directed to plaintiff's counsel (cc: all counsel) (kh) (Entered: 07/24/1992)

July 24, 1992

July 24, 1992

23

MAIL Returned [22−1], [22−2] addressed to defendant attorney Gerald Carden (kh) (Entered: 08/13/1992)

Aug. 12, 1992

Aug. 12, 1992

24

ORDER by Magistrate Peter A Nowinski on Notice of Settlement of Class Action ORDERING: Deft's shall post copies of this order and the parties' propesed Consent Decree thoughout the Place County joils on or bef 10/27/92, Class members may file written objections to the proposed Consent Degree by 11/27/92, and question concerning the proposed Consent Decree shall be directed to plaintiffs' counsel and not to the court (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 10/08/1992)

Oct. 8, 1992

Oct. 8, 1992

25

MAIL Returned addressed to Gerald O Carden (old) (Entered: 12/08/1992)

Dec. 8, 1992

Dec. 8, 1992

26

OBJECTIONS by plaintiff Michael Harris to the settlement of this action (old) (Entered: 12/23/1992)

Dec. 23, 1992

Dec. 23, 1992

27

LETTER to court from defendant Placer County enclosing Attachment 3 from the settlement agreement (old) (Entered: 01/12/1993)

Jan. 11, 1993

Jan. 11, 1993

28

ORDER by Magistrate Peter A Nowinski ORDERING that within 10 days from service, the parties shall more fully identify the issue that they have agreed the court should retain judirdiction to adjudicate and shall provide authority for entering judgment upon fewer than all claims pursuant to FRCP 54(b) or otherwise (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 01/15/1993)

Jan. 15, 1993

Jan. 15, 1993

29

LETTER to court from plaintiff Michael Harris re to support not settling action (old) (Entered: 01/26/1993)

Jan. 22, 1993

Jan. 22, 1993

30

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION that the court strike paragraph IV−G of the proposed order and approve the order loged by the parties as modified (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 01/29/1993)

Jan. 29, 1993

Jan. 29, 1993

31

MAIL Returned [28−1] addressed to defendant Placer County, plaintiff Thomas George, attorney of record Gerald O Carden (old) (Entered: 02/05/1993)

Feb. 4, 1993

Feb. 4, 1993

32

REQUEST by defendant Placer County for the court to issue a final order in re to the proposed Consent Decree (old) (Entered: 04/07/1993)

April 7, 1993

April 7, 1993

33

ORDER by Honorable Lawrence K Karlton of stipulated judgemnt APPROVED by all parties (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 04/09/1993)

April 9, 1993

April 9, 1993

34

ORDER by Honorable Lawrence K Karlton ADOPTING report &recommendation motion [30−1] is ADOPTED IN FULL; and the order of 4/9/93 is APPROVED except that paragragh IV(G) of the proposed order (page 6, lines 19−26), relating to the "safety cell" is STRICKEN (cc: all counsel) (old) (Entered: 04/16/1993)

April 16, 1993

April 16, 1993

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

California Jail Population Caps

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 29, 1990

Case Ongoing: Perhaps, but long-dormant

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

prisoners at the Placer County Main Jail and Minimum Security facilities

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Hadsell, Stormer & Renick

Prisoners Rights Union

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

County of Placer (Placer), County

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

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 - None

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Issues

General:

Conditions of confinement

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Pre-PLRA Population Cap

Type of Facility:

Government-run