Case: Mendoza v. County of Tulare

NA | California state trial court

Filed Date: Nov. 1, 1978

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 1, 1978, prisoners at the Tulare County Jail filed a class action lawsuit in the Superior Court of California against the County of Tulare and several of its officers. The plaintiffs brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law, challenging their conditions of confinement. Specifically, they complained of unconstitutional overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, inadequate medical and dental care, failure to provide a law library and meaningful access to the courts, failure to p…

On November 1, 1978, prisoners at the Tulare County Jail filed a class action lawsuit in the Superior Court of California against the County of Tulare and several of its officers. The plaintiffs brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law, challenging their conditions of confinement. Specifically, they complained of unconstitutional overcrowding and unsanitary conditions, inadequate medical and dental care, failure to provide a law library and meaningful access to the courts, failure to provide educational, rehabilitative or vocational training programs, inadequate provisions for visitation, failure to properly segregate the prisoner population, inadequate and unsanitary meals, failure to advise prisoners of jail regulations, and lack of access to voter registration. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

On January 17, 1979, the defendants filed a general demurrer, and on March 19, the trial court granted it, dismissing the complaint without leave to amend. It found that there was no community of interest among the members of the proposed class and that declaratory relief was not necessary or proper when habeas relief would be more quick and efficient.

The plaintiffs appealed, and on January 5, 1982, the California Court of Appeal (Associate Justice Baca) reversed the trial court's judgment, holding that plaintiffs had standing and that declaratory relief was proper. 180 Cal. Rptr. 347 (Cal. Ct. App. 1982). It directed the trial court to allow plaintiffs to amend their pleadings.

As of the date of this summary, we have no information about subsequent developments in this case.

Summary Authors

Christopher Schad (8/21/2012)

People


Judge(s)

Baca, Robert T. (California)

Judge(s)

Baca, Robert T. (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Civ. No. 4905

[Court of Appeal] Opinion [Reversing the Trial Court's Judgment of Dismissal]

California state appellate court

180 Cal.Rptr. 347

Jan. 5, 1982

Jan. 5, 1982

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated June 27, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

California Jail Population Caps

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 1, 1978

Case Ongoing: Unknown

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

prisoners at the Tulare County Jail

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Unknown

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Unknown

Defendants

County of Tulare (Tulare), County

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Administrative segregation

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Law library access

Recreation / Exercise

Sanitation / living conditions

Visiting

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Medical/Mental Health:

Dental care

Medical care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run