Case: Sims v. California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation

10-cv-04019 | California state trial court

Filed Date: Aug. 2, 2010

Closed Date: May 30, 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 2, 2010, a person incarcerated in San Quentin Prison and sentenced to death challenged the protocol used for execution. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that one of the drugs (pancuronium bromide) used in a three-drug formula was “unnecessary and dangerous" and only increased the risk of excruciating pain. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff sought declarative and injunctive relief in the Marin County Superior Court to prohibit use of the drug. The plaintiff, as well as t…

On August 2, 2010, a person incarcerated in San Quentin Prison and sentenced to death challenged the protocol used for execution. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that one of the drugs (pancuronium bromide) used in a three-drug formula was “unnecessary and dangerous" and only increased the risk of excruciating pain. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff sought declarative and injunctive relief in the Marin County Superior Court to prohibit use of the drug. The plaintiff, as well as two similarly situated intervenors, brought two claims against the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). First, the plaintiff alleged that the drug violated the state penal code. Second, the plaintiff alleged that the CDCR's adoption of the policy did not comply with the California Administrative Procedure Act (APA).

On December 19, 2011, the trial court denied the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on the first state claim, but granted it on the second APA claim on February 21, 2012. The trial court noted that the defendants conceded that they had not complied with all of the APA's requirements. As such, the court permanently enjoined the CDCR from administering executions by lethal injection until new regulations were promulgated in accordance with the APA, and also from administering executions by lethal gas until regulations applicable to that method of execution were properly adopted.

On April 26, 2012 the CDCR appealed to the First District Court of Appeal, saying that under the Governor's direction, they would begin the process of considering alternate regulatory protocols, including a one-drug protocol for carrying out the death penalty.The appeals court affirmed the trial court's judgment with respect to lethal injection on May 30, 2013, holding that the CDCR's lethal injection protocols failed to comply with the APA requirements. The judge permanently enjoined CDCR from carrying out the execution of any condemned individual by lethal injection unless and until new regulations are promulgated in compliance with the APA. However, because execution by lethal gas was not at issue in the case, that part of the trial court's opinion was vacated.

Summary Authors

Justin Hill (1/19/2021)

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People


Judge(s)

Adams, Verna A. (California)

D'Opal, Faye (California)

Haakenson, Paul M. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Eisenberg, Sara J. (California)

Harris, Kamala D. (California)

Norman, Jan B. (California)

Patterson, Thomas S. (California)

Waldo, Julian Y (California)

Wolff, Jonathan L. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cate, Matthew (California)

Judge(s)

Adams, Verna A. (California)

D'Opal, Faye (California)

Haakenson, Paul M. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Eisenberg, Sara J. (California)

Harris, Kamala D. (California)

Norman, Jan B. (California)

Patterson, Thomas S. (California)

Waldo, Julian Y (California)

Wolff, Jonathan L. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cate, Matthew (California)

Hile, Norman C. (California)

Quinn, Michael James (California)

Other Attorney(s)

Scheidegger, Kent S. (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

A129789

Docket

California state appellate court

July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013

Docket

A135290

Judgment [on District Court's ruling]

Sims v. Department of Corrections

California state appellate court

216 Cal.App.4th 1059

May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated June 24, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link

by attorney Sara J. Eisenberg for Mitchell Sims and attorney Jan B. Norman for Albert Greenwood Brown Jr. (plaintiffs); notice of appeal filed in the superior court on 09/27/2010

Sept. 27, 2010

Sept. 27, 2010

designation included in notice of appeal

Sept. 27, 2010

Sept. 27, 2010

nan

Sept. 27, 2010

Sept. 27, 2010

nan

Sept. 27, 2010

Sept. 27, 2010

Motion for Stay.

Sept. 28, 2010

Sept. 28, 2010

Opposition to Motion for Stay Pending Appeal due by 12 noon on 9-29-10; Reply due by 3pm on 9-29-10

Sept. 28, 2010

Sept. 28, 2010

Respondent's Opposition to Motion for Stay Pending Appeal

Sept. 29, 2010

Sept. 29, 2010

Respondent's Supplemental Exhibits in Support of Opposition to Motion for Stay Pending Appeal (one volume)

Sept. 29, 2010

Sept. 29, 2010

nan

Sept. 29, 2010

Sept. 29, 2010

Appellant's Reply in Support of Motion for Stay Pending Appeal

Sept. 29, 2010

Sept. 29, 2010

Appellant's Motion for Voluntary Dismissal of Motion for Stay Pending Appeal

Sept. 29, 2010

Sept. 29, 2010

Appellants are appealing from the trial court's denial of their application for a temporary restraining order, challenging newly adopted lethal injection execution regulations and, in conjunction with that appeal, filed a "motion for stay pending appeal" on September 28, 2010. On September 29, 2010, appellants then filed a motion for voluntary dismissal of the motion for stay pending appeal. Pursuant to appellants request, the motion for stay is dismissed.

Sept. 30, 2010

Sept. 30, 2010

appellant's notice designating reporter's transcript on appeal; designation filed in the superior court on 09/28/2010

Sept. 30, 2010

Sept. 30, 2010

Motion to stay, opposition, and exhibits in box

Oct. 5, 2010

Oct. 5, 2010

by Deputy Attorney General Thomas S. Patterson for California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitations and Matthew Cate (defendants); notice of appeal filed in the superior court on 04/26/2012

April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012

as to California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitations et al. appeal

April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012

nan

April 30, 2012

April 30, 2012

appellant's notice designating record on appeal; notice filed in the superior court on 05/07/2012; designation of clerk and reporter transcripts

May 10, 2012

May 10, 2012

Dep. Co. Clerk Joey Dale's Declaration Re: Clerk's Transcript, dated 5-9-12, re: The following items listed in the Appellant's designation of the Clerk's Transcript, filed on May 7, 2012, were not found in the trial court's file: 1. #16 [Proposed] Order Ruling on Defendant's Objections to Plaintiffs' Evidence in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment, Designated as Filed 10/21/2011 If the parties wish to include the above documents in the Clerk's Transcripts they shall have 10 days within the date of mailing of this declaration to submit copies that bear the Filed Stamp or the Received Stamp of the Marin County Superior Court. If Filed/Received copies are not received within the specified time, then the superior court clerk shall proceed with the Clerk's Transcript under CRC Rule 8.122. The following items were found, but not under the dates specified: 1. #2 Defendant's General Denial - Designated as Filed 09/02/2010 - Found Filed 10/12/2010 2. #3-14. Motion For Summary Judgment & "Related Docs" - Designated as Filed 09/02/2011 - Found Filed 08/12/2011

May 11, 2012

May 11, 2012

notice issued by the superior court on 05/22/2012

May 24, 2012

May 24, 2012

by attonrey Michael J. Quinn for appellant (Calif. Dept. of Corrections & Rehab; Matthew Cate) w/a copy of the judgment attached.

May 25, 2012

May 25, 2012

nan

June 21, 2012

June 21, 2012

c-9-r-1

June 21, 2012

June 21, 2012

one (1) box

June 21, 2012

June 21, 2012

Appellant's opening brief. Due on 08/21/2012 By 21 Day(s)

July 30, 2012

July 30, 2012

Defendant and Appellant: California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitations Attorney: Thomas Stuart Patterson

Aug. 21, 2012

Aug. 21, 2012

Amended POS to Appellants' Opening Brief

Aug. 22, 2012

Aug. 22, 2012

Respondent's brief. Due on 10/22/2012 By 32 Day(s)

Sept. 19, 2012

Sept. 19, 2012

Interested Entity/Party: Albert Greenwood Brown, Jr. Attorney: Jan Burns Norman *** not respondents on appeal ***

Sept. 21, 2012

Sept. 21, 2012

Interested Entity/Party: Kevin Cooper Attorney: Norman Carter Hile *** not respondents on appeal ***

Sept. 21, 2012

Sept. 21, 2012

John Carrillo w/Arnold & Porter, counsel for respondent Mitchell Sims, re: the court has listed Albert Brown and Kevin Cooper as respondents; on appeal they are interested parties only

Oct. 2, 2012

Oct. 2, 2012

as to respondents Albert Greenwood Brown Jr. and Kevin Cooper, now interested persons

Oct. 2, 2012

Oct. 2, 2012

Norman Hile, counsel for Kevin Cooper, re: Kevin Cooper is not a party to this appeal; as the record reflects, he was not a party to the judgment entered in the Marin County Superior Court which is the subject of this appeal.

Oct. 4, 2012

Oct. 4, 2012

Sara J. Eisenberg, dated 10/10/12, re: "With respect to the above captioned case, I write to request that I be removed from the docket in this action. Effective October 11, 2012, I will no longer serve as counsel for Respondent Mitchell Sims, as I am leaving the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP. Kenneth G. Hausman and Julian Y. Waldo of Arnold & Porter LLP will continue the representation of Respondent Sims..." (see full text of letter)

Oct. 11, 2012

Oct. 11, 2012

Respondent's brief. Due on 11/19/2012 By 28 Day(s)

Oct. 16, 2012

Oct. 16, 2012

Plaintiff and Respondent: Mitchell Sims Attorney: Julian Peter Waldon Attorney: Kenneth Gibbs Hausman

Nov. 20, 2012

Nov. 20, 2012

Respondent's Brief; attachment to brief exceeds 10 page limit; to court for permission to file

Dec. 4, 2012

Dec. 4, 2012

Plaintiff and Respondent: Mitchell Sims Attorney: Julian Yale Waldo (filed with permission)

Dec. 4, 2012

Dec. 4, 2012

Responsive filing fee for respondent's brief (check #6421 from Freewheelin' Atty. Service)

Dec. 4, 2012

Dec. 4, 2012

Julain Y. Waldo, counsel for respondent, dated 12/7/12, re: "Please be advised that the list of attorneys representing Mitchell Sims in the above-referenced matter incorrectly states my name as 'Julian Peter Waldon.' Please correct it to read 'Julian Yale Waldo.' Thank you for your assistance in the matter."

Dec. 10, 2012

Dec. 10, 2012

Appellant's reply brief. Due on 01/23/2013 By 30 Day(s)

Dec. 19, 2012

Dec. 19, 2012

Defendant and Appellant: California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitations Attorney: Michael James Quinn

Jan. 23, 2013

Jan. 23, 2013

nan

Jan. 23, 2013

Jan. 23, 2013

Appellants' Request for Substitution of Party

Jan. 24, 2013

Jan. 24, 2013

13-2

Feb. 1, 2013

Feb. 1, 2013

nan

Feb. 1, 2013

Feb. 1, 2013

nan

Feb. 1, 2013

Feb. 1, 2013

Application for Permission to File and Brief Amici Curiae of Bradley S. Winchell and Kermit Alexander in Support of Neither Party (brief attached) (filed by Atty Kent S. Scheidegger with Criminal Justice Legal Foundation)

Feb. 7, 2013

Feb. 7, 2013

Respondent

Feb. 8, 2013

Feb. 8, 2013

Appellants' Request for Substitution of Party

Feb. 11, 2013

Feb. 11, 2013

Appellant's request to substitute Jeffrey Beard, Secretary of the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, in place of Matthew Cate, the former Secretary of the department, is granted.

Feb. 15, 2013

Feb. 15, 2013

Respondent's Opposition to Application for Permission to File Brief Amici Curiae of Bradley S. Winchell and Kermit Alexander in support of neither party

Feb. 20, 2013

Feb. 20, 2013

Application for Permission to File and Brief Amici Curiae of Bradley S. Winchell and Kermit Alexander in Support of Neither Party (brief attached)

Feb. 20, 2013

Feb. 20, 2013

1) Reply to Opposition to Application for Permission to File Brief Amici Curiae and 2) Motion for Judicial Notice and Supporting Declaration of Kent S. Scheidegger (to court for permission to file)

Feb. 26, 2013

Feb. 26, 2013

Reply to Opposition to Application for Permission to File Brief Amici Curiae (filed w/permission)

Feb. 27, 2013

Feb. 27, 2013

Motion for Judicial Notice and Supporting Declaration of Kent S. Scheidegger (filed w/permission)

Feb. 27, 2013

Feb. 27, 2013

The application of Bradley S. Winchell and Kermit Alexander to file an amici curiae brief in support of neither party and motion for judicial notice are denied.

Feb. 27, 2013

Feb. 27, 2013

Steven L. Mayer, counsel for respondent, dated 3/5/13, re: requesting oral argument not be set between July 5 and 28, 2013, as he will be out of the State during that time.

March 6, 2013

March 6, 2013

4/16/13 @ 9:30 a.m.

March 25, 2013

March 25, 2013

Dear Counsel: At oral argument, in addition to any other relevant argument, please be prepared to focus on the following questions: Whether the requirement that a failure to comply with the APA must amount to a "substantial failure" in order to support invalidation of a regulation (§ 11350, subd. (a)) is equivalent to a "harmless error" requirement? What cases, if any, define "substantial failure" in connection with compliance with the APA? Does California Assn. of Medical Products Suppliers v. Maxwell-Jolly (2011) 199 Cal.App.4th 286, hold the Office of Administrative Law has exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether proposed regulations satisfy the "clarity" requirement of the APA? In the absence of regulations pertaining to execution of female inmates or execution by lethal gas, why are these issues not moot? DIANA HERBERT Clerk/Administrator of the Court Stacy Wheeler Deputy Clerk

March 29, 2013

March 29, 2013

Appellant to file letter addressing issue at oral argument by Monday, 4/22/13; cause to be submitted upon filing of letter

April 16, 2013

April 16, 2013

Michael J. Quinn, counsel for CDCR, dated 4/22/13, re: addressing whether it must promulgate separate regulations concerning the execution of condemned female inmates before such executions can proceed (see full text of letter)

April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013

nan

April 22, 2013

April 22, 2013

Thomas Stuart Patterson, Deputy Attorney General Michael James Quinn, Deputy Attorney General Office of the Attorney General 455 Golden Gate Avenue, Suite 11000 San Francisco, CA 94102 Re: A135290; Sims v. California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation et al. (Assigned to Division Two) Dear Counsel, Due to (1) the fact that CDCR now has no regulations regarding the execution of female condemned inmates or executions by means of lethal gas, (2) the opinion in Morales v. California Dept. of Corrections and Rehabilitation (2008) 168 Cal.App.4th 729, 739, and (3) the Attorney General's letter to the court of April 22, 2013, regarding this matter, the Court assumes CDCR acknowledges that, as a matter of law, it cannot execute condemned female inmates or carry out any execution by means of lethal gas until it promulgates regulations regarding such executions in the manner prescribed by the Administrative Procedure Act. This letter requests the Attorney General to inform the Court whether the Court's assumption is correct and, if it is not correct, the respects in which that is so and the reasons. This information shall be provided by a letter not longer than two pages that shall be filed with the Clerk of the Court no later than three business days from the date of this letter, with a copy to respondents' counsel. In the event CDCR informs the Court that it disagrees with its assumption in any particular, respondent may file a response in the form of a letter not longer than two pages that shall be filed with the Clerk of the Court no later than three business days from its receipt of the Attorney General's letter. Very truly yours, DIANA HERBERT, Clerk by: Deputy Clerk cc: Steven Lee Mayer, Esq. Ginamarie C. Caya, Esq. Julian Yale Waldo, Esq.

May 1, 2013

May 1, 2013

Attorney General in response to May 1, 2013 letter from court (due three business days from

May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013

nan

July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013

nan

July 30, 2013

July 30, 2013

L345

May 19, 2014

May 19, 2014

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Criminal Justice (Other)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 2, 2010

Closing Date: May 30, 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

California prisoner sentenced to death.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Torture

Death Penalty:

Lethal Injection - Chemicals Used

Lethal Injection - General