Case: National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers v. Newsom

20-261827 | California state trial court

Filed Date: 2020

Closed Date: May 4, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: This case was an emergency petition brought on behalf of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and criminal defense member organizations to challenge the conditions of incarceration in light of COVID-19 in California correctional facilities. The petitioners sought a release order to reduce the number of individuals incarcerated so facilities could better comply with public health guidelines. The court denied the petition without prejudice on May 4, 2020 and the case is now close…

COVID-19 Summary: This case was an emergency petition brought on behalf of criminal justice, juvenile justice, and criminal defense member organizations to challenge the conditions of incarceration in light of COVID-19 in California correctional facilities. The petitioners sought a release order to reduce the number of individuals incarcerated so facilities could better comply with public health guidelines. The court denied the petition without prejudice on May 4, 2020 and the case is now closed.


On April 24, 2020, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, and the Youth Justice Coalition started this case by filing a petition in the California Supreme Court. The petitioners--member organizations composed of system-involved individuals and attorneys representing detained clients--sued California’s governor and attorney general under state law. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU and private counsel, sought emergency and declaratory relief, claiming violations of the Eighth Amendment, the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause, and the California state constitution. Specifically, the petitioners alleged that California had not sufficiently acted to protect the health of California residents in jails and juvenile facilities from COVID-19 and that correctional facilities lacked infrastructure for physical distancing and adequate hygiene. They sought an order to release detained individuals such that facilities could create conditions consistent with public health guidance to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

On April 28, 2020 the state filed their preliminary opposition. The state contended that local officials in charge of their respective facilities had the duty to remedy any violations and that trial courts were better suited to resolve the factual issues raised in the petition. On April 30, the petitioners filed their reply.

On May 4, 2020 the California Supreme Court denied the petition without prejudice to future actions raising similar claims against these respondents in county superior courts. 2020 Cal. LEXIS 3096. In its reasoning, the court found that the petition sought remedies that involved a wide range of local conditions. According to the court, petitioners’ concerns invoked local responsibility for addressing facilities’ conditions. The order urged California superior courts to proceed rapidly to adequately respond to COVID-19. The case concluded.

Summary Authors

Lily Sawyer-Kaplan (6/14/2020)

People


Judge(s)

Cantil-Sakauye, Tani (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Agarwal, Shilpi (California)

Bibring, Peter (California)

Eliasberg, Peter J. (California)

Goodman, Melissa (California)

Guneratne, Kathleen (California)

Kreilkamp, Jacob S. (California)

Lemoine, Melinda Eades (California)

Markovitz, Jonathan Paul (California)

Marquis, Estalyn S. (California)

Judge(s)

Cantil-Sakauye, Tani (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Agarwal, Shilpi (California)

Bibring, Peter (California)

Eliasberg, Peter J. (California)

Goodman, Melissa (California)

Guneratne, Kathleen (California)

Kreilkamp, Jacob S. (California)

Lemoine, Melinda Eades (California)

Markovitz, Jonathan Paul (California)

Marquis, Estalyn S. (California)

McDermott, Sara A. (California)

Rodriguez, Ariana E. (California)

Stubbs, Cassandra (North Carolina)

Takei, Carl (District of Columbia)

Temko, William D. (California)

Templeton, Trevor N. (California)

Torres-Guillen, Sylvia (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Evans, Kelli M. (California)

Hartz, Alisa Louise (California)

Sapp, David B. (California)

Zelidon-Zepeda, Jose Alfonso (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

California state appellate court

May 4, 2020 Docket

Petition for Writ of Mandate

California state supreme court

April 24, 2020 Complaint

Order

California state supreme court

May 4, 2020 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

ACLU Sues Governor in CA Supreme Court Over Pandemic Conditions

ACLU of Southern California

It's time for the highest officials in the state to step to their responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us — people, including youths, locked up in a way that makes it impossible for th… April 24, 2020 https://www.aclusocal.org/en/press-releases/aclu-sues-governor-ca-supreme-court-over-pandemic-conditions

Docket

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2020

Closing Date: May 4, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys is a membership organizations of criminal defense attorneys handling adult and juvenile cases; California Attorneys for Criminal Justice is a membership organization of criminal defense attorneys in California; and the Youth Justice Coalition is a membership organization focused on youth in the criminal justice system

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU Affiliates (any)

ACLU National (all projects)

ACLU of Northern California

ACLU of Southern California

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Governor of California, State

California Attorney General, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Special Case Type(s):

Appellate Court is initial court

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Bathing and hygiene

Conditions of confinement

Sanitation / living conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

COVID-19:

Mitigation Denied

Mitigation Requested

Release Requested