Case: Jones v. City and County of San Francisco

3:91-cv-03453 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Filed Date: Oct. 2, 1991

Closed Date: Aug. 18, 2000

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

The plaintiffs originally filed this action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on October 2, 1991. The plaintiff class, consisting of certain pre-trial detainees housed at San Francisco Jail Number 3 (Jail No. 3) in San Bruno, California, brought suit challenging the constitutionality of the conditions of their confinement. The original action, entitled William Besk v. City and County of San Francisco, lead to a Stipulation of Dismissal ("B…

The plaintiffs originally filed this action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 on October 2, 1991. The plaintiff class, consisting of certain pre-trial detainees housed at San Francisco Jail Number 3 (Jail No. 3) in San Bruno, California, brought suit challenging the constitutionality of the conditions of their confinement. The original action, entitled William Besk v. City and County of San Francisco, lead to a Stipulation of Dismissal ("Besk Stipulation") filed by Senior Judge William H. Orrick on May 24, 1993, in which plaintiffs agreed to dismiss the action if defendants complied with the thirty-three requirements contained therein. Besk v. City and County of San Francisco, 1993 WL 181496 (N.D.Cal. 1993). The defendants' alleged violations of the Besk Stipulation requirements prompted the plaintiffs to reopen the case and file an amended complaint charging noncompliance. On April 22, 1994, the court appointed Allen F. Breed as Special Master to aid the court in determining whether the defendants complied with the terms of the Besk Stipulation. According to the Special Master's report of August 30, 1994, the defendants had improved some of the living conditions at Jail No. 3, but in many cases they failed to substantially comply with the Besk Stipulation.

On the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Senior Judge William H. Orrick) granted the motion in part. Jones v. City and County of San Francisco, 976 F.Supp. 896 (N.D.Cal. 1997). Judge Orrick held that the detainees had established due process violations based on defendants' inadequate response to fire safety risks at the jail, excessive risks of harm from earthquakes, physical defects in the jail's water, plumbing, and sewage systems, excessive noise levels, and poor lighting. The court found that fact questions precluded summary judgment as to alleged deficiencies in ensuring personal safety, in the jail's air quality, ventilation and heating, and in the privacy of attorney-client consultation. The court enjoined the defendants to draft a plan to remedy the described constitutional violations.

Judge Orrick subsequently approved the defendant's settlement plan on August 30, 1999. On March 27, 2000, Judge Orrick issued an order stating that if the defendants did not enter into a binding a contract to build a new jail by June 15, 2000, the court would vacate the stay of the action and order the City to close Jail No. 3 and to house those inmates elsewhere. On May 15, 2000, Judge Orrick found that the defendants had complied with the later settlement terms, and on May 31, 2000, Judge Orrick referred the case to the Federal Pro Bono Project. On August 18, 2000, the case was dismissed.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (12/9/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Orrick, William Horsley Jr. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cohen, Morton P. (California)

Parker, Beth H. (California)

Severson, James (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Aftergut, Dennis (California)

Baumgartner, Margaret (California)

Greenman, Martin L. (California)

Harrigan, James (California)

Hoeper, Joanne (California)

Renne, Louise H. (California)

Judge(s)

Orrick, William Horsley Jr. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cohen, Morton P. (California)

Parker, Beth H. (California)

Severson, James (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Aftergut, Dennis (California)

Baumgartner, Margaret (California)

Greenman, Martin L. (California)

Harrigan, James (California)

Hoeper, Joanne (California)

Renne, Louise H. (California)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Breed, Allen F. (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:91-cv-03453

Docket (PACER)

Sept. 18, 2000

Sept. 18, 2000

Docket
36

3:91-cv-03453

Stipulation of Dismissal

Besk v. City and County of San Fransisco

1993 WL 181496

May 24, 1993

May 24, 1993

Order/Opinion
251

3:91-cv-03453

Opinion and Order

976 F.Supp. 896

July 18, 1997

July 18, 1997

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated June 8, 2022, 3:11 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 2, 1991

Closing Date: Aug. 18, 2000

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Certain pre-trial detainees housed at San Francisco Jail Number 3

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

City of San Francisco (San Francisco), City

County of San Francisco (San Francisco, San Francisco), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

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 - 2000

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students

Disciplinary procedures

Fire safety

Sanitation / living conditions

Sexual abuse by residents/inmates

Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Totality of conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Type of Facility:

Government-run