Case: Cornett v. Donovan

4:91-cv-00231 | U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho

Filed Date: June 14, 1991

Closed Date: 1995

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On June 14, 1991, present and former involuntarily committed residents of State Hospital South in Blackfoot, Idaho (SHS) filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against SHS in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, Pocatello Division. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, asked the court for declaratory relief, alleging that they were denied their constitutional right of access to the courts in violation of the First Amendment. Specifically, the plainti…

On June 14, 1991, present and former involuntarily committed residents of State Hospital South in Blackfoot, Idaho (SHS) filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against SHS in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, Pocatello Division. The plaintiffs, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, asked the court for declaratory relief, alleging that they were denied their constitutional right of access to the courts in violation of the First Amendment. Specifically, the plaintiffs contended that SHS unconstitutionally failed to provide access to law libraries or to provide attorneys or legal assistance.

The parties began negotiations and, on January 27, 1992, filed a stipulation for settlement and dismissal with the District Court. Under the parties' stipulation, the parties agreed that the constitutional right of access requires that SHS provide either a law library or a lawyer for matters of habeas corpus and civil rights. The parties did not resolve by stipulation whether SHS's duty was extinguished upon the filing of a petition or complaint or whether the duty continued through to the completion of an action.

On February 4, 1992, the District Court (Judge Edward J. Lodge) dismissed the case, holding that SHS's duty to provide either a law library or a lawyer ceased with the filing of a petition or complaint. Cornett v. Donovan, No. CV91-0231-E-EJL, 1992 WL 736754 (D. Ida. Feb. 4, 1992). The plaintiffs appealed.

On April 7, 1995, as amended on May 23, 1995, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Thomas Tang) affirmed the District Court's decision. Cornett v. Donovan, 51 F.3d 894 (9th Cir. 1995). The Court held that the right of access required the state to provide a law library or legal assistance only through the pleading stage of habeas or civil rights actions, that the right of access to courts was guaranteed to all involuntarily committed patients, and that the right of access required that the state provide attorneys or legal assistance, and not just law libraries, to institutionalized patients who lacked the capacity to research law independently. The plaintiffs petitioned the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari, which was denied on July 1, 1996. Henry v. Caballero, 518 U.S. 1033 (1996).

We have no more information on this file.

Summary Authors

Josh Altman (6/15/2006)

Nick Kabat (10/16/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Farris, Joseph Jerome (Washington)

Lodge, Edward J. (Idaho)

Rymer, Pamela Ann (California)

Tang, Thomas (Arizona)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Pevar, Stephen L. (Colorado)

Stanzak, Joseph S. (Idaho)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

EchoHawk, Larry (Idaho)

Stutzman, Weldon B. (Idaho)

Judge(s)

Farris, Joseph Jerome (Washington)

Lodge, Edward J. (Idaho)

Rymer, Pamela Ann (California)

Tang, Thomas (Arizona)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Pevar, Stephen L. (Colorado)

Stanzak, Joseph S. (Idaho)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

EchoHawk, Larry (Idaho)

Stutzman, Weldon B. (Idaho)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:91-cv-00231

Docket [PACER]

July 3, 1995

July 3, 1995

Docket
36

4:91-cv-00231

Order

1992 WL 736754

Feb. 4, 1992

Feb. 4, 1992

Order/Opinion

92-35255

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

1995 U.S.App.LEXIS 7692

April 7, 1995

April 7, 1995

Order/Opinion

92-35255

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

51 F.3d 894

May 23, 1995

May 23, 1995

Order/Opinion

95-07017

Memorandum Decision

Henry v. Caballero

Supreme Court of the United States

518 U.S. 1033, 116 S.Ct. 2580, 135 L.Ed.2d 1095

July 1, 1996

July 1, 1996

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 11, 2022, 3:18 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT (Summons(es) issued) (consent notice issued/furnished) (jb) (Entered: 06/26/1991)

June 24, 1991

June 24, 1991

2

AMENDED COMPLAINT [1-1] by plaintiff (jb) (Entered: 06/26/1991)

June 24, 1991

June 24, 1991

3

RETURN OF SERVICE/PROCESS executed upon defendant Stephen C Weeg through Atty Gen office on 6/29/91 (jb) (Entered: 07/08/1991)

July 5, 1991

July 5, 1991

4

RETURN OF SERVICE/PROCESS executed upon defendant William Bonnes through Atty Gen office on 6/20/91 (jb) (Entered: 07/08/1991)

July 5, 1991

July 5, 1991

5

ANSWER to amended complaint by dfts Richard Donovan and Stephen C Weeg (jb) (Entered: 07/09/1991)

July 8, 1991

July 8, 1991

6

NOTICE of case number change from 9l-0231-S-HLR to 9l-0231-E-EJL due to reassignment (case was set up as a southern case where actually is eastern case) (jb)

July 12, 1991

July 12, 1991

7

MOTION by defendant Richard Donovan, defendant Stephen C Weeg for summary judgment (mn) (Entered: 07/18/1991)

July 16, 1991

July 16, 1991

8

MEMORANDUM by defendant Richard Donovan, defendant Stephen C Weeg in support of motion for summary judgment [7-1] (mn) (Entered: 07/18/1991)

July 16, 1991

July 16, 1991

9

AFFIDAVIT of Stephen C. Weeg (mn) (Entered: 07/18/1991)

July 16, 1991

July 16, 1991

10

MOTION by plaintiff Susan Cornett, plaintiff Katherine Jensen, plaintiff John Henry, plaintiff Timothy William Hiser for preliminary injunction (mn) (Entered: 07/23/1991)

July 18, 1991

July 18, 1991

11

BRIEF by plaintiff Susan Cornett, plaintiff Katherine Jensen, plaintiff John Henry, plaintiff Timothy William Hiser in support re: motion for preliminary injunction [10-1] (mn) (Entered: 07/23/1991)

July 18, 1991

July 18, 1991

12

MOTION by plaintiff Susan Cornett, plaintiff Katherine Jensen, plaintiff John Henry, plaintiff Timothy William Hiser to certify class action (mn) (Entered: 07/23/1991)

July 18, 1991

July 18, 1991

13

BRIEF by plaintiff Susan Cornett, plaintiff Katherine Jensen, plaintiff John Henry, plaintiff Timothy William Hiser in support re: motion to certify class action [12-1] (mn) (Entered: 07/23/1991)

July 18, 1991

July 18, 1991

14

STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS by defendant Richard Donovan, defendant Stephen C Weeg in support of motion for summary judgment [7-1] (mn) (Entered: 07/25/1991)

July 23, 1991

July 23, 1991

15

OBJECTIONS by defendant Richard Donovan, defendant Stephen C Weeg to motion to certify class action [12-1] (mn)

Aug. 1, 1991

Aug. 1, 1991

16

MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION by defendant Richard Donovan, defendant Stephen C Weeg to motion for preliminary injunction [10-1] (mn)

Aug. 1, 1991

Aug. 1, 1991

17

MOTION by plaintiff Susan Cornett, plaintiff Katherine Jensen, plaintiff John Henry, plaintiff Timothy William Hiser for summary judgment (mn) (Entered: 08/07/1991)

Aug. 5, 1991

Aug. 5, 1991

18

BRIEF by plaintiff Susan Cornett, plaintiff Katherine Jensen, plaintiff John Henry, plaintiff Timothy William Hiser in support re: motion for summary judgment [17-1] (mn) (Entered: 08/07/1991)

Aug. 5, 1991

Aug. 5, 1991

19

STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS by plaintiff Susan Cornett, plaintiff Katherine Jensen, plaintiff John Henry, plaintiff Timothy William Hiser in support of motion for summary judgment [17-1] (mn) (Entered: 08/07/1991)

Aug. 5, 1991

Aug. 5, 1991

20

RESPONSE by plaintiff Susan Cornett, plaintiff Katherine Jensen, plaintiff John Henry, plaintiff Timothy William Hiser to dfts' motion for summary judgment [7-1] (mn) (Entered: 08/07/1991)

Aug. 5, 1991

Aug. 5, 1991

21

NOTICE OF HEARING setting hearing on motion for summary judgment [17-1] 1:30 9/16/91, setting hearing on motion for summary judgment [7-1] 1:30 9/16/91 before (EJL) in Boise, ID(parties have stipulated to have hearing in Boise, rather than Pocatello (cc: all counsel) (mn) (Entered: 08/07/1991)

Aug. 5, 1991

Aug. 5, 1991

22

ORDER that counsel to provide statements of material facts to Court forthwith, for hearing on motions for S. J. set 9/16/91 1:30 by Honorable Edward J. Lodge (cc: all counsel) (mn) (Entered: 08/15/1991)

Aug. 12, 1991

Aug. 12, 1991

23

REPLY by plaintiff Susan Cornett, plaintiff Katherine Jensen, plaintiff John Henry, plaintiff Timothy William Hiser to response to motion to certify class action [12-1] (mn) (Entered: 08/29/1991)

Aug. 28, 1991

Aug. 28, 1991

24

AMENDED STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS by defendant Richard Donovan, defendant Stephen C Weeg, defendant William Bonnes in support of motion for summary judgment [7-1] (mn) (Entered: 09/04/1991)

Sept. 3, 1991

Sept. 3, 1991

25

REPLY BRIEF by plaintiff Susan Cornett, plaintiff Katherine Jensen, plaintiff John Henry, plaintiff Timothy William Hiser re motion for summary judgment [17-1], motion for preliminary injunction [10-1] (mn) (Entered: 09/10/1991)

Sept. 9, 1991

Sept. 9, 1991

26

SECOND AFFIDAVIT of Fred G. Zundel (mn) (Entered: 09/10/1991)

Sept. 9, 1991

Sept. 9, 1991

27

AFFIDAVIT of Richard D. Linderman (mn) (Entered: 09/10/1991)

Sept. 9, 1991

Sept. 9, 1991

28

FINAL MEMORANDUM by defendant Richard Donovan, defendant Stephen Weeg in support of motion for summary judgment [7-1] (mn) (Entered: 09/13/1991)

Sept. 9, 1991

Sept. 9, 1991

30

AFFIDAVIT of Stephen C. Weeg (mn) (Entered: 09/17/1991)

Sept. 9, 1991

Sept. 9, 1991

29

MINUTES OF HEAR ON PENDING MOTIONS - taking under advisement on the motion for summary judgment [17-1], taking under advisement on the motion to certify class action [12-1], taking under advisement on the motion for preliminary injunction [10-1], taking under advisement on the motion for summary judgment [7-1] (EJL) (mn) (Entered: 09/17/1991)

Sept. 16, 1991

Sept. 16, 1991

29

MOTION AND ORAL ORDER in Court for attorney, Stephen Pevar to appear pro hac vice by Honorable Edward J. Lodge (cc: all counsel) ($20.00 fee forthcoming) (mn) (Entered: 09/17/1991)

Sept. 16, 1991

Sept. 16, 1991

30

AMENDED MOTION by defendant Richard Donovan, defendant Stephen C Weeg for summary judgment (mn) (Entered: 11/13/1991)

Nov. 8, 1991

Nov. 8, 1991

31

AFFIDAVIT of Stephen C. Weeg regarding motion for summary judgment [30-1] (mn) (Entered: 11/13/1991)

Nov. 8, 1991

Nov. 8, 1991

32

REPLY by plaintiffs to dfts' amended motion for summary judgment [30- 1] (jb)

Nov. 21, 1991

Nov. 21, 1991

33

REPLY by defendant Richard Donovan, defendant Stephen C Weeg to response to motion for summary judgment [30-1] (mn)

Dec. 16, 1991

Dec. 16, 1991

34

STIPULATION for Settlement and Dismissal with prejudice following resolution of the sole remaining issue as identified in plfs' reply to dfts' amended motion for S. J. and dfts' reply in support of amended motion for S. J. (mn)

Jan. 27, 1992

Jan. 27, 1992

35

SUPPLEMENTAL BRIEF by plaintiff Susan Cornett, plaintiff Katherine Jensen, plaintiff John Henry, plaintiff Timothy William Hiser in support re: motion for summary judgment [17-1] (mn) (Entered: 02/04/1992)

Feb. 3, 1992

Feb. 3, 1992

36

ORDER by Honorable Edward J. Lodge dismissing case (cc: all counsel) (mn) (Entered: 02/05/1992)

Feb. 4, 1992

Feb. 4, 1992

37

NOTICE OF APPEAL by plaintiff from Dist. Court decision [36-2] of 2/4/92 which ruled the constitutional right of access to the courts does not extend past the filing stage. (al) (Entered: 03/11/1992)

March 2, 1992

March 2, 1992

38

TRANSCRIPT DESIGNATION and Ordering Form - Transcripts unnecessary (al)

April 7, 1992

April 7, 1992

39

CERTIFICATE of Record; cc: attys, 9CCA (al)

April 7, 1992

April 7, 1992

40

ORDER of the 9th Circuit amending 9th Circuit Opinion replacing language. (cd) (Entered: 05/09/1995)

May 8, 1995

May 8, 1995

41

MANDATE from Circuit Court of Appeals affirming the decision of the District Court on appeal [37-1] (cd) (Entered: 06/21/1995)

June 19, 1995

June 19, 1995

Case Details

State / Territory: Idaho

Case Type(s):

Mental Health (Facility)

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 14, 1991

Closing Date: 1995

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Present and former involuntarily committed residents of State Hospital South in Blackfoot, Idaho

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

State Hospital South (Blackfoot), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Petitions clause

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Type of Facility:

Government-run