Case: Jordan v. Fitzharris

65-44786 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

Filed Date: Oct. 14, 1965

Closed Date: Sept. 6, 1966

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In approximately 1966, an inmate at the California Correctional Training Facility at Soledad filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the California Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff, who initially brought the proceeding on his own behalf and then was represented by court-appointed private counsel, asked the court for injunctive and monetary relief, alleging that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in …

In approximately 1966, an inmate at the California Correctional Training Facility at Soledad filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the California Department of Corrections in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiff, who initially brought the proceeding on his own behalf and then was represented by court-appointed private counsel, asked the court for injunctive and monetary relief, alleging that he was subjected to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of his Eighth Amendment rights. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that his confinement for twelve days in a "strip cell," one which was approximately six by eight feet in size, had no furnishings except a toilet, no interior source of light, was not cleaned regularly, and had no means for the prisoner to clean himself, violated his Eighth Amendment rights.

After a hearing, the court (Judge George B. Harris) issued an opinion on September 6, 1966, enjoining the defendants from denying inmates the basic elements necessary to maintain a level of cleanliness in accord with civilized standards. Jordan v. Fitzharris, 257 F. Supp. 674 (N.D. Cal. 1966). The court denied the plaintiff's request for money damages. It also noted that this case represented one of the first such actions in the U.S. District courts.

Summary Authors

Laura Uberti (6/11/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Harris, George Bernard (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cohler, Charles B. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Granberg, Derald E. (California)

Granucci, Robert R. (California)

Lynch, Thomas C. (California)

Oakes, John (California)

O'Brien, Edward P. (California)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Crosby, Kristen Wenstrup (Illinois)

Jordan, Robert Elijah III (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Harris, George Bernard (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cohler, Charles B. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Granberg, Derald E. (California)

Granucci, Robert R. (California)

Lynch, Thomas C. (California)

Oakes, John (California)

O'Brien, Edward P. (California)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Crosby, Kristen Wenstrup (Illinois)

Jordan, Robert Elijah III (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

65-44309

Docket

Sept. 28, 1966

Sept. 28, 1966

Docket

65-43983

Resubmission For Petition For a Writ of Habeas Corpus

Jordan vs. Fitzharris

Sept. 30, 1965

Sept. 30, 1965

Complaint

65-43983

Petition For Writ of Habeas Corpus

Oct. 14, 1965

Oct. 14, 1965

Complaint

65-44309

Order to Show Cause

Oct. 27, 1965

Oct. 27, 1965

Order/Opinion

65-44309

Order Allowing Petitioner to File in Forma Pauperis

Oct. 27, 1965

Oct. 27, 1965

Order/Opinion

65-44309

Motion and Petition for Appointment of Legal Counsel

Oct. 29, 1965

Oct. 29, 1965

Pleading / Motion / Brief

65-44309

Motion and Petition for Appointment of Legal Counsel

Oct. 29, 1965

Oct. 29, 1965

Pleading / Motion / Brief

65-44309

[Untitled]

Oct. 29, 1965

Oct. 29, 1965

Correspondence

65-44309

Order of Continuance in Re Order to Show Cause

Nov. 5, 1965

Nov. 5, 1965

Order/Opinion

65-44309

Order

Nov. 5, 1965

Nov. 5, 1965

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated June 6, 2022, 3:15 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Solitary confinement

Featured Historical Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 14, 1965

Closing Date: Sept. 6, 1966

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Prisoner claiming to have been unconstitutionally subjected to cruel and unusual punishment

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

California Department of Corrections (Soledad, California), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1966 - None

Issues

General:

Bathing and hygiene

Sanitation / living conditions

Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)

Totality of conditions

Affected Gender:

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run