Case: Gomez v. Vernon

1:91-cv-00299 | U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho

Filed Date: June 21, 1991

Closed Date: 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On June 21, 1991, inmates, represented by the ACLU National Prison Project, filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU National Prison Project, sued the Idaho State Correctional Institution and the Idaho Maximum Security Institution under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. They alleged retaliation for exercise of their rights to court access and an inadequate law library.The district court (Judge Larry M. Boyle) held that the fac…

On June 21, 1991, inmates, represented by the ACLU National Prison Project, filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho. The plaintiffs, represented by the ACLU National Prison Project, sued the Idaho State Correctional Institution and the Idaho Maximum Security Institution under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. They alleged retaliation for exercise of their rights to court access and an inadequate law library.

The district court (Judge Larry M. Boyle) held that the fact questions precluded summary judgment and that notice to prisoners of the action was not required. Gomez v. Vernon, 962 F. Supp. 1296 (D. Idaho 1997). The court, after a nineteen-day bench trial, found in favor of the inmates on March 22, 1999. Subsequently, on July 16, 1999, the defendants submitted a proposed remedial plan pursuant to the court's order of June 17, 1999. The plaintiffs filed their objections to this plan on July 27, 1999.

The court, however, declined to adopt either plan. In its amended judgment of August 17, 1999, the court granted a declaratory judgment that the inmates were subjected to instances of unlawful retaliation but denied class-wide prospective injunctive relief. The court granted individual injunctive relief to six specified inmates, to prevent the defendants from transferring or moving those inmates in retaliation for exercising their constitutional rights. After a post-trial hearing, the court awarded $4,500 in sanctions (for attorneys fees, costs, and expenses) against the defendants for violating the defendants' attorney-client privilege in authorizing and encouraging prison employees to obtain confidential documents from the defendants.

The defendants appealed the judgment to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Docket No. 99-35930) on September 16, 1999, challenging (1) jurisdiction of the magistrate judge, (2) the appropriateness of the injunctive relief, and (3) the court's ability to impose sanctions under 28 USC §1927. On July 10, 2001, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Judge M. Margaret McKeown) affirmed the district court's ruling, holding that: (1) officials had a policy of retaliating against inmates who exercised their rights to court access, (2) the district court's order granting relief was appropriately tailored, and (3) imposition of sanctions was warranted. Gomez v. Vernon, 255 F.3d 1118 (9th Cir. 2001).

The parties litigated over attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses for several years. On August 7, 2008, $82,301.84 were awarded but reserved the issues of fees for one of the attorneys and fees for the litigation of the attorneys' fees for later. On March 9, 2009, the court awarded an additional $19,849.82 in attorneys' fees. Overall a total of $102,151.66 in attorney's fees were awarded.

Summary Authors

David Terry (4/25/2006)

David Smellie (3/30/2017)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4546772/parties/gomez-v-vernon/


Judge(s)

Boyle, Larry M. (Idaho)

Gould, Ronald Murray (Washington)

McKeown, M. Margaret (California)

Wardlaw, Kim McLane (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Balaban, Eric G. (District of Columbia)

Belodoff, Howard A. (Idaho)

Lee, Donna Hae Kyun (District of Columbia)

McDevitt, Charles F. (Idaho)

Pevar, Stephen L. (Connecticut)

Winter, Margaret (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Boyle, Larry M. (Idaho)

Gould, Ronald Murray (Washington)

McKeown, M. Margaret (California)

Wardlaw, Kim McLane (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Balaban, Eric G. (District of Columbia)

Belodoff, Howard A. (Idaho)

Lee, Donna Hae Kyun (District of Columbia)

McDevitt, Charles F. (Idaho)

Pevar, Stephen L. (Connecticut)

Winter, Margaret (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Altig, Stephanie A. (Idaho)

Blackburn, Rex (Idaho)

Lance, Alan G. (Idaho)

McNeese, Timothy R. (Idaho)

Panther, Paul R. (Idaho)

Wilson, Timothy D. (Idaho)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

July 28, 2014 Docket
202

Memorandum Decision and Order

962 F.Supp. 1296, 1997 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 13369

Feb. 26, 1997 Order/Opinion
609

Judgment

March 22, 1999 Order/Opinion
680

Order

June 17, 1999 Order/Opinion
699

Proposed Remedial Plan Relative to Inmates Wayne Nelson Olds, Lee Mazur Hays and Robert Richard Jones

July 16, 1999 Pleading / Motion / Brief
702

Plaintiffs' Objections to Defendants' Proposed Remedial Plan

July 28, 1999 Pleading / Motion / Brief
710

Amended Judgment

Aug. 17, 1999 Order/Opinion
718

Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Memorandum Decision and Order Relating to Plaintiffs' Motion for Sanctions

Sept. 13, 1999 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

255 F.3d 1118, 2001 U.S.App.LEXIS 15439

July 10, 2001 Order/Opinion
849

Memorandum Decision and Order Re: Attorney's Fees and Costs

Gomez v. Reinke

Aug. 7, 2008 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4546772/gomez-v-vernon/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
717

ORDER by Magistrate Larry M. Boyle denying motion to publish recent decisions [711-1] (cc: all counsel) (dkh) (Entered: 09/02/1999)

Sept. 1, 1999 PACER
718

FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW, MEMORANDUM, DECISION, AND ORDER: by Magistrate Larry M. Boyle granting motion for order to show cause why Deputy Atty General Altig and McNeese should not be sanctioned for professional misconduct [594-1], plas are entitled to an award of atty fees in the amount of $3,500.00 and costs and expenses in the amount of $1,000.00 (cc: all counsel) (wm)

Sept. 13, 1999 RECAP
719

MOTION by pla to submit decisions for publication (wm)

Sept. 13, 1999 PACER
720

ORDER by Magistrate Larry M. Boyle denying motion to submit decisions for publication [719-1] (cc: all counsel) (wm) (Entered: 09/15/1999)

Sept. 14, 1999 PACER
739

NON OPPOSITION by pla re: motion to certify judgment and orders as final [713-1] (wm) (Entered: 11/08/1999)

Sept. 15, 1999 PACER
721

NOTICE OF APPEAL by defendant James C Spalding, defendant Joe Klauser from Dist. Court decision [98-1], [202-1], [608-1], [710-1], [718-1] (Receipt # 6373) (rr) (Entered: 09/17/1999)

Sept. 16, 1999 PACER
722

ORDER by Magistrate Larry M. Boyle denying motion to certify judgment and orders as final [713-1] (cc: all counsel) (wm) (Entered: 09/17/1999)

Sept. 16, 1999 PACER
725

AFFIDAVIT of Howard A. Belodoff in support of motion for attorney fees [723-1] (wm) (Entered: 10/01/1999)

Sept. 29, 1999 PACER
723

MOTION by pla for attorney fees (wm) (Entered: 10/01/1999)

Sept. 30, 1999 PACER
726

Cross NOTICE OF APPEAL by plaintiff Lee Mazur Hays from Dist. Court decision [710-1], [608-1] (Receipt # 6510) (rr) Modified on 10/01/1999 (Entered: 10/01/1999)

Sept. 30, 1999 PACER
724

MEMORANDUM by pla in support of motion for attorney fees [723-1], in accordian file not scanned in (wm) (Entered: 10/01/1999)

Sept. 30, 1999 PACER
728

BILL OF COSTS by pla re judgment [710-1] ; Taxation ddl set for 10/20/99 (wm) (Entered: 10/04/1999)

Sept. 30, 1999 PACER
729

DECLARATION of Donna H. Lee re bill of costs [728-1] (wm) (Entered: 10/04/1999)

Sept. 30, 1999 PACER
730

BILL OF COSTS by pla re judgment [710-1] ; Taxation ddl set for 10/20/99 (wm) (Entered: 10/05/1999)

Sept. 30, 1999 PACER
849

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER RE: ATTORNEY'S FEES AND COSTS Granting in part and denying in part 827 Renewed MOTION for Taxation of Costs filed by Patrick Hall, Gregory Joseph Nelson, Marq Bartlett, Alfredo Roman, Noel Puente Gomez, Lee Mazur Hays, Bob Jones, Granting in part and denying in part 826 Second Renewed MOTION for Taxation of Costs filed by James C Spalding, Granting in part and denying in part 821 Renewed MOTION for Attorney Fees filed by Patrick Hall, Gregory Joseph Nelso n, Marq Bartlett, Alfredo Roman, Noel Puente Gomez, Lee Mazur Hays, Bob Jones. Signed by Judge Larry M. Boyle. (Attachments: # 1 Appendix)(caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by jm)

1 Appendix

View on PACER

Aug. 7, 2008 RECAP

State / Territory: Idaho

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 21, 1991

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Inmates at the the Idaho State Correctional Institution and the Idaho Maximum Security Institution

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National (all projects)

ACLU National Prison Project

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Idaho State Correctional Institution, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Amount Defendant Pays: 102,151.66

Order Duration: 1999 - None

Content of Injunction:

Recordkeeping

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Confidentiality

Grievance Procedures

Library (non-law) access

Records Disclosure

Type of Facility:

Government-run