Case: Porter v. Speirs

06-03654 | California state trial court

Filed Date: Dec. 19, 2006

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 19, 2006, a taxpayer filed an amended complaint in the Sacramento County, California, Superior Court naming, as defendants, the county's chief probation officer and the county's superintendent of schools. Plaintiff sought declaratory relief and to enjoin expenditure of public funds for alleged illegal conduct at the county's two juvenile halls. (We do not have information on when the original complaint was filed nor the allegations made.) Plaintiff had private counsel, including …

On December 19, 2006, a taxpayer filed an amended complaint in the Sacramento County, California, Superior Court naming, as defendants, the county's chief probation officer and the county's superintendent of schools. Plaintiff sought declaratory relief and to enjoin expenditure of public funds for alleged illegal conduct at the county's two juvenile halls. (We do not have information on when the original complaint was filed nor the allegations made.) Plaintiff had private counsel, including attorneys from a large firm and from the Prison Law Office, both of whom were also involved as plaintiffs' counsel in similar California cases, Farrell v. Harper, Hixon v. Hope, and Waters v. Woodford (cases JI-CA-13, JI-CA-14, and JI-CA-16, respectively, in this database).

The amended complaint set out numerous categories in which the halls, as operated, allegedly failed to meet state statutory standards, including inadequate physical safety (e.g., excessive staff use of force, including overuse of pepper spray and a practice called "dipping," in which juvenile wards were forced to the ground by staff, who then kneeled on them, as well as subjected to verbal and emotional abuse); living conditions far from statutorily-mandated "homelike conditions" (e.g., poor meals, overcrowding, extended housing in rooms without plumbing, filthy conditions, and denial of writing materials, of child visitation and of telephone access); lack of educational and rehabilitative programs, especially in "lock-up" units, and absence of special education combined with failure to provide required Individualized Education Plans (IEPs); inadequate medical and mental health care (including failure to obtain parental consent for medical procedures); and lack of accommodations for those with physical or mental disabilities (such as for learning disabled or deaf residents). Citing numerous provisions of the state's constitution and statutes, the plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief, attorneys' fees and costs, and for the court to retain jurisdiction over the case until it found sufficient compliance by the defendant with remedial orders plaintiff sought.

We have no further information about activity in the case; however, a June 2007, legislative proposal (S.B. 518) in the California Assembly to create a youth bill of rights for juveniles within state prisons or juvenile facilities mentions that serious allegations of substandard conditions for juvenile wards have been made in several pending cases, including this one. A copy of a legislative analysis of the proposed bill is in this database.

Summary Authors

Mike Fagan (5/20/2008)

People


Judge(s)

Arguelles, James P (California)

Cadei, Raymond M. (California)

Chang, Shelleyanne W. L. (California)

Culhane, Kevin R. (California)

Davidian, Ben (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Agarwal, Monty (California)

Barker, Diane (California)

Chavez, Mark A. (California)

Dupree, Renee (California)

Farzan , Farschad (California)

Judge(s)

Arguelles, James P (California)

Cadei, Raymond M. (California)

Chang, Shelleyanne W. L. (California)

Culhane, Kevin R. (California)

Davidian, Ben (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Agarwal, Monty (California)

Barker, Diane (California)

Chavez, Mark A. (California)

Dupree, Renee (California)

Farzan , Farschad (California)

George, Warren E. Jr. (California)

Keith, Traci M. (California)

Lee, Belinda S. (California)

Norgaard, Vibeke (California)

Norman, Sara Linda (California)

Palamountain, Kathryn C. (California)

Park, Ju Y. (California)

Specter, Donald H. (California)

Ulmer, Richard Jr. (California)

Wang, Philip J. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Deutsch, Craig E. (California)

Trujillo, Phillip (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

06-03654

Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief

Dec. 19, 2006

Dec. 19, 2006

Complaint

Assembly Committee on Public Safety [Analysis of Senate Bill 518]

No Court

June 26, 2007

June 26, 2007

Press Release

06-03654

Stipulated Consent Decree

Porter v. Spiers

Dec. 15, 2009

Dec. 15, 2009

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 1, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 19, 2006

Case Ongoing: Unknown

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Taxpayers who bring this action to enjoin expenditure of funds to promulgate, administer, and enforce illegal policies, practices, and procedures in the Sacramento County Juvenile Hall.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Prison Law Office

Youth Law Center

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Sacramento County Juvenile Hall (San Benito), County

Sacramento County Office of Education (Sacramento), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Confinement/isolation

Education

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Pepper/OC spray

Sanitation / living conditions

Special education

Totality of conditions

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

Hearing impairment

Mental impairment

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run