Plata et al v. Schwarzenegger et al

Filing 2821

ORDER directing Compliance Officer to confer with parties re: 2812 Plaintiffs' motion for further enforcement order. Signed by Judges Stephen Reinhardt, Thelton E. Henderson, and Kimberly J. Mueller on 10/29/14. (tehlc3, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/29/2014)

Download PDF
1 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS 2 FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 AND THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT COMPOSED OF THREE JUDGES 5 PURSUANT TO SECTION 2284, TITLE 28 UNITED STATES CODE 6 7 RALPH COLEMAN, et al., 8 Plaintiffs, NO. 2:90-cv-0520 KJM DAD (PC) 9 v. 10 EDMUND G. BROWN JR., et al., 11 Defendants. THREE-JUDGE COURT 12 13 MARCIANO PLATA, et al., NO. C01-1351 TEH Plaintiffs, 14 THREE-JUDGE COURT 15 v. 16 EDMUND G. BROWN JR., et al., 17 Defendants. ORDER DIRECTING COMPLIANCE OFFICER TO CONFER WITH PARTIES 18 19 On February 10, 2014, this Court extended the deadline for defendants to reduce the 20 in-state adult institution prison population to no more than 137.5% design capacity and set 21 two intermediate population benchmarks. Feb. 10, 2014 Order at 2 (ECF No. 2766/5060).1 22 In addition, the Court ordered defendants to “immediately implement” several specific 23 population reduction measures, which were taken almost verbatim from defendants’ own 24 proposed order. The Court expressly imposed immediate implementation as the standard, 25 declining to adopt defendants’ more lenient proposal that the measures be implemented 26 1 All filings in this Three-Judge Court are included in the individual docket sheets of 27 both Plata v. Brown, No. C01-1351 TEH (N.D. Cal.), and Coleman v. Brown, No. 2:90-cv0520-KJM DAD (PC) (E.D. Cal.). This Court includes the docket number of Plata first, then 28 Coleman. 1 “promptly.” Compare id. at 3 with Defs.’ Jan. 23, 2014 Proposed Order at 2 (ECF No. 2 2755/5023). These measures included the following: (a) Increase credits prospectively for non-violent secondstrike offenders and minimum custody inmates. Non-violent second-strikers will be eligible to earn good time credits at 33.3% and will be eligible to earn milestone credits for completing rehabilitative programs. Minimum custody inmates will be eligible to earn 2-for-1 good time credits to the extent such credits do not deplete participation in fire camps where inmates also earn 2-for-1 good time credits; 3 4 5 6 7 (b) Create and implement a new parole determination process through which non-violent second-strikers will be eligible for parole consideration by the Board of Parole Hearings once they have served 50% of their sentence; [and] 8 9 10 ... 11 (e) Finalize and implement a new parole process whereby inmates who are 60 years of age or older and have served a minimum of twenty-five years of their sentence will be referred to the Board of Parole Hearings to determine suitability for parole[.] 12 13 14 Feb. 10, 2014 Order at 3. 15 Plaintiffs contend that defendants have failed to fully implement these measures and 16 now seek an order for further enforcement. In particular, plaintiffs ask that defendants be 17 ordered to: (1) implement 2-for-1 credits for minimum custody inmates who are ineligible for 18 fire camps; (2) grant 33.3% credits to all non-violent second strikers, including those with a 19 prior sex offense; and (3) implement new parole procedures for non-violent second-strikers 20 by January 1, 2015.2 21 In opposition, defendants assert that: (1) granting 2-for-1 good time credits to 22 minimum custody inmates who are ineligible for fire camps would deplete participation in 23 2 Plaintiffs also initially challenged defendants’ compliance with paragraph 4(e) of the 24 February 10, 2014 order concerning elderly parole. However, they did not reiterate that argument in their reply. Reply at 4 (ECF No. 2816/5227) (mentioning only non-violent 25 second-striker but not elderly parole). In addition, Defendants have submitted evidence that they have implemented the new parole process required by paragraph 4(e). Sept. 30, 2014 26 Shaffer Decl. ¶¶ 5-7 (ECF No. 2813-1/5223-1) (discussing progress and noting that “[u]se of the revised risk assessments will begin on October 1, 2014, for hearings of elder inmates”); 27 see also Ex. B to Oct. 15, 2014 Status Report at 4 (ECF No. 2818-2/5231-2) (confirming that the “revised risk assessments were prepared for elderly parole hearings held on or after 28 October 1, 2014”). 2 1 fire camps by causing higher turnover at minimum support facilities (“MSFs”), where such 2 inmates perform jobs that are “critical to the daily functioning of each institution, including 3 garage, recycle and refuse collections, and various Plant Operations positions in support of 4 institutional tradespersons,” Sept. 30, 2014 Singh Decl. ¶ 5 (ECF No. 2813-4/5223-4), 5 thereby “forc[ing] [CDCR] to draw down its fire camp population to fill these vital MSF 6 positions,” id. ¶ 7; (2) they “have always indicated” that sex offenders would be excluded 7 from the population of non-violent second-strikers eligible for increased good time credits, 8 and they should be permitted to do so “to minimize the risks of public safety,” particularly 9 when they are currently in compliance with the Court’s population benchmarks, Opp’n at 5 10 (ECF No. 2813/5223); and (3) they “have made substantial progress” on implementing a new 11 parole process for non-violent second-strikers, id. at 3, but that doing so is a “time12 consuming process,” Sept. 30, 2014 Meier Decl. ¶ 3 (ECF No. 2813-3/5223-3), which they 13 anticipate completing “prior to July 1, 2015” and “primarily” impacting the final benchmark, 14 id. ¶ 5. 15 Upon consideration of the parties’ written submissions, the Court has determined that 16 further factual development would assist the Court in resolving plaintiffs’ motion. For 17 example, as to fire camps, it is not clear whether there are any minimum custody inmates 18 who are ineligible for both MSF placement and fire camps, in which case defendants’ 19 argument would not apply. It is also not clear whether granting 2-for-1 credits as plaintiffs 20 request would have the impact on fire camp participation that defendants “believe” is 21 “likely.” Singh Decl. ¶¶ 6-7. As to increasing credits for non-violent second-strikers, 22 although defendants excluded “sex registrants” from prior estimates on the population impact 23 of increasing good time credits, May 2, 2013 Atkinson Decl. ¶¶ 5, 12 (ECF No. 2608/4571), 24 and the Court previously relied on those estimates, June 20, 2013 Op. & Order at 37 (ECF 25 No. 2659/4662), defendants did not exclude sex offenders in their January 23, 2014 proposed 26 order that became the basis of this Court’s February 10, 2014 order.3 It is unclear whether 27 3 Defendants appear to use the terms “sex registrants” and “sex offenders” interchangeably. Compare, e.g., May 2, 2013 Atkinson Decl. ¶¶ 5, 12 (ECF No. 2608/4571) 28 with May 3, 2013 Am. Defs.’ Resp. at 11:14-16 (ECF No. 2612/4576 ). 3 1 this omission was intentional. The Court also lacks any current information on the number of 2 non-violent second strikers excluded by defendants, what types of crimes form the basis for 3 the exclusion, or the impact that including sex offenders in this measure would have on 4 reducing the overall population. Finally, as to the parole process, the Court is skeptical that a 5 17-month delay between the Court’s order and final implementation is reasonable and 6 additional information would be helpful to assess defendants’ diligence. 7 Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Compliance Officer shall promptly 8 confer with the parties and gather facts relevant to resolving plaintiffs’ motion.4 The parties 9 shall fully cooperate with the Compliance Officer. The Compliance Officer shall report 10 confidentially to this Court on the issues raised above, as well as on any other issues he 11 deems relevant to these matters. Plaintiffs’ motion remains under submission. 12 13 IT IS SO ORDERED. 14 15 Dated: 10/29/14 STEPHEN REINHARDT UNITED STATES CIRCUIT JUDGE NINTH CIRCUIT COURT OF APPEALS 16 17 18 19 Dated: 10/29/14 THELTON E. HENDERSON SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 20 21 22 23 Dated: 10/29/14 KIMBERLY J. MUELLER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 24 25 26 27 28 4 This order does not re-open formal discovery between the parties. 4

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?