United States District Court, D. Arizona
K. DUNCAN UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
of pervasive and intractable failures to comply with the
Stipulation, the Court is considering the exercise of its
civil contempt authority.
Stipulation, negotiated by the parties, defines the
Court's enforcement authority as follows:
In the event the Court subsequently determines that the
Defendants' plan did not remedy the deficiencies, the
Court shall retain the power to enforce this Stipulation
through all remedies provided by law, except that the Court
shall not have the authority to order Defendants to construct
a new prison or to hire a specific number or type of staff
unless Defendants propose to do so as part of a plan to
remedy a failure to comply with any provision of this
Stipulation. In determining the subsequent remedies the Court
shall consider whether to require Defendants to submit a
(Doc. 1185-1 at ¶ 36) Contempt is a statutory remedy
afforded to federal courts under 18 U.S.C. § 401.
Accordingly, contempt is one of the “remedies provided
by law” to the Court under the Stipulation.
exercise of the Court's contempt authority in this matter
would be intended to spur Defendants' compliance with the
performance measures that they have contractually agreed to
perform. Shell Offshore Inc. v. Greenpeace, Inc.,
815 F.3d 623, 629 (9th Cir. 2016) (describing
coercive civil contempt). When Defendants provide the health
care required by the Stipulation, the contempt will purge.
Int'l Union, UMWA v. Bagwell, 512 U.S. 821, 829
(1994). The power of economic carrots and sticks is clearly
understood by Defendants. (Doc. 2295; Doc. 2330 at 195-197)
Accordingly, the Court expects this to be an effective and
short-lived tool that creates compliance with the
Stipulation established increasing benchmarks, now at 85%.
These benchmarks are a triggering device to inform the
parties and the Court whether remedial measures must be
imposed. The Court reiterates that the Stipulation requires
Defendants to provide all class members with the health care
described therein. (Doc. 2179 at 2) Accordingly, any contempt
sanction ultimately imposed by the Court will be for every
single violation of the Stipulation, not just those below
submitted two remediation plans and the Court adopted both of
them. (Docs. 1619, 2030) For a subset of performance
measures, these remediation plans have failed. The Court has
provided Defendants wide latitude to revise their remediation
plans over the last two years. As a result, the Court has
determined that requiring Defendants to submit a revised plan
is not necessary. (Doc. 1185-1 at ¶ 36)
at least June 2017, Defendants have been on notice that the
Court was considering some form of monetary sanction to
achieve compliance with the Stipulation. (Docs. 2124, 2236)
The Court is now putting Defendants on notice that certain
performance measures/locations are subject to possible civil
contempt because (1) they were subject to an existing
remedial plan and either (a) have not had three or more
consecutive months of compliance in the last 12 months or (b)
had three consecutive months of compliance nearly one year
ago and consistent non-compliance since then.
IS THEREFORE ORDERED that, effective immediately,
Defendants shall comply with the following performance
measures at ...