Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Graves v. Penzone

United States District Court, D. Arizona

August 22, 2018

Fred Graves, Isaac Popoca, on their own behalf and on behalf of a class of all pretrial detainees in the Maricopa County Jails, Plaintiffs,
v.
Paul Penzone, Sheriff of Maricopa County; Bill Gates, Steve Gallardo, Denny Barney, Steve Chucri, and Clint L. Hickman, Maricopa County Supervisors, Defendants.

          ORDER

          Neil V. Wake, Senior United States District Judge.

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. Prison Litigation Reform Act ................................................................................... 1

         II. Background .............................................................................................................. 2

         III. Plaintiffs' Motion to Enforce the Revised Fourth Amended Judgment (Doc. 2434) and Defendants' Motion to Strike Plaintiffs' Reply (Doc. 2451) ................ 15

         IV. Plaintiffs' Motion to Re-Open Discovery and for a Scheduling Order (Doc. 2435) ....................................................................................................................... 18

         V. Compliance with the Revised Fourth Amended Judgment .................................... 21

         A. Subparagraph 5(a)(17): Defendants will adopt and implement written criteria for placing pretrial detainees in each level of mental health care, including subunits within the Mental Health Unit. . ....................................... 22

         1. General Population ................................................................................... 22

         2. Mental Health Unit ................................................................................... 23

         B. Subparagraph 5(a)(20): MCSO will consult with CHS mental health staff before placing a seriously mentally ill pretrial detainee in any type of segregated confinement .................................................................................. 24

         C. Subparagraph 5(a)(22): A mental health provider or professional will be consulted before each planned use of force or involuntary treatment on a seriously mentally ill pretrial detainee. . ......................................................... 26

         Subparagraph 5(a)(23): Mental health staff will be involved in the implementation of any planned use of force or involuntary treatment on a seriously mentally ill pretrial detainee. . ......................................................... 26

         D. Subparagraph 5(a)(24): Defendants will adopt and implement a written policy regarding the use of discipline for behavior resulting from serious mental illness .................................................................................................. 27

         Subparagraph 5(a)(25): Defendants will adopt and implement a written policy regarding the use of isolation in a disciplinary segregation unit as a sanction against seriously mentally ill pretrial detainees ............................... 27

         Subparagraph 5(a)(26): Defendants will adopt and implement a written policy requiring that mental health staff be consulted regarding discipline of any seriously mentally ill pretrial detainee. ... ............................................ 27

         E. Subparagraph 5(a)(27): A potentially suicidal pretrial detainee will not be placed in isolation without constant supervision. . ......................................... 33

         Subparagraph 5(a)(28): A potentially suicidal pretrial detainee will be placed into a suicide-resistant cell or safe cell only with “direct, continuous observation until a treatment plan is determined by medical staff.” .............................................................................................................. 33

         F. Subparagraph 5(a)(29): When a pretrial detainee is discharged from suicide watch or a safe cell, the pretrial detainee will be assessed by mental health staff within 24 hours of discharge. . ..................................................... 35

         Before the Court are the following:

(1) Defendants' Report Regarding Corrective Actions, Compliance Data Collection Procedures and Compliance Data Summaries for April, May, and June 2017 (Doc. 2417), Defendants' supplemental report (Doc. 2425), Plaintiffs' response (Doc. 2436), Defendants' reply (Doc. 2444), and Defendants' second supplemental report (Doc. 2473);
(2) Plaintiffs' Motion to Enforce Fourth Amended Judgment and for Additional Relief (Doc. 2434), Defendants' response (Doc. 2441), Plaintiffs' reply (Doc. 2449), Defendants' motion to strike Plaintiffs' reply (Doc. 2451), Plaintiffs' response to the motion to strike (Doc. 2452), and Defendants' reply supporting the motion to strike (Doc. 2454); and
(3) Plaintiffs' Motion to Re-Open Discovery and for a Scheduling Order (Doc. 2435), Defendants' response (Doc. 2442), and Plaintiffs' reply (Doc. 2447).
Collectively, Defendants' compliance reports and Plaintiffs' motions dispute whether the Revised Fourth Amended Judgment should be terminated, whether additional prospective relief under the Prison Litigation Reform Act is required, and whether additional discovery and another evidentiary hearing is required to decide those issues. On June 21, 2018, oral argument was heard regarding the pending motions and Defendants' proof of compliance with the Revised Fourth Amended Judgment.

         I. PRISON LITIGATION REFORM ACT

         Congress enacted the Prison Litigation Reform Act (“PLRA”), 18 U.S.C. § 3626 and 42 U.S.C. § 1997, to prevent federal courts from micromanaging prisons by consent decrees. Gilmore v. California, 220 F.3d 987, 996 (9th Cir. 2000). The PLRA requires that prospective relief regarding prison conditions “extend no further than necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right of a particular plaintiff or plaintiffs.” 18 U.S.C. § 3626(a)(1). Relief must be narrowly drawn, extend no further than necessary to correct the violation, and be the least intrusive means necessary to correct the violation. Id. Further, courts must “give substantial weight to any adverse impact on public safety or the operation of a criminal justice system caused by the relief.” Id.

         A party seeking to terminate prospective relief under § 3626(b) bears the burden of proof. Gilmore, 220 F.3d at 1007; Graves v. Arpaio, 623 F.3d 1043, 1048 (9th Cir. 2010) (per curiam). “Prospective relief shall not terminate if the court makes written findings based upon the record that prospective relief remains necessary to correct a current and ongoing violation of the Federal right, extends no further than necessary to correct the violation of the Federal right, and that the prospective relief is narrowly drawn and the least intrusive means to correct the violation.” 18 U.S.C. § 3626(b)(3). If prospective relief remains necessary to correct a current and ongoing violation, the district court's authority to modify the existing prospective relief includes authority to expand or diminish the existing relief. See Pierce v. Orange County, 526 F.3d 1190, 1204 n.13 (9th Cir. 2008).

         To make the findings required to terminate prospective relief, the Court must take evidence on current jail conditions, at least with respect to those conditions Plaintiffs do not concede comply with constitutional requirements. See Gilmore, 220 F.3d at 1010. Evidence of “current and ongoing” violations must reflect conditions “as of the time termination is sought.” Id.; accord Pierce, 526 F.3d at 1205.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Although this case's lengthy history has been summarized in previous orders, for the sake of completeness, much of it is repeated here because the issues presented for decision can be fully understood only in context. See David Marcus, Finding the Civil Trial's Democratic Future After Its Demise, 15 Nev. L.J. 1523, 1530-46 (2015). Pretrial detainees held in the Maricopa County Jails brought this class action in 1977 against the Maricopa County Sheriff and the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors seeking injunctive relief for violations of their civil rights. On March 27, 1981, the parties entered into a consent decree that addressed and regulated aspects of the County jail operations as they applied to pretrial detainees.

         On January 10, 1995, upon stipulation of the parties, the 1981 consent decree was superseded by the Amended Judgment. The stipulated Amended Judgment expressly did not represent a judicial determination of any constitutionally mandated standards applicable to the Maricopa County Jails. The 116-paragraph Amended Judgment included specific requirements regarding population and housing limitations; dayroom access; access to reading materials; access to religious services; mail; telephone privileges; clothes and towels; sanitation, safety, hygiene, and toilet facilities; access to law library; medical, dental and psychiatric care; intake areas; mechanical restraints and segregation; recreation time outside; inmate classification; visitation; food; staff members, training, and screening; facilities for the handicapped; disciplinary policy and procedures; inmate grievance policy and procedures; reports and record keeping; and security override.

         In November 2003, Defendants renewed a prior motion to terminate the Amended Judgment, an evidentiary hearing was initiated, and the parties engaged in further discovery, but the motion was not decided. By virtue of 18 U.S.C. § 3626(e), once that motion was not ruled on within 90 days, the consent injunction was automatically stayed. Defendants were no longer required to comply with the consent injunction after February 12, 2004. On April 3, 2008, the case was reassigned to the undersigned judge. On April 25, 2008, Defendants' motion to terminate the Amended Judgment was set for evidentiary hearing commencing August 12, 2008.

         Although evidence of “current and ongoing” violations usually must reflect conditions as of the time termination is sought, Defendants had been seeking termination for nearly five years. Therefore, it was necessary to determine the period for which evidence would be considered relevant to current conditions. The Court initially ordered the parties to plan for discovery and trial regarding jail conditions during the period of July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008. Subsequently, upon request of the parties, the relevant evidentiary period for evaluating current conditions was reduced to July 1, 2007, through May 31, 2008, to facilitate providing information to expert witnesses before their tours and inspections of jail facilities.

         In August and September 2008, a thirteen-day evidentiary hearing was held to decide whether prospective relief in the Amended Judgment should be continued, modified, or terminated. On October 22, 2008, the Court made detailed findings of fact and conclusions of law and entered the Second Amended Judgment. Certain provisions of the Amended Judgment were found to remain necessary to correct a current and ongoing violation of a federal right, to extend no further than necessary to correct the violation of the federal right, to be narrowly drawn, and to be the least intrusive means to correct the violation. Other provisions were modified or vacated based on the evidence presented. The provisions remaining in effect, as originally written or as modified, were restated in the Second Amended Judgment.

         The sixteen-paragraph Second Amended Judgment included requirements for the number of detainees per cell, court holding cell capacities, maximum housing temperature for detainees who take prescribed psychotropic medications, provision of cleaning supplies, toilet and wash basin facilities in intake areas and court holding cells, length of stay in intake areas, outdoor recreation, nutrition, recordkeeping, and visual observation of intake areas, court holding cells, the Lower Buckeye jail psychiatric unit, and segregation units.

         With respect to Paragraph 57 of the Amended Judgment, regarding access to medical services and facilities, the Court found:

182. Paragraph 57 of the Amended Judgment does not exceed the constitutional minimum to the extent it requires Defendants to ensure pretrial detainees' ready access to care to meet their serious medical, dental, and mental health needs, which means that in a timely manner, a pretrial detainee can be seen by a clinician, receive a professional clinical judgment, and receive care that is ordered.
. . . .
216. Regarding paragraph 57 of the Amended Judgment, Defendants do not ensure that pretrial detainees receive access to adequate medical and mental health care because Correctional Health Services does not provide timely in-person assessment of the urgency of their need for treatment, is not able to readily retrieve information from pretrial detainees' medical and mental health records and housing records, and does not identify and appropriately treat many pretrial detainees with serious mental illness.

(Doc. 1634 at 43, 46-47.) Therefore, Paragraph 57 of the Amended Judgment was renumbered as Paragraph 7 of the Second Amended Judgment and modified to state:

7. All pretrial detainees confined in the jails shall have ready access to care to meet their serious medical and mental health needs. When necessary, pretrial detainees confined in jail facilities which lack such services shall be transferred to another jail or other location where such services or health care facilities can be provided or shall otherwise be provided with appropriate alternative on-site medical services.

(Doc. 1635 at 2-3.)

         In addition to making detailed findings and entering the Second Amended Judgment on October 22, 2008, the Court ordered the parties to confer immediately regarding prompt compliance and to submit status reports. A status conference was held on December 5, 2008. On January 9, 2009, a hearing was held regarding Defendants' progress toward compliance with the nonmedical portions of the Second Amended Judgment. On January 28, 2009, upon stipulation of the parties, the Court appointed a medical expert and a mental health expert to serve as independent evaluators of Defendants' compliance with the medical and mental health provisions of the Second Amended Judgment. In June 2009, the Court began receiving quarterly reports from the experts. By April 2010, the Court concluded that “significant areas of failure to comply with the Second Amended Judgment's medical and mental health requirements remain” and ordered the parties to jointly “develop a proposed procedure for achieving and demonstrating Defendants' complete compliance with the Second Amended Judgment.” (Doc. 1880 at 3-4.) In the April 7, 2010 Order, the Court stated: “The Court's purpose is to set a procedure by which full compliance with the Second Amended Judgment is either confirmed or specific implementing remedies are ordered and complied with by the end of this calendar year.” (Id. at 4.)

         On July 30, 2010, the parties filed a joint report stating each party's position regarding the status of Defendants' compliance with the medical and mental health portions of the Second Amended Judgment. The parties agreed to a procedure for achieving compliance with the Second Amended Judgment regarding the medical and mental health issues that remained disputed. The independent evaluators would determine whether Defendants were in full compliance with the Second Amended Judgment, and if Defendants were found not to be in full compliance with any provision, the evaluators would submit detailed proposed remedies and timetables for remedial action to bring Defendants into full compliance. If neither party objected to an evaluator's finding and remedial recommendation, the finding and remedy would be adopted as an order of the Court. The Court would resolve any objections after hearing evidence on the relevant issues. But this procedure never was implemented.

         In January 2011, the parties reported Defendants' disagreement with two of the independent evaluators' recommendations, but in June 2011 the parties jointly reported that an evidentiary hearing regarding medical and mental health remedies was no longer necessary. On June 7, 2011, Defendants filed a motion to terminate the nonmedical provisions of the Second Amended Judgment. An evidentiary hearing on the motion was set, and the parties conducted extensive discovery. However, on October 12, 2011, the parties stipulated that certain nonmedical provisions should be terminated and others should remain in effect without an evidentiary hearing. The stipulation stated that Defendants would renew the motion to terminate the remaining nonmedical provisions after April 1, 2012, and that Plaintiffs would not contest the renewed motion if Defendants successfully accomplished certain goals for the period November 1, 2011, through March 1, 2012.

         On April 24, 2012, Defendants moved to terminate the remaining nonmedical provisions of the Second Amended Judgment, and Plaintiffs did not oppose the motion. On May 24, 2012, Defendants' motion was granted, and those provisions of the Second Amended Judgment that remained in effect were restated in the Third Amended Judgment. The remaining substantive provisions were:

2. Defendants shall provide a receiving screening of each pretrial detainee, prior to placement of any pretrial detainee in the general population. The screening will be sufficient to identify and begin necessary segregation, and treatment of those with mental or physical illness and injury; to provide necessary medication without interruption; to recognize, segregate, and treat those with communicable diseases; to provide medically necessary special diets; and to recognize and provide necessary services to the physically handicapped.
3. All pretrial detainees confined in the jails shall have ready access to care to meet their serious medical and mental health needs. When necessary, pretrial detainees confined in jail facilities which lack such services shall be transferred to another jail or other location where such services or health care facilities can be provided or shall otherwise be provided with appropriate alternative on-site medical services.
4. Defendants shall ensure that the pretrial detainees' prescription medications are provided without interruption where medically prescribed by correctional medical staff.

(Doc. 2094.)

         In October 2012, the independent evaluators visited the jails, conducted interviews, and reviewed medical records. In January 2013, the evaluators reported that Defendants had made significant progress toward compliance with the Third Amended Judgment, and the evaluators provided specific recommendations for achieving substantial compliance. In June 2013, Defendants filed a status report describing their efforts to address the evaluators' concerns and identified certain recommendations with which they disagreed. In response, Plaintiffs identified recommendations for which Defendants had not shown evidence of compliance and also challenged the accuracy of some of Defendants' assertions about their compliance with the evaluators' recommendations.

         On August 9, 2013, Defendants moved to terminate the Third Amended Judgment. The Court ordered that for evidence to be relevant to the motion, it must tend to show whether any current and ongoing constitutional violation existed on August 9, 2013. In addition to filing briefs and statements of facts with supporting exhibits, the parties presented evidence and argument for six days in February and March 2014.

         On September 30, 2014, the Court made detailed findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding whether and to what extent prospective relief in the Third Amended Judgment should be terminated. In many instances, Defendants demonstrated they had recently adopted or revised policies and procedures designed to correct deficiencies identified by the independent evaluators and/or Plaintiffs, but they were unable to produce evidence that the revised policies and procedures had been fully and consistently implemented or that the identified systemic deficiencies had been corrected. For example, an expanded electronic integrated health screen for the receiving screening at intake was implemented on August 5, 2013, only four days before Defendants filed their motion to terminate. Defendants also developed a new electronic health records system, but it was not fully implemented until September 2013, after the relevant evidentiary period. Because Defendants did not prove compliance with any of the three substantive paragraphs of the Third Amended Judgment, i.e., sufficient screening at intake, ready access to care for serious medical and mental health needs, and continuity of prescription medications, the Court found that the prospective relief ordered in those three paragraphs remained necessary to correct current and ongoing constitutional violations.

         Also on September 30, 2014, after six years of reviewing evidence, expert opinion, and legal argument regarding conditions in the Maricopa County Jails, and after allowing both parties opportunity to propose remedies to correct constitutional deficiencies, the Court ordered remedies that did not exactly track constitutional standards but were practical, concrete measures necessary to correct constitutional violations. Defendants were ordered to, within 60 days, adopt new policies or amend existing policies regarding 31 specific requirements for providing medical and mental health care, implement the policies within 150 days, collect and summarize compliance data for a period of 180 days after implementation of the policies, and report documentation showing completion of each stage. The Court stated, “If Defendants comply with this Order and its deadlines, within one year they will demonstrate that prospective relief no longer remains necessary to correct any current and ongoing violation of Plaintiffs' constitutional rights, and Court-ordered relief may be terminated before the PLRA permits another motion to terminate.” (Doc. 2283 at 5960.)

         Therefore, Paragraphs 2, 3, and 4 of the Fourth Amended Judgment continued the prospective relief in the Third Amended Judgment, and Paragraph 5 of the Fourth Amended Judgment defined specifically how Defendants would prove their compliance with Paragraphs 2, 3, and 4. Paragraph 5(a) identified the 31 specific requirements for providing medical and mental health care that were expected to become institutionalized through appropriate policies, staffing, training, and monitoring.

         On October 14, 2014, Plaintiffs moved for reconsideration of five remedial provisions of the Fourth Amended Judgment. On December 10, 2014, the Court granted Plaintiffs' motion in part, amended one of the 31 subparagraphs of Paragraph 5(a) of the Fourth Amended Judgment, and entered the Revised Fourth Amended Judgment. (Doc. 2299.)

         In January 2015, the Court clarified that Plaintiffs' counsel were permitted to tour the jail facilities, speak with pretrial detainees and staff, review records on-site, and review copies of records off-site upon reasonable request. It further stated that the Revised Fourth Amended Judgment “requires Defendants to meet a series of deadlines and anticipates that Plaintiffs will promptly bring to the Court's attention any perceived lack of compliance with each requirement.” (Doc. 2309.) On September 14, 2015, the Court further explained Plaintiffs' role:

[T]he time for monitoring Defendants' compliance actions required by the Revised Fourth Amended Judgment began in December 2014 when Defendants filed their newly adopted or revised policies. It continued through the 180-day period when Defendants were required to demonstrate their implementation of those policies. Plaintiffs' counsel has had opportunity to conduct on-site tours and interviews as well as off-site record reviews to confirm that Defendants are in fact doing what they say they are doing. Data collection for 180 days enabled Defendants to monitor implementation, make any needed corrections, and satisfy their burden of proof. Defendants' September 15, 2015 report will be a summary of the compliance data, which Plaintiffs may challenge. But Plaintiffs do not need additional counsel to begin investigation of potential constitutional violations after the report is filed. To be clear, this litigation is now strictly limited to whether Defendants have satisfied the requirements of Paragraph 5 of the Revised Fourth Amended Judgment. Plaintiffs' class counsel has no authority to investigate any potential constitutional violations outside of Paragraph 5.

(Doc. 2331, emphasis added.)

         On September 15, 2015, Defendants filed a report of the data they had collected and summarized pursuant to the Revised Fourth Amended Judgment. On September 16, 2015, the Court ordered Defendants to file a supplemental report regarding seven subparagraphs of Paragraph 5(a), explaining why the reported compliance rates should be considered sufficient to establish proof of compliance. On September 25, 2015, Defendants filed a supplemental report. On October 15, 2015, the Court granted Plaintiffs' request that they be permitted to file their response to Defendants' compliance reports by January 15, 2016. The Court further ordered that Plaintiffs' response address only whether Defendants had demonstrated compliance with Paragraph 5 of the Revised Fourth Amended Judgment related to each of the 31 subparagraphs of Paragraph 5(a):

The Revised Fourth Amended Judgment required Defendants to collect and summarize data for a period of 180 days that showed the extent to which Defendants were complying with the Revised Fourth Amended Judgment and to file a report of the data collected and summarized on September 15, 2015. (Doc. 2299.) The Court clarified that Defendants' report should address the 31 subparagraphs of Paragraph 5(a) of the Revised Fourth Amended Judgment, explaining what ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.