LBAC WINS TRIAL AGAINST AN SVP PLAINTIFF IN JAIL CONDITIONS CASE

Plaintiff Lawtis Donald Rhoden was held in custody as a civil detainee at the Orange County Jail from 2004 through 2006 while awaiting a probable cause hearing under California’s Sexually Violent Predator Act. Plaintiff claimed that his conditions of confinement violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process clause because they were less considerate than the conditions afforded to criminal detainees, deputies had unlawfully searched his cell and discarded his personal property, he was denied adequate nutrition and medical care, and deputies had retaliated against him for submitting inmate grievances. After cross-motions for summary judgment, the case proceeded to trial on Plainitff’s claim of unconstitutional conditions of confinement, retaliation, and inadequate medical care against eleven remaining Defendants. At trial, LBAC argued that Plaintiff’s conditions of confinement as a whole were in fact more considerate than the conditions afforded to criminal detainees, and that Plaintiff had never been denied adequate medical care. On December 11, 2012, after one hour of deliberations, the jury returned a unanimous defense verdict. Plaintiff is currently appealing the judgment to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.