LAWRENCE, SPRENGER AND LI END INJUNCTION IN JAIL CASE

In February 2014, David Lawrence, Christina Sprenger and Allen Li successfully ended an injunction governing disabled inmates housed in the Orange County jail system. The injunction was the result of a class action brought in 2001 on behalf of past, present and future disabled pre-trial detainees, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and similar state laws. In 2005, the matter went to trial before the Honorable Judge Gary L. Taylor, and the County prevailed on all issues. Judge Taylor vacated the 1978 Stewart injunction and Plaintiffs took an appeal. In an Amended Opinion, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals subsequently found that certain, unidentified violations of the ADA existed within the Orange County jail system, and remanded the case back to the District Court for a second trial. With the retirement of Judge Taylor, the case was reassigned to the Honorable Judge Audrey B. Collins, who entered an injunctive relief Order in June of 2011, outlining physical modifications and programmatic changes to be made in the Orange County jail system. Judge Collins also appointed a monitor to track the County’s compliance with the Order. In August of 2013, the County moved to terminate injunctive relief pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act. Plaintiffs filed a cross-motion to extend injunctive relief based on the monitor’s numerous findings of non-compliance in the areas of inmate identification, classification, visitation, grievances, and recreation. On February 12, 2014, the Court issued an Order adopting the County’s arguments, and terminated injunctive relief noting that the County had carried its burden of proof and injunctive relief was no longer necessary.