Castillo v. Cameron County Texas, No. 99-41217

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtKING
Citation238 F.3d 339
Parties(5th Cir. 2001) JOSE RAUL CASTILLO; FRANCISCO LOPEZ; E ELOY SANCHEZ; JON ALAN ASHCRAFT; GUSTAVO ALMAGUER, Plaintiffs - Appellees, v. CAMERON COUNTY, TEXAS, Defendant - Third Party Plaintiff - Appellee, v. STATE OF TEXAS; GEORGE W BUSH, Governor of Texas; ALLAN B POLUNSKY, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; CAROLE S YOUNG, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; JOHN DAVID FRANZ, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; PATRICIA A DAY, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; WILLIAM "HANK" MOODY, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; ALFRED C MORAN, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; NANCY PATTON, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; A M "MAC" STRINGFELLOW, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; CAROL S VANCE, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Defendants - Third Party Defendants - Appellants
Docket NumberNo. 99-41217
Decision Date05 January 2001

Page 339

238 F.3d 339 (5th Cir. 2001)
JOSE RAUL CASTILLO; FRANCISCO LOPEZ; E ELOY SANCHEZ; JON ALAN ASHCRAFT; GUSTAVO ALMAGUER, Plaintiffs - Appellees,
v.
CAMERON COUNTY, TEXAS, Defendant - Third Party Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
STATE OF TEXAS; GEORGE W BUSH, Governor of Texas; ALLAN B POLUNSKY, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; CAROLE S YOUNG, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; JOHN DAVID FRANZ, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; PATRICIA A DAY, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; WILLIAM "HANK" MOODY, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; ALFRED C MORAN, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; NANCY PATTON, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; A M "MAC" STRINGFELLOW, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice; CAROL S VANCE, Member of the Board Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Defendants - Third Party Defendants - Appellants.
No. 99-41217
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS, FIFTH CIRCUIT
January 5, 2001

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Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Before KING, Chief Judge, PARKER, Circuit Judge, and FURGESON, District Judge.*

KING, Chief Judge:

Appellants, the State of Texas, et al., appeal from the district court's order continuing injunctive relief in favor of Appellees Jose Raul Castillo, et al. For the following reasons, we VACATE the district court's July 20, 1999 order and REMAND this case to the district court for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

This appeal arises from a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action brought in 1993 by Plaintiffs-Appellees (the "plaintiffs"), a certified class1 of detainees in the Cameron County, Texas jail (the "Jail") against Cameron County (the "County") and the state of Texas, the governor of Texas, and various members of the Board of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (the "State").2 The plaintiffs alleged that overcrowding at the Jail produced conditions that constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution.

The plaintiffs originally filed suit against only the County. The County brought a third-party complaint seeking injunctive relief against the State, alleging that the State failed to expeditiously transfer nearly 300 "paper ready" inmates3 to state correctional facilities and, therefore, was responsible for the constitutional violations. On January 21, 1994, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding the State as a defendant, and on May 20, 1994, they filed an application for a preliminary injunction, in an attempt to remedy the overcrowding by enjoining the County and the State from incarcerating more prisoners in the Jail than allowed by the Texas Jail Standards.

On August 15, 1994, the district court entered a temporary injunction in favor of the plaintiffs to reduce the jail population (the "August 1994 injunction").4 Then, on September 14, 1994, the district court entered a memorandum decision and order, which included a preliminary injunction against the State and the County (the "September 1994 injunction").

In its September 1994 injunction, the court made a number of findings, based on testimony presented at the preliminary injunction hearing, the documents admitted

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into evidence, and the court's tour of the detention facilities. The court found that the Jail was overcrowded and that 289 of the detainees were convicted felons awaiting transfer to state prisons operated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice ("TDCJ"). The court also found that, at that point in time, TDCJ had a scheduled admissions policy that had caused a backlog of convicted inmates to accumulate in the Jail.5 As a result of this significant overcrowding, over thirty percent of the detainees slept on mattresses on the floor each night. Additionally, fighting requiring medical attention increased. The court also found the medical care received by the inmates to be "alarming" as the County based its medical-care budget on a 500-person average occupancy, rather than the actual occupancy.6 Furthermore, overcrowding limited the attempts by county officials to classify detainees according to dangerousness and to adequately segregate mentally ill detainees, witnesses, and pretrial detainees.

The classification that has been possible has lead [sic] to severe overcrowding in some cells. For example, 30 detainees have been forced into a cell designed for 10 and held there three months, where the cell did not have water, a toilet, or a shower. Six detainees have been forced into a holding cell designed for two, leaving at least two of these people with no choice but to stand all day.7

Under the terms of the September 1994 injunction, the State was required to "remove the number of state-ready felons from the custody of Cameron County officials" necessary to bring the Jail's population within design capacity or prove that constitutional conditions would be preserved if the Jail contained more prisoners than it was designed to hold.8 The September 1994 injunction also required the County to adopt an operation plan describing how the County would provide for the Jail's needs six months in the future and two years in the future, to evaluate and revise those plans on an annual basis, and to submit them to the district court.

On October 2, 1997, the district court amended the August 1994 injunction

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("1997 injunction"). The 1997 injunction lists, inter alia, a number of actions intended to reduce the jail population9 and a number of Population Reduction Provisions that the Cameron County sheriff can make to keep the prison population from surpassing ninety percent of its design capacity. Specifically, the injunction dictates that "if at any time the population of the Cameron County Jail exceeds ninety per cent of the design capacity . . . for such jail, the Sheriff of Cameron County is ORDERED to, and shall, in addition to any other actions he may deem appropriate, take such of the following [Population Reduction Provisions] he may see fit in order to reduce jail population . . . ." For example, one of the Population Reduction Provisions permits the sheriff to "refuse to receive for pre-hearing confinement from state pardon and parole officers any 'blue warrant' person charged with a parole violation."10 Similarly, "the Sheriff may notify the Department of Pardons and Parole that the 'blue warrant' inmates will be released after they have been held for forty-five days unless a [']white warrant' has issued."11 Although the 1997 injunction was issued while the State was still a party to the proceedings, it did not require the State to take any particular action, only the County. Pursuant to the 1997 injunction, the Cameron County sheriff refused to incarcerate a number of "blue warrant" parole violators.12

On April 26, 1996, the Prison Litigation Reform Act (the "PLRA"), which "establishes standards for the entry and termination of prospective relief in civil actions challenging prison conditions," went into effect. See Miller v. French, 120 S. Ct. 2246, 2250 (2000); see also Pub. L. No. 104-134, 110 Stat. 1321-66 (1996). On May 3, 1999, pursuant to the PLRA, the State filed a motion to terminate the September 1994 injunction. The State argued that immediate termination of the preliminary injunction was warranted because the PLRA requires termination of prospective relief entered without making certain specific findings, which the district court had not made when it issued the September 1994 injunction. See 18 U.S.C. § 3626(b)(2). Alternatively, the State asserted that the September 1994 injunction must be terminated because the PLRA mandates termination of prospective relief upon the motion of any party or intervener two years after the date the court granted or approved the prospective relief or two years after the enactment date of the PLRA. See id. § 3626(b)(1).

On May 21, 1999, the district court held a status conference. The parties agreed that the September 1994 injunction against the State was no longer necessary, as the State had transferred the "paper ready" prisoners to state facilities. Because the State had complied with the September 1994 injunction, the parties also discussed dismissing the State as a party. Moreover, the district court indicated that it

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was inclined to turn the 1997 temporary injunction against the County into a permanent injunction. The County proposed an order so doing, to which the State objected. Specifically, the State objected to a provision in the order that permitted the Cameron County sheriff to continue to refuse to incarcerate alleged parole violators in order to limit the number of prisoners in the Jail. The State contended that this provision violated the PLRA, which prohibits federal courts from ordering prospective relief that violates state law.

On May 27, 1999, the district court entered an order extending the September 1994 injunction for another sixty days so that the plaintiffs and the County could finalize a consent decree. During those sixty days, on June 28, 1999, the State filed an "advisory," reiterating its objection to continuing the temporary injunctive relief embodied in the 1997 injunction as violative of the PLRA. The State argued, inter alia, that the 1997 injunction constituted a prisoner release order, which, under the PLRA, can only be entered by a three-judge panel that is required to make specific findings, see id. § 3626(a)(3), and that order authorized the Cameron County sheriff to violate state law, action which is also governed by the PLRA. See id. § 3626(a)(1)(B).

On July 27, 1999, the district court held another status...

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64 practice notes
  • U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief, No. 04-11282.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 4 Abril 2006
    ...on the application of statutes or procedural rules, our review of that interpretation is de novo. Cf. Castillo v. Cameron County, Tex., 238 F.3d 339, 347 (5th Cir.2001) ("Although the district court's decision to continue the injunctions is to be reviewed for an abuse of discretion, because......
  • Dist. of Columbia v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp., No. 14–CV–633
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 2 Noviembre 2017
    ...resulting in injury to the general welfare, is often of itself sufficient to give it a standing in court."); Castillo v. Cameron County, 238 F.3d 339, 351 (5th Cir. 2001) ("Because the State has a sovereign interest in enforcing its laws, it has a personal stake in appealing [an] injunction......
  • United States Of America, No. 11-3008
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • 19 Abril 2011
    ...[a third party's] interests, he is often allowed to appeal," id. (second alteration in original) (quoting Castillo v. Cameron Cnty., 238 F.3d 339, 349 (5th Cir. 2001)). Amy argues that even though she was not a party below, she has a direct interest in the district court's restitution order......
  • Co. v. Citizen, No. 12–2209.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • 16 Abril 2014
    ...prudential standing concerns that arise when a nonparty seeks to appeal from a district court's judgment. See Castillo v. Cameron Cnty., 238 F.3d 339, 349 & n. 16 (5th Cir.2001); see also Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 751, 104 S.Ct. 3315, 82 L.Ed.2d 556 (1984) (prudential standing requirem......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
64 cases
  • U.S. v. Holy Land Foundation for Relief, No. 04-11282.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • 4 Abril 2006
    ...on the application of statutes or procedural rules, our review of that interpretation is de novo. Cf. Castillo v. Cameron County, Tex., 238 F.3d 339, 347 (5th Cir.2001) ("Although the district court's decision to continue the injunctions is to be reviewed for an abuse of discretion, be......
  • Dist. of Columbia v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp., No. 14–CV–633
    • United States
    • District of Columbia Court of Appeals of Columbia District
    • 2 Noviembre 2017
    ...in injury to the general welfare, is often of itself sufficient to give it a standing in court."); Castillo v. Cameron County, 238 F.3d 339, 351 (5th Cir. 2001) ("Because the State has a sovereign interest in enforcing its laws, it has a personal stake in appealing [an] injunction......
  • United States Of America, No. 11-3008
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • 19 Abril 2011
    ...[a third party's] interests, he is often allowed to appeal," id. (second alteration in original) (quoting Castillo v. Cameron Cnty., 238 F.3d 339, 349 (5th Cir. 2001)). Amy argues that even though she was not a party below, she has a direct interest in the district court's restitution ......
  • Co. v. Citizen, No. 12–2209.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • 16 Abril 2014
    ...prudential standing concerns that arise when a nonparty seeks to appeal from a district court's judgment. See Castillo v. Cameron Cnty., 238 F.3d 339, 349 & n. 16 (5th Cir.2001); see also Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 751, 104 S.Ct. 3315, 82 L.Ed.2d 556 (1984) (prudential standing requ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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