GEO Grp., Inc. v. Newsom, Case No.: 19-CV-2491 JLS (WVG)

CourtUnited States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Court (Southern District of California)
Writing for the CourtJanis L. Sammartino, United States District Judge
Citation493 F.Supp.3d 905
Parties The GEO GROUP, INC., Plaintiff, v. Gavin C. NEWSOM, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of California; Xavier Becerra, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the State of California, Defendants. and All Consolidated Cases
Decision Date08 October 2020
Docket NumberCase No.: 19-CV-2491 JLS (WVG)

493 F.Supp.3d 905

The GEO GROUP, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
Gavin C. NEWSOM, in his official capacity as Governor of the State of California; Xavier Becerra, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the State of California, Defendants.


and All Consolidated Cases

Case No.: 19-CV-2491 JLS (WVG)

United States District Court, S.D. California.

Signed October 8, 2020


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Chanmaly Kendie Schlecht, Michael B. McClellan, Newmeyer and Dillion LLP, Newport Beach, CA, Charles Justin Cooper, Pro Hac Vice, Jose Joel Alicea, Pro Hac Vice, Michael W. Kirk, Pro Hac Vice, Steven John Lindsay, Pro Hac Vice, Cooper & Kirk, PLLC, Washington, DC, Michael W. Battin, Navigato and Battin LLP, San Diego, CA, for Plaintiff.

Gabrielle D. Boutin, California Department of Justice Office of the Attorney General, Sacramento, CA, for Defendants.

ORDER (1) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFFS’ MOTIONS FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, AND (2) GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANTS’ MOTIONS TO DISMISS AND FOR JUDGMENT ON THE PLEADINGS

Janis L. Sammartino, United States District Judge

This Order addresses motions concerning the constitutionality of California Assembly Bill 32 ("A.B. 32") in two consolidated cases: The GEO Group, Inc. v. Newsom , No. 19-CV-2491 JLS (WVG), 2019 WL 7373612 (S.D. Cal. filed Dec. 30, 2019) (" GEO "), and United States v. Newsom , No. 20-CV-154 JLS (WVG), 2020 WL 408888 (S.D. Cal. filed Jan. 24, 2020) (" U.S. "). Specifically before the Court are Plaintiff The GEO Group, Inc.’s ("GEO"), and the United States of America's Motions for Preliminary Injunction ("GEO Mot.," GEO ECF No. 15, and "U.S. Mot.," U.S. ECF No. 8, respectively), as well as Defendants Gavin Newsom and Xavier Becerra's Motion to Dismiss GEO's Complaint ("MTD," GEO ECF Nos. 20, 22) and Defendants Newsom, Becerra, and the State of California's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings of the United States’ Complaint ("MJP," U.S. ECF No. 13). Also before the Court are briefs of Amici Curiae Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Human Rights Watch, and Freedom for Immigrants (the "Detention Amici ")

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filed in support of Defendants in both cases ("Detention Amici Br.," GEO ECF No. 26 & U.S. ECF No. 19), as well as the brief of Amici Curiae Immigrant Defense Advocates and Immigrant Legal Defense (the "Procurement Amici ") filed in support of Defendants in the GEO case ("Procurement Amici Br.," GEO ECF No. 40). The Court held a hearing on the above-enumerated matters on July 16, 2020.1 See GEO ECF Nos. 43, 48 ("Tr."); U.S. ECF No. 33. Having carefully considered the Parties’ arguments, pleadings and evidence, and the applicable law, the Court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART the GEO and U.S. Motions and GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss and for Judgment on the Pleadings, as follows.

BACKGROUND2

I. A.B. 32

On December 3, 2018, California Assembly Member Rob Bonta introduced A.B. 32 in the California Legislature. GEO ECF No. 1 ("GEO Compl.") ¶¶ 21, 30. Governor Newsom signed A.B. 32 into law on October 11, 2019. GEO Compl. ¶ 33.

A.B. 32 contains three sections. See 2019 Cal. Legis. Serv. Ch. 739 (A.B. 32) (2019). Section 1 generally prohibits the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR") from entering into a new contract, or renewing an existing contract, with a "private, for-profit prison facility located in or outside [California] to provide housing for state prison inmates" after January 1, 2020. See A.B. 32 § 1; Cal. Penal Code § 5003.1(a). There also is an exception allowing California to renew or extend a contract with a private, for-profit detention facility to comply with any court-ordered population cap.3 See A.B. 32 § 1; Cal. Penal Code § 5003.1(e). In its entirety, Section 1 of A.B. 32 provides:

(a) On or after January 1, 2020, [CDCR] shall not enter into a contract with a private, for-profit prison
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facility located in or outside of the state to provide housing for state prison inmates.

(b) On or after January 1, 2020, [CDCR] shall not renew an existing contract with a private, for-profit prison facility located in or outside of the state to incarcerate state prison inmates.

(c) After January 1, 2028, a state prison inmate or other person under the jurisdiction of [CDCR] shall not be incarcerated in a private, for-profit prison facility.

(d) As used in this section, "private, for-profit prison facility" does not include a facility that is privately owned, but is leased and operated by [CDCR].

(e) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) and (b), [CDCR] may renew or extend a contract with a private, for-profit prison facility to provide housing for state prison inmates in order to comply with the requirements of any court-ordered population cap.

Cal. Penal Code § 5003.1.

Section 2 of A.B. 32 contains several provisions codified at California Penal Code sections 9500 through 9505. See A.B. 32 § 2; Cal. Penal Code §§ 9500 – 9505. Section 9500 defines the terms "[d]etention facility" and "[p]rivate detention facility." See generally Cal. Penal Code § 9500. Specifically, the statute defines a "[d]etention facility" as "any facility in which persons are incarcerated or otherwise involuntarily confined for purposes of execution of a punitive sentence imposed by a court or detention pending a trial, hearing, or other judicial or administrative proceeding," Cal. Penal Code § 9500(a), and a "[p]rivate detention facility" as "a detention facility that is operated by a private, nongovernmental, for-profit entity, and operating pursuant to a contract or agreement with a governmental entity." Cal. Penal Code § 9500(b).

Section 9501 contains a general prohibition on the operation of a private detention facility within the State of California: "Except as otherwise provided in this title, a person shall not operate a private detention facility within the state." Cal. Penal Code § 9501. This provision is followed by three additional provisions containing exceptions. See Cal. Penal Code §§ 9502, 9503, 9505.

Section 9502 excepts several, specific types of facilities, namely:

(a) Any facility providing rehabilitative, counseling, treatment, mental health, educational, or medical services to a juvenile that is under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court pursuant to Part 1 (commencing with Section 100) of Division 2 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(b) Any facility providing evaluation or treatment services to a person who has been detained, or is subject to an order of commitment by a court, pursuant to Section 1026, or pursuant to Division 5 (commencing with Section 5000) or Division 6 (commencing with Section 6000) of the Welfare and Institutions Code.

(c) Any facility providing educational, vocational, medical, or other ancillary services to an inmate in the custody of, and under the direct supervision of, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or a county sheriff or other law enforcement agency.

(d) A residential care facility licensed pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 1200) of the Health and Safety Code.
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(e) Any school facility used for the disciplinary detention of a pupil.

(f) Any facility used for the quarantine or isolation of persons for public health reasons pursuant to Division 105 (commencing with Section 120100) of the Health and Safety Code.

(g) Any facility used for the temporary detention of a person detained or arrested by a merchant, private security guard, or other private person pursuant to Section 490.5 or 837.

Cal. Penal Code § 9502.

Section 9503 exempts facilities that are leased from private parties but operated by CDCR or another law enforcement agency: " Section 9501 does not apply to any privately owned property or facility that is leased and operated by the [CDCR] or a county sheriff or other law enforcement agency." Cal. Penal Code § 9503.

The last exception, appearing in Section 9505, exempts contracts in existence before January 1, 2020, and contracts renewed pursuant to Section 5003.1(e) :

Section 9501 does not apply to either of the following:

(a) A private detention facility that is operating pursuant to a valid contract with a governmental entity that was in effect before January 1, 2020, for the duration of that contract, not to include any extensions made to or authorized by that contract.

(b) A private detention facility contract renewed pursuant to subdivision (e) of Section 5003.1.

Cal. Penal Code § 9505.

Finally, Section 3 of A.B. 32 contains a severability clause: "The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application." A.B. 32 § 3.

II. Plaintiffs’ Private Detention Facilities in California

A. The United States Bureau of Prisons

1. Detention Facilities

The United States Bureau of...

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