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Schwarzenegger v. Plata

From lawbrain.com

A federal judge, the Honorable Thelton Henderson, ordered to place the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation under receivership. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appealed the judges' order and the Supreme Court has granted certiorari (Case No. 09-416).  



This case questions whether California prison officials inflict cruel and unusual punishment by providing deficient medical care to inmates necessitating a thorough overhaul of its policies and procedures. Factual findings have revealed that an inmate dies every six to seven days to due grossly deficient medical care.[1]

In October 2005, Judge Henderson ordered California's prison medical care system be placed under the control of a court appointed receiver.[2] Later on, the trial was brought before a federal three-judge panel found California prisons to be grossly overcrowded and ordered a reduction in prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity.[3] The court has ordered a release of approximately 40,000 inmates from California's 33 state prisons.

The federal court also placed the medical care system provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation under receivership. A court-appointed receiver would oversee the operations of the prison medical care system in California.[4] The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected California's appeal to cease judicial oversight of the prison health care system.

The Schwarzenegger administration appealed to the decision to release prisoners to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Procedural History

In Schwarzenegger v. Plata, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ("appellant") appeals the decision rendered by the federal court of appeals in the Ninth Circuit in Plata v. Schwarzenegger.

Plata v. Schwarzenegger was a class action lawsuit appealed by Governor Schwarzenegger on behalf of the State of California. In this case, Governor Schwarzenegger on behalf of the State of California sough to oppose the receivership ordered by the California-based federal judges. California argued that pursuant to the Prison Litigation Reform Act,18 U.S.C. § 3626 ("PLRA"), the federal judges exceeded their statutory authority by appointing a receiver.

Statement of the Facts


Legal Developments

The Supreme Court granted certiorari on June 14, 2010.


  1. http://www.prisonlaw.com/cases.php
  2. http://www.prisonlaw.com/pdfs/receiver.pdf
  3. http://www.prisonlaw.com/events.php
  4. http://www.prisonlaw.com/events.php

External Links

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