United States District Court, E.D. California
court has continued the November 3, 2017 contempt hearing and
set a status conference for December 20, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.
Min. Order, Oct. 23, 2017, ECF No. 5720. This order explains
the continuance and provides the status conference agenda.
April 19, 2017, the court ordered defendants to “come
into full and permanent compliance with Program Guide
timelines for transfer of inmate-patients to acute and
intermediate care facility programs.” ECF No. 5610 at
In accordance with the court's previously signaled
intention to exclude certain periods from this requirement,
see id. at 7 and ECF No. 5583 at 25, the parties
were also ordered to “develop an addendum to the
Program Guide” identifying exceptions to the timelines.
Id. at 13-14; see also id. at 7 and ECF No.
5583 at 25 (prior order signaling intent to exempt certain
time periods from timeline calculations).
were further ordered to include in their monthly Census and
Waitlists Report for Inpatient Mental Health care (monthly
(1) the total number of inmate-patients, if any, who waited
beyond Program Guide timelines for transfer to an acute
inpatient mental health care program; (2) the total number of
inmate-patients, if any, who waited beyond Program Guide
timelines for transfer to an ICF [intermediate care facility]
mental health care program; (3) the number of days each
inmate-patient waited beyond Program Guide timelines; and (4)
the total number of inmate-patient wait days for the month
(category (1) plus category (2) plus category (3)).
ECF No. 5610 at 14. In addition,
[p]ending development of the addendum required by paragraph 2
of this order, defendants shall include with their monthly
report the total number of inmate-patient days they believe
should be excluded from the total reported and an explanation
why those days should be excluded.
terms, the order is “enforceable by civil contempt
proceedings and, if necessary, imposition of monetary
sanctions to coerce compliance.” Id. at 13.
The court set a November 3, 2017 hearing to consider
“findings of contempt and requirement of payment of
fines that may have accumulated on or after May 16, 2017,
” with the hearing to be vacated “if no fines
have accumulated.” Id. at 14.
the Special Master was ordered to “convene a workgroup
to focus on outstanding issues related to compliance with the
Program Guide timelines for transfer to mental health crisis
beds. . . .” Id. The parties were required to
file a joint report explaining which issues the workgroup
resolved, and an evidentiary hearing was set to resolve
outstanding issues related to compliance with the twenty-four
hour timeline for transfer to mental health crisis bed (MHCB)
care. Id. at 14-15. The court also ordered the
workgroup to develop an addendum for exceptions to the MHCB
transfer timeline. Id. at 15.
have appealed the April 19, 2017 order. ECF No. 5621. The
appeal is still pending. See Court of Appeals Docket
# 17-16080. The court directed the parties to file a joint
statement of their positions on how defendants' appeal
impacts this court's jurisdiction over further
proceedings. Min. Order, July 6, 2017, ECF No. 5641. In the
joint statement, defendants argued that the pending appeal
divests this court of jurisdiction to decide whether
defendants must fully comply with the Program Guide transfer
timelines and to adjudicate contempt proceedings for any such
noncompliance. Joint Statement, July 20, 2017, ECF No. 5651
at 7-9. In the alternative, defendants requested the court
defer the contempt hearing “to avoid the potential
waste of resources in the event the Order is overturned on
appeal.” Id. at 9. Plaintiffs argued that the
court retains jurisdiction over all issues because the order
defendants have appealed is neither a final nor an appealable
order. Id. at 12-16. Plaintiffs have moved to
dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Court of Appeals
Docket # 17-16080, ECF No. 10. Plaintiffs' motion is
fully briefed. Court of Appeals Docket # 17-16080, ECF No. 20
(plaintiffs' reply brief filed October 26, 2017).
meantime, the court has approved the parties'
stipulations to complete and submit to the court the proposed
addenda creating exceptions to the Program Guide transfer
timelines by November 30, 2017. See ECF Nos. 5631,
September 28, 2017 hearing concerning obstacles to compliance
with the twenty-four hour timeline for transfer to MHCB care
the court noted that it anticipated considering a full report
in November on the status of efforts to comply with that
timeline and, as necessary, enforcement thereof. ECF No. 5707
at 5-6, 123-124; see also ECF No. 5710 at 2. In a
follow-up order the court resolved three issues considered at
the September 28, 2017 hearing. Order, Oct. 10, 2017, ECF No.
5710. Specifically, the court denied defendants' request
to start the twenty-four hour referral timeline only after
in-person clinical assessments and to allow inmate-patients
identified as needing MHCB level care to be placed in
alternative housing pending that in-person clinical
assessment. Id. at 11-14. It also rejected
defendants' practice of ending the twenty-four hour
transfer timeline when an inmate-patient is placed in a
transport vehicle, rather than when the inmate-patient is
placed in an MHCB. Id. at 14-16. Finally, it
required development of updated data templates for reporting
on access to MHCB care. Id. at 16-17. In that order,
the court directed the parties to be prepared at the November
3, 2017 hearing to provide a filing date for a current,
consolidated Program Guide incorporating all modifications
required by court orders issued since March 2006.
Id. at 16 n.6. The court further indicated that the
parties should be prepared to address at that hearing what
effect the court's resolution of the transportation
question noted above will have on reporting going forward.
Id. at 16.
October 19, 2017, when the November 3 hearing still remained
on calendar, defendants filed a request for clarification of
the scope of that hearing and for a pretrial conference. ECF
No. 5717. Plaintiffs responded on October 21, 2017. ECF No.
5719. The court has denied defendants' request for
pretrial conference and clarification ...