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Brown v. Plata

On October 15, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bancroft’s clients and dismissed California’s appeal in Brown v. Plata, No. 13-198, for want of jurisdiction. California was appealing decisions of a three-judge district court requiring California to comply with an injunction that the Supreme Court had previously affirmed in a 2011 decision in the same case. That order required California to reduce its prison population to 137.5% of design capacity within two years to remedy longstanding grave violations of the Eighth Amendment arising from grossly inadequate medical and mental health care in California’s prisons. California argued that the Supreme Court had mandatory jurisdiction over its renewed appeal. California had previously sought a stay from the Supreme Court, which Bancroft successfully defended against. On September 5, 2013, Bancroft attorneys Paul D. Clement, Zachary D. Tripp, and Michael H. McGinley prepared and filed a Motion to Dismiss or Affirm with the Supreme Court on behalf of appellees Marciano Plata and Ralph Coleman, arguing that there was no jurisdiction because the orders below did not grant or deny an injunction, as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1253. The Supreme Court agreed, dismissing the case for lack of jurisdiction.

Supreme Court Docket
Joint Motion to Dismiss or Affirm
Joint Supplemental Brief
Joint Second Supplemental Brief
Supreme Court Decision Denying Application for Stay
Joint Memorandum in Opposition to Application for Stay