Three cases on the Supreme Court’s pandemic docket sought the court’s action in preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus among incarcerated persons. In each, the court demurred, either directing or suggesting superior court hearings instead.
In the earliest case — a writ petition in All Youth Detained in Juvenile Halls and Camps in Los Angeles County v. Superior Court — the court ordered trial court proceedings to determine “whether juveniles detained in Los Angeles County juvenile facilities are being denied due process under the Fourteenth Amendment by being held in conditions that could subject them to contracting the COVID-19 virus and, if so, what remedies can be lawfully ordered.” (See also the Second District, Division Two, Court of Appeal transfer order.)
LAist reports on a late Tuesday superior court order in the case: “In a hearing ordered by the California Supreme Court, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has ruled against juvenile justice advocacy organizations seeking the categorical release of low-risk and medically fragile youth detainees now held in the county’s juvenile detention system.”
Also in the article: the judge “said the petitioners did not provide evidence that the county has failed to protect the youth, or that they are being held in conditions that could subject them to contracting COVID-19.” And the article quotes from the court’s order: ” ‘Requests to release juveniles from detention must be based on an individualized and fact-based showing of whether release would be appropriate based on the totality of the circumstances.’ “