Crescenzo Vellucci reports for the People’s Vanguard of Davis on an original writ petition filed last week, Marshall v. Superior Court, that asks the Supreme Court to order measures protecting inmates at Sacramento County’s two jails from the COVID-19 virus.  The article quotes the petition as requesting the Supreme Court to “institute a population cap at the jails which allows for social distancing” and to require “conditions of sanitation and hygiene in compliance with standards appropriate to the COVID-19 crisis.”

This is yet another case on the court’s pandemic docket.

The court quickly asked for a preliminary opposition to be filed by the end of the day Friday, saying that the request “should be expedited” and that “no request for extension of time is contemplated.”  The case docket doesn’t show any response filed Friday, but the District Attorney filed a letter today.  The District Attorney and the state Attorney General are listed as counsel for real party in interest The People.  Sacramento’s Superior Court and its sheriff are the respondents.

Two months ago, when the Supreme Court denied a writ petition seeking similar relief but on a statewide basis, the court said that actions should instead be brought “in the superior courts of appropriate counties” and that those courts should “proceed as expeditiously as possible.”

According to the article, the current petition says, “Since March 20, 2020, the Public Defender [petitioner’s counsel] has moved, petitioned, and pleaded with Sacramento Superior Court to hold a hearing to examine the conditions of confinement in the Sacramento County Jail System and issue orders to reduce the number of confined persons” but “the superior court has refused to act and the jail system remains a tinderbox risking not only Petitioners’ lives, but the lives of law enforcement, medical personnel, jail staff, attorneys, court personnel, and the community at large.”

[3:30 update:  The docket was just updated to show the Attorney General has filed an application for relief from default.]

[4:30 update:  A preliminary opposition by the Attorney General has been filed “with permission.”]