Another Critical Win for Jones & Mayer

On Friday, September 25, 2015, Jones & Mayer was successful in having a very dangerous interim order, issued by a judge in the Stanislaus County superior court, vacated.  The order required the Stanislaus County Sheriff to partially unshackle defendants, who are being held on the charge of murder, when they meet with their attorneys.  The interim order violated the Sheriff’s jail security policy, which is designed to provide protection for inmates, staff, and visitors as well.  We were opposed by eight criminal defense attorneys.

Our primary argument focused on the fact that a court cannot interfere in the operation of a jail or prison until and unless it establishes that constitutional violations were occurring. We further argued that shackling such high risk inmates was not a constitutional violation, as alleged by defense counsel. And, as such, the order was an invalid order.

Furthermore, even if a restriction on an inmate was considered to be an infringement on a constitutional right, the court must first go through an analysis to determine whether or not the restriction imposed was reasonable and necessary for security and penalogical reasons. [Turner v. Safely, 482 U.S. 78 (1987)]  The judge who issued the original order did none of those things.

We were able to convince a different Superior Court Judge, who now has jurisdiction over the case, to vacate the initial order and, in addition, the court held that no constitutional violation occurs as a result of shackling such high risk inmates.