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ESTELLE v. JUSTICE

June 7, 1976

ESTELLE, CORRECTIONS DIRECTOR, ET AL
v.
JUSTICE, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE, ET AL.



C.A. 5th Cir. Reported below: 516 F.2d 480.

[ 426 U.S. Page 925]

Motion of respondent inmates for leave to proceed in forma pauperis granted. Certiorari denied.

MR. JUSTICE REHNQUIST, with whom THE CHIEF JUSTICE and MR. JUSTICE POWELL join, dissenting.

The writ of mandamus is granted sparingly and is "reserved for really extraordinary causes," Ex parte Fahey, 332 U.S. 258, 260 (1947). It seems to me that

[ 426 U.S. Page 926]

     the course of this litigation in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas makes it a "really extraordinary" case, and I would grant certiorari to review the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit declining to issue the writ sought by petitioners.

 Sometime prior to April 1974, David Ruiz and other inmates of the Texas Department of Corrections sued petitioner Estelle, Director of the Texas Department of Corrections, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas seeking declaratory and equitable relief from alleged deprivations of rights secured to the plaintiffs by the Constitution of the United States. Jurisdiction was based upon 28 U.S.C. § 1343 and 42 U.S.C. § 1983.On April 12, 1974, respondent the Honorable William Wayne Justice, a judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, ordered the Ruiz case consolidated with several other pending causes in the District which he found to involve common questions of law and fact, and proceeded, sua sponte, to enter the following additional order:

"This Court having also determined that the public interest will be served by the participation of the United States of America in the consolidated civil action, it is

"ORDERED that the United States of America make an appearance in the above-entitled and numbered consolidated civil action as amicus curiae, in order to investigate fully the facts alleged in the prisoners' complaints, to participate in such civil action with the full rights of a party thereto, and to advise this Court at all stages of the proceedings as to any action deemed appropriate by it."

Not surprisingly, the United States some months later filed a motion to intervene in the action, and to add parties defendant thereto. Despite the familiar rule that

[ 426 U.S. Page 927]

     an intervenor take the case as he finds it, respondent granted not only the motion of the United States to intervene, but also that seeking to add as parties defendant the Texas Board of Corrections, and the members of that Board as individuals. In addition, the complaint in intervention of the United States sought relief which went far beyond that sought by the inmates, requesting an order enjoining petitioners from the following:

"1. Failing or refusing to provide inmates with a medical care delivery system which is accessible and adequate to meet their medical needs;

"2. Failing or refusing to provide living and working conditions which do not jeopardize the ...


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