CACI No. 3046. Violation of Pretrial Detainee’s Federal Civil Rights - Fourteenth Amendment - Medical Care and Conditions of Confinement (42 U.S.C. § 1983)

Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions (2024 edition)

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3046.Violation of Pretrial Detainee’s Federal Civil
Rights - Fourteenth Amendment - Medical Care and Conditions of
Confinement (42 U.S.C. § 1983)
[Name of plaintiff] claims that [name of defendant] failed to provide [him/
her/nonbinary pronoun] [safe conditions of confinement/needed medical
care] in violation of [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] constitutional rights. To
establish this claim, [name of plaintiff] must prove all of the following:
1. That [name of defendant] made an intentional decision regarding
the [conditions of confinement/denial of needed medical care];
2. That the [conditions of confinement/denial of needed medical
care] put [name of plaintiff] at substantial risk of serious harm;
3. That [name of defendant] did not take reasonable available
measures to prevent or reduce the risk of serious harm, even
though a reasonable officer under the same or similar
circumstances would have understood the high degree of risk
involved;
4. That [name of defendant] was acting or purporting to act in the
performance of [his/her/nonbinary pronoun] official duties;
5. That [name of plaintiff] was harmed; and
6. That [name of defendant]’s conduct was a substantial factor in
causing [name of plaintiff]’s harm.
New November 2021
Directions for Use
Give this instruction in a case involving a pretrial detainee’s conditions of
confinement, including access to medical care. (See Gordon v. County of Orange
(9th Cir. 2018) 888 F.3d 1118, 1124-1125.)
The instruction may be modified for use in a failure to protect case. (See Castro v.
County of Los Angeles (9th Cir. 2016) 833 F.3d 1060 (en banc).) The instruction
may also be modified to specify the condition of confinement at issue. For example,
if the plaintiff claims that the defendant delayed or intentionally interfered with
needed medical treatment, it may not be sufficiently clear to describe the defendant’s
conduct in the introductory paragraph and in elements 1 and 2 as a denial of needed
medical care.
Sources and Authority
Deprivation of Civil Rights. Title 42 United States Code section 1983.
“Inmates who sue prison officials for injuries suffered while in custody may do
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so under the Eighth Amendment’s Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause or, if
not yet convicted, under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause.
Under both clauses, the plaintiff must show that the prison officials acted with
‘deliberate indifference.’ (Castro, supra, 833 F.3d at pp. 1067-1068, internal
citation omitted.)
“[W]e hold that claims for violations of the right to adequate medical care
‘brought by pretrial detainees against individual defendants under the Fourteenth
Amendment’ must be evaluated under an objective deliberate indifference
standard.” (Gordon, supra, 888 F.3d at pp. 1124-1125.)
“[C]laims for violations of the right to adequate medical care ‘brought by
pretrial detainees against individual defendants under the Fourteenth
Amendment’ must be evaluated under an objective deliberate indifference
standard. Based thereon, the elements of a pretrial detainee’s medical care claim
against an individual defendant under the due process clause of the Fourteenth
Amendment are: (i) the defendant made an intentional decision with respect to
the conditions under which the plaintiff was confined; (ii) those conditions put
the plaintiff at substantial risk of suffering serious harm; (iii) the defendant did
not take reasonable available measures to abate that risk, even though a
reasonable official in the circumstances would have appreciated the high degree
of risk involved-making the consequences of the defendant’s conduct obvious;
and (iv) by not taking such measures, the defendant caused the plaintiff’s
injuries. ‘With respect to the third element, the defendant’s conduct must be
objectively unreasonable, a test that will necessarily “turn[ ] on the facts and
circumstances of each particular case.” The “mere lack of due care by a state
official” does not deprive an individual of life, liberty, or property under the
Fourteenth Amendment.’ Thus, the plaintiff must ‘prove more than negligence
but less than subjective intent-something akin to reckless disregard.’ (Gordon,
supra, 888 F.3d at pp. 1124-1125, internal citations omitted.)
‘[T]he objective deliberate indifference standard applies even when the incident
occurred pre-Gordon.’ Thus, to determine whether the defendants are entitled to
qualified immunity, we do not consider whether they subjectively understood that
[the detainee] faced a substantial risk of serious harm. Rather, we conduct ‘an
objective examination of whether established case law would make clear to
every reasonable official that the defendant’s conduct was unlawful in the
situation he confronted.’ (Russell v. Lumitap (9th Cir. 2022) 31 F.4th 729, 740,
original italics, internal citations and footnotes omitted.)
“Our cases make clear that prison officials violate the Constitution when they
‘deny, delay or intentionally interfere’ with needed medical treatment. The same
is true when prison officials choose a course of treatment that is ‘medically
unacceptable under the circumstances.’ (Sandoval v. County of San Diego (9th
Cir. 2021) 985 F.3d 657, 679.)
Secondary Sources
5 Witkin, Summary of California Law (11th ed. 2017) Torts, § 356
CACI No. 3046 CIVIL RIGHTS
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3 Civil Rights Actions, Ch. 11, Fourteenth Amendment - Due Process, § 11.08; 7
Civil Rights Actions, Ch. F10, Prisoners Rights (Matthew Bender)
5 Levy et al., California Torts, Ch. 61, Particular Liabilities and Immunities of
Public Entities and Public Employees, § 61.16 (Matthew Bender)
11 California Forms of Pleading and Practice, Ch. 113, Civil Rights: The Post-Civil
War Civil Rights Statutes, § 113.14 (Matthew Bender)
3047-3049. Reserved for Future Use
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