McKibben v. McMahon is a federal class action lawsuit against San Bernardino County over discriminatory policies at the West Valley Detention Center that deny gay, bisexual and transgender inmates equal access. The suit was filed by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California (ACLU SoCal) and the law firm of Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt, LLP. It charges the county’s policy is unconstitutional and violates the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection to all individuals.

Currently, individuals held in the jail’s general population area have access to myriad services, including work and rehabilitative programs that allow inmates to earn time credits and reduce their sentences. Individuals who are gay, bisexual and transgender are housed in the “alternative lifestyle tank,” where they have been denied access to those same programs. As a result, individuals who are gay, bisexual and transgender have been forced to serve longer sentences than other inmates convicted of the exact same offense.

Case Developments

FILING
May 20, 2015
Plaintiffs bring this action as a class action and seek injunctive relief and damages under both state and federal law. Read the second amended complaint.

FILING
October 22, 2014
ACLU SoCal and co-counsel Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt, LLP sued San Bernardino County Sheriff John McMahon and the county over discriminatory policies at the West Valley Detention Center that deny gay, bisexual and transgender inmates equal access to work, recreation and rehabilitative programs solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Read the complaint.

Attorney(s)

Melissa Goodman, ACLU of Southern California; Brendan Hamme, ACLU of Southern California; Peter Eliasberg, ACLU of Southern California; Barrett S. Litt, Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt, LLP; David S. McLane, Kaye, McLane, Bednarski & Litt, LLP

Date filed

October 21, 2014

Court

United States District Court for the Central District of California

Status

Active

Case number

5:14-cv-02171

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