Rouser v. White

Order vacating consent judgment based on defendants’ substantial compliance is reversed because the record was insufficient to establish defendants’ compliance with all of terms of the judgment entered in favor of plaintiff, a prisoner who followed the Wiccan religion.  Defendants (state prison officials) moved to vacate a consent judgment entered in favor of plaintiff, a prisoner who followed the Wiccan “religion,” on the ground that defendants had substantially complied with the consent judgment.  In reviewing the motion, the district court should have considered the more general goals of the judgment and considered defendants’ entire record of compliance with it.  Also, the district court should have considered whether the defendant had shown compliance with all key terms of the judgment, not just a few.  Here, the record was insufficient to establish compliance with all terms, so the order vacating the consent judgment was reversed.

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (Kozinski, J.; Callahan, J., dissenting); June 17, 2016; Case No. No. 13-56152

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