Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In Re Cannon (Cal. Ct. App. - Nov. 25, 2008)

Prison inmates may well have a right to be served two hot meals a day pursuant to Section 5058 of the Penal Code and Section 3050(a)(2) of Title 15 of the California Code of Regulations, the latter of which provides that inmates in state prisons shall be "provided three meals each day, two of which shall be served hot."

But the Court of Appeal holds that (wholly apart from procedural problems with using habeas to challenge the alleged deprivation of this entitlement), by "served hot," the regulations really mean "were hot at some point." Here, that as long as a prison at one point makes the meal hot, the mere fact that it regularly takes the prison 60 or so minutes to actually serve the food to an inmate -- at which point the meal is totally cold -- does not matter. It's still a "served hot" meal. So you got what you're entitled to. Enjoy your "hot" soup or whatever.

Let's hear it for Chevron and prison deference, eh?