McClendon v. City of Albuquerque

What is the McClendon lawsuit?

McClendon v. City of Albuquerque, No. CIV-95-0024 JAP/KPM, is a federal class action civil rights lawsuit aimed at improving Bernalillo County‚Äôs operation of the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) and practices of the City of Albuquerque, including the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). 

What is the McClendon lawsuit about?

The McClendon lawsuit insures that the constitutional and statutory rights of people held at MDC are not violated. The lawsuit allows the McClendon lawyers to monitor jail conditions such as:

Excessive use of force or mistreatment by jail staff, including sexual abuse

Assaults by other inmates

Medical services

Mental health services

Discrimination based on disability

Overcrowding and other problems with living conditions

Sanitation and environmental conditions

Safety issues, including classification and placement disputes

The internal investigation system

The disciplinary system

The grievance system

Access to mail, legal mail, telephones and community services

Competency evaluations

The McClendon lawsuit also enables McClendon lawyers to monitor APD practices and the development and implementation of jail diversion services by Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque.

Who is a class member?

Everyone who is in jail at the MDC is a class member.

The attorneys at the Law Office of Ryan J. Villa represent a sub-class of individuals at MDC who have a mental disability or developmental disability.

What does McClendon not cover?

Individual lawsuits for damages or criminal cases.

The McClendon lawyers cannot file individual civil lawsuits for money (damages claims) on behalf of class or sub-class members.  Likewise, the McClendon lawyers cannot help class or sub-class members with their criminal case. Anyone seeking legal advice regarding an individual lawsuit or on a criminal case should contact the New Mexico State Bar General Referral Service (SBGR) program at or by calling (505)797-6066 or 1-800-876-6227.

How does the McClendon lawsuit help to improve jail conditions?

The lawsuit increases transparency at MDC by giving experts in the fields of law, corrections, medicine, and mental health access to review jail condition and procedures. By working across a range of disciplines, McClendon takes a systematic approach to preventing civil rights abuses and improving the lives of members of our community.

The lawyers for the class and sub-class have entered into settlement agreements with Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque regarding MDC conditions, APD practices and jail diversion programs. For additional information on the McClendon class action lawsuit and these settlement agrements, please review:

Link to City Settlement: