Case: U.S. v. City of Steubenville

2:97-cv-00966 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio

Filed Date: Aug. 28, 1997

Closed Date: 2005

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 28, 1997, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint against the City of Steubenville pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §14141 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to remedy an alleged pattern or practice of unconstitutional misconduct by officers of the Steubenville Police Department ["SPD"] including: using excessive force; making false arrests; lodging false charges; and conducting improper searches and seizures. The filing followed a year long DOJ investigation o…

On August 28, 1997, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint against the City of Steubenville pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §14141 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to remedy an alleged pattern or practice of unconstitutional misconduct by officers of the Steubenville Police Department ["SPD"] including: using excessive force; making false arrests; lodging false charges; and conducting improper searches and seizures. The filing followed a year long DOJ investigation of the SDP.

Contemporaneously with the filing of the government's complaint, the parties filed a joint application for the entry of the consent decree. In support of the joint application, the parties submitted the declaration of James J. Fyfe, Ph.D., a nationally recognized expert in police management, who consulted the DOJ during its investigation of SPD. District Judge George C. Smith entered the consent decree on September 3, 1997. The consent decree included the implementation of changes in the use of force, officer training, internal affairs investigations, officer detention and arrest of subjects, and collection and retention of department information and data.

On October 20, 1997, the Fraternal Order of Police of Fort Steuben filed a motion for leave to intervene as a third-party, so that it could challenge the consent decree. Judge Smith denied that motion on July 23, 1998.

In accordance with the consent decree, the parties selected Charles D Reynolds to serve as auditor. The auditor was charged with oversight of the implementation of the provisions of the consent decree and provided quarterly reports to the court.

In 2001, a member of the police department who had not been chosen as the Chief of Police when that position was being filled sued in state court, alleging a violation of Ohio Civil Service law. The city defended the case on the grounds that it followed the procedures specified in the consent decree, and the matter was moved to federal court. On June 15, 2001, Judge Smith found that case (C2-01-322) related to the underlying civil rights case; both were assigned to Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr., for decision. On June 15, 2001, Judge Sargus ordered the cases consolidated, denied the city's dismissal motion, and granted the U.S. permission to intervene as a party in the civil service case. 147 F.Supp.2d 872 (2001). On September 7, 2001, Judge Sargus granted the DOJ and the City's motion for summary judgment in the individual officer's lawsuit. That officer, the Court found, was not entitled to become the Chief against the procedures specified in the decree. 2001 WL 1681105.

Monitoring and reporting by auditor Reynolds continued until early 2005. On March 2, 2005, the parties filed a joint motion for termination of the consent decree and dismissal of the case. Judge Sargus granted that motion and the case was dismissed on March 4, 2005.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (1/4/2006)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14522684/parties/united-states-v-steubenville/


Judge(s)

Forester, Karl Spillman (Kentucky)

King, Norah McCann (Ohio)

Marbley, Algenon L. (Ohio)

McKeague, David William (Michigan)

Sargus, Edmund A. Jr. (Ohio)

Smith, George Curtis (Ohio)

Sutton, Jeffrey S. (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Hinnant, William C. Jr. (South Carolina)

Masling, Mark S. (District of Columbia)

McLandrich, John T. (Ohio)

Judge(s)

Forester, Karl Spillman (Kentucky)

King, Norah McCann (Ohio)

Marbley, Algenon L. (Ohio)

McKeague, David William (Michigan)

Sargus, Edmund A. Jr. (Ohio)

Smith, George Curtis (Ohio)

Sutton, Jeffrey S. (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Hinnant, William C. Jr. (South Carolina)

Masling, Mark S. (District of Columbia)

McLandrich, John T. (Ohio)

McNamara, James Donald (Ohio)

Nelson, Mellie H. (District of Columbia)

Olivito, Richard A. (Ohio)

Pinzler, Isabelle Katz (District of Columbia)

Rattan, James Evan (Ohio)

Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)

Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)

Sanders, Deborah (Ohio)

Zealey, Sharon J. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cristallo, Paul J. (Ohio)

Loughry, Michael S. (Ohio)

Repella, Stephen Gary (Ohio)

Scialdone, Frank H. (Ohio)

Stoffers, Henry (Ohio)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Reynolds, Charles D. (Ohio)

Schlanger, Margo (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

U.S. v. Steubenville

July 12, 2006 Docket

Re: Investigation of Steubenville Police Department

No Court

May 12, 1997 Findings Letter/Report

Press Release: "Justice Department Reaches Agreement with Steubenville, Ohio Police Department"

No Court

Aug. 26, 1997 Press Release
2

Joint Motion for Entry of Consent Decree

Aug. 28, 1997 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Memorandum of Law in Support of Joint Motion for Entry of Consent Decree

Aug. 28, 1997 Pleading / Motion / Brief
1

Complaint

Aug. 28, 1997 Complaint

Declaration of James J. Fyfe, Ph.D.

Aug. 28, 1997 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report
3

Consent Decree

Sept. 3, 1997 Order/Opinion
5

United States' Memorandum in Opposition to Intervention by Fraternal Order of Police, Fort Steuben Lodge No. 1

United States v. City of Steubenville

Nov. 7, 1997 Pleading / Motion / Brief
21

Opinion and Order

July 23, 1998 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Interview: William A. McCafferty, Chief of Steubenville Police Department (April 2005)

Police Assessment Resource Center

Interview with the Chief of Police of Steubenville, Ohio, on the topic of the Consent Decree in U.S. v. City of Steubenville April 1, 2005 http://www.parc.info/client_files/Newsletters/Interviews/William%20A.%20McCafferty,%20Chief%20of%20Steubenville%20Police%20Department%20(April%202005).pdf

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Federal Intervention in American Police Departments

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State Attorneys General as Agents of Police Reform

Jason Mazzone, Stephen Rushin

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Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14522684/united-states-v-steubenville/

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

Complaint

Aug. 28, 1997 PACER
2

Motion for Order to

Aug. 28, 1997 PACER
3

Consent Judgment

Sept. 3, 1997 PACER
4

MOTION by movant FOP Fort Steuben for leave to file a Motion to Intervene as a Third Party Plaintiff ( no pgs: 11 + exhibits) (mc) (Entered: 10/21/1997)

Oct. 20, 1997 PACER
5

Response to Motion

Nov. 7, 1997 PACER
6

Response (non motion)

Nov. 13, 1997 PACER
7

Order

Nov. 17, 1997 PACER
8

Reply to Response to Motion

Dec. 2, 1997 PACER
9

Motion for Leave to File

Dec. 8, 1997 PACER
10

Order

Dec. 8, 1997 PACER
11

Response to Motion

Dec. 9, 1997 PACER
12

Status Report

Dec. 10, 1997 PACER
13

Amended Document

Dec. 17, 1997 PACER
14

Notice (Other)

Jan. 14, 1998 PACER
15

Status Report

Feb. 9, 1998 PACER
16

Status Report

Feb. 27, 1998 PACER
17

Status Report

March 5, 1998 PACER
18

Status Report

June 3, 1998 PACER
19

Status Report

June 8, 1998 PACER
20

Notice of Appearance

June 29, 1998 PACER
21

Order

July 23, 1998 PACER
22

Status Report

Sept. 15, 1998 PACER
23

Status Report

Dec. 14, 1998 PACER
24

Status Report

Feb. 1, 1999 PACER
25

Status Report

May 3, 1999 PACER
26

Status Report

July 26, 1999 PACER
27

Status Report

July 30, 1999 PACER
28

Status Report

Oct. 29, 1999 PACER
29

Status Report

Feb. 3, 2000 PACER
30

Status Report

May 3, 2000 PACER
31

Status Report

July 6, 2000 PACER
32

Status Report

Aug. 10, 2000 PACER
33

Status Report

Nov. 3, 2000 PACER
34

Status Report

Jan. 19, 2001 PACER
35

Status Report

Feb. 5, 2001 PACER
36

Status Report

May 14, 2001 PACER
37

Order

June 15, 2001 PACER
38

Order

June 22, 2001 PACER
39

Motion for Summary Judgment

July 18, 2001 PACER
40

Motion for Summary Judgment

July 20, 2001 PACER
41

Motion for Summary Judgment

July 23, 2001 PACER

Remark

July 26, 2001 PACER
42

Status Report

Aug. 1, 2001 PACER
43

Response to Motion

Aug. 9, 2001 PACER
44

Response to Motion

Aug. 13, 2001 PACER
45

Order

Sept. 7, 2001 PACER
46

Status Report

Nov. 7, 2001 PACER
47

Status Report

Feb. 1, 2002 PACER
48

Status Report

April 24, 2002 PACER
49

Status Report

Aug. 2, 2002 PACER

Miscellaneous Document

Nov. 12, 2002 PACER
50

Status Report

Dec. 4, 2002 PACER
51

Status Report

Jan. 10, 2003 PACER

Status Report

Jan. 29, 2003 PACER
52

Status Report

Jan. 29, 2003 PACER

Status Report

April 25, 2003 PACER

Miscellaneous Document

April 25, 2003 PACER
53

Status Report

July 3, 2003 PACER

Miscellaneous Document

Aug. 4, 2003 PACER
54

Status Report

Jan. 20, 2004 PACER
55

Status Report

July 16, 2004 PACER
56

Notice (Other)

Nov. 5, 2004 PACER
57

Notice (Other)

Feb. 22, 2005 PACER
58

Motion for Miscellaneous Relief

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

2 Exhibit Declaration of Charles D. Reynolds

View on PACER

3 Exhibit Auditor's Quarterly Report, complete report is located in the clerk

View on PACER

March 2, 2005 PACER
59

Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief

March 4, 2005 PACER

Remark

July 12, 2006 PACER

State / Territory: Ohio

Case Type(s):

Policing

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 28, 1997

Closing Date: 2005

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States Department of Justice

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Steubenville Police Department , City

Case Details

Causes of Action:

34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Unreasonable search and seizure

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1997 - 2005

Issues

General:

Excessive force

Failure to discipline

Failure to supervise

Failure to train

False arrest

Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures

Racial profiling