Case: United States v. King County, Washington

2:09-cv-00059 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

Filed Date: Jan. 15, 2009

Closed Date: Feb. 26, 2009

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In October 2006, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, acting pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq., commenced an investigation into the conditions of confinement at the King County Correctional Facility ("KCCF"). During the course of this investigation, the DOJ conducted on-site inspections of the jail, held interviews with staff and prisoners, and reviewed numerous documents (including jail policies and procedu…

In October 2006, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, acting pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq., commenced an investigation into the conditions of confinement at the King County Correctional Facility ("KCCF"). During the course of this investigation, the DOJ conducted on-site inspections of the jail, held interviews with staff and prisoners, and reviewed numerous documents (including jail policies and procedures, incident reports, investigative reports, prisoner grievances, and staff personnel files).

Upon completing its investigation, the DOJ issued a November 13, 2007 findings letter concluding that certain conditions at the jail violated the constitutional rights of prisoners. In particular, the DOJ found that prisoners were not adequately protected from harm in that they were at risk of physical attacks from inmates, the exercise of excessive force by staff, exposure to custodial sexual misconduct, and suicide. The DOJ also concluded that prisoners did not receive adequate medical care. In addition to listing the constitutional inadequacies, the findings letter also outlined numerous remedial measures which it suggested ought to be implemented at the jail in order to remedy these inadequacies.

On January 14, 2009, the United States filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington under CRIPA, 42 U.S.C. § 1997, against King County to enjoin the County from depriving prisoners in KCCF of their Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. The United States argued that the County failed to protect prisoners at KCCF from serious physical harm, custodial sexual misconduct, and self inflicted harm, and failed to provide adequate medical care.

On February 26, 2009, Judge Richard A. Jones issued an order granting the parties' joint motion for conditional dismissal, with two conditions. First, King County was ordered to comply with the terms agreed to by the parties in a memorandum of agreement. Second, the United States was permitted, for three years, to seek relief if King County failed to comply with the stipulated terms.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (11/30/2007)

Nate West (10/16/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Jones, Richard A. (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia)

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Comisac, Rena J. (District of Columbia)

Delaney, Joshua (District of Columbia)

Harris, Kelly L. (Washington)

Mazor, Marina (District of Columbia)

Murphy, Amie S. (District of Columbia)

Sullivan, Jeffrey C. (Washington)

Weiss, Daniel H. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Jones, Richard A. (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia)

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Comisac, Rena J. (District of Columbia)

Delaney, Joshua (District of Columbia)

Harris, Kelly L. (Washington)

Mazor, Marina (District of Columbia)

Murphy, Amie S. (District of Columbia)

Sullivan, Jeffrey C. (Washington)

Weiss, Daniel H. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Gerberding, John M. (Washington)

Satterberg, Daniel T. (Washington)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Aug. 13, 2009 Docket

RE: King County Correctional Facility, Seattle, Washington

In re: DOJ CRIPA investigation of the King County Correctional Facility, Seattle, Washington

No Court

Nov. 13, 2007 Findings Letter/Report
1

Complaint

Jan. 14, 2009 Complaint
4

Joint Motion for Conditional Dismissal

U.S. v. King County

Jan. 15, 2009 Pleading / Motion / Brief
7

Order

Feb. 26, 2009 Order/Opinion

Memorandum of Agreement Between The United States Department of Justice and King County, Washington Concerning The King County Correctional Facility

No Court

None Settlement Agreement

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Washington

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Prison Legal News

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 15, 2009

Closing Date: Feb. 26, 2009

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States Department of Justice

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

King County (King), County

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Conditional Dismissal

Order Duration: 2009 - None

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Conditions of confinement

Failure to supervise

Grievance Procedures

Restraints : chemical

Restraints : physical

Sanitation / living conditions

Sexual abuse by residents/inmates

Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Suicide prevention

Totality of conditions

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run