Case: R.B. v. Livers

2:12-cv-01502 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana

Filed Date: June 13, 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On June 13, 2012, three minors and one adult in the custody of the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) filed this putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs sued OJJ and three OJJ detention centers (the Bridge City, Jetson, and Swanson Centers for Youth) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Represented by Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children and the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, the plaintiffs sought dec…

On June 13, 2012, three minors and one adult in the custody of the Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (OJJ) filed this putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The plaintiffs sued OJJ and three OJJ detention centers (the Bridge City, Jetson, and Swanson Centers for Youth) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Represented by Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children and the Juvenile Justice Project of Louisiana, the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief. The plaintiffs claimed that the defendants denied them access to counsel in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that OJJ officials obstructed or prevented meetings and communications with counsel and intimidated the plaintiffs so they would not contact counsel. The plaintiffs in this case alleged that OJJ had failed to comply with the access to counsel terms of a prior settlement agreement from 2000.

The prior settlement, entered on August 31, 2000 between a class of juvenile plaintiffs, the Department of Justice, and the State of Louisiana had required the OJJ to provide access to counsel for juveniles under its care. See United States v. Louisiana. Under the settlement, Louisiana agreed to provide meaningful access to methods for contacting counsel, such as telephone and mail access. The State agreed to maintain the confidentiality of these communications. Louisiana also agreed to fund three new staff attorney positions for the Louisiana Indigent Defense Assistance Board and to provide juveniles' records to the juveniles' attorneys in a timely fashion. The 2000 settlement agreement also mandated changes to staffing in OJJ facilities, reporting procedures for physical and sexual abuse, increased protections for detained juveniles' physical and mental health, and the creation of a Youth Programs Compliance Division. A later settlement agreement, signed in 2004, reaffirmed the importance of juveniles' access to attorneys, though it terminated other parts of the 2000 settlement agreement.

In this case, the plaintiffs quickly moved for a preliminary injunction, but District Judge Carl Barbier decided not to consider the plaintiffs’ request until the defendants responded to the complaint. The defendants’ response consisted of a motion to dismiss or change venue; around the same time the plaintiffs moved for class certification. On October 31, 2012, District Judge Carl Barbier granted the defendants’ motion to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana. Judge Barbier noted that the defendants and evidence were concentrated in the Middle District and that the case largely overlapped with Williams v. McKeithen, a case in the Middle District from 2000 raising similar claims. 2012 WL 13001042. (That case was later consolidated into United States v. Louisiana, which ended with the 2000 Settlement Agreement mentioned above.)

The case was transferred and assigned to Chief District Judge Brian Jackson on October 31, 2012.

Judge Brian Jackson dismissed the plaintiff's complaint for a lack of subject matter jurisdiction on April 8, 2013. Specifically, the court believed that the plaintiffs had not sufficiently alleged that they would be able to pursue non-frivolous legal claims if barriers to court access were removed. The plaintiffs requested that Judge Jackson reconsider this dismissal, and the court reversed its prior judgment a little less than a year later, on March 31, 2014. The court found that the incorrect legal standard had been applied in its earlier analysis and that the court had incorrectly looked beyond the question of subject matter jurisdiction when it dismissed the complaint. 2014 WL 1328000. The defendants appealed Judge Jackson's ruling. On April 30, 2014 -- before the 5th Circuit had heard arguments on the motion to reconsider -- the parties filed a joint motion to dismiss, which was granted on May 1, 2014. The Clearinghouse does not know if the parties settled outside of court, but there has been no further activity on the docket, and the case is likely now closed.

Summary Authors

Denise Heberle (6/20/2012)

Olivia Wheeling (10/25/2019)

Related Cases

Williams v. McKeithen, Middle District of Louisiana (1971)

United States v. Louisiana, Middle District of Louisiana (1998)

People


Judge(s)

Barbier, Carl J. (Louisiana)

Jackson, Brian Anthony (Louisiana)

Wilkinson, Joseph C. Jr. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Grey, Michael Henry (Louisiana)

Kolinchak, Carol (Louisiana)

Pic, Sarah Virginia (Louisiana)

Rittenberg, William E. (Louisiana)

Williams, John S (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Glazer, Phyllis Esther (Louisiana)

Keller, Michael Courtney (Louisiana)

Judge(s)

Barbier, Carl J. (Louisiana)

Jackson, Brian Anthony (Louisiana)

Wilkinson, Joseph C. Jr. (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Grey, Michael Henry (Louisiana)

Kolinchak, Carol (Louisiana)

Pic, Sarah Virginia (Louisiana)

Rittenberg, William E. (Louisiana)

Williams, John S (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Glazer, Phyllis Esther (Louisiana)

Keller, Michael Courtney (Louisiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

Oct. 31, 2012 Docket

Docket [PACER]

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana

May 7, 2014 Docket
1

Complaint - Class Action

June 13, 2012 Complaint
4

Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law in Suport of Motion for Immediate Preliminary Injunction

June 20, 2012 Pleading / Motion / Brief
19

Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification

July 19, 2012 Pleading / Motion / Brief
34

Order

2012 WL 13001042

Oct. 31, 2012 Order/Opinion
53

Ruling

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana

March 25, 2013 Order/Opinion
59

Ruling and Order

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana

March 31, 2014 Order/Opinion

Docket

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against Mary Livers, Namon Reid, III, Daron Brown, R. Vickie Shoecraft . (Filing fee $ 350 receipt number 053L−3552147) filed by R.B., Kelly Craddock, Dolly Robicheaux, Tracie Breaux. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons, # 4 Summons, # 5 Summons, # 6 Exhibit, # 7 Exhibit, # 8 Exhibit)(Williams, John) Modified on 6/13/2012 (gec, ). (Entered: 06/13/2012)

June 13, 2012
3

Summons Issued as to Daron Brown, Mary Livers, Namon Reid, III, R. Vickie Shoecraft. (Attachments: # 1 Summons, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons)(gec, ) (Entered: 06/13/2012)

June 13, 2012
4

MOTION for Preliminary Injunction by Tracie Breaux, Kelly Craddock, R.B., Dolly Robicheaux. Motion set for 8/8/2012 11:00 AM before Judge Carl Barbier. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Affidavit, # 3 Affidavit, # 4 Affidavit, # 5 Affidavit)(Williams, John) Modified text on 6/15/2012 (gec, ). (Entered: 06/14/2012)

June 14, 2012
5

SUMMONS Returned Executed; Mary Livers served on 6/15/2012, answer due 7/6/2012. (Williams, John) Modified on 6/27/2012 (gec, ). (Entered: 06/27/2012)

June 27, 2012
6

SUMMONS Returned Executed; Daron Brown served on 6/18/2012, answer due 7/9/2012. (Williams, John) Modified on 6/27/2012 (gec, ). (Entered: 06/27/2012)

June 27, 2012
7

**ERROR: WRONG EVENT SELECTED** AFFIDAVIT of Service by Henry McCoy of Summons served on Namon Reid III on 6/19/12. (Williams, John) Modified on 7/2/2012 (caa, ). (Entered: 07/01/2012)

July 1, 2012
8

**ERROR: WRONG EVENT SELECTED** AFFIDAVIT of Service by Marshall Moon of Summons served on R. Vickie Shoecraft on 6/20/12. (Williams, John) Modified on 7/2/2012 (caa, ). (Entered: 07/01/2012)

July 1, 2012
10

SUMMONS Returned Executed; Namon Reid, III served on 6/19/2012, answer due 7/10/2012. (caa, ) (Entered: 07/02/2012)

July 1, 2012
11

SUMMONS Returned Executed; R. Vickie Shoecraft served on 6/20/2012, answer due 7/11/2012. (caa, ) (Entered: 07/02/2012)

July 1, 2012
9

Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk re 7 Affidavit of Service &8 Affidavit of Service. Filing attorney selected incorrect event. Correct event is Summons Returned Executed. Clerk took corrective action by re−docketing the event. No further action necessary at this time.(caa, ) (Entered: 07/02/2012)

July 2, 2012
12

EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Withdraw WIlliam E. Rittenberg as Attorney of Record by Tracie Breaux, Kelly Craddock, R.B., Dolly Robicheaux. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Williams, John) Modified on 7/10/2012 (gec, ). (Entered: 07/09/2012)

July 9, 2012
13

Waiver by Daron Brown, Mary Livers, Namon Reid, III, R. Vickie Shoecraft of Right to Reply pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1997e(g) (Glazer, Phyllis) (Entered: 07/09/2012)

July 9, 2012
14

ORDER granting 12 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Attorney William E. Rittenberg terminated. Signed by Judge Carl Barbier on 7/9/12. (sek, ) (Entered: 07/09/2012)

July 9, 2012
15

Correction of Docket Entry by Clerk re 12 MOTION to Withdraw WIlliam E. Rittenberg as Attorney of Record . Document does not contain Section and Magistrate Judge. All future pleadings must reflect Section "J" and Magistrate Judge (2). (gec, ) (Entered: 07/10/2012)

July 10, 2012
16

EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Enroll as Counsel of Record Micheal Grey by Tracie Breaux, Kelly Craddock, R.B., Dolly Robicheaux. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Williams, John) Modified on 7/11/2012 (gec, ). (Entered: 07/10/2012)

July 10, 2012
17

ORDER granting 16 Motion to Enroll as Counsel of Record for Attorney Michael Henry Grey, Jr for Tracie Breaux, Kelly Craddock, R.B., Dolly Robicheaux. Signed by Judge Carl Barbier on 7/11/12. (sek, ) (Entered: 07/11/2012)

July 11, 2012
18

**DEFICIENT** MOTION to Certify Class by Tracie Breaux, Kelly Craddock, R.B., Dolly Robicheaux. Motion set for 12/19/2012 09:30 AM before Judge Carl Barbier. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Proposed Order)(Williams, John) Modified on 7/13/2012 (gec, ). (Entered: 07/12/2012)

July 12, 2012
20

ORDERED that Defendants shall file an appropriate responsive pleading to Plaintiffs' Complaint 1 on or before September 3, 2012. FURTHER ORDERED that the hearing on Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction (Rec. Doc. 4 ) is hereby CONTINUED WITHOUT DATE pending Defendants' response to the allegations of Plaintiffs' complaint. Signed by Judge Carl Barbier on 8/2/12.(sek, ) (Entered: 08/03/2012)

Aug. 3, 2012
21

EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION to Enroll as Counsel of Record for Sara V. Pic by Tracie Breaux, Kelly Craddock, R.B., Dolly Robicheaux. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order)(Williams, John) Modified on 8/8/2012 (gec, ). (Entered: 08/07/2012)

Aug. 7, 2012
22

ORDER granting 21 Motion to Enroll as Counsel of Record for Attorney Sara Virginia Pic for Tracie Breaux, Kelly Craddock, R.B., for Dolly Robicheaux. Signed by Judge Carl Barbier on 8/8/12. (sek, ) (Entered: 08/08/2012)

Aug. 8, 2012
23

MOTION to Change Venue or alternatively , MOTION to Dismiss Case by Daron Brown, Mary Livers, Namon Reid, III, R. Vickie Shoecraft. Motion set for 9/26/2012 09:30 AM before Judge Carl Barbier. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Notice of Submission)(Glazer, Phyllis) (Entered: 08/31/2012)

Aug. 31, 2012
24

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Carl Barbier: Status Conference held on 9/12/2012. The Court will address Defendants' pending Motion for Change of Venue, or Alternatively to Dismiss (Rec. Doc. 23 ) prior to any other pending motions. The Court ORDERED that any opposition is due on or before Friday, September 14, 2012. Defendants' reply due not later than Friday, September 21, 2012. The Court will advise counsel whether oral argument is necessary. The Court will ask Magistrate Judge Wilkinson to follow up with the parties to attempt an early mediation of the Plaintiffs' complaints re ongoing constitutional violations at various LA Office of Juvenile Justice &contract facilities. The Plaintiffs are to bring specific complaints &specific requests for relief to the mediation before Magistrate Judge Wilkinson. (NEF: Judge Wilkinson, T. Lee) (sek, ) (Entered: 09/13/2012)

Sept. 12, 2012
25

RESPONSE/MEMORANDUM in Opposition filed by Tracie Breaux, Kelly Craddock, R.B., Dolly Robicheaux re 23 MOTION to Change Venue or alternatively MOTION to Dismiss Case . (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support, # 2 Exhibit)(Williams, John) (Entered: 09/14/2012)

Sept. 14, 2012
26

ORDER: ORDERED that a telephone conference is hereby set in this matter before the undersigned on September 18, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. The purpose of the conference is to discuss Judge Barbier's order issued in this matter on September 12, 2012 and to schedule any in−person settlement conference(s) that might be appropriate. Record Doc. No. 24. Counsel must participate in the conference by contacting my office at 504−589−7630 at the designated time. Signed by Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Wilkinson, Jr on 9/14/12. [NEF: Hon. Carl J. Barbier](tbl) (Entered: 09/17/2012)

Sept. 17, 2012
27

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Wilkinson, Jr: A telephone conference was conducted before the undersigned on 9/18/2012. IT IS ORDERED that no later than September 24, 2012, plaintiffs' counsel must submit to defense counsel a written settlement proposal, with a copy to the undersigned, setting forth the relief plaintiffs seek in any potential settlement agreement, supported by a listing of any specific complaints or immediate concerns of plaintiffs that have not previously been described in plaintiffs' affidavits or other filings. FURTHER ORDERED that defense counsel must transmit the settlement proposal to their principals for review and consideration. Plaintiffs' counsel having advised today that there is no objection, the undersigned will then conduct a separate telephone conference concerning settlement prospects with defense counsel and their designated principal(s) on October 9, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. to assess the interest of defendants in making their own settlement proposal and whether and how further settlement proceedings might be conducted. (tbl) (Entered:

Sept. 18, 2012
29

ORDER granting 28 MOTION to Continue Defendants' Motion (Rec. Doc. 23) ; ORDERED that the hearing on 23 MOTION to Change Venue or alternatively MOTION to Dismiss Case is continued to 10/24/2012. Defendant's shall file their reply memo on or before 10/12/2012. Signed by Judge Carl Barbier on 9/20/2012.(gbw, ) (Entered: 09/20/2012)

Sept. 20, 2012
30

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Wilkinson, Jr: Telephone Conference held on 10/9/2012. (NEF: Sect J) (caa, ) (Entered: 10/09/2012)

Oct. 9, 2012
31

EXPARTE/CONSENT MOTION for Leave to File Reply Memorandum by Daron Brown, Mary Livers, Namon Reid, III, R. Vickie Shoecraft. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order, # 2 Proposed Pleading)(Glazer, Phyllis) (Entered: 10/12/2012)

Oct. 12, 2012
32

ORDER granting 31 Motion for Leave to File Reply Memorandum. Signed by Judge Carl Barbier on 10/15/12. (sek, ) (Entered: 10/15/2012)

Oct. 15, 2012
33

RESPONSE/MEMORANDUM in Support filed by Daron Brown, Mary Livers, Namon Reid, III, R. Vickie Shoecraft re 23 MOTION to Change Venue or alternatively MOTION to Dismiss Case . (sek, ) (Entered: 10/15/2012)

Oct. 15, 2012
34

ORDER granting 23 MOTION to Change Venue; FURTHER ORDERED that this matter is hereby TRANSFERRED to the United States District Court for theMiddle District of Louisiana. Signed by Judge Carl Barbier on 10/30/12.(sek, ) (Entered: 10/31/2012)

Oct. 31, 2012
35

Receipt of transfer of case to Middle District of Louisiana as case 3:12−cv−00679. (gec, ) (Entered: 10/31/2012)

Oct. 31, 2012

State / Territory: Louisiana

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 13, 2012

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Children confined in various Louisiana Centers for Youth and in custody at privete secured facilities who have been denied accesss to courts.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Mooted before ruling

Defendants

Louisiana Office of Juvenile Justice (Baton Rouge), State

Bridge City Center for Youth (BCCY) (Bridge City), State

Jetson Center for Youth (East Baton Rouge), State

Swanson Center for Youth (Monroe), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Ex parte Young (federal or state officials)

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief request withdrawn/mooted

Issues

General:

Access to lawyers or judicial system

Counseling

Education

Juveniles

Visiting

Disability:

Mental impairment

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run