Case: United States of America v. The State of New York

1:10-cv-00858 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York

Filed Date: July 14, 2010

Closed Date: 2017

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 14, 2007, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) began an investigation into the conditions at four Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) facilities: Lansing Residential Center, Louis Gossett, Jr. Residential Center, Tryon Residential Center, and Tryon Girls Residential Center. The investigations were conducted pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. On August 14, 2009, the DO…

On December 14, 2007, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) began an investigation into the conditions at four Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) facilities: Lansing Residential Center, Louis Gossett, Jr. Residential Center, Tryon Residential Center, and Tryon Girls Residential Center. The investigations were conducted pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. On August 14, 2009, the DOJ published in its findings letter that the facilities had violated the due process rights of the confined youths. It also concluded that 1) staff resorted to use force disproportionate to the level of juveniles' infractions and used excessive restraints to discipline them; and 2) investigations into uses of force and restraints were inadequate and that, in many instances, OCFS failed to hold staff accountable for gross violations of policy.

On July 14, 2010, the United States filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York to enforce a settlement agreement with the State of New York and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The United States sought declaratory relief and an order enjoining the defendants from continuing practices of excessive force and restraints as detailed in the findings letter and to ensure lawful conditions of confinement. The United States claimed that the harms outlined in their findings letter, specifically that the defendants failed to take reasonable measures to prevent staff from inflicting serious harm on the youths and did not provide adequate mental health care and services, violated the the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This case was assigned to Senior Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. and referred to Magistrate Judge David R. Homer.

On the same day, the parties also filed the settlement agreement. 2010 WL 10900167. The agreement put forth a remedial plan addressing each of the issues identified in the DOJ's original investigation. It outlined limits on use of restraints—including a prohibition on chemical restraints and psychotropic medications—and use of force in only the least amount necessary. The institutions also agreed to institute new incident reporting procedures and provide improved mental health care and treatment. A monitoring team would produce status reports approximately every six months regarding the facilities' compliance with implementing the settlement provisions. The settlement would last until the facilities achieved substantial compliance with the settlement terms for twelve consecutive months. On July 19, 2010, Judge Scullin, Jr. approved this settlement agreement.

In January 2011, the State closed Tryon Residential Center. Tryon boys were transferred to Finger Lakes Residential Center (formerly Louis Gossett, Jr. Residential Center). In August 2011, the State closed Tryon Girls Residential Center. Tryon girls were transferred to Taberg Residential Center for Girls (Taberg) and Columbia Girls Secure Center. Both parties agreed that Taberg and Columbia would be monitored under the Settlement Agreement. In August 2013, the State closed Lansing Residential Center. The girls held at Lansing were released on community supervision.

After years of monitoring and biannual status reports, the court began to dismiss the institution defendants one by one. On September 8, 2014, the court dismissed Columbia Girls Secure Center, which had maintained substantial compliance under the settlement agreement for twelve consecutive months. On December 21, 2015, the court dismissed Finger Lakes Residential Center, which had maintained substantial compliance under the settlement agreement for twelve consecutive months. And on October 20, 2017, the court dismissed Taberg Residential Center, which had maintained substantial compliance under the settlement agreement for twelve consecutive months.

Dismissing Taberg Residential Center concluded the State’s obligations under the settlement agreement. This case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Richard Jolly (11/24/2014)

Hannah Greenhouse (11/19/2018)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4326403/parties/united-states-v-the-state-of-new-york/


Judge(s)

Homer, David R. (New York)

Scullin, Frederick James Jr. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abbate, Julie K. (District of Columbia)

Bagenstos, Samuel R. (District of Columbia)

Fox, Deena (District of Columbia)

Gayle, Winsome (District of Columbia)

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Jansen, Regina (District of Columbia)

Kappelhoff, Mark (District of Columbia)

Lareau, Alyssa Connell (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Homer, David R. (New York)

Scullin, Frederick James Jr. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abbate, Julie K. (District of Columbia)

Bagenstos, Samuel R. (District of Columbia)

Fox, Deena (District of Columbia)

Gayle, Winsome (District of Columbia)

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Jansen, Regina (District of Columbia)

Kappelhoff, Mark (District of Columbia)

Lareau, Alyssa Connell (District of Columbia)

Moossy, Robert J. (District of Columbia)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Preston, Judith (Judy) C. (District of Columbia)

Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)

Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cuomo, Andrew M. (New York)

Levine, Megan L. (New York)

Miles-Gustave, Suzanne (New York)

Prochera, Lee (New York)

Schneiderman, Eric T. (New York)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Beyer, Marty (New York)

Roush, David W. (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Oct. 20, 2017 Docket

Investigation of the Lansing Residential Center, Louis Gossett, Jr. Residential Center, Tryon Residential Center, and Tryon Girls Center

No Court

Aug. 14, 2009 Findings Letter/Report
3

Settlement Agreement

United States of America v. The State of New York and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services

July 14, 2010 Settlement Agreement
1

Complaint

July 14, 2010 Complaint
3

Joint Motion to Enter Settlement Agreement

July 14, 2010 Pleading / Motion / Brief
4

Order Entering Settlement Agreement

July 19, 2010 Order/Opinion
5

Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Lansing 
Residential
 Center

Sept. 14, 2011 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report
6

Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Finger Lakes Residential Center

Dec. 10, 2011 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report
7

Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Columbia Girls Secure Center

Jan. 23, 2012 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report
8

Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Taberg Residential Center for Girls

April 27, 2012 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4326403/united-states-v-the-state-of-new-york/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

Complaint

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

2 Certificate of Service

View on PACER

July 14, 2010 RECAP
2

Waiver of Service Executed

July 14, 2010 PACER
3

Motion for Miscellaneous/Other Relief

July 14, 2010 PACER
5

STATUS REPORT Lansing Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 09/20/2011)

Sept. 20, 2011
4

ORDER ENTERING SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT: granting the # 3 Motion for Entry of the Settlement Agreement. The settlement agreement satisfies the requirements of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 18 USC section 3626(a)(1)(A), the Court shall retain jurisd iction over this case consistent with the terms of the Settlement Agreement until the case is dismissed. The Court shall have the power to enforce the settlement agreement through all remedies that the law permits. Signed by Senior Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr on 7/19/2010. (jmb)

July 19, 2010 RECAP
6

STATUS REPORT Finger Lakes Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 12/12/2011)

Dec. 12, 2011
24

ORDER: Granting the # 23 Joint Motion to Dismiss. It is ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall dismiss Columbia Girls Secure Center from the Settlement Agreement in this case. Signed by Senior Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. on 9/8/2014. (nmk)

Sept. 8, 2014 RECAP
34

ORDER: Granting the # 32 Joint Motion to Dismiss. It is ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall dismiss Finger Lakes Residential Center from the Settlement Agreement in this case. Signed by Senior Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. on 12/21/2015. (nmk)

Dec. 21, 2015 RECAP
7

STATUS REPORT Columbia Girls Secure Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 01/24/2012)

Jan. 24, 2012
35

ORDER: Granting the # 33 Joint Motion to Dismiss. It is ORDERED that the Clerk of the Court shall dismiss Paragraphs 44(b)(first sentence only), 44(d), 44(e), 44(h), and 56 from the Settlement Agreement in this case. Signed by Senior Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. on 12/21/2015. (nmk)

Dec. 21, 2015 RECAP
8

STATUS REPORT Taberg Residential Center for Girls by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 05/02/2012)

May 2, 2012
9

STATUS REPORT Lansing Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 06/15/2012)

June 15, 2012
10

STATUS REPORT Finger Lakes Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 06/15/2012)

June 15, 2012
11

STATUS REPORT Columbia Girls Secure Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 11/02/2012)

Nov. 2, 2012
12

STATUS REPORT Taberg Residential Center for Girls by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 11/20/2012)

Nov. 20, 2012
13

STATUS REPORT Lansing Residential Center for Girls (Part I of III) by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Supplement (Part II of report), # 2 Supplement (Part III of report))(Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 01/16/2013)

Jan. 16, 2013
14

STATUS REPORT Finger Lakes Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 02/06/2013)

Feb. 6, 2013
15

STATUS REPORT Columbia Girls Secure Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 06/05/2013)

June 5, 2013
16

STATUS REPORT Taberg Residential Center for Girls by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 09/19/2013)

Sept. 19, 2013
17

STATUS REPORT Finger Lakes Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 09/19/2013)

Sept. 19, 2013
18

STATUS REPORT Lansing Residential Center for Girls by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 09/19/2013)

Sept. 19, 2013
19

STATUS REPORT Columbia Girls Secure Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 11/21/2013)

Nov. 21, 2013
20

STATUS REPORT Taberg Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 01/27/2014)

Jan. 27, 2014
21

STATUS REPORT Finger Lakes Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 03/27/2014)

March 27, 2014
22

STATUS REPORT Columbia Girls Secure Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 04/18/2014)

April 18, 2014
25

STATUS REPORT Finger Lakes Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 10/10/2014)

Oct. 10, 2014
26

STATUS REPORT Taberg Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 12/11/2014)

Dec. 11, 2014
27

STATUS REPORT Finger Lakes Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 05/07/2015)

May 7, 2015
28

STATUS REPORT Taberg Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 05/18/2015)

May 18, 2015
29

STATUS REPORT Home Office for Finger Lakes and Taberg Residential Centers by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 06/11/2015)

June 11, 2015
30

STATUS REPORT Finger Lakes Residential Center by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 07/08/2015)

July 8, 2015
31

STATUS REPORT Taberg Residential Center for Girls by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 08/27/2015)

Aug. 27, 2015
32

Joint MOTION to Dismiss filed by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 12/15/2015)

Dec. 15, 2015
33

Joint MOTION to Dismiss filed by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 12/15/2015)

Dec. 15, 2015
36

STATUS REPORT Taberg Residential Center for Girls by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 04/12/2016)

April 12, 2016
37

STATUS REPORT Taberg Residential Center for Girls by United States of America. (Lareau, Alyssa) (Entered: 10/26/2016)

Oct. 26, 2016
38

NOTICE of Appearance by Deena S. Fox on behalf of United States of America (Fox, Deena) (Entered: 02/10/2017)

Feb. 10, 2017
39

NOTICE by United States of America of Monitoring Report (Fox, Deena) (Entered: 03/06/2017)

March 6, 2017
40

STATUS REPORT Taberg Residential Center by United States of America. (Fox, Deena) (Entered: 08/23/2017)

Aug. 23, 2017
41

Joint MOTION to Dismiss filed by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum of Law Joint Motion to Dismiss, # 2 Appendix Letter from Monitoring Team, # 3 Proposed Order/Judgment Proposed Order Dismissing Case) (Fox, Deena) (Entered: 10/16/2017)

Oct. 16, 2017
42

ORDER granting 41 Joint Motion to Dismiss Talberg Residential Center from the Settlement Agreement, the last remaining party to the agreement. This dismissal concludes the State's obligation under the agreement. Therefore, this case is Dismissed.. Signed by Senior Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr on 10/20/2017. (bjw, ) (Entered: 10/20/2017)

Oct. 20, 2017

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 14, 2010

Closing Date: 2017

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States on behalf of inmates at New York juvenile corrective institutions

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

The State of New York, State

New York State Office of Children and Family Services , State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

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

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

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:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2010 - 2017

Content of Injunction:

Remedial education

Reporting

Monitor/Master

Recordkeeping

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Conditions of confinement

Disciplinary procedures

Excessive force

Failure to discipline

Incident/accident reporting & investigations

Informed consent/involuntary medication

Juveniles

Pepper/OC spray

Restraints : chemical

Restraints : physical

Medical/Mental Health:

Medication, administration of

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run