Case: Freeman v. Hansell

20-451130 | New York state trial court

Filed Date: March 25, 2020

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: In this case, 5 teens detained by Family Courts in New York City detention centers sued New York City's Administration for Children's Services seeking immediate release. On April 17, the petition for habeas corpus was denied. On March 25, 2020, 5 youth detained by Family Courts in New York City during pendency of their juvenile delinquency cases filed this habeas petition in New York State trial court (which is called the New York Supreme Court). Represented by the Legal Aid …

COVID-19 Summary: In this case, 5 teens detained by Family Courts in New York City detention centers sued New York City's Administration for Children's Services seeking immediate release. On April 17, the petition for habeas corpus was denied.


On March 25, 2020, 5 youth detained by Family Courts in New York City during pendency of their juvenile delinquency cases filed this habeas petition in New York State trial court (which is called the New York Supreme Court). Represented by the Legal Aid Society of New York, the petitioners sought immediate release on the grounds that continuing to hold them in these facilities constitutes deliberate indifference to the risk of serious medical harm in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment and state constitutional right to due process. The respondent in this case was the Commission of New York City Administration of Children's Services.

The petitioners alleged that they were especially vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 due to physical design of the youth detention facilities. By design, the facilities hold youth in close congregate settings which shared dining rooms, common recreational areas, communal bathrooms and showers, and at some sites, shared bedrooms. The petition claimed that the social isolation measures needed to stop the spread of the virus are "effectively impossible in juvenile detention centers." The petition also noted "significant emotional harm" to the youth because of an end to visits by family members to detained teens. In addition, the petition claimed that the teens were more vulnerable to COVID-19 because juvenile detainees are more likely to suffer from asthma and other health issues linked to poverty.

On April 15, 2020, the parties stipulated to withdrawing their petition with respect to 4 of the 5 teens.

On April 17, 2020 Judge Michael L. Katz issued an order denying the petition for habeas corpus, finding that the petitioners had been "unable to meet their high burden of showing that respondent [had] been 'deliberately indifferent.'" Even so, the court ordered that respondents should: (1) ensure that necessary personal protective equipment be worn by all staff members; (2) increase oversight to ensure social distancing was followed; and (3) issue clearer guidelines for cleaning the facility.

Summary Authors

Cedar Hobbs (6/14/2020)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bella, Christine (New York)

Freeman, Lisa (New York)

Stern, Judith (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Thayer, David S. (New York)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Barrios, Charles (New York)

Katz, J. Michael (Indiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bella, Christine (New York)

Freeman, Lisa (New York)

Stern, Judith (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Thayer, David S. (New York)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Barrios, Charles (New York)

Katz, J. Michael (Indiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

20-451130

Document List

April 17, 2020

April 17, 2020

Docket
1

20-451130

Writ of Habeas Corpus

March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020

Complaint
5

20-451130

Affirmation of David S. Thayer in Opposition to Petitioner's Verified Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020

Declaration/Affidavit
6

20-451130

Exhibit A

March 27, 2020

March 27, 2020

Other
7

20-451130

Decision/Order

April 17, 2020

April 17, 2020

Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated Aug. 24, 2022, 3:05 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 25, 2020

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

22 teens detained by Family Court in New York City facilities

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Legal Services/Legal Aid

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

New York City (New York City, New York), City

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Deinstitutionalization/decarceration

Juveniles

Sanitation / living conditions

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

COVID-19:

Mitigation Denied

Mitigation Requested

Release Denied

Release Requested

Type of Facility:

Government-run