Case: Center for Juvenile Law and Policy v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County

B305558 | California state trial court

Filed Date: April 15, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: This petition, brought by the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy and the Independent Juvenile Defender Program, sought the release of youth detainees in Los Angeles County. The plaintiffs sought a writ of mandamus to immediately reduce youth populations in juvenile halls, conduct an expedited review of eligible LA County detainees. On May 12, the Superior Court denied the petition. On April 14, 2020, the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy (CJLP) and the Independent Juvenile De…

COVID-19 Summary: This petition, brought by the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy and the Independent Juvenile Defender Program, sought the release of youth detainees in Los Angeles County. The plaintiffs sought a writ of mandamus to immediately reduce youth populations in juvenile halls, conduct an expedited review of eligible LA County detainees. On May 12, the Superior Court denied the petition.


On April 14, 2020, the Center for Juvenile Law and Policy (CJLP) and the Independent Juvenile Defender Program (IJDP), on behalf of all youth detained in Los Angeles County, filed a petition against the Los Angeles Juvenile Superior requesting the release of youth detainees. Originally filed in the Supreme Court of California, the case was kicked down to the Court of Appeals, with directions to issue an order to show cause. The case was returned before the Los Angeles County Superior Court and assigned to Judge Brett Bianco.

On March 31, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors adopted a motion requiring the Probation Department and other county agencies to reduce and safeguard juvenile camp populations. On March 24, the LA Superior Court announced an expedited court process to release an extensive list of adult individuals held pretrial in county jails, which waived the need for a court hearing, immediately effective upon the court’s ex parte review. The plaintiffs alleged that youth release, unlike adult release, still mandated the defendant’s original procedure to conduct an individualized review of each youth’s circumstances. Further, the plaintiffs noted that only 66 youths were released from youth camps by mid-April, with no additional strategy for mass release.

This petition was filed after a probation officer at Barry J. Nirdoff Juvenile Hall (Juvenile Hall) tested positive for COVID-19 early April, which led to the spread of the virus to six probation officers and cohorts of youth into quarantine by April 13. Additionally, the plaintiffs alleged that youths detained at the Juvenile Hall did not have access to hand sanitizer and masks and that the facility did not adequately implement social distancing. The plaintiffs alleged that the failure to protect youth in confinement constituted a violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and the California Constitution.

Filed in the Supreme Court of California on April 15, the plaintiffs sought a writ of mandamus to immediately reduce youth populations in juvenile halls, conduct an expedited review of eligible LA County detainees, aged 12 to 23, suspend new admissions, and prohibit transfers into juvenile facilities. Additionally, the plaintiffs sought health and safety measures consistent with recommendations issued by the Center on Disease Control. The plaintiffs were represented by private counsel.

On April 17, the defendants filed an informal response and denied that efforts to release youth from detention were inadequate.

On April 22, the case was transferred to the Court of Appeals (Second Appellate District) with directions to issue an order to show cause returnable before the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Following the transfer, the case was deemed filed at the Superior Court of the State of California, and assigned to Judge Brett Bianco.

On May 7, the petitioners filed a response asserting that the Probation Department adequately implemented CDC guidelines. On the same day, the LA County Probation Departed reported two confirmed cases

of COVID-19 among youth, one held at Barry J, the other held at Central Juvenile Hall. By May 14, three youths held at Central Juvenile Hall, one youth at Barry J, and another youth at an unnamed facility tested positive for COVID-19.

On May 12, County Superior Court Judge Brett Bianco denied the petition, finding that the petition did not demonstrate sufficient evidence that the County had failed to act reasonably to protect detained youth, or that the youth were held in unconstitutional conditions.

Summary Authors

Averyn Lee (6/21/2020)

People


Judge(s)

Bianco, Brett D. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Soug, Patricia (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Baxter, Margo (California)

Bennett, Frederick R. (California)

Newman, Jane Elizabeth (California)

Randolph, Shawn N (California)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Pomeroy, John F (California)

Judge(s)

Bianco, Brett D. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Soug, Patricia (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Baxter, Margo (California)

Bennett, Frederick R. (California)

Newman, Jane Elizabeth (California)

Randolph, Shawn N (California)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Pomeroy, John F (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

S261701

Docket

All Youth Detained in Juvenile Halls and Camps in Los Angeles County v. Juvenile Division

Supreme Court of the United States

April 22, 2020

April 22, 2020

Docket

B305558

Docket

Center for Juvenile Law and Policy v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County (Juvenile)

California state appellate court

April 23, 2020

April 23, 2020

Docket

S261701

Petition for Writ of Mandate

Center for Juvenile Law and Policy v. Los Angeles Superior Court (Juvenile)

California state supreme court

April 14, 2020

April 14, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief

JW2020-01

Order Denying Petition for Writ of Mandate

All Youth Detained in Juvenile Halls and Camps in Los Angeles County v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County

May 12, 2020

May 12, 2020

Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated Sept. 9, 2022, 3 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 15, 2020

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Center for Juvenile Law and Policy and Independent Juvenile Defender Office on behalf of all youth detained in juvenile halls and camps in Los Angeles County

Plaintiff Type(s):

Non-profit NON-religious organization

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Los Angeles Superior Court (juvenile), State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Bathing and hygiene

Conditions of confinement

Juveniles

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

COVID-19:

Mitigation Denied

Mitigation Requested

Release Denied

Release Requested

Type of Facility:

Government-run