Case: Melvin P. v. Lauderdale County

3:87-cv-05128 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama

Filed Date: April 1, 1987

Closed Date: 1989

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On April 1, 1987, Melvin P., a 17 year old a minor, filed class action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama against Lauderdale County, Alabama, several county commissioners, as well as police officers and judges. The plaintiff alleged that Lauderdale County Jail practices were in violation of his rights under the 14th Amendment, including: due process, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, right to privacy, and right to treatment in least restrictive con…

On April 1, 1987, Melvin P., a 17 year old a minor, filed class action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama against Lauderdale County, Alabama, several county commissioners, as well as police officers and judges. The plaintiff alleged that Lauderdale County Jail practices were in violation of his rights under the 14th Amendment, including: due process, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, right to privacy, and right to treatment in least restrictive conditions; he sought injunctive and declaratory relief. Specifically the complaint alleged unsanitary conditions, insufficient staff, inadequate safety in the event of fire, lack of medical or mental health screening or services, and juveniles being in frequent contact with adult inmates. It also challenged the constitutionality of holding juveniles for crimes that were not punishable for adults. The complaint was brought by the Youth Law Center of San Francisco, California, as a class action under 42 U.S.C. 1983, and the Juvenile Delinquency Act, 42 U.S.C. 5601 et seq. Private attorneys represented the defendants.

On April 26, 1989, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama (Judge Elbert Bertram Haltom Jr.) permanently enjoined the defendants, and their successors in office, from confining and detaining any juvenile in the Lauderdale County, Alabama Jail, or permitting anyone else to do the same. The injunction simultaneously dismissed the civil action brought by Melvin P.

The docket on PACER contains no information about the proceedings and there are no published opinions in this case.

Summary Authors

Greg Venker (5/15/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Haltom, Elbert Bertram Jr. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bell, James Raymond (California)

Benn, John R. (Alabama)

Shauffer, Carole B. (California)

Soler, Mark I. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Baccus, Steve A. (Alabama)

McDaniel, William J. (Alabama)

Judge(s)

Haltom, Elbert Bertram Jr. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bell, James Raymond (California)

Benn, John R. (Alabama)

Shauffer, Carole B. (California)

Soler, Mark I. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Baccus, Steve A. (Alabama)

McDaniel, William J. (Alabama)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

3:87-cv-05128

Docket [PACER]

April 1, 1987

April 1, 1987

Docket

3:87-cv-05128

Complaint for Civil Rights

March 1, 1987

March 1, 1987

Complaint

3:87-cv-05128

Order

April 26, 1989

April 26, 1989

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 11, 2022, 2:22 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Alabama

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 1, 1987

Closing Date: 1989

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All juveniles who are currently, have been during the year prior to the filing of this Complaint, and in the future will be confined in the Lauderdale County Jail.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Youth Law Center

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Lauderdale County Jail (Lauderdale, Alabama), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Juvenile Justice Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5672

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1989 - 0

Issues

General:

Fire safety

Sanitation / living conditions

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Totality of conditions

Youth / Adult separation

Affected Gender:

Male

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run