Case: Weathers v. Traylor

1:80-01238 | U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

Filed Date: Sept. 18, 1980

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 18, 1980, juveniles confined in the Mesa County Jail in Grand Junction, Colorado (MCJ) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Juvenile Justice Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5601 et seq. (JJA), against the Colorado Department of Institutions (DOI) and Division of Youth Services (DYS) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The plaintiff, represented by ACLU of Colorado and the Youth Law Center of San Francisco, California, asked the court for declaratory a…

On September 18, 1980, juveniles confined in the Mesa County Jail in Grand Junction, Colorado (MCJ) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Juvenile Justice Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5601 et seq. (JJA), against the Colorado Department of Institutions (DOI) and Division of Youth Services (DYS) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The plaintiff, represented by ACLU of Colorado and the Youth Law Center of San Francisco, California, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that conditions and practices at the jail violate the 14th Amendment. On February 3, 1982, plaintiffs submitted a Second Amended Complaint to the Court, which specifically contended that defendants subjected them to the following circumstances, not limited to: cruel and unusual conditions of confinement; illegal incarceration in the jail without adequate separation from confined adult offenders; unlawful secure detention of juveniles who are charged with status offenses; denial of adequate and appropriate placements as alternatives to the jail; and false imprisonment. On June 30, 1982, the Court certified the class of juveniles confined, or subject to later confinement, in MCJ.

Negotiation proceeded and on November 8, 1982, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (Judge Richard Paul Matsch) accepted and ordered the Partial Consent Judgment. The defendants agreed that they would: cease use of MCJ for juveniles except when waiting for transfer from court to a juvenile detention facility, and then only for a maximum of 6 hours; cease use of the second floor of MCJ for confinement of any juvenile; identify a separate facility or location suitable for rehabilitation or construction as the Grand Junction Youth Holding Facility (Facility) by December 1, 1982; construct the Facility by April 1, 1982; legislate appropriation for staff at the Facility by June 30, 1985; provide for one wide-awake staff person at all times that a juvenile is confined at the Facility; not place any juvenile in the Facility unless by court order; require all juveniles to be screened by DYS before entering the Facility; not place any juvenile in the Facility who was under 14 or placed there pursuant to a punitive sentence or probation condition; arrange comprehensive intake procedures; give plaintiffs' counsel monthly reports on all juveniles in both the MCJ and new Facility for one year; and notify plaintiffs' counsel within one week of all developments in compliance with the agreement. Additionally, County Board of Commissioners agreed to fund the Sheriff as necessary to comply with the agreement until long term appropriation was made by the 1985 deadline. Plaintiffs agreed to drop all claims for declaratory and injunctive relief after use of MCJ had stopped, but they retained the right to pursue damages.

Because PACER has no docket, we have no more information on this file.

Summary Authors

Greg Venker (5/29/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Matsch, Richard Paul (Colorado)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bertenthal, Philip J. (California)

Lipton, Edward A. (Colorado)

Page, Robert T. (Colorado)

Soler, Mark I. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Ashby, Gerald J. (Colorado)

Bailey, Amanda (Colorado)

Bugg, Alan (Colorado)

Casebolt, James S. (Colorado)

Higgins, William J. (Colorado)

Judge(s)

Matsch, Richard Paul (Colorado)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bertenthal, Philip J. (California)

Lipton, Edward A. (Colorado)

Page, Robert T. (Colorado)

Soler, Mark I. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Ashby, Gerald J. (Colorado)

Bailey, Amanda (Colorado)

Bugg, Alan (Colorado)

Casebolt, James S. (Colorado)

Higgins, William J. (Colorado)

Sammons, Sarah Scott (Colorado)

Snodgrass, J. D. (Colorado)

Williams, Robert I. (Colorado)

Other Attorney(s)

Brougham, David R. (Colorado)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Second Amended Complaint for Injunctive, Declaratory and Equitable Relief and Damages (Class Action)

Feb. 3, 1982 Complaint

Partial Consent Judgment

Oct. 27, 1982 Order/Opinion

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Colorado

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 18, 1980

Case Ongoing: Perhaps, but long-dormant

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All juveniles who are currently, have been during the past two years, and in the future will be confined in the in the Mesa 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

Colorado Department of Institutions (Grand Junction, Mesa), State

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

Availably Documents:

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: 1982 - 1985

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Totality of conditions

Youth / Adult separation

Affected Gender:

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run