Case: Doe v. Younger

2:91-cv-00187 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky

Filed Date: Nov. 21, 1991

Closed Date: 1999

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 21, 1991, juveniles confined in the Kenton County Detention Center filed a class action lawsuit against Kenton County and the Commonwealth of Kentucky pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Juvenile Justice Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5601 et seq., and applicable Kentucky constitutional provisions and statutes. Plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and were represented by the Children's Law Center, Inc., Youth Law Center, and Norther…

On November 21, 1991, juveniles confined in the Kenton County Detention Center filed a class action lawsuit against Kenton County and the Commonwealth of Kentucky pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Juvenile Justice Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 5601 et seq., and applicable Kentucky constitutional provisions and statutes. Plaintiffs filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky and were represented by the Children's Law Center, Inc., Youth Law Center, and Northern Kentucky Children's Law Center.

Plaintiffs alleged that there were not enough trained personnel at the juvenile facility, which resulted in inadequate supervision. Plaintiffs also alleged that defendant's classification system, medical and mental health care, education, recreation, and religious programming were all insufficient. Further, juveniles were housed in the same facility as adult offenders, and the juveniles could communicate with the adults through the walls, which plaintiffs asserted was in violation of the Juvenile Justice Act. Plaintiffs asserted defendants also violated the Act by placing status or non-offenders in secure detention. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

On August 24, 1992, the district court (Judge William O. Bertelsman) reversed defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court disagreed with defendants who contended that plaintiffs' constitutional claims were too vague and also found that an Eleventh Amendment immunity defense was not applicable to the defendants. On October 21, 1992, the court (Judge Bertelsman) denied the county defendant's motion to amend the record to state that he was being sued in his official capacity only with respect to the Department of Corrections and not as to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Doe v. Commonwealth, No. 91-187, 1992 WL 672380 (E.D. Ky. Oct. 21, 1992). The court also granted plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend their complaint to add the governor of the Commonwealth as a party.

On January 13, 1993, the district court granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification. On March 22, 1996, the court bifurcated the conditions of confinement issues from the education issues in this case, and a three-day trial followed in April of 1996. On July 26, 1996 the court issued an order holding that confining juveniles who have not been indicted or convicted of a crime for longer than fifteen days violates the right to due process. The order also required that at least two guards, one male and one female, be on duty at all times; however, the court did not require defendants to improve staff training. The court also did not require defendants to develop recreational programming, but it did require that the juveniles be offered at minimum one hour per day for recreation and exercise. The court reserved ruling on fire safety issues and appointed an expert to investigate the facility and report its findings. On the same day, the court issued an amended judgment setting forth the fifteen-day limit, two guard minimum requirement, and one hour daily recreation and exercise requirement stated in the order.

On September 26, 1997, the parties entered into a settlement agreement where defendants agreed to no longer detain youth at the Kenton County Detention Center after March 1, 1999, at which time a new facility for juveniles would open. Both parties agreed to dismiss the case at that point. Defendants also agreed to improve fire safety in the interim by installing smoke detectors in the juveniles' cells and common areas, improving evacuation plans, and having compliance monitoring. The parties did not include education issues as part of the settlement. On December 16, 1997 the court submitted an order approving the parties' settlement agreement.

In a December 16, 1997 opinion and order by the court, the court granted defendants' motion for summary judgment regarding the education issues. The court found that plaintiffs failed to submit any evidence of deficiencies in the educational programs and failed to establish a viable claim against defendants with regard to the basic education provided at the facility. The court also denied plaintiffs' special education claim because of plaintiffs' failure to exhaust administrative remedies. On the same day, with the settlement agreement submitted in regards to conditions of confinement and all educational issues dismissed, the court entered a final judgment on the case. The docket continues until July 26, 1997 with a joint status report submitted to the court.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (11/5/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Bertelsman, William Odis (Kentucky)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bell, James Raymond (California)

Brooks, Kim (Kentucky)

Isaacs, C. McGehee (Kentucky)

Redwine, James T. (Kentucky)

Soler, Mark I. (District of Columbia)

Tandy, Kimberly Brooks (Kentucky)

Wilber, Shannan l. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bonar, Barbara D (Kentucky)

Burd, James M. (Kentucky)

Judge(s)

Bertelsman, William Odis (Kentucky)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bell, James Raymond (California)

Brooks, Kim (Kentucky)

Isaacs, C. McGehee (Kentucky)

Redwine, James T. (Kentucky)

Soler, Mark I. (District of Columbia)

Tandy, Kimberly Brooks (Kentucky)

Wilber, Shannan l. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bonar, Barbara D (Kentucky)

Burd, James M. (Kentucky)

Choy, Sun S (Kentucky)

Cordery, Suzanne D. (Kentucky)

Durham, Stephen (Kentucky)

Edmondson, Garry L. (Kentucky)

Elfers, John R. (Kentucky)

Fossett, John Jay (Kentucky)

Geisler, Maria T (Kentucky)

Hardison, Keith (Kentucky)

Hectus, C. Thomas (Kentucky)

Hellmann, Thomas J (Kentucky)

Jones, Barbara Willett (Kentucky)

Keal, R. Thaddeus (Kentucky)

Klatte, E D (Kentucky)

Meyer, Joseph U (Kentucky)

Nevitt, W. Kenneth (Kentucky)

Noland, Kevin M (Kentucky)

Sipek, Mark A (Kentucky)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:91-cv-00187

Docket [PACER]

Doe(s) v. Knauf

July 26, 1999

July 26, 1999

Docket
34

2:91-cv-00187

Amended Civil Rights Complaint for Declaratory, Injunctive, and other Equitable Relief (Class Action

May 1, 1992

May 1, 1992

Complaint

2:91-cv-00187

Memorandum Opinion

Aug. 24, 1992

Aug. 24, 1992

Order/Opinion

2:91-cv-00187

Order

Doe v. Kentucky

1992 WL 672380

Oct. 21, 1992

Oct. 21, 1992

Order/Opinion
449

2:91-cv-00187

Amended Judgment

July 26, 1996

July 26, 1996

Order/Opinion
447

2:91-cv-00187

Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order

July 26, 1996

July 26, 1996

Order/Opinion
462

2:91-cv-00187

Opinion and Order

Sept. 4, 1996

Sept. 4, 1996

Order/Opinion
554

2:91-cv-00187

Settlement Agreement

Oct. 2, 1997

Oct. 2, 1997

Settlement Agreement
563

2:91-cv-00187

Opinion & Order

Dec. 16, 1997

Dec. 16, 1997

Order/Opinion
564

2:91-cv-00187

Judgment

Dec. 16, 1997

Dec. 16, 1997

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 24, 2022, 3:08 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Kentucky

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 21, 1991

Closing Date: 1999

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Juveniles confined in the Kenton County Detention Center

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

The Commonwealth of Kentucky, State

Kenton County Detention Center (Kenton), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

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

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Freedom of speech/association

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1996 - 1999

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students

Classification / placement

Disciplinary procedures

Disciplinary segregation

Education

Fire safety

Recreation / Exercise

Religious programs / policies

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