Case: In Re: County of Wayne

Docket No. Not Available | Michigan state trial court

Filed Date: June 16, 1995

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 8, 1993, Wayne County, Michigan, the county operating Wayne County Youth Home, filed a lawsuit against the Wayne County Probate Court in the Circuit Court for the County of Wayne pursuant to Michigan state law. The plaintiffs, represented by then Wayne County Corporation Counsel Jennifer Granholm, alleged that the Probate Court's practices created severe overcrowding in the Wayne County Youth Home (later called Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility [JDF]), a juvenile detention fa…

On November 8, 1993, Wayne County, Michigan, the county operating Wayne County Youth Home, filed a lawsuit against the Wayne County Probate Court in the Circuit Court for the County of Wayne pursuant to Michigan state law. The plaintiffs, represented by then Wayne County Corporation Counsel Jennifer Granholm, alleged that the Probate Court's practices created severe overcrowding in the Wayne County Youth Home (later called Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility [JDF]), a juvenile detention facility in Detroit, Michigan. The complaint requested that the court issue a writ of superintending control/prohibition to give the plaintiff discretion to control the population of the JDF.

After the lawsuit was filed, on March 21, 1994, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) notified the state of Michigan that it intended to investigate the conditions of confinement at the JDF pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq. Federal investigators visited the facility in April of that year.

The investigation focused on allegations regarding physical and psychological abuse of residents; failure to properly investigate and curtail sexual abuse of residents by staff; improper disciplinary practices; inadequate staffing and supervision; inadequate medical care, mental health care, and suicide prevention measures; environmental health and safety deficiencies; lack of classification; overcrowding; inadequate access to telephones, mail, general reading material and legal books; and inadequate educational services.

On December 21, 1994, the DOJ issued its findings letter, wherein it described numerous conditions at the WCJDF that violated the constitutional and federal statutory rights of the juveniles detained there. Those conditions included the areas of (1) operational, management, staffing, and programming deficiencies; (2) inadequate medical care, mental health care, dental healthcare, and suicide prevention measures; (3) serious environmental and health deficiencies and (4) numerous fire safety deficiencies. The DOJ outlined minimal remedial measures that the JDF needed to immediately undertake to correct the problems.

After the beginning of the investigation in April of 1994, but before the DOJ released its findings, the county entered into an agreement with the Wayne County Prosecutor and the probate court to limit the population of youths sent to the JDF.

But the agreement apparently did not solve the county's problems. On June 16, 1995, Wayne County and the Wayne County Youth Home filed for a second writ of superintending control over the Probate Court. The plaintiffs filed for this second writ because the population limits set in the agreement were never followed, and the probate court consistently took longer than the agreed upon time to process paperwork for either releasing juveniles or for transferring them to state custody. The plaintiffs requested that the court declare that the director of the JDF have the exclusive power to establish and maintain the maximum capacity of the facility and that the probate court be required to involve the director in all decisions to admit juveniles.

On June 21, 1995 the parties entered into a preliminary agreement to cap the JDF's population at 175. The agreement specifically detailed the procedures that would be followed to ensure that the population stays under this number. The agreement also provided for fifty electronic monitors to be used for lower risk juveniles that were released to meet population limits. We do not have any further information about the case.

Summary Authors

Emilee Baker (5/16/2006)

Jonah Hudson-Erdman (9/5/2021)

People


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Granholm, Jennifer M. (Michigan)

Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Granholm, Jennifer M. (Michigan)

Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Notice Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Wayne County Youth Home, Detroit , Michigan

In RE: County of Wayne

No Court

March 21, 1994

March 21, 1994

Notice Letter

Correspondence

In re: County of Wayne

No Court

Dec. 13, 1994

Dec. 13, 1994

Notice Letter

Notice of Findings of Investigation, Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility

In RE: County of Wayne

No Court

Dec. 21, 1994

Dec. 21, 1994

Findings Letter/Report

Docket No. Not Available

Complaint for Writ of Superintending Control/Prohibition and other Relief

June 16, 1995

June 16, 1995

Complaint

Case Summary

No Court

June 16, 1995

June 16, 1995

Other

Preliminary Agreement to Cap Jail Population at 175

In re: County of Wayne

No Court

June 21, 1995

June 21, 1995

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 1, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 16, 1995

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

County of Wayne, Wayne County Executive, Wayne County Youth Home and its interim director

Plaintiff Type(s):

City/County Plaintiff

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Probate Court for Wayne County, County

Wayne County Juvenile Detention Facility (Wayne), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.

State law

Availably Documents:

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1995 - None

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students

Deinstitutionalization/decarceration

Education

Fire safety

Library (non-law) access

Mail

Phone

Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff

Suicide prevention

Totality of conditions

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Post-PLRA Population Cap

Medical/Mental Health:

Dental care

Medical care, general

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run