Case: Jane B. v. N.Y. City Dept. of Social Serv.

1:87-cv-02470 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: April 13, 1987

Closed Date: 1991

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On April 13, 1987, two female juveniles filed a class action civil rights lawsuit against the New York City Department of Social Services in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs, represented by Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division, alleged that the Ashford and Hegeman Diagnostic Reception Centers were overcrowded, had a high incidence of physical violence and verbal abuse among staff and residents, had frequent drug and alcohol abuse, an…

On April 13, 1987, two female juveniles filed a class action civil rights lawsuit against the New York City Department of Social Services in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiffs, represented by Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division, alleged that the Ashford and Hegeman Diagnostic Reception Centers were overcrowded, had a high incidence of physical violence and verbal abuse among staff and residents, had frequent drug and alcohol abuse, and that the living environment was dangerously unsanitary. Additionally, they asserted that they were deprived of adequate medical services, education, diagnostic and mental health services, recreation and exercise. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief for the class and compensatory damages for themselves.

On October 2, 1987, the district court (Judge Peter Leisure) issued an opinion and order certifying the class to include all current and future residents of the two facilities. Jane B. v. New York City Dep't of Soc. Serv., 117 F.R.D. 64 (S.D.N.Y. 1987). After certification, named plaintiff Jane B. indicated her desire to withdraw from the litigation and the court granted another juvenile's motion to intervene as a named plaintiff and class representative by memorandum decision and order dated April 28, 1988.

On September 19, 1988, the district court (Judge Leisure) issued a memorandum decision and order regarding defendants' motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and motion for judgment on the pleadings. Jane B. v. New York City Dep't of Soc. Serv., No. 87-2470, 1988 U.S. Dist. WL 126875 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 19, 1988). Defendants asserted that the named plaintiffs lacked standing to bring claims of (1) improper medical treatment; (2) improper dispensation of medication; (3) inadequate screening and training of security guards; (4) insufficient recreation and exercise; and (5) inadequate special education for the handicapped.

The court held that the plaintiffs had standing to allege that defendants failed to offer adequate medical treatment to the class, because one of the named plaintiffs was personally denied medical care after sustaining an injury. Plaintiffs were also found to have standing regarding screening and training of security guards, because plaintiffs asserted that they were personally free to come and go as the pleased and that they were harassed repeatedly by groups of males who loitered about the buildings and got into the buildings with little difficulty. The court further found that the plaintiffs had standing to allege insufficient recreation and exercise, because plaintiffs were required to endure substantial periods of idleness, which often led to fights. The court found plaintiffs lacked standing in regards to dispensation of medication and special education, since they were not personally harmed by these acts or omissions by defendants. We have no further information on this case. The docket ends January 11, 1991 with the case closed.

Summary Authors

Emilee Baker (5/21/2006)

People


Judge(s)

Leisure, Peter Keeton (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gittis, Lenore (New York)

McNally, Kay G. (New York)

Weintraub, Henry S. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Levine, Antonia (New York)

Rothenberg, Elaine (New York)

Turkle, Bruce (New York)

Zimroth, Peter L. (New York)

Judge(s)

Leisure, Peter Keeton (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gittis, Lenore (New York)

McNally, Kay G. (New York)

Weintraub, Henry S. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Levine, Antonia (New York)

Rothenberg, Elaine (New York)

Turkle, Bruce (New York)

Zimroth, Peter L. (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Jane B. v. NY City Dept. of Social Services

Jan. 11, 1991 Docket

Opinion & Order

Jane B. v. NY City Dept. of Social Services

117 F.R.D. 64

Oct. 2, 1987 Order/Opinion

Memorandum Decision and Order

Jane B. v. NY City Dept. of Social Services

1988 WL 126875, 1988 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 12977

Sept. 19, 1988 Order/Opinion

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 13, 1987

Closing Date: 1991

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All current and future residents of Ashford and Hegeman Diagnostic Reception Centers

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Legal Services/Legal Aid

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

New York City Department of Social Services, City

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1987 - 1991

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students

Assault/abuse by staff

Counseling

Education

Recreation / Exercise

Sanitation / living conditions

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Affected Gender:

Female

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Medication, administration of

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run