Case: McRedmond v. Wilson

1:74-04948 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: Nov. 12, 1974

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Sometime before July 23, 1975, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by all children classified as Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) and placed in residential training schools by the New York State Family Courts against the State of New York and various state officers. The plaintiffs, represented by the Legal Aid Society initially and then by private counsel on appeal, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and sought injunc…

Sometime before July 23, 1975, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by all children classified as Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) and placed in residential training schools by the New York State Family Courts against the State of New York and various state officers. The plaintiffs, represented by the Legal Aid Society initially and then by private counsel on appeal, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and sought injunctive relief from the State's treatment of PINS violated their constitutional rights.

Under New York law, may be classified as PINS and placed in an institutional training school if they have been truant, are incorrigible, or are beyond the control of their guardian. The plaintiffs alleged that placement of PINS in rural institutions without rehabilitative treatment was cruel and unusual punishment and contrary to due process and equal protection. In addition, the plaintiffs alleged the schools violated State law by employing too few people.

On June 23, 1975, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Judge Lee P. Gagliardi) abstained from adjudicating the case because state courts had not yet interpreted the relevant state law. McRedmond v. Wilson, 402 F. Supp. 1087 (S.D.N.Y. 1975). The court stayed the proceedings until a state suit was brought and resolved and, consequently, denied the plaintiffs' request that a three-judge panel be convened to hear the constitutional claims.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Walter Roe Mansfield) reversed the abstention decision but affirmed the denial of a three-judge panel. McRedmond v. Wilson, 533 F.2d 757 (2d Cir. 1976). The court held that federal adjudication was proper because the litigation involved a question of individual rights, specifically what were the minimum constitutional standards for the treatment of PINS. However, the court found that the constitutional claims were not substantial enough to merit review by a three-judge panel. For instance, the court was skeptical that the First Amendment's protection of freedom of association was impaired by the placement of PINS at schools where they could not see their friends whenever they wanted.

We lack the docket, the pleadings, and any information on proceedings following remand.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (11/12/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Gagliardi, Lee Parsons (New York)

Mansfield, Walter Roe (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dale, Michael J. (New York)

Mechanic, Gene B. (New York)

Schinitsky, Charles (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Hirshowitz, Samuel A. (New York)

Lefkowitz, Louis J. (New York)

Reifler, Margery Evans (New York)

Judge(s)

Gagliardi, Lee Parsons (New York)

Mansfield, Walter Roe (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dale, Michael J. (New York)

Mechanic, Gene B. (New York)

Schinitsky, Charles (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Hirshowitz, Samuel A. (New York)

Lefkowitz, Louis J. (New York)

Reifler, Margery Evans (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:74-04948

Opinion

402 F.Supp. 1087

June 23, 1975

June 23, 1975

Order/Opinion

75-07389

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

533 F.2d 757

Feb. 2, 1976

Feb. 2, 1976

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 23, 2022, 3:06 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 12, 1974

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

all children classified as Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) and placed in residential training schools by the New York State Family Courts

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, State

New York Training Schools, School District

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Unknown

Nature of Relief:

Unknown

Source of Relief:

Unknown

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Visiting

Type of Facility:

Government-run