Case: D.B. v. Tewksbury

3:80-00817 | U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

Filed Date: Sept. 10, 1980

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Sometime before 1982, children confined in the Columbia County Correctional Facility (CCCF), an adult jail in St. Helens, Oregon, filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Columbia County Juvenile Department in the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon. The plaintiffs, represented by the Juvenile Rights Project of Oregon Legal Services and the National Center for Youth Law, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the constitutional r…

Sometime before 1982, children confined in the Columbia County Correctional Facility (CCCF), an adult jail in St. Helens, Oregon, filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Columbia County Juvenile Department in the U. S. District Court for the District of Oregon. The plaintiffs, represented by the Juvenile Rights Project of Oregon Legal Services and the National Center for Youth Law, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the constitutional rights of plaintiffs and members of the plaintiff class had been violated by confining them in CCCF. Specifically, the plaintiffs contended that the conditions and restrictions constituted punishment and thereby violated plaintiffs' rights as pretrial detainees not to be punished under the due process clause of the 14th Amendment. Among other things, the plaintiffs alleged that CCCF housed both adults and children at the same facility, and some children were within the sight and sound of adult inmates; children slept on mattresses covered with urethane or on concrete floors; female children were not advised that sanitary napkins were available; children had no private bathroom facilities; special dietary needs of children were not considered; and, there was no emergency medical health service.

The facility had been investigated before for similar problems. In January, 1980, a Columbia County Circuit Judge appointed a Special Grand Jury to investigate the jail. In May, 1980, the Grand jury found numerous deficiencies in CCCF and recommended that children not be kept in CCCF until these conditions were remedied. The United States Marshals Service subsequently discontinued placement of federal prisoners in CCCF.

After a trial from February 2-12, 1982, on August 6, 1982, the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon (Judge Helen Frye) held that conditions at CCCF were unconstitutional, found that plaintiffs were entitled to a permanent injunction and reasonable attorneys' fees and ordered plaintiffs' counsel to submit a proposed judgment order. D.B. v. Tewksbury, 545 F. Supp. 896 (D. Or. 1982). With respect to pretrial detainees and status offenders, Judge Frye held that "confinement of child pretrial detainees in CCCF as it now exists is punishment prior to an adjudication of guilt," and that "confinement of plaintiffs and plaintiffs' class in any adult jail constitutes punishment per se and is therefore unconstitutional." With respect to children confined after having been accused of committing crimes, Judge Frye relied on the "fundamental fairness" doctrine holding that "when the denial of constitutional rights for children is not offset by a special solicitude but by lodging them in adult jails, it is fundamentally unfair."

Because we have only the district court decision, we have no further information on this case.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (11/13/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Frye, Helen Jackson (Oregon)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baily, Alan (Oregon)

Gross, Jeanne (Oregon)

Hatton, David B. (Oregon)

Howard, David C. (Missouri)

McFarlane, Julie A. (Oregon)

Nightingale, Margaret J. (Oregon)

Svetkey, Susan M. (Oregon)

Volenik, Adrienne E. (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

McLean, John (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Frye, Helen Jackson (Oregon)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Baily, Alan (Oregon)

Gross, Jeanne (Oregon)

Hatton, David B. (Oregon)

Howard, David C. (Missouri)

McFarlane, Julie A. (Oregon)

Nightingale, Margaret J. (Oregon)

Svetkey, Susan M. (Oregon)

Volenik, Adrienne E. (Missouri)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

McLean, John (District of Columbia)

Rhodes, James C. (Oregon)

Thompson, Jill (Oregon)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Order

545 F.Supp. 896

Aug. 6, 1982 Order/Opinion

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Oregon

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 10, 1980

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All children who are presently confined or who are subject to confinement in the Columbia County Correctional Facility, an adult jail in St. Helens, Oregon, challenging the constitutionality of confining children in an adult jail

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Legal Services/Legal Aid

National Center for Youth Law

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Columbia County Juvenile Department, County

Columbia County Correctional Facility (Columbia), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1982 - 0

Issues

General:

Bathing and hygiene

Classification / placement

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Sanitation / living conditions

Totality of conditions

Youth / Adult separation

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run