Case: United States v. South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice

3:22-cv-01221 | U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina

Filed Date: April 14, 2022

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a case about the alleged constitutional violations of the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (the “Department of Juvenile Justice”) against the children in their custody at the Broad River Road Complex. These violations include not preventing fights among youths, staff harming children by using excessive force (such as choking, punching, kicking, and twisting arms), and isolating youth for minor indiscretions. On April 14, 2022 the United States, represented by attorneys from…

This is a case about the alleged constitutional violations of the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (the “Department of Juvenile Justice”) against the children in their custody at the Broad River Road Complex. These violations include not preventing fights among youths, staff harming children by using excessive force (such as choking, punching, kicking, and twisting arms), and isolating youth for minor indiscretions.

On April 14, 2022 the United States, represented by attorneys from the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Special Litigation Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina. The United States sued the Department of Juvenile Justice under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 34 U.S.C. § 12601. The United States sought a declaration that the conduct violated the Fourteenth Amendment and to enjoin the Department of Juvenile Justice from continuing those acts. The case was assigned to Judge Sherri A Lydon, then reassigned to Judge Joseph F. Anderson, then finally reassigned to Judge Mary Geiger Lewis.

On the same day the complaint was filed, April 14, 2022, the parties filed a joint motion for conditional dismissal pursuant to their settlement agreement. The agreement does four things. First, it seeks to protect children in the Department of Juvenile Justice’s custody from harm by: ensuring sufficient staffing, adding surveillance, providing structured programming, having appropriate consequences for negative behaviors, and limiting use of force. Next, it limits the Department’s isolation policy to permit isolation only when youth poses a serious and immediate danger to self or others and staff has made reasonable efforts to attempt and exhaust de-escalation strategies.  It also updates training to focus on behavior management and reducing use of force. Finally, it provides a quality assurance system to identify trends and correct deficiencies with regard to safety and security.  According to the settlement agreement, these changes must be made within four years. The agreement will terminate in five years if there is substantial compliance and that compliance is maintained for one year.  

On April 20, 2022, the case was dismissed without prejudice.  Per the settlement agreement, the Court retained jurisdiction for reinstatement to resolve claims of material breach of the agreement.  

 

Summary Authors

Michelle Landry (6/15/2022)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document
4

3:22-cv-01221

Joint Motion for Conditional Dismissal Pursuant to Settlement Agreement

United States of America v. South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

Pleading / Motion / Brief
4-1

3:22-cv-01221

Exhibit A: Agreement Between The United States And The South Carolina Department

United States of America v. South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

Settlement Agreement
1

3:22-cv-01221

Complaint

United States of America v. South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

Complaint

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/63237645/united-states-v-south-carolina-department-of-juvenile-justice/

Last updated Aug. 5, 2022, 3:22 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice, filed by United States of America. Service due by 7/13/2022(ahil) (Entered: 04/14/2022)

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

Clearinghouse
3

Summons Issued as to South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice. (ahil) (Entered: 04/14/2022)

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

PACER
4

JOINT MOTION FOR CONDITIONAL DISMISSAL PURSUANT TO SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT by South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and United States of America. Response to Motion due by 4/28/2022. Add an additional 3 days only if served by mail or otherwise allowed under Fed. R. Civ. P. 6 or Fed. R. Crim. P. 45. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A: Agreement Between The United States and The South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice)Proposed order is being emailed to chambers with copy to opposing counsel.(ahil) (Entered: 04/14/2022)

1 Exhibit A: Agreement Between The United States And The South Carolina Department

View on Clearinghouse

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

Clearinghouse
5

Local Rule 26.01 Answers to Interrogatories by United States of America.(ahil) (Entered: 04/14/2022)

April 14, 2022

April 14, 2022

PACER
6

Case Reassigned to Judge Honorable Joseph F Anderson, Jr. Judge Honorable Sherri A Lydon no longer assigned to the case. (glev, ) (Entered: 04/18/2022)

April 18, 2022

April 18, 2022

PACER
7

Case Reassigned to Judge Honorable Mary Geiger Lewis. Judge Honorable Joseph F Anderson, Jr no longer assigned to the case. (glev, ) (Entered: 04/18/2022)

April 18, 2022

April 18, 2022

PACER

Case Reassigned CV

April 18, 2022

April 18, 2022

PACER
8

ORDER granting 4 Motion to Dismiss. Signed by Honorable Mary Geiger Lewis on 4/20/2022.(cbru, ) (Entered: 04/20/2022)

April 20, 2022

April 20, 2022

RECAP
9

JUDGMENT dismissing this action without prejudice. (cbru, ) (Entered: 04/20/2022)

April 20, 2022

April 20, 2022

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: South Carolina

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 14, 2022

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section and U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of South Carolina

Plaintiff Type(s):

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

South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

34 U.S.C. § 12601 (previously 42 U.S.C. § 14141)

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2022 - None

Issues

General:

Aggressive behavior

Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students

Assault/abuse by staff

Confinement/isolation

Disciplinary procedures

Disciplinary segregation

Excessive force

Failure to supervise

Incident/accident reporting & investigations

Juveniles

Type of Facility:

Government-run