Case: David C. v. Leavitt

2:93-cv-00206 | U.S. District Court for the District of Utah

Filed Date: Feb. 2, 1993

Closed Date: Dec. 31, 2008

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This lawsuit was filed by the National Center of Youth Law on February 2, 1993, against the Utah Department of Human Services (DHS), in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. The class action complaint named as the plaintiff class all children in the custody of DHS, whether in a shelter care facility, foster family home, group home, or institutional care; and all children who known to DHS by virtue of a report of child abuse. It addressed systemic issues encompassing the shortfalls …

This lawsuit was filed by the National Center of Youth Law on February 2, 1993, against the Utah Department of Human Services (DHS), in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. The class action complaint named as the plaintiff class all children in the custody of DHS, whether in a shelter care facility, foster family home, group home, or institutional care; and all children who known to DHS by virtue of a report of child abuse. It addressed systemic issues encompassing the shortfalls of child welfare services and the foster care system including child abuse and neglect investigations; placements; health and mental health care; caseloads and staff training; and case planning, case review, and permanency planning.

In May 1993, a settlement agreement was reached between the parties and approved by the district court (Magistrate Judge Samuel Alba). However, three years later, the defendants had managed to comply with only four of the settlement agreement's 95 components. In 1996, the plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce the settlement agreement and appoint a receiver. The court agreed that the defendant was in contempt and approved the motion for preparation for a Comprehensive Plan to enforce the settlement, but declined to appoint a receiver.

In 1998, the settlement agreement was extended for another four years with an order from Judge Campbell retaining jurisdiction. Additionally, the judge ordered the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan including a Monitoring Panel from the Child Welfare Policy & Practice Group. The order was appealed and affirmed by the Tenth Circuit.

On November 9, 2001, defendants filed a motion to dismiss based on the Tenth Circuit's initial holding in Joseph A. v. Ingram, 262 F.3d 1113 (10th Cir. 2001), opinion withdrawn and superseded on rehearing in part by Joseph A. v. Ingram, 275 F.3d 1253 (10th Cir. 2002). Plaintiffs filed an opposition brief. Based on the Tenth Circuit's reversal of its prior decision in Joseph A., defendants voluntarily withdrew their motion.

On August 22, 2002, the plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce the settlement after years of noncompliance. Rather than make a judgment, Judge Campbell ordered the parties to renegotiate a solution identifying areas for improvement. The renegotiation included stipulations requiring more trainers and the hiring of 45 new caseworkers in addition to implementing an easier procedure for caseworkers to access funding for their cases. The renegotiated "Milestone Plan" was twice amended on June 9, 2004 and July 12, 2005.

In December 2006, the parties negotiated a new settlement in contemplation of dismissing the lawsuit. The parties finalized the Agreement to Terminate the Lawsuit on May 11, 2007. The case was dismissed with prejudice on December 31, 2008.

Summary Authors

Ariana Fink (12/10/2012)

People


Judge(s)

Alba, Samuel (Utah)

Campbell, Tena (Utah)

Murphy, Michael R. (Minnesota)

Winder, David Keith (Utah)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ancar, Katina (California)

Bussiere, Alice (California)

Cheng, Michelle Lee (California)

Clark, Stephen C. (California)

Dresser, Gregory P. (California)

Finberg, Jeanne (California)

Judge(s)

Alba, Samuel (Utah)

Campbell, Tena (Utah)

Murphy, Michael R. (Minnesota)

Winder, David Keith (Utah)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Ancar, Katina (California)

Bussiere, Alice (California)

Cheng, Michelle Lee (California)

Clark, Stephen C. (California)

Dresser, Gregory P. (California)

Finberg, Jeanne (California)

Gold, Jana G. (California)

Grimm, William L. (California)

Hamm, Darryl L. (California)

Kaplan, Daniel (District of Columbia)

Matthews, Martha (California)

McElhinny, Harold J. (California)

McElroy, Patrice (California)

Morgan, D. James (Utah)

O'Brien, Michael Patrick (Utah)

O'Toole, John F. (California)

Palamountain, Kathryn C. (California)

Pearl, Richard M (California)

Steyer, Elizabeth (California)

Thau, Stephen B. (California)

Wadsworth, H. Wayne (Utah)

Welch, Leecia (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Aeschbacher, Steven J. (Utah)

Balmanno, Alain (Utah)

Barlow, Craig L. (Utah)

Burnett, Brent A. (Utah)

Clawson, Carol (Utah)

Dever, L. A. (Utah)

Eisenman, Susan (Utah)

Graham, Jan (Utah)

Hagan, Scott A. (Utah)

Jardine, James S. (Utah)

Jones, Joni J. (Utah)

Luinstra-Baldwin, Linda (Utah)

Mitchell, Annina M. (Utah)

Nichols, Carolyn (New Mexico)

Ochoa, Barbara H. (Utah)

Peterson, John M. (Utah)

Pugsley, Philip C. (Utah)

Saperstein, Herschel J. (Utah)

Shurtleff, Mark L. (Utah)

Springmeyer, Douglas W. (Utah)

Stringham, Reed M. III (Utah)

Waterman, Steven T. (Utah)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

Jan. 5, 2009 Docket
33

Order

1993 WL 764518

May 7, 1993 Order/Opinion

Memorandum Decision and Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Award of Attorneys' Fees and Costs

900 F.Supp. 1547

July 3, 1995 Order/Opinion
378

Order

13 F.Supp.2d 1206

Aug. 4, 1998 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit

242 F.3d 1206

March 9, 2001 Order/Opinion

Memorandum Decision

Leavitt v. David C.

Supreme Court of the United States

534 U.S. 822, 122 S.Ct. 56, 151 L.Ed.2d 25

Oct. 1, 2001 Order/Opinion
518

Order

March 17, 2003 Order/Opinion
517

Stipulation to Enter Order to Enforce the Court's 1999 Remedial Order and Settlement Agreement

March 17, 2003 Pleading / Motion / Brief
570

Defendants' November 2006 Status Report

David C. v. Governor of Utah

Nov. 8, 2006 Pleading / Motion / Brief
580

Agreement to Terminate the Lawsuit

David C. v. Huntsman

May 11, 2007 Settlement Agreement

Docket

Last updated May 13, 2022

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Utah

Case Type(s):

Child Welfare

Special Collection(s):

Court-ordered receiverships

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 2, 1993

Closing Date: Dec. 31, 2008

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All children who are or will be in the custody of DHS and who have been or will be placed by DHS in a shelter care facility, foster family home, group home or institutional care; and, all children who are known to DHS by virtue of a report of child abuse

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

National Center for Youth Law

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

State of Utah, State

Utah Department of Human Services, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

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: 1993 - 2007

Content of Injunction:

Receivership

Hire

Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention

Reporting

Monitor/Master

Recordkeeping

Goals (e.g., for hiring, admissions)

Issues

General:

Failure to train

Family abuse and neglect

Family reunification

Foster care (benefits, training)

Funding

Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures

Incident/accident reporting & investigations

Parents (visitation, involvement)

Siblings (visitation, placement)

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Timeliness of case assignment

Youth / Adult separation

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, general

Medical care, unspecified

Mental health care, general

Mental health care, unspecified