Case: U.S.A. v. State of Texas

7:08-cv-00038 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Filed Date: Feb. 1, 2008

Closed Date: May 8, 2011

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In September 2006, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") conducted a consensual investigation of Texas' Evins Regional Juvenile Center ("Evins") pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997, and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141. The investigation led to a "findings letter" which reported that Evins violated residents' constitutional rights by not adequately protecting the child…

In September 2006, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") conducted a consensual investigation of Texas' Evins Regional Juvenile Center ("Evins") pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997, and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 U.S.C. § 14141. The investigation led to a "findings letter" which reported that Evins violated residents' constitutional rights by not adequately protecting the children confined there from harm.

The report findings included inadequate staffing and reliance on camera surveillance that had "blind spots" allowed for a rate of youth-on-youth assaults at Evins five times the national average, a dysfunctional grievance system, together with inadequacies in staffing, programming, and classification, frequent chaotic violence, poor design which exacerbated the problems of inadequate staffing, a lack of incentives to reward positive behavior and failure to provide programming sufficient to alleviate boredom also contributed to frequent fighting among residents. Youths were not classified by age or seriousness of offense, nor were efforts made to segregate the violent from the non-violent. The DOJ also found that Evins' slow grievance system, in which the residents lacked confidence, contributed to the state's failure to ensure a reasonably safe environment.

Staff-on-resident violence, too, existed at unacceptably high levels due to overworked and under-trained staff. Documentation and review of incidents were insufficient to promote safety. Inadequacies in restraint usage reporting and review also permitted abuses to continue.

On February 1, 2008, DOJ brought an action under 42 U.S.C. § 14141 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, McAllen Division, to enjoin the State of Texas from depriving youth confined at Evins privileges or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States. The complaint alleges that Defendants have engaged, and continued to engage, in a pattern or practice of failing to ensure that the youth at Evins are adequately protected from harm and from undue risk of harm from staff assault and youth-on-youth assault, of failing to provide youth at Evins adequate due process, of failing to ensure that youth at Evins receive adequate rehabilitative treatment.

On the same day, the parties also filed an Agreed Proposed Order to settle the case. On May 8, 2008, Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa approved the Agreed Order and the case was terminated. Pursuant to terms and requirements of the Agreed Order, the State of Texas agrees to develop and implement policies, procedures, and practices to protect youth from harm, to report staff misconduct and other serious incidents, to provide staff, volunteers and contractual employees of Evins with training regarding their responsibilities, etc. The State also agrees that the DOJ shall monitor the State's compliance with this Agreed Order. The DOJ's monitoring shall include, on-site inspections of Evins, interviews with Evins youth, staff, and administrators, and a review of relevant documents. The DOJ shall retain a juvenile justice consultant with expertise in protection of youth from harm within the context of the operation of a secure juvenile justice facility to assist the DOJ in its monitoring activities. DOJ shall routinely report its assessment of the state's compliance to the Court. The Agreed Order shall terminate three years from the date it is ordered by the Court.

On May 5, 2011, DOJ filed the Sixth Compliance Report with the Court, stating that the State had achieved substantial compliance with the Agreed Order. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Xin Chen (5/21/2011)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14237490/parties/united-states-v-state-of-texas/


Judge(s)

Hinojosa, Ricardo H. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

England, Sheridan Leigh (District of Columbia)

Fleisher, Aaron S (District of Columbia)

Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)

Weiss, Daniel H. (District of Columbia)

Wyatt, Keith Edward (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Todd, James Carlton (Texas)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Active

Judge(s)

Hinojosa, Ricardo H. (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

England, Sheridan Leigh (District of Columbia)

Fleisher, Aaron S (District of Columbia)

Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)

Weiss, Daniel H. (District of Columbia)

Wyatt, Keith Edward (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Todd, James Carlton (Texas)

Other Attorney(s)

Abbott, Greg (Texas)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

U.S.A. v. State Of Texas

July 18, 2011 Docket

Re: Evins Regional Juvenile Center, Edinburg, Texas

DOJ Investigation -- Evins Regional Juvenile Center, Edinburg, Texas

No Court

March 15, 2007 Findings Letter/Report
1

Complaint

Feb. 1, 2008 Complaint
2

Agreed [Proposed] Order

Feb. 1, 2008 Pleading / Motion / Brief
11

Agreed [Final] Order

April 11, 2008 Settlement Agreement
35

Compliance Report

May 5, 2011 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/14237490/united-states-v-state-of-texas/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against all defendants filed by UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.(Wyatt, Keith) (Entered: 02/01/2008)

Feb. 1, 2008 PACER
2

Agreed PROPOSED ORDER, filed.(Wyatt, Keith) (Entered: 02/01/2008)

Feb. 1, 2008 PACER
3

ORDER for Initial Pretrial and Scheduling Conference and Order to Disclose Interested Persons. Initial Conference set for 4/9/2008 at 02:30 PM before Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa. Parties notified.(bgarces, ) (Entered: 02/04/2008)

Feb. 4, 2008 PACER
4

NOTICE of Designation of Attorney in Charge by State Of Texas, Texas Youth Commission, Richard Nedelkoff, Dimitria D. Pope, Melody Vidaurri, filed. (Todd, James) (Entered: 02/14/2008)

Feb. 14, 2008 PACER
5

Joint MOTION for Entry of Order re: by United States of America, filed. Motion Docket Date 3/7/2008. (Wyatt, Keith) (Entered: 02/16/2008)

Feb. 16, 2008 PACER
6

NOTICE of Setting. Parties notified. Motion Hearing set for 3/17/2008 at 04:00 PM before Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa, filed. (bgarces, ) (Entered: 02/28/2008)

Feb. 28, 2008 PACER
7

MOTION for Daniel H. Weiss to Appear Pro Hac Vice by United States of America, filed. Motion Docket Date 3/31/2008. (Wyatt, Keith) (Entered: 03/11/2008)

March 11, 2008 PACER
8

ORDER granting 7 Motion for Daniel H. Weiss to Appear Pro Hac Vice.( Signed by Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa ) Parties notified.(mzamarripa, ) (Entered: 03/26/2008)

March 14, 2008 PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa. Hearing on Joint Motion for Entry of Proposed Agreed Order held on 3/17/2008. All parties present. The Court GRANTS the Motion to Appear Pro Hac Vice of Mr. Daniel Weiss. After some discussion the parties request from the Court that they continue this discussion at the next scheduled hearing which is 4/9/08 at 2:30 p.m. so that the parties can have some further time to discuss the matters brought up by the Court. The Court instructs the parties to file a motion for continuance of the 4/9/08 hearing if they need additional time for further discussion. Appearances:Daniel Weiss. James C Todd.(ERO:Tony Tijerina), filed.(smartinez, )

March 17, 2008 PACER
9

TRANSCRIPT of HEARING ON JOINT MOTION FOR ENTRY OF PROPOSED AGREED ORDER held on March 17, 2008 before Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa. ERO: Antonio Tijerina. Transcript is available for viewing in the office of the clerk, filed. (Attachments: # 1 Continuation) (atijerina, ) (Entered: 04/01/2008)

March 31, 2008 PACER

ORAL ORDER by Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa: Initial Pretrial and Scheduling Conference reset for 4/11/2008 at 02:30 PM before Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa. Parties notified.(mzamarripa, )

April 4, 2008 PACER
10

SUPPLEMENT to 5 Joint MOTION for Entry of Order re: by United States of America, filed. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order Revised Agreed Order# 2 Affidavit Declaration of Jon Trzinski# 3 Exhibit Report and CV of Jon Trzinski# 4 Affidavit Declaration and CV of Stan DeGerolami)(Weiss, Daniel) (Entered: 04/08/2008)

April 8, 2008 PACER
11

Amended PROPOSED ORDER re: 5 Joint MOTION for Entry of Order re:, filed.(Weiss, Daniel) (Entered: 04/11/2008)

April 11, 2008 PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa. STATUS CONFERENCE held on 4/11/2008. All parties present. The Court has reviewed the agreed order submitted by the parties. After some suggestions, the parties agree and will file a revised agreed order for the Court's consideration. Appearances: James C Todd, Daniel H Weiss.(ERO:Tony Tijerina), filed.(smartinez, )

April 11, 2008 PACER
12

JUDGMENT of the Court. Case terminated on 05/05/2008.(Signed by Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa) Parties notified.(mzamarripa, ) (Entered: 05/05/2008)

May 5, 2008 PACER
13

STATUS REPORT by United States of America, filed.(England, Sheridan) (Entered: 11/05/2008)

Nov. 5, 2008 PACER
14

STATUS REPORT by United States of America, filed.(England, Sheridan) (Entered: 04/29/2009)

April 29, 2009 PACER
15

NOTICE of Appearance by Aaron Fleisher on behalf of United States of America, filed. (England, Sheridan) (Entered: 04/29/2009)

April 29, 2009 PACER
16

NOTICE of Setting. Parties notified. Status Conference set for 6/5/2009 at 02:30 PM before Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa, filed. (bgarces, ) (Entered: 05/19/2009)

May 19, 2009 PACER
17

NOTICE of Appearance by Charles W. Hart, Jr. on behalf of United States of America, filed. (England, Sheridan) (Entered: 10/28/2009)

Oct. 28, 2009 PACER
18

NOTICE of Appearance by Winsome G. Gayle on behalf of United States of America, filed. (England, Sheridan) (Entered: 10/28/2009)

Oct. 28, 2009 PACER
19

STATUS REPORT by United States of America, filed.(England, Sheridan) (Entered: 11/04/2009)

Nov. 4, 2009 PACER
20

MOTION for Daniel H. Weiss to Withdraw as Attorney by United States of America, filed. Motion Docket Date 5/26/2010. (England, Sheridan) (Entered: 05/05/2010)

May 5, 2010 PACER
21

STATUS REPORT by United States of America, filed.(England, Sheridan) (Entered: 05/05/2010)

May 5, 2010 PACER
22

ORDER striking 20 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney.(Signed by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa) Parties notified.(bgarces, ) (Entered: 05/07/2010)

May 6, 2010 PACER
23

Unopposed MOTION for Daniel H. Weiss to Withdraw as Attorney by United States of America, filed. Motion Docket Date 6/1/2010. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order draft order)(England, Sheridan) (Entered: 05/11/2010)

May 11, 2010 PACER
24

ORDER granting 23 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Attorney Daniel H Weiss terminated.(Signed by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa) Parties notified.(bgarces, ) (Entered: 05/14/2010)

May 12, 2010 PACER
25

NOTICE of Setting. Parties notified. Status Conference set for 6/23/2010 at 04:00 PM before Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa, filed. (bgarces, ) (Entered: 05/25/2010)

May 24, 2010 PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa. STATUS CONFERENCE held on 6/23/2010. All parties present. The Court reviews with counsel the latest compliance report and his concerns regarding the ones listed as partial compliance. The Court instructs counsel to file their report when they need to file it and another Status Conference will be set up after that is done. The Court also instructed counsel to make the facility aware of the concerns the Court had with regards to the partial compliances listed on the report. Appearances: James C Todd, Sheridan Leigh England.(ERO:Tony Tijerina (4:03-4:20), filed.(smartinez, )

June 23, 2010 PACER
26

NOTICE of Appearance by Luis E. Saucedo on behalf of United States of America, filed. (England, Sheridan) (Entered: 07/08/2010)

July 8, 2010 PACER

AO 435 TRANSCRIPT ORDER FORM by Ayanna Brown. This is to order a transcript of STATUS CONFERENCE held on August 28, 2010 before Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa (original). Court Reporter/Transcriber: Exceptional Reporting, filed. (atijerina, )

Aug. 2, 2010 PACER
27

TRANSCRIPT re: STATUS CONFERENCE held on 6/23/10 before Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa. Court Reporter/Transcriber EXCEPTIONAL REPORTING. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 12/14/2010., filed. (thudson, ) (Entered: 09/15/2010)

Sept. 15, 2010 PACER
28

Notice of Filing of Official Transcript as to 27 Transcript. Party notified, filed. (atijerina, ) (Entered: 09/23/2010)

Sept. 15, 2010 PACER
29

NOTICE of Appearance by Shelley Jackson on behalf of United States of America, filed. (England, Sheridan) (Entered: 11/01/2010)

Nov. 1, 2010 PACER
30

NOTICE Vacation Letter by Texas Youth Commission, filed. (Todd, James) (Entered: 11/02/2010)

Nov. 2, 2010 PACER
31

STATUS REPORT by United States of America, filed.(England, Sheridan) (Entered: 11/05/2010)

Nov. 5, 2010 PACER
32

RESPONSE to United States' Fifth Compliance Report, filed by Dimitria D. Pope, Melody Vidaurri, Richard Nedelkoff, State Of Texas, Texas Youth Commission. (Todd, James) (Entered: 11/16/2010)

Nov. 16, 2010 PACER

ORAL ORDER Status Conference set for 3/30/2011 at 04:00 PM before Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa.(by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa) Parties notified.(klopez, )

Feb. 22, 2011 PACER
33

MOTION for Shelley R. Jackson to Appear Pro Hac Vice by United States of America, filed. Motion Docket Date 4/14/2011. (Jackson, Shelley) (Entered: 03/24/2011)

March 24, 2011 PACER
34

ORDER granting 33 Motion for Shelley R Jackson to Appear Pro Hac Vice.(Signed by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa) Parties notified.(bgarces, ) (Entered: 03/28/2011)

March 25, 2011 PACER

ORAL ORDER by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa: Status Conference reset for 4/27/2011 at 04:00 PM before Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa. Parties notified.(bgarces, )

March 28, 2011 PACER

ORAL ORDER by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa: Status Conference set for 4/27/11 is cancelled until further notice. Parties notified.(bgarces, )

April 25, 2011 PACER
35

Compliance Report by United States of America, filed.(Jackson, Shelley) (Entered: 05/05/2011)

May 5, 2011 PACER

ORAL ORDER Status Conference set for 7/19/2011 at 04:00 PM before Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa.(by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa) Parties notified.(klopez, )

June 1, 2011 PACER
36

Unopposed MOTION to appear telephonically at 7-19-11 status hearing by United States of America, filed. Motion Docket Date 6/29/2011. (Jackson, Shelley) (Entered: 06/08/2011)

June 8, 2011 PACER
37

ORDER striking 36 Motion to Appear Telephonically.(Signed by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa) Parties notified.(bgarces, ) (Entered: 06/09/2011)

June 8, 2011 PACER
38

MOTION to appear telephonically at 7-19-11 status conference by United States of America, filed. Motion Docket Date 6/30/2011. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order granting motion)(Jackson, Shelley) (Entered: 06/09/2011)

June 9, 2011 PACER

ORAL ORDER by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa: granting 38 MOTION to appear telephonically at 7-19-11 status conference. Parties notified.(bgarces, )

June 29, 2011 PACER

ORAL ORDER by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa: Status Conference set for 07/19/2011 at 4:00 PM is cancelled until further notice. Parties notified.(szellers, )

July 18, 2011 PACER

ORAL ORDER Status Conference set for 8/12/2011 at 02:30 PM before Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa.(by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa) Parties notified.(klopez, )

July 24, 2011 PACER
39

Unopposed MOTION Unopposed Motion to Appear by Telephone by Dimitria D. Pope, Melody Vidaurri, Richard Nedelkoff, State Of Texas, Texas Youth Commission, filed. Motion Docket Date 8/22/2011. (Todd, James) (Entered: 08/01/2011)

Aug. 1, 2011 PACER
40

Unopposed MOTION to Correct 39 Unopposed MOTION Unopposed Motion to Appear by Telephone by Dimitria D. Pope, Melody Vidaurri, Richard Nedelkoff, State Of Texas, Texas Youth Commission, filed. Motion Docket Date 8/22/2011. (Todd, James) (Entered: 08/01/2011)

Aug. 1, 2011 PACER
41

MOTION for Luis Saucedo to Appear Pro Hac Vice by United States of America, filed. Motion Docket Date 8/22/2011. (Jackson, Shelley) (Entered: 08/01/2011)

Aug. 1, 2011 PACER
42

Unopposed MOTION to appear telephonically at Aug. 12, 2011 status conference by United States of America, filed. Motion Docket Date 8/22/2011. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order Granting US Unopposed Motion to Appear Telephonically at Aug. 12, 2011 Hearing)(Jackson, Shelley) (Entered: 08/01/2011)

Aug. 1, 2011 PACER
43

PROPOSED ORDER re: 40 Unopposed MOTION to Correct 39 Unopposed MOTION Unopposed Motion to Appear by Telephone, filed.(Todd, James) (Entered: 08/02/2011)

Aug. 2, 2011 PACER

ORAL ORDER by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa: granting 40 and 42 MOTIONS to appear telephonically at Aug. 12, 2011 status conference. Counsel to initiate the call. Parties notified.(bgarces, )

Aug. 2, 2011 PACER
44

ORDER granting 41 Motion for Luis Saucedo to Appear Pro Hac Vice.(Signed by Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa) Parties notified.(bgarces, ) (Entered: 08/02/2011)

Aug. 2, 2011 PACER

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa. STATUS CONFERENCE held on 8/12/2011. Case is called on the docket. Parties appearing telephonically. The Court addresses the most recent compliance report. Mr. Saucedo advises the Court that the State has reached substantial compliance with all the provisions of the agreement. Mr. Saucedo also states there is no need for further action by the Court. Appearances: James C Todd f/d, Luis Saucedo f/p(ERO:Tony Tijerina), filed.(klopez, )

Aug. 12, 2011 PACER

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Juvenile Institution

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 1, 2008

Closing Date: May 8, 2011

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

U.S. Department of Justice on behalf on inmates of Evins Regional Juvenile Center, Edinburg, Texas.

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

Texas Youth Commission (Edinburg), State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.

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: 2008 - 2011

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students

Assault/abuse by staff

Classification / placement

Grievance Procedures

Recreation / Exercise

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Affected Gender:

Male

Type of Facility:

Government-run