Filed Date: June 30, 2005
Closed Date: 2010
Clearinghouse coding complete
On August 30, 2002, the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") notified State of Maryland officials of its intent to investigate conditions of confinement at the Cheltenham Youth Facility ("Cheltenham") in Cheltenham, Maryland and the Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School ("Hickey") in Baltimore, Maryland, 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 ("Section 14141"). Between April 28 and June 12, 2003, the DOJ toured Cheltenham and Hickey with consultants in the fields of juvenile justice, medical care, mental health care, education and sanitation. At the time of the tours and until April 1, 2004, Hickey was operated by a for-profit corporation. On April 9, 2004, the United States issued a findings letter pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1997(a)(1), which concluded that certain conditions at Cheltenham and Hickey violated the constitutional and federal statutory rights of juveniles confined there.
The findings led to negotiations between state and federal authorities. The parties reached a settlement agreement made public in late June 2005, filing of the settlement and an associated complaint (to invoke the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland). The settlement describes a number of areas the state obligated itself to improve upon at Cheltenham and Hickey: protection of residents from violence and sexual abuse (via adequate reporting procedures, health care improvements, a use of force policy, staff training, behavior management program implementation, staffing improvements, security system installation (including individual door locks), appropriate and limited use of restraints and seclusion, access to toilets, due process for disciplinary matters, improved intake and classification, and screening of job applicants to ensure employment of persons fit to work with youth), suicide prevention, mental health and medical care, special education, and fire safety.
In the months just following the settlement, the DOJ similarly toured the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center ("BCJJC") as part of an investigation, invited by the state, of conditions of confinement at BCJJC. An August 7, 2006, DOJ findings letter also described rights violations, leading to a modification of the original settlement. The May 2007, modification added the BCJJC, so that the state's obligations to improve its juvenile justice housing would extend to all three facilities. The same categories of improvements were set out in the second agreement, with some minor variations between the improvements needed at Cheltenham and Hickey compared with the improvements required at BCJJC. Again, the Department of Justice filed an amended complaint to invoke the court's jurisdiction over the settlement. These complaints relied upon allegations of violation of Section 14141 and the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments, of non-compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400-1482, and of non-compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 42 U.S.C. § 794.
The settlements provide processes for compliance reporting and quality assurance, as well as for monitoring of and access to the facilities by the Department of Justice, to enable enforcement proceedings, if necessary. On July 19, 2005, the court (Judge Frederick Motz) placed the case on the court’s inactive docket, with a scheduled dismissal in three years from that date or upon the State’s substantial compliance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. On June 24, 2008, the parties submitted a Second Amended Settlement Agreement, releasing Cheltenham and Hickey from monitoring and terminating the Agreement with respect to those facilities. On June 26, 2008, the court (Judge Motz) signed a Second Modified Order of Conditional Dismissal, which stated that the interests of the remaining parties would be best served by extending the duration of certain provisions of the Settlement Agreement. In this Order, Judge Motz placed the case on the court’s inactive docket, to be dismissed on June 29, 2009 or earlier if the state reached substantial compliance with the terms of the Second Amended Settlement Agreement.
On June 25, 2009, the parties submitted a Third Amended Settlement Agreement in which the parties agreed that BCJJC improved conditions relating to suicide prevention and special education services sufficiently but still needed monitoring in the area of protection of BCJJC youth from harm by other youth. On June 30, 2009, the court (Judge Motz) approved the Third Amended Settlement and again placed the case on the court’s inactive docket, to be dismissed on June 29, 2011, or earlier if the state reaches substantial compliance with the terms of the Third Amended Settlement Agreement.
On August 19, 2010, the parties determined that the state had fulfilled all of its obligations and Judge Motz ordered that the case be finally dismissed with prejudice.
Mike Fagan (5/20/2008)
Frances Hollander (2/21/2016)
Acosta, R. Alexander (District of Columbia)
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
Delaney, Joshua (District of Columbia)
DeSheilds Minnis, Tarra (Maryland)
Fontaine, Robert R. (Maryland)
Motz, J. Frederick (Maryland)
Last updated June 30, 2023, 3:13 a.m.
State / Territory: Maryland
Filing Date: June 30, 2005
Closing Date: 2010
Case Ongoing: No
Attorney General, on behalf of the United States, seeking to enjoin the State of Maryland from depriving youth confined in the Cheltenham Youth Facility in Cheltenham, Maryland.
Public Interest Lawyer: Yes
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: No
Class Action Outcome: Not sought
Causes of Action:
Prevailing Party: Plaintiff
Nature of Relief:
Source of Relief:
Form of Settlement:
Order Duration: 2005 - 2010
Content of Injunction:
Type of Facility: