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Case Name Doe v. Napper JI-GA-0001
Docket / Court 93-CV-642 ( N.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Juvenile Institution
Case Summary
On March 26, 1993, juvenile inmates of Marietta Regional Youth Detention Center ("MRYDC"), filed a class action law suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, against the Georgia Department of Child and Youth Services ("DCYS"), MRYDC, and the State ... read more >
On March 26, 1993, juvenile inmates of Marietta Regional Youth Detention Center ("MRYDC"), filed a class action law suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, against the Georgia Department of Child and Youth Services ("DCYS"), MRYDC, and the State Department of Education ("DOE"). The Plaintiffs, represented originally by Atlanta Legal Aid, alleged unsafe and unsanitary conditions of confinement including: overcrowding; lack of heat; inadequate bathroom and sanitary accommodations; manual locks impeding any fire escape; inadequate staff; inadequate medical and psychiatric services; restricted access to the courts; and lack of free and appropriate educational services, pursuant to the Juvenile Justice Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5601 et seq., and the Education of the Handicapped Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 (c).

On April 14, 1993, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Judge Julie E. Carnes) granted Plaintiffs' motion to proceed in pseudonym. On January 10, 1994, the Court certified the class as all juveniles served by MRYDC or any other facility designed and operated for the population currently served by MRYDC. After a Settlement Conference on April 22, 1994, the Court dismissed the case without prejudice or costs on September 9, 1994, to be reopened by May 1, 1995 if Judge Carnes had not consummated a settlement agreement. On April 26, 1996, the Court (Judge Carnes) referred the case to Magistrate Judge Joel M. Feldman for settlement conference only. On December 12, 1996 the attorneys for Legal Aid withdrew as counsel for Plaintiffs and were replaced by private attorneys. On February 2, 1997, the Court (Judge Carnes) denied Plaintiffs' motion to reopen. But on October 3, 1997, the Court finally ordered the case reopened. Finally on December 12, 1997, stipulations for consent decree were submitted and approved by the Court (Judge Carnes).

The Consent Decree ordered MRYDC to comply with all federal and local laws in the complained of areas. Most importantly it provided for: medical and psychological screenings within 48 hours of admittance; 24-hour emergency medical care; facility repairs to meet mandatory standards for heat, air conditioning, plumbing, and lighting; regular preventative maintenance of the building; designated areas for class and education; screenings and accommodations for special education students; updated locks to comply with evacuation standards in the event of a fire or other emergency; increased staff levels; in-service education of all staff regarding sensitive issues such as sexual abuse, suicide, etc. The DCYS and DOE were required to allow Plaintiffs' Monitor, Dr. Vincent Carbone, access to pertinent records for the two years after the Consent Decree went into effect. DCYS and DOE were also responsible for all costs related to Monitoring. Plaintiffs' counsel retained the right to bring action against Defendants if any violation of the Consent Decree is discovered; the jurisdiction of the Court was to expire two years after the Decree went into effect.

On January 30, 1998, the Court (Judge Carnes) terminated the case.

Kristen Sagar - 11/17/2006

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Freedom of speech/association
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Bathing and hygiene
Fire safety
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action Juvenile Justice Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5672
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Georgia Department of Child and Youth Services and the State Department of Education
Plaintiff Description All juveniles who are now or in the future will be confined at Marietta Regional Youth Detention Center.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1997 - 1998
Filed 03/26/1993
Case Closing Year 1998
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  The Power of Settlement as an Alternative Strategy for Institutional Reform: The Case of Doe v. Napper
Date: Apr. 30, 1999
By: Marina Volanakis (Harvard Law Student)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Court Docket(s)
N.D. Ga.
JI-GA-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
N.D. Ga.
Complaint Class Action [ECF# 1]
JI-GA-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
N.D. Ga.
Consent Decree [ECF# 63]
JI-GA-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
show all people docs
Judges Carnes, Julie E. (N.D. Ga., Eleventh Circuit) show/hide docs
JI-GA-0001-0003 | JI-GA-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bliss, Charles R. (Georgia) show/hide docs
JI-GA-0001-0001 | JI-GA-0001-9000
Dumitrescu, Kathleen Ann (Georgia) show/hide docs
JI-GA-0001-0001 | JI-GA-0001-9000
Harbin, John W. (Georgia) show/hide docs
JI-GA-0001-0003 | JI-GA-0001-9000
Leshaw, Gary Jay (Georgia) show/hide docs
JI-GA-0001-0001 | JI-GA-0001-9000
Love, Frank Jr. (Georgia) show/hide docs
Vandenberg, Catherine C. (Georgia) show/hide docs
JI-GA-0001-0001 | JI-GA-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Allen, Kathryn Lloyd (Georgia) show/hide docs
JI-GA-0001-0003 | JI-GA-0001-9000
Bowers, Michael J. (Georgia) show/hide docs
Cosgrove, Carol Atha (Georgia) show/hide docs
Dunn, Dennis R. (Georgia) show/hide docs
Frank, Cynthia Honssinger (Georgia) show/hide docs
Hooker, David Anderson (Georgia) show/hide docs
Joy, William C. (Georgia) show/hide docs

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