University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Blakeley v. Bergeson PC-WA-0017
Docket / Court 01-2-02025-8 ( State Court )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
In October 2001, four offenders under the age of 18 housed in the Youthful Offender Program at Clallam Bay Corrections Center in Washington brought a class action suit in Washington state court, alleging that they were denied basic and special education services to which they were constitutionally ... read more >
In October 2001, four offenders under the age of 18 housed in the Youthful Offender Program at Clallam Bay Corrections Center in Washington brought a class action suit in Washington state court, alleging that they were denied basic and special education services to which they were constitutionally entitled. Plaintiffs cited the Washington Supreme Court case Tunstall v. Bergeson, 141 Wn.2d 201 (2000) [PC-WA-0018 of our collection], which held that youth under the age of 18 incarcerated in DOC institutions had a right to public education. Plaintiffs, represented by attorneys with the Columbia Legal Services Institutions Project, specifically alleged violations of the Washington State Constitution, §504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 and 42 U.S.C. §1983. They sought injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as compensatory damages.

Our information on the procedural history of the case is limited to the Thurston Superior Court Docket, which contains only abbreviated descriptions of case activity. From what we can discern, it appears that the parties conducted discovery and engaged in motion practice for a little over a year before the case was resolved. During that time, the Superior Court certified the case as a class action and ruled on various motions. For reasons that are not readily apparent, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their special education claims.

The parties entered into a Settlement Agreement and Release, which was formally approved by the Superior Court (Judge Daniel J. Berschauer) in March, 2003. In the Agreement, the State agreed to provide specified educational services to youth offenders that were not in the general population, which included: offenders incarcerated in the Restricted Movement Pod (23 hour a day lock-down), those housed in the Intensive Management Unit and those placed on a Level One transition plan. Prior to the agreement, only offenders in general population had any real access to school services.

The case was dismissed on March 14, 2003 and we have no information that any further case activity occurred after that date.

Dan Dalton - 09/14/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
General
Education
Juveniles
Special education
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Cape Flattery School District
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Washington Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Class of youth under the age of 18 who currently are, or in the future will be, incarcerated under the jurisdiction of the Washington State Department of Corrections (DOC), to enforce their rights to basic and special education.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
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 2003 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2003
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing PC-WA-0018 : Tunstall v. Bergeson (State Court)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
01-2-02025-8 (State Trial Court) 10/31/2001
PC-WA-0017-9000 PDF | Detail
01-2-02025-8 (State Trial Court) 03/14/2003
PC-WA-0017-9001 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief and Compensatory Education 10/01/2001
PC-WA-0017-0001 PDF | Detail
Release and Settlement Agreement 03/14/2003
PC-WA-0017-0002 PDF | Detail
Judges Berschauer, Daniel J. Court not on record
PC-WA-0017-0002
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Arthur, Patricia J. (Washington)
PC-WA-0017-0001 | PC-WA-0017-0002
Balson, Hank L. (Washington)
PC-WA-0017-0001 | PC-WA-0017-0002
Tsai, Amy Chia-Mei (Washington)
PC-WA-0017-0001 | PC-WA-0017-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Gregoire, Christine O. (Washington)
PC-WA-0017-0002
Kalzer, Karen A. (Washington)
PC-WA-0017-0002
Miller, Aileen B. (Washington)
PC-WA-0017-0002
Murphy, Carol A. (Washington)
PC-WA-0017-0002
Patterson, Michael A. (Washington)
PC-WA-0017-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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