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Case Name Hughes v. Sheriff Grady Judd JI-FL-0006
Docket / Court 8:12-cv-00568-SDM-MAP ( M.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On March 15, 2012, a group of juvenile prisoners filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Polk County Jail. The plaintiffs, represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, asked the court for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, claiming that the ... read more >
On March 15, 2012, a group of juvenile prisoners filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of Florida under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Polk County Jail. The plaintiffs, represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center, asked the court for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, claiming that the youths' Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated. The plaintiffs also requested class certification.

Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that, as juveniles, they were housed in an adult correctional facility. The plaintiffs claimed they were left unattended for long periods of time, and punished regularly with chemical agents, isolation and lockdown. The plaintiffs were forced to eat in their cells, and clean their own toilets with the soap provided for personal hygiene. The plaintiffs claimed a complete lack of rehabilitative services and extremely poor educational services.

On May 4th, 2012, the Court (Judge Steven D. Merryday) granted the motion to dismiss for two of the named individual defendants but the general motion to dismiss was denied.

On August 13, 2012, the Court (Judge Steven D. Merryday) issued an order stating that K.G. (the representative of the sub-class of juvenile prisoners needing mental health treatment), as a pre-trial detainee, could only represent other pre-trial detainees and not juvenile prisoners. As a result, K.G., and the resulting subclass could not sue under the Eighth Amendment. Otherwise, the motion to dismiss was denied.

On November 19th, 2012, the complaint was amended to include lack of adequate medical care. The plaintiffs alleged that medication was not provided to juveniles with serious mental and psychiatric problems, or that the medication was given irregularly and not in the way prescribed. The plaintiffs further alleged that no medical or counseling services were offered to children professing suicidal ideations. Instead, such children were put on "suicide watch." "Suicide watch" consists of placing the child in a open cage, with only a hard bench along one side. The children would be left there for at least 23 hours, but often for days. "Suicide watch" was also given to children punitively. Children also had to strip publicly and put on a 'turtle' suit, which left them vulnerable to the chemical agents, which continued to be used against children on "suicide watch."

On April 30th, 2013, the Court (Judge Steven D. Merryday) granted class certification and denied the requested preliminary injunction.

On November 19th, 2013, the Court (Judge Steven D. Merryday) held a bench trial.

On December 18th, 2013, the Court (Judge Steven D. Merryday) ordered proposed finding of facts and conclusions from both the plaintiff and the defendant.

Kathryn DeLong - 10/23/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief denied
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
General
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary procedures
Excessive force
Failure to supervise
Pepper/OC spray
Restraints : chemical
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Suicide prevention
Youth / Adult separation
Medical/Mental Health
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Polk County Jail
Plaintiff Description All future and present juvenile prisoners in the Polk County Jail.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
8:12−cv−00568 (M.D. Fla.) 05/30/2014
JI-FL-0006-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint--Class Action 03/15/2012
JI-FL-0006-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [First Motion to Dismiss] 05/04/2012 (M.D. Fla.)
JI-FL-0006-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Second Motion to Dismiss] 08/13/2012 (M.D. Fla.)
JI-FL-0006-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Amended Complaint - Injunctive Relief Sought 11/09/2012
JI-FL-0006-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Report and Recommendation [Preliminary Injunction and Class Certification] 03/27/2013 (2013 WL 1821077) (M.D. Fla.)
JI-FL-0006-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Preliminary Injunction and Class Certification] 04/30/2013 (2013 WL 1810806) (M.D. Fla.)
JI-FL-0006-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Merryday, Steven Douglas (M.D. Fla.)
JI-FL-0006-0004 | JI-FL-0006-0005 | JI-FL-0006-0006 | JI-FL-0006-9000
Pizzo, Mark A. (M.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
JI-FL-0006-0003 | JI-FL-0006-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bedi, Sheila A. (Illinois)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Chasin, Steven M. (District of Columbia)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Galloni, Tania (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-0001 | JI-FL-0006-0002 | JI-FL-0006-9000
Govindaiah, Manoj Gorantla (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Haskell, Miriam Fahsi (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-0001 | JI-FL-0006-9000
Hayden, Donald J. (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-0002 | JI-FL-0006-9000
Mamounas, Joseph (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Morris, Maria V (California)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Owens, Jody E. II (Mississippi)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Rindone, Joseph Peter (New York)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Aranda, Robert J. (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Bronson, Jeanelle G. (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Campbell, Hank B. (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-9000
McKinley, William Thompson (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Phillips, Jennifer L. (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Telan, Patrick H. (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Trohn, Jonathan Barnet (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Vasquez, Ramon (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Wallace, Philip J. (Florida)
JI-FL-0006-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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