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Case Name Doe ex rel. Doe v. Haley CW-SC-0001
Docket / Court 8:13-cv-01772 ( D.S.C. )
State/Territory South Carolina
Case Type(s) Child Welfare
Attorney Organization Children's Rights, Inc.
Case Summary
On May 30, 2013, an eleven-year-old child in the custody of the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS), filed a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas, Abbeville County, South Carolina under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law against SCDSS, the Boys Home of the South (BHOTS), and ... read more >
On May 30, 2013, an eleven-year-old child in the custody of the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS), filed a lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas, Abbeville County, South Carolina under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and state law against SCDSS, the Boys Home of the South (BHOTS), and individuals employed by both organizations. Plaintiff, represented by Children's Rights, Inc. and private counsel, asked the court for damages, punitive damages, and attorneys' fees. Plaintiff claimed that Defendants' policies and customs failed to comply with federal and state law, which violated Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment rights, and that their gross negligence caused him permanent mental harm and injury. Specifically, Plaintiff claimed that while he was placed at BHOTS--a "low management" group home licensed by SCDSS that did not require awake staff at all times--he was repeatedly attacked and sexually assaulted by older boys at the home. He claimed that Defendants violated his rights to a safe and secure placement in state custody, his right to adequate supervision, and his right to prompt mental health treatment under both federal and state law.

On June 28, 2013, Defendants removed the case to the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina.

Over the next few months, the parties engaged in fact and expert discovery. As discovery proceeded, Plaintiff agreed to stipulate to the dismissal of several of the individual Defendants. The remainder of the Defendants, including SCDSS and BHOTS, moved for summary judgment.

On February 4, 2014, while the motions for summary judgment were pending, Plaintiff and the BHOTS Defendants reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum of money, including $188,285.27 in costs. The settlement document did disclose, however, that as a result of the litigation, BHOTS was ceasing operations and would be filing for articles of dissolution with the South Carolina Attorney General. The Court (Judge Anderson) later approved the settlement on March 10, 2014.

On February 14, 2014, the Court (Judge Anderson), in a brief, two-page order, denied the SCDSS Defendants' motion for summary judgment. The Court simply stated that, "[b]ased on the filings of both sides, and their arguments during the hearing, this Court finds that genuine issues of material fact exist."

On March 28, 2014, following mediation and shortly before jury selection was to begin, Plaintiff and the SCDSS Defendants (the remaining Defendants) reached a settlement for an undisclosed sum of money, including $17,186.58 in costs. With the SCDSS settlement, all parties had either settled or been dismissed, and the case concluded.

Dan Whitman - 03/21/2015


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Classification / placement
Counseling
Failure to supervise
Foster care (benefits, training)
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Juveniles
Neglect by staff
Pattern or Practice
Personal injury
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
State law
Defendant(s) Boys Home of the South
South Carolina Department of Social Services
Plaintiff Description A minor child in the custody of South Carolina Department of Social Services
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Children's Rights, Inc.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Legal Accountability in the Service-Based Welfare State: Lessons from Child Welfare Reform
By: Kathleen G. Noonan, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon (Center for High Impact Philanthropy , Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School)
Citation: 34 Law & Soc. Inquiry 523 (Summer 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Making Child Welfare Work: How the R.C. Lawsuit Forged New Partnerships to Protect Children and Sustain Families
By: Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law (Bazelon Center)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
8:13-cv-01772-GRA (D.S.C.) 07/30/2014
CW-SC-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Amended Complaint 05/30/2013
CW-SC-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petition to Approve a Minor Settlement (with Boys Home of the South) 02/04/2014
CW-SC-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Petition to Approve a Minor Settlement (with South Carolina Department of Social Services) 03/28/2014
CW-SC-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Anderson, George Ross Jr. (D.S.C.)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Borten, Laurence D. (New York)
CW-SC-0001-0002 | CW-SC-0001-0003 | CW-SC-0001-9000
Butcher, Robert J. (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-0001 | CW-SC-0001-0002 | CW-SC-0001-0003 | CW-SC-0001-9000
Finch, Aaron Hirsh (New York)
CW-SC-0001-0002 | CW-SC-0001-0003 | CW-SC-0001-9000
Hite, Thomas E. Jr. (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-0001 | CW-SC-0001-0002 | CW-SC-0001-0003 | CW-SC-0001-9000
Lowry, Marcia Robinson (New York)
CW-SC-0001-0001 | CW-SC-0001-0002 | CW-SC-0001-0003 | CW-SC-0001-9000
Lustbader, Ira P. (New York)
CW-SC-0001-0001 | CW-SC-0001-0002 | CW-SC-0001-0003 | CW-SC-0001-9000
Russo, Sarah (New York)
CW-SC-0001-0002 | CW-SC-0001-0003 | CW-SC-0001-9000
Stone, Heather Hite (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-0001 | CW-SC-0001-0002 | CW-SC-0001-0003 | CW-SC-0001-9000
Wood, Kathryn Anne (New York)
CW-SC-0001-0002 | CW-SC-0001-0003 | CW-SC-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davidson, William Henry II (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Dowling, Curtis W. (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Frawley, Patrick John (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Gerrald, Matthew Gregory (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Halio, Andrew Steven (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Hughes, Joel Steve (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Laney, Roy F. (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Logan, James William Jr. (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Matthews, Eugene H (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Nichols, Melissa Memolo (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Pope, Thomas Lowndes (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Rollins, C. Cliff (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Smith, Michael Todd (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Wlodarczyk, Damon C. (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Woodington, Kenneth P. (South Carolina)
CW-SC-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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