University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Melvin P. v. Lauderdale County JI-AL-0003
Docket / Court 87-HM-5128 ( N.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization Youth Law Center
Case Summary
On April 1, 1987, Melvin P., a 17 year old a minor, filed class action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama against Lauderdale County, Alabama, several county commissioners, as well as police officers and judges. The plaintiff alleged that Lauderdale County Jail ... read more >
On April 1, 1987, Melvin P., a 17 year old a minor, filed class action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama against Lauderdale County, Alabama, several county commissioners, as well as police officers and judges. The plaintiff alleged that Lauderdale County Jail practices were in violation of his rights under the 14th Amendment, including: due process, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, right to privacy, and right to treatment in least restrictive conditions; he sought injunctive and declaratory relief. Specifically the complaint alleged unsanitary conditions, insufficient staff, inadequate safety in the event of fire, lack of medical or mental health screening or services, and juveniles being in frequent contact with adult inmates. It also challenged the constitutionality of holding juveniles for crimes that were not punishable for adults. The complaint was brought by the Youth Law Center of San Francisco, California, as a class action under 42 U.S.C. 1983, and the Juvenile Delinquency Act, 42 U.S.C. 5601 et seq. Private attorneys represented the defendants.

On April 26, 1989, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama (Judge Elbert Bertram Haltom Jr.) permanently enjoined the defendants, and their successors in office, from confining and detaining any juvenile in the Lauderdale County, Alabama Jail, or permitting anyone else to do the same. The injunction simultaneously dismissed the civil action brought by Melvin P.

The docket on PACER contains no information about the proceedings and there are no published opinions in this case.

Greg Venker - 05/15/2006


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Male
General
Fire safety
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Youth / Adult separation
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Juvenile Justice Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5672
42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Lauderdale County Jail
Plaintiff Description All juveniles who are currently, have been during the year prior to the filing of this Complaint, and in the future will be confined in the Lauderdale County Jail.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Youth Law Center
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 Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1989 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1989
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
87-5128 (N.D. Ala.) 04/01/1987
JI-AL-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Civil Rights 03/01/1987
JI-AL-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Order 04/26/1989 (N.D. Ala.)
JI-AL-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Judges Haltom, Elbert Bertram Jr. (N.D. Ala.)
JI-AL-0003-0002 | JI-AL-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bell, James Raymond (California)
JI-AL-0003-0001
Benn, John R. (Alabama)
JI-AL-0003-0001
Shauffer, Carole B. (California)
JI-AL-0003-0001
Soler, Mark I. (California)
JI-AL-0003-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Baccus, Steve A. (Alabama)
JI-AL-0003-9000
McDaniel, William J. (Alabama)
JI-AL-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -