University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Steven L. v. Kern County JI-CA-0011
Docket / Court CV-F-83-189 EDP ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization Youth Law Center
Case Summary
On February 17, 1983, juvenile inmates represented by Legal Assistance and Youth Law Center filed class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, against the Kern County Juvenile Hall and the Kern Youth Facility. The complaint sought ... read more >
On February 17, 1983, juvenile inmates represented by Legal Assistance and Youth Law Center filed class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, against the Kern County Juvenile Hall and the Kern Youth Facility. The complaint sought declaratory and injunctive relief on behalf of the class, and compensatory and punitive damages for the individually named plaintiffs, for violations of 1st, 6th, 8th, and 14th Amendment rights related to mail censorship, heavily restricted access to attorneys and courts, disciplinary practices including extended isolation or room restriction, and lack of adequate medical and psychiatric care. The judge indicated by the docket designation was Judge Edward Dean Price.

On March 7, 1991, the parties entered into a non-court ordered settlement agreement. Defendants agreed to the following conditions: attorneys would be allowed to visit detained minors without prior court approval; minors would be allowed to send and receive unlimited amounts of mail unless there is reasonable cause to believe that it is correspondence regarding the furtherance of a criminal act, escape plan, or contained obscene material; postage for privileged mail would be paid by the probation department; minors would not be isolated for purposes of treatment or punishment, but only when they presented a direct threat to themselves or others, and they must be checked every 15 minutes; room restriction could be used as sanction, but never involving removal of basic hygiene materials (toothbrush, soap, bedding, etc.), and minors must be checked every 20 minutes; written explanations of these rules and guidelines had to be accessible to all detainees; and juveniles must be granted a hearing within 72 hours of any filed complaint.

For a period of one year after the agreement was entered, defendants were to provide monitoring information (number of detainees, instances of isolation, etc.) to plaintiffs' attorneys every quarter, or upon request. Reasonable attorneys' fees and costs are to be awarded to any party prevailing in subsequent litigation challenging compliance, including defendant, if plaintiffs' complaint is shown to be frivolous. The agreement did not waive the claim, but did resolve all outstanding issues except for attorneys' fees and costs for the immediate litigation.

There is no docket or other information.

Greg Venker - 05/17/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Confinement/isolation
Disciplinary procedures
Mail
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Kern County
Plaintiff Description Juveniles who are now, have been, or who will be confined in the Kern County Juvenile Hall or Kern Youth Facility
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1991 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint 02/17/1984
JI-CA-0011-0001 PDF | Detail
Settlement Agreement 03/07/1991
JI-CA-0011-0002 PDF | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cline, Victoria (California)
JI-CA-0011-0001
Cooper, David (California)
JI-CA-0011-0001
Malahowski, Roy (California)
JI-CA-0011-0002
Shauffer, Carole B. (California)
JI-CA-0011-0001 | JI-CA-0011-0002
Soler, Mark I. (California)
JI-CA-0011-0001 | JI-CA-0011-0002
Warboys, Loren M. (California)
JI-CA-0011-0001 | JI-CA-0011-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Denatale, Thomas V. Jr. (California)
JI-CA-0011-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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