This case involves several consolidated cases in Florida State Court by juveniles who were adjudicated delinquent and committed to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. Following orders adjudicating them delinquent, each of the plaintiffs was placed at the Pahokee Youth Development Center, ...
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This case involves several consolidated cases in Florida State Court by juveniles who were adjudicated delinquent and committed to the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. Following orders adjudicating them delinquent, each of the plaintiffs was placed at the Pahokee Youth Development Center, which was designated as a moderate risk facility, and filed motions to modify their commitment orders. The juveniles, who were represented by the Florida Public Defender, sought a modification of the dispositional order, alleging that the placement at the Pahokee facility "was a de facto commitment to a [high-risk] or [maximum-risk] restrictiveness program." The motions complained of the number of beds, the fact that the beds were bolted to the floor, the width and thickness of the mattresses, the clothes the juveniles were required to wear, the haircuts they received, the barbed wire at the perimeter of the facility, the length of the meals, the amount of visitation, and the insufficient "freedom of movement." After consolidating the cases, the Circuit Court of Dade County (Judge Steven D. Robinson) held that the question presented was whether the Pahokee facility met the statutory definition of a "moderate-risk" facility. The court found that the Pahokee facility did not meet the statutory definition of "moderate-risk" and held that the Department of Juvenile Justice did not have the authority to place the juveniles at that facility.
The Department of Juvenile Justice appealed, arguing that the trial court exceeded its authority and did not have the power to prohibit the department from placing the juveniles at a particular facility. The District Court of Appeals of Florida (per curiam) agreed with the Department of Juvenile Justice and on November 25, 1998, reversed the decision of the trial court. State, Dept. of Juvenile Justice v. E.R., 724 So.2d 129 (Fla. App. 3 Dist. 1998). The court reasoned that the juveniles' Motion to Modify Sentence was not argued as such and the order entered went well beyond the modification of the juveniles' sentences. Further, it held that the trial court usurped the Department of Juvenile Justice's statutory authority.
The only documents we have are two appellate briefs and the 1998 decision of the appeals court. This case does not appear to be ongoing.Kaitlin Corkran - 06/05/2006