University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name M.M.B. v. Bonneville County JI-ID-0003
Docket / Court 86-4244 ( D. Idaho )
State/Territory Idaho
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization National Center for Youth Law
Youth Law Center
Case Summary
On December 9, 1986, a class action lawsuit was filed against Bonneville County, Idaho, in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho on behalf of all past, present, and future juveniles jailed at the Bonneville County Jail in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The plaintiffs, who were ... read more >
On December 9, 1986, a class action lawsuit was filed against Bonneville County, Idaho, in the United States District Court for the District of Idaho on behalf of all past, present, and future juveniles jailed at the Bonneville County Jail in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The plaintiffs, who were represented by the National Center for Youth Law and the Youth Law Center, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1988, and 5601 et seq., alleging that jail conditions and policies violated their constitutional rights.

The plaintiffs' complaint addressed four issues. First, the juvenile cellblocks were below the national standard for juvenile detention facilities because they were too small, unlit, afforded inmates no privacy, and insufficiently monitored to ensure inmate safety. Second, the County did not offer alternative community-based detention options as required by the Juvenile Justice Act. 42 U.S.C. §§ 5633(12) and 1603(1). Third, juvenile and adult inmates were not completely separated, sharing common and recreational areas. In addition, female juvenile and adult detainees could communicate with each other while in their cells. Fourth, juveniles were improperly incarcerated for "status offenses," acts that are only criminal if committed by a juvenile.

On the same day they filed suit, the parties also filed a consent decree. Bonneville County admitted no wrongdoing, but agreed to make significant changes in juvenile detention. The County agreed to meet stipulated minimum standards for juvenile detention with the assistance of a nationally known expert and to house juveniles and adults separately both in their own jail and contracted facilities. The consent decree allowed the County to jail juveniles in another county for the first six months following the consent decree, if necessary to comply with the stipulated minimum standards. Our copy of the Consent Decree is not signed and we do not have a copy of the stipulations.

Kristen Sagar - 11/03/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Classification / placement
Over/Unlawful Detention
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Youth / Adult separation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Bonneville County
Plaintiff Description all past, present, and future juveniles jailed at the Bonneville County Jail in Idaho Falls, Idaho
Indexed Lawyer Organizations National Center for Youth Law
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 1986 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1986
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Civil Rights Complaint for Injunctive, Declaratory and other Equitable Relief 12/09/1986
JI-ID-0003-0001 PDF | Detail
Amended Consent Judgment 05/11/1987 (D. Idaho)
JI-ID-0003-0002 PDF | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Demchak, Teresa (California)
JI-ID-0003-0001 | JI-ID-0003-0002
Fuller, Mark (Idaho)
JI-ID-0003-0001 | JI-ID-0003-0002
Jameson, Elizabeth J. (California)
JI-ID-0003-0001 | JI-ID-0003-0002
Lambert, David Lee (California)
JI-ID-0003-0001
Soler, Mark I. (California)
JI-ID-0003-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Mason, Kimball W. (Idaho)
JI-ID-0003-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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