University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Doe v. Lake County JI-IN-0001
Docket / Court 74-49 ( N.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Case Summary
On February 20, 1974, an inmate at the Juvenile Detention Home in Lake County, Indiana filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Lake County in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana on behalf of all present and future juveniles held in the Lake County ... read more >
On February 20, 1974, an inmate at the Juvenile Detention Home in Lake County, Indiana filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Lake County in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana on behalf of all present and future juveniles held in the Lake County Juvenile Detention Home or held without charges in the Gary City Jail. The plaintiffs, who were represented by the Project for Justice and Equality, filed an Amended Complaint on August 2, 1974, and asked the court for injunctive relief, alleging that the adequacy of the juvenile detention center and the treatment the juveniles received violated their constitutional rights. The plaintiffs sought to require a treatment program which would meet the minimum statutory and constitutional standards required to detain juveniles. They also sought to change procedures between the time of arrest and court appearance. Furthermore, the plaintiffs sought compensatory and punitive damages.

Two of the named defendants, Judges James J. Richards and Joseph Meszar, claimed that judicial immunity protected them from the suit. The court (Judge Allen Sharp) ruled on August 20, 1975, that judicial immunity did not apply. The court also ruled that the plaintiffs were prohibited from seeking damage awards from the judges in this case. Doe v. Cty. of Lake, 399 F. Supp. 553 (N.D. Ind. 1975).

The parties entered into a Consent Judgment on October 25, 1977, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. The court (Judge Sharp) enjoined the defendants from confining juveniles in city or county jails or the Lake County Juvenile Detention Home without notice of charges against them and of their legal rights. The Consent Judgment further required the facility to improve numerous conditions and treatment policies for the juveniles, including allowing them to retain personal possessions, to eat full meals, to speak languages other than English, and to visit with relatives. The Judgment also outlined minimum qualifications for staff working in and overseeing the juvenile facilities. Finally, the Judgment awarded damages of $750 to each of the minor named plaintiffs and $500 in costs.

- 11/03/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Counseling
Education
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Mail
Recreation / Exercise
Rehabilitation
Search policies
Totality of conditions
Visiting
Youth / Adult separation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Lake County
Plaintiff Description Present and future juveniles held in the Lake County Juvenile Detention Home or held without charges in the Gary City Jail
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1977 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1977
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Memorandum and Order 08/20/1975 (399 F.Supp. 553) (N.D. Ind.)
JI-IN-0001-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Consent Judgment 10/25/1977 (N.D. Ind.)
JI-IN-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
Judges Sharp, Allen (N.D. Ind.)
JI-IN-0001-0002 | JI-IN-0001-0003
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bodensteiner, Ivan E. (Indiana)
JI-IN-0001-0002
Hart, Myrna (Indiana)
JI-IN-0001-0002
Moskowitz, Seymour (Indiana)
JI-IN-0001-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Cohen, Max (Indiana)
JI-IN-0001-0002
Noel, Nona (Indiana)
JI-IN-0001-0002
Wieser, James (Indiana)
JI-IN-0001-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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