University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name A.J. v. Myers JI-MO-0001
Docket / Court 89-1077-CV-W-1 ( W.D. Mo. )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization National Center for Youth Law
Case Summary
On November 15, 1989, a juvenile detainee at the Jackson County, Missouri, Juvenile Justice Center filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1988 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri against various administrators and an officer of the juvenile detention ... read more >
On November 15, 1989, a juvenile detainee at the Jackson County, Missouri, Juvenile Justice Center filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §§ 1983, 1988 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri against various administrators and an officer of the juvenile detention center. The class consisted of the named juvenile detainee and others similarly-situated. The plaintiff, who was represented by private counsel and the National Center for Youth Law, sought injunctive relief and damages, alleging that the conditions in the detention center violated due process. More specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the overcrowding at the center, the use of floor mattresses, and injurious health and safety conditions constituted punishment during pretrial detention.

On April 30, 1990, the District Court (Judge Dean Whipple) certified the class, denied the defendants' motion to dismiss the case, and denied the plaintiff's motion for preliminary injunction, on the grounds that there was no risk of immediate and irreparable harm, because the named plaintiff had already been released from the detention center.

On April 26, 1994, a jury verdict and judgment by the court was reached. The jury awarded the named plaintiff damages for the forty-two minutes he spent in isolation where there was urine on the floor. In its Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, also filed on April 26, 1994, the court (Judge Whipple) found for the defendants, on the grounds that there was no constitutional violation, and did not grant the injunctive relief sought. The juvenile detention center was responsive to the complaints about health and safety conditions, and took action to reasonably remedy the problems. The plaintiff appealed the District Court decision, which the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed in part. We have no information regarding the details of the Eighth Circuit's decision. The plaintiffs' attorneys were awarded reasonable fees and expenses.

Kristen Sagar - 11/08/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
General
Bathing and hygiene
Confinement/isolation
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Jackson County Juvenile Justice Center
Plaintiff Description juvenile detainees at the Jackson County, Missouri, Juvenile Justice Center
Indexed Lawyer Organizations National Center for Youth Law
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1994 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
89-1077 (W.D. Mo.) 11/16/1995
JI-MO-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order 04/30/1990 (W.D. Mo.)
JI-MO-0001-0005 PDF | Detail
Findings of Facts and Conclusions of Law 04/26/1994 (W.D. Mo.)
JI-MO-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
Judges Whipple, Dean (W.D. Mo.)
JI-MO-0001-0002 | JI-MO-0001-0005 | JI-MO-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bayer, Carolyn P. (Maryland)
JI-MO-0001-9000
Benson, Arthur A. (Missouri)
JI-MO-0001-9000
Johnson, Veronica (Missouri)
JI-MO-0001-9000
Lambert, David Lee (California)
JI-MO-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Farr, J. Earlene (Missouri)
JI-MO-0001-9000
Haden, Jay (Missouri)
JI-MO-0001-9000
Monteil, Joseph H. (Missouri)
JI-MO-0001-9000
Popper, Julianne (Missouri)
JI-MO-0001-9000
Sanders, William H. Sr. (Missouri)
JI-MO-0001-9000
Sloan, Peter B. (Missouri)
JI-MO-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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