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Case Name U.S. v. Essex County JI-NJ-0002
Docket / Court 2:87-cv-04829-DRD ( D.N.J. )
State/Territory New Jersey
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Case Summary
On January 6, 1986, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice [DOJ] notified the state of New Jersey that it intended to investigate the conditions of confinement at the Essex County Youth House at Newark, New Jersey pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ( ... read more >
On January 6, 1986, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice [DOJ] notified the state of New Jersey that it intended to investigate the conditions of confinement at the Essex County Youth House at Newark, New Jersey pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq. Following its investigation, the DOJ issued its findings letter on July 23 1986, which outlined various egregious conditions of confinement that existed at the facility. Those conditions included (1) inadequate fire safety; (2) abuse, violence and arbitrary administration of punishment; (3) unsanitary and unsafe environmental conditions; and (4) overcrowding.

On December 9, 1987, the DOJ filed a Complaint pursuant to CRIPA in the in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (Newark) challenging the conditions of confinement at Essex County Youth House.

A Consent Decree was entered on December 22, 1987 by the District Court (Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise). The Consent Decree called for reforms in the following areas (1) fire safety; (2) administration of punishment; (3) use of restrain devices; (4) environmental conditions; and (5) overcrowding; (6) training an supervision of the staff.

Bennett D. Zurofsky was appointed as Special Master to monitor the implementation process.

A modification order followed on April 14, 1988. Further implementation orders were issued by the District Court: Implementing Order 1, entered on April 19, 1994, Implementing Order 2, entered on May 6, 1994, Implementing Order 3 (by consent), entered on June 13, 1994, Implementing Order 4 (by consent), entered on December 30, 1994, and Implementing Order 5 (by consent), entered on April2, 1996.

The parties entered a separate Consent Agreement on April 17, 1997, relating to use of mechanical restraints. Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise entered an order on March 30, 2000, administratively dismissing the case. The case was reopened and on November 3, 2003, the District Court entered an order amending the Consent Decree.

No further entries appear on the PACER docket, which was current as of the date of this summary. We have no further information on this case.

Dan Dalton - 02/24/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Disciplinary procedures
Fire safety
Restraints : physical
Sanitation / living conditions
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Essex County Youth House
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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 1987 - 2003
Case Closing Year 2003
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
87-04829 (D.N.J.) 10/26/2004
JI-NJ-0002-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of the Essex County Youth House at Newark, New Jersey 07/23/1986
JI-NJ-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree 12/22/1987 (D.N.J.)
JI-NJ-0002-0002 PDF | Detail
Findings Letter re: Tour of Essex County Youth House 06/15/1988
JI-NJ-0002-0003 PDF | Detail
Implementing Order 2 05/06/1994 (D.N.J.)
JI-NJ-0002-0005 PDF | Detail
Implementing Order 4 (By Consent) 12/30/1994 (D.N.J.)
JI-NJ-0002-0004 PDF | Detail
Judges Debevoise, Dickinson Richards (D.N.J.)
JI-NJ-0002-0002 | JI-NJ-0002-0003 | JI-NJ-0002-0004 | JI-NJ-0002-0005 | JI-NJ-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters Zurofsky, Bennett Dann (New Jersey)
JI-NJ-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alito, Samuel A. Jr. (New Jersey)
JI-NJ-0002-0002
Chagares, Michael A. (New Jersey)
JI-NJ-0002-9000
Miller, V. Colleen (District of Columbia)
JI-NJ-0002-0002
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
JI-NJ-0002-0002
Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia)
JI-NJ-0002-0001 | JI-NJ-0002-0002 | JI-NJ-0002-0003
Saria, Robert J. (District of Columbia)
JI-NJ-0002-0003
Steele, Susan J. (New Jersey)
JI-NJ-0002-9000
Urmacher, Bette E. (New Jersey)
JI-NJ-0002-0005
Defendant's Lawyers Brown, Raymond A. (New Jersey)
JI-NJ-0002-9000
Meanor, Henry Curtis (New Jersey)
JI-NJ-0002-0002
Other Lawyers Ben-Asher, David H. (New Jersey)
JI-NJ-0002-0001
DeKoninck, Jessica (New Jersey)
JI-NJ-0002-0001

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