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Case Name McRedmond v. Wilson JI-NY-0005
Docket / Court 74-4948 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
Sometime before July 23, 1975, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by all children classified as Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) and placed in residential training schools by the New York State Family Courts against the ... read more >
Sometime before July 23, 1975, a class action lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by all children classified as Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) and placed in residential training schools by the New York State Family Courts against the State of New York and various state officers. The plaintiffs, represented by the Legal Aid Society initially and then by private counsel on appeal, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and sought injunctive relief from the State's treatment of PINS violated their constitutional rights.

Under New York law, may be classified as PINS and placed in an institutional training school if they have been truant, are incorrigible, or are beyond the control of their guardian. The plaintiffs alleged that placement of PINS in rural institutions without rehabilitative treatment was cruel and unusual punishment and contrary to due process and equal protection. In addition, the plaintiffs alleged the schools violated State law by employing too few people.

On June 23, 1975, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Judge Lee P. Gagliardi) abstained from adjudicating the case because state courts had not yet interpreted the relevant state law. McRedmond v. Wilson, 402 F. Supp. 1087 (S.D.N.Y. 1975). The court stayed the proceedings until a state suit was brought and resolved and, consequently, denied the plaintiffs' request that a three-judge panel be convened to hear the constitutional claims.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Walter Roe Mansfield) reversed the abstention decision but affirmed the denial of a three-judge panel. McRedmond v. Wilson, 533 F.2d 757 (2d Cir. 1976). The court held that federal adjudication was proper because the litigation involved a question of individual rights, specifically what were the minimum constitutional standards for the treatment of PINS. However, the court found that the constitutional claims were not substantial enough to merit review by a three-judge panel. For instance, the court was skeptical that the First Amendment's protection of freedom of association was impaired by the placement of PINS at schools where they could not see their friends whenever they wanted.

We lack the docket, the pleadings, and any information on proceedings following remand.

Kristen Sagar - 11/12/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Classification / placement
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Visiting
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) New York
New York Training Schools
Plaintiff Description all children classified as Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) and placed in residential training schools by the New York State Family Courts
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 06/23/1975 (402 F.Supp. 1087) (S.D.N.Y.)
JI-NY-0005-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 02/02/1976 (533 F.2d 757)
JI-NY-0005-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Gagliardi, Lee Parsons (S.D.N.Y.)
JI-NY-0005-0002
Mansfield, Walter Roe (Second Circuit, S.D.N.Y.)
JI-NY-0005-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dale, Michael J. (New York)
JI-NY-0005-0001 | JI-NY-0005-0002
Mechanic, Gene B. (New York)
JI-NY-0005-0001 | JI-NY-0005-0002
Schinitsky, Charles (New York)
JI-NY-0005-0001 | JI-NY-0005-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Hirshowitz, Samuel A. (New York)
JI-NY-0005-0001
Lefkowitz, Louis J. (New York)
JI-NY-0005-0001 | JI-NY-0005-0002
Reifler, Margery Evans (New York)
JI-NY-0005-0001 | JI-NY-0005-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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