On January 4, 1978, Plaintiffs, represented by Legal Aid of Western Oklahoma, Inc., the National Juvenile Law Center and the Public Defender of Oklahoma County, filed this § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court Western District of Oklahoma challenging the conditions of confinement at the juvenile treatment centers of the State of Oklahoma. Plaintiffs sought injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as class certification. The Complaint alleged that plaintiffs were subjected to (1) summary imposition of disciplinary measures; (2) solitary confinement; (3) mechanical restraints or shackles (4) restrictions on access to counsel; and (5) lack of rehabilitative treatment, all in violation of their constitutional rights.
On March 10, 1981, plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction to halt the use of all metallic restraint devices and to prohibit the restraint practice known as “hogtying. “ Prior to a hearing on plaintiffs’ motion, the parties arrived at a tentative settlement and presented a Settlement Agreement to the Court for approval.
On February 26, 1982, the District Court (Judge Ralph G. Thompson) refused to approve the settlement. Judge Thompson noted that the Oklahoma House of Representatives opposed settlement, and as such, he did not expect that any of the terms could be successfully implemented. Terry D. v. Rader ,93 F.R.D. 576 (W.D.Ok. 1982)
Following the denial of approval of the settlement, on March 4, 1982, plaintiffs sought a TRO and preliminary injunction to prohibit the confinement of children in facilities where fire, health and safety violations were in existence. On August 16, 1982, plaintiffs filed a subsequent request for a TRO, seeking to enjoin the use of solitary confinement cells at several juvenile facilities and to prohibit the punitive imposition of solitary confinement in excess of three hours at all institutions. Prior to the hearing on those motions, the parties agreed to the entry of an interim order. On November 2, 1982, the District Court entered the agreed order which placed restrictions on the use of the solitary confinement and the use of mechanical restraints or shackles. The Order also required that Oklahoma juvenile institutions be in compliance with applicable state and federal regulations regarding fire, health and safety. The District Court also certified the case as a class action.
Settlement negotiations continued and the parties reached a settlement in the form of a Consent Decree. The Decree was presented to the District Court who approved and entered it on May 31, 1984. The case was administratively dismissed at that time.
No case activity is recorded from the entry of the Consent Decree in 1984 through 1996.
On April 5, 1996, the District Court (Judge Ralph G. Thompson) entered an order dismissing the case as to several of the defendants without prejudice subject to the terms and conditions of the order, reserving the right to plaintiff to bring an enforcement motion. The Court retained jurisdiction over the case to resolve claims for attorneys, fees and costs. Dismissals of other defendants followed over the next several years.
On January 20, 1998, the 20th monitoring was submitted to the Court. On January 26, 1998, Judge Thompson dismissed the remaining defendant agency, the Oklahoma. Dept. of Human Services.
The last PACER docket entry reflects that on February 16, 1999, the final monitoring report was submitted. We have no further information on this case.Dan Dalton - 02/25/2007