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Case Name Brunner v. Carter JI-PA-0001
Docket / Court 77-4286 ( E.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Case Summary
On December 16, 1977, a juvenile at the Montgomery County Youth Center filed a class action lawsuit against the county and the State of Pennsylvania in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs, represented by the Juvenile ... read more >
On December 16, 1977, a juvenile at the Montgomery County Youth Center filed a class action lawsuit against the county and the State of Pennsylvania in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs, represented by the Juvenile Law Center of Philadelphia, sought declaratory and injunctive relief and damages alleging that defendants' use of isolation as a form of punishment violated the juveniles' constitutional rights. Specifically, plaintiffs alleged that there were no guidelines or limits on the use of isolation, isolation was punitive and anti-therapeutic, and defendants' failure to provide a hearing either before or after isolation violated the juveniles' rights to due process. Plaintiff also challenged other restrictions imposed on juveniles residing at the Youth Center including mail censorship, denial of education programming, and intercom monitoring.

On June 21, 1978, the district court (Judge John B. Hannum) denied defendants' motion to dismiss and certified plaintiffs' class to include all past, present, and future residents of the Montgomery County Youth Center. On February 1, 1981, the plaintiffs and the county defendants entered into a consent decree where the parties agreed that defendants would limit the use of punitive isolation; train staff in alternative methods of controlling juveniles' behavior; and provide juveniles with a handbook detailing their rights, the Youth Center's expectations, and grievance procedures. The parties further agreed to allow juveniles access to mail services and not to read the juveniles' incoming mail. The parties also agreed that defendants would inform the juveniles about the intercom system and not secretly monitor them. In March of 1981, plaintiffs and the state defendants entered into a voluntary stipulation of dismissal. Defendants had promulgated new rules and also agreed to provide attorneys for plaintiffs with records and documents detention center regulations since the complaint was filed, and defendants concerning the use of punitive isolation in the Youth Center.

On March 25, 1981, the parties entered a joint memorandum in support of the proposed settlement. On March 27, 1981 the district court (Judge Hannum) approved both the consent decree and the stipulation for voluntary dismissal. We have no further information on this case.

Emilee Baker - 05/24/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Education
Mail
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Montgomery County
Montgomery Youth Center
State of Pennsylvania
Plaintiff Description All past, present, and future residents of the Montgomery County Youth Center
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 1981 - 1981
Case Closing Year 1981
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Complaint
JI-PA-0001-0011.pdf | Detail
Plaintiffs' and Defendants' Joint Memorandum of Law in Support of Proposed Settlement 03/25/1981
JI-PA-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Stipulation in Partial Settlement 03/27/1981
JI-PA-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Consent Decree in Partial Settlement of this Action 03/27/1981 (E.D. Pa.)
JI-PA-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Memorandum of Approval 03/30/1981 (E.D. Pa.)
JI-PA-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Stipulation for Voluntary Dismissal of Defendant Helen O'Bannon 03/30/1981
JI-PA-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Judges Hannum, John Berne (E.D. Pa.)
JI-PA-0001-0005 | JI-PA-0001-0006 | JI-PA-0001-0007 | JI-PA-0001-0008
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Levick, Marsha (Pennsylvania)
JI-PA-0001-0001 | JI-PA-0001-0005 | JI-PA-0001-0006 | JI-PA-0001-0008 | JI-PA-0001-0011
Palamarchuk, Alexander J. (Pennsylvania)
JI-PA-0001-0006 | JI-PA-0001-0011
Defendant's Lawyers Gallagher, John J. (Pennsylvania)
JI-PA-0001-0001 | JI-PA-0001-0006
McAllister, John (Pennsylvania)
JI-PA-0001-0001 | JI-PA-0001-0006
Slipakoff, Stanley I. (Pennsylvania)
JI-PA-0001-0001 | JI-PA-0001-0005 | JI-PA-0001-0008
Other Lawyers None on record

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