University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. v. Puerto Rico JI-PR-0004
Docket / Court 3:94−cv−02080 ( D.P.R. )
State/Territory Puerto Rico
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Case Summary
On August 10, 1994, after conducting a comprehensive investigation, the United States filed a lawsuit under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico against the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the ... read more >
On August 10, 1994, after conducting a comprehensive investigation, the United States filed a lawsuit under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq., in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico against the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the governor, various executive officials, and the directors of several juvenile facilities. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Attorney's Office represented the United States. The United States sought preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, alleging that the defendant failed to protect incarcerated juveniles in detention facilities and training schools from harm. The U.S. further alleged that the policies, procedures, and conditions at the juvenile facilities in Puerto Rico violated statutory rights, and the constitutional guarantees of due process and equal protection.

The United States filed a proposed consent order simultaneously with the complaint, which was entered by the District Court (Judge Carmen Cerezo) as a partial judgment on October 6, 1994. The purpose of the consent order was to address the immediate issues of psychiatric care and overcrowding. The order provided deadlines for the establishment of a mental health care program at the juvenile facilities. The defendants were required to transfer all juveniles who were in need of in-patient mental health treatment to an in-patient facility, to develop a suicide prevention and intervention program, to train the staff that supervised the juveniles in suicidal and self-mutilating behaviors. Regarding the crowding issue, the defendants were required to take steps to reduce the number of juveniles confined in the facilities so that capacity was not exceeded 180 days after the consent decree was entered. The court appointed Orlando Martinez as the monitor to oversee compliance with the order.

On October 7, 1994, the United States submitted a comprehensive settlement agreement and filed a motion to enter the settlement agreement as an additional order. The agreement provided that the defendant would construct new facilities and remodel the existing facilities, develop a manual of the policies and procedures that govern the operation of the institutions, develop a handbook for the juveniles advising them of their rights and the rules of conduct, and ensure that the juvenile institutions were adequately staffed. It further provided for the development and implementation of a classification system to ensure that juveniles were placed in the least restrictive setting possible, for the development of an efficient and effective mental healthcare program, which would include a substance abuse program, and for the development of an adequate education program. Finally, the agreement provided that physical force was only to be used in justifiable self-defense, for the protection of others, or for the prevention of escape. Isolation was only deemed appropriate when a juvenile posed immediate threat to themselves or others. On the same day, the District Court (Judge Cerezo) granted the United States' motion to enter the settlement agreement as an order. The court retained jurisdiction to monitor the implementation of the settlement agreement.

On March 12, 1997, the parties informed the Court that Congress had enacted the Prison Litigation Reform Act (PLRA) and that the statute required the Court make certain findings regarding its previous orders. The parties also advised the Court that they would continue to meet with the Court Monitor and arrive at an agreed upon motion with regard to the current conditions in the facilities and the need for continued judicial oversight. And on October 7, 1997 the United States filed a Motion to Enter Settlement Agreement as an Order of the Court and for a Finding of Compliance with the Prison Litigation Reform Act. By Order dated December 12, 1997, the District Court approved the Settlement Agreement.

Remediation continued from 1997 to 2007.

On March 8, 2007, the defendants filed a motion to terminate the prospective relief order entered by the Court on December 12, 1997, pursuant to the PLRA. The Court Monitor, Warren Benton, submitted his Monitor's Proposed PLRA Report, detailing the current status of remediation efforts. Prior to a hearing on defendants' motion, the parties reached a resolution and filed a joint request to deny defendants' motion to terminate the case under the PLRA. The District Court (Judge Cerezo) granted the motion and in accordance with the stipulation of the parties, ordered that certain provisions of the 1997 Settlement Agreement be terminated, while others remained in effect.

As of November 25, 2014, litigation is ongoing.

Kaitlin Corkran - 05/31/2006
Richard Jolly - 11/25/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Education
Fire safety
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Mail
Phone
Recreation / Exercise
Rehabilitation
Sanitation / living conditions
Special education
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, unspecified
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Cabo Rojo Industrial School
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
Guaynabo Training School
Juvenile Institutions Administration
Metropolitan Training School at Bayam-n
Ponce Central Training School
Ponce Detention Center for Girls
Ponce Industrial School for Girls and Boys
The Central Treatment Center
Plaintiff Description U.S. 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 1994 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
94-2080 (D.P.R.) 09/22/2014
JI-PR-0004-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Notice Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Juvenile Facilities in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 10/09/1991
JI-PR-0004-0001 PDF | Detail
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Juvenile Facilities in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 12/02/1992
JI-PR-0004-0002 PDF | Detail
Amended Complaint 08/22/1994
JI-PR-0004-0003 PDF | Detail
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Juvenile Facilities in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 09/14/1994
JI-PR-0004-0004 PDF | Detail
Consent Order 10/11/1994 (D.P.R.)
JI-PR-0004-0005 PDF | Detail
United States' Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint 10/07/1997
JI-PR-0004-0006 PDF | Detail
United States' Motion to Enter Settlement Agreement as an Order of the Court and for a Finding of Compliance with the Prison Litigation Reform Act 10/07/1997
JI-PR-0004-0009 PDF | Detail
Affidavit of Orlando L. Martinez 10/07/1997
JI-PR-0004-0012 PDF | Detail
Settlement Agreement 10/07/1997
JI-PR-0004-0013 PDF | Detail
Order 10/30/1997 (D.P.R.)
JI-PR-0004-0007 PDF | Detail
Second Amended Complaint 10/31/1997
JI-PR-0004-0008 PDF | Detail
Order 12/11/1997 (D.P.R.)
JI-PR-0004-0011 PDF | Detail
Settlement Agreement 12/12/1997
JI-PR-0004-0010 PDF | Detail
Order 04/10/2007 (2007 WL 1119336 / 2007 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 26653) (D.P.R.)
JI-PR-0004-0014 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Order 04/12/2007 (2007 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 27267) (D.P.R.)
JI-PR-0004-0016 PDF | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Order 05/15/2007 (2007 WL 1455895) (D.P.R.)
JI-PR-0004-0015 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Judges Cerezo, Carmen Consuelo (D.P.R.)
JI-PR-0004-0007 | JI-PR-0004-0011 | JI-PR-0004-0014 | JI-PR-0004-0015 | JI-PR-0004-0016 | JI-PR-0004-9000
Monitors/Masters Benton, F. Warren (New York)
JI-PR-0004-0014 | JI-PR-0004-9000
Burgos, Javier T. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Martinez, Orlando L. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0012 | JI-PR-0004-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dunne, John R. (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-0001
Fernandez-Torres, Miguel A. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0014 | JI-PR-0004-0016 | JI-PR-0004-9000
Frohboese, Robinsue (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-0008 | JI-PR-0004-0010 | JI-PR-0004-0013
Gil, Guillermo (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0003 | JI-PR-0004-0009
Jones, Michelle A. (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Mondino, Jennifer L. (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Munos, Isabelle (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0008 | JI-PR-0004-0011
Munoz-Acosta, Isabelle (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0006 | JI-PR-0004-0009 | JI-PR-0004-0014 | JI-PR-0004-0015 | JI-PR-0004-0016 | JI-PR-0004-9000
Murphy, Amie S. (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-0003 | JI-PR-0004-0004 | JI-PR-0004-0005
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-0003 | JI-PR-0004-0005
Perez, Sergio (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Pinzler, Isabelle Katz (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-0008 | JI-PR-0004-0010 | JI-PR-0004-0013
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-0003 | JI-PR-0004-0005 | JI-PR-0004-0006 | JI-PR-0004-0008 | JI-PR-0004-0009 | JI-PR-0004-0010 | JI-PR-0004-0013
Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-0003 | JI-PR-0004-0008
Rios, Maria Hortensia (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-0003
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-0008 | JI-PR-0004-0010 | JI-PR-0004-0013
Saucedo, Luis E. (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-0014 | JI-PR-0004-0015 | JI-PR-0004-0016 | JI-PR-0004-9000
Schoen, Benjamin P. (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-0003 | JI-PR-0004-0005
Simons, Shaheena S. (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Weiss, Daniel H. (District of Columbia)
JI-PR-0004-0014 | JI-PR-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Agostini, Jose A. Fuentes (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0010 | JI-PR-0004-0013
Brugman-Mercado, Harry (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Crespin-Credi, Esther (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0014 | JI-PR-0004-0015 | JI-PR-0004-0016 | JI-PR-0004-9000
Del Valle Cruz, Carlos A. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0014 | JI-PR-0004-0015 | JI-PR-0004-9000
del Valle-Emmanuelli, Luis F. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0006 | JI-PR-0004-0009 | JI-PR-0004-0011 | JI-PR-0004-9000
Ferdman, Taraneh K. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0014 | JI-PR-0004-0015 | JI-PR-0004-0016 | JI-PR-0004-9000
Laffitte, Miguel G. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Landron-Guardiola, Eileen (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0016 | JI-PR-0004-9000
Longo-de-Morgan, Dennisse N. (Florida)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Lugo-Auffant, Daliah (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000
McCall, Michael C. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Nemcik-Cruz, Rick (California)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Ojeda-Diez, Francisco A. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Perez-Borerro, Arlene R. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0016 | JI-PR-0004-9000
Pierluisi, Pedro (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-0005
Ruiz-Comas, Roberto E. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Surillo, Maria Judith (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Toland, Andrew J. (Maryland)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Vera-Ramirez, Eduardo A. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Other Lawyers Berkan, Judith (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Diaz-Tejera, Jose V. (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Mendez-Villa, Mary Jo (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000
Morales-Perez, Erick (Puerto Rico)
JI-PR-0004-9000

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