University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Alexander S. v. McLawhorn JI-SC-0001
Docket / Court 3:90-3062-17 ( D.S.C. )
State/Territory South Carolina
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On December 28, 1990, juveniles confined by the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (formerly the Department of Youth Services) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina against the South Carolina Department of ... read more >
On December 28, 1990, juveniles confined by the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice (formerly the Department of Youth Services) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina against the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice. The class consisted of all juveniles who were or would be confined in the correctional facilities of the defendant. The South Carolina Protection and Advocacy System for the Handicapped and private counsel represented the class. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief along with damages, alleging that the conditions at the correctional facilities deprived juveniles of various statutory rights and violated the constitutional guarantees due process, equal protection, and freedom from cruel and unusual punishment.

The juvenile institutions in question were overcrowded, lacked adequate staffing, and lacked adequate fire safety. The correctional facilities were in disrepair, the disciplinary policies were implemented without regard to their psychological effect on the juveniles, and the juveniles were classified only by size and sex. Medical and mental health services were insufficient for the population of the facilities. Telephone communication, visitation, and access to courts and attorneys were all restricted. The Department of Juvenile Justice failed to provide a vocational education and any special education.

On January 25, 1995, the District Court (Judge Joseph F. Anderson, Jr.) required the Department of Juvenile Justice to submit a remedial plan to the court within 120 days. The court held (1) that the conditions at the juvenile institutions violated the due process guarantee of the Fourteenth Amendment, (2) that the juveniles had a constitutional right to personal safety, (3) that the juveniles had a constitutional right to medical services, (4) that the juveniles had a constitutional right to minimally adequate program services to teach principles essential to correcting conduct, (5) that the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the requirements of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 applied to juvenile correctional facilities, and (6) that states were given the opportunity in the first instance to correct the deficiencies. Alexander S. v. Boyd, 876 F. Supp. 773 (D.S.C. 1995).

On November 22, 1995, the District Court (Judge Anderson) granted the plaintiffs' motion for an award of attorneys' fees and costs. Alexander S. By and Through Bowers v. Boyd, 929 F. Supp. 925 (D.S.C. 1995). The U.S. Court of Appeals Fourth Circuit (per curiam) affirmed the District Court's decision on May 6, 1996. Alexander S. v. Boyd, 89 F.3d 827 (4th Cir. 1996).

On September 27, 1996, the District Court granted the plaintiffs' motion to clarify that the juveniles transferred from the correctional facilities, which were the subject matter of the original litigation, remained members of the plaintiff class. The court further held that its November 22, 1995 order applied to all similarly situated facilities operated by the Department of Juvenile Justice, not just those facilities that were the explicit subject matter of the litigation. On June 27, 1997, the Fourth Circuit (per curiam) affirmed the District Court's decision. Davis v. Boyd, 116 F.3d 1473 (4th Cir. 1997).

On May 28, 1997, the Fourth Circuit held that the attorneys' fee limitations set forth in § 803(d) of the Prison Litigation Reform Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997e, apply to juvenile facilities as well as adult facilities. The court remanded the case to the District Court to apply the attorneys' fees limitations when calculating the amount of plaintiffs' attorneys' fees. Alexander S. v. Boyd, 113 F.3d 1373 (4th Cir. 1997).

On January 26, 1998, the Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of certiorari. Alexander S. v. Boyd, 522 U.S. 1090 (1998).

On August 16, 2004 and October 6, 2004, the District Court (Judge Anderson) denied a motion to reopen the case or for relief from the judgment on the grounds that the movant was not a party to the action and the time to reopen the judgment had long passed. On March 7, 2005, the Fourth Circuit (per curiam) affirmed the District Court's decision. Alexander S. v. Byars, 2005 WL 548250 (4th Cir. 2005).

Kaitlin Corkran - 05/29/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Classification / placement
Disciplinary segregation
Fire safety
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of South Carolina
Plaintiff Description All juveniles who were or would be confined in the correctional facilities of the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1995 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1998
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
90-03062 (D.S.C.) 05/09/2005
JI-SC-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 12/28/1990
JI-SC-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Amendment to Complaint Pursuant to Rule 15(a), F.R.C.P. 01/23/1991
JI-SC-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Order 02/17/1995 (876 F.Supp. 773) (D.S.C.)
JI-SC-0001-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 11/22/1995 (929 F.Supp. 925) (D.S.C.)
JI-SC-0001-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 06/06/1996 (89 F.3d 827)
JI-SC-0001-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Opinion 05/28/1997 (113 F.3d 1373)
JI-SC-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 06/27/1997 (116 F.3d 1473)
JI-SC-0001-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
USCA Per Curiam Opinion 06/27/1997 (1997 U.S.App.LEXIS 15559)
JI-SC-0001-0010.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion 01/26/1998 (522 U.S. 1090)
JI-SC-0001-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Reported Opinion 03/07/2005 (122 Fed.Appx. 662)
JI-SC-0001-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Anderson, Joseph Fletcher Jr. (D.S.C.)
JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004 | JI-SC-0001-9000
King, Robert Bruce (Fourth Circuit)
JI-SC-0001-0006
Motz, J. Frederick (D. Md.)
JI-SC-0001-0008
Motz, Diana Jane Gribbon (Fourth Circuit)
JI-SC-0001-0007 | JI-SC-0001-0010
Murnaghan, Francis Dominic Jr. (Fourth Circuit)
JI-SC-0001-0007 | JI-SC-0001-0008 | JI-SC-0001-0010
Niemeyer, Paul Victor (D. Md., Fourth Circuit)
JI-SC-0001-0006
Williams, Alexander Jr. (D. Md.)
JI-SC-0001-0005 | JI-SC-0001-0006 | JI-SC-0001-0007 | JI-SC-0001-0008 | JI-SC-0001-0010
Monitors/Masters Burnside, Robert (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-9000
Davis, Thomas J. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-9000
Logan, Wade H. III (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-9000
Younginer, Joseph (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bowers, Lesly A. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0005 | JI-SC-0001-0007 | JI-SC-0001-0008 | JI-SC-0001-0010
Brown, William S. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004
Fairey, W. Gaston (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0001 | JI-SC-0001-0002 | JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004 | JI-SC-0001-0005 | JI-SC-0001-0006 | JI-SC-0001-0007 | JI-SC-0001-0008 | JI-SC-0001-0010 | JI-SC-0001-9000
Glenn, Susan (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0001
Harris, Alice V. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004
Jacobs, Jeff (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0001
Macaulay, Angus Jr. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0001
McCormick, Nancy Campbell (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0001 | JI-SC-0001-0002 | JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004 | JI-SC-0001-0005 | JI-SC-0001-0006 | JI-SC-0001-0007 | JI-SC-0001-0008 | JI-SC-0001-0010 | JI-SC-0001-9000
McKim, Rochelle Romosca (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0005 | JI-SC-0001-0006 | JI-SC-0001-0007 | JI-SC-0001-0010 | JI-SC-0001-9000
Meriwether, Robert O. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0001 | JI-SC-0001-0002 | JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004 | JI-SC-0001-9000
Mills, J. Christopher (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0001 | JI-SC-0001-0002 | JI-SC-0001-9000
Romosca, Rochelle L. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004 | JI-SC-0001-0008
Scarborough, Claude M. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0008
Scott, M. Clifton (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004
Shaw, Robert Bruce (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0001 | JI-SC-0001-0002 | JI-SC-0001-9000
Tenenbaum, Inez Moore (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-9000
Vanderbilt, Larry L. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004 | JI-SC-0001-0006 | JI-SC-0001-9000
Walker, Holly (Texas)
JI-SC-0001-0001 | JI-SC-0001-0002 | JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004
Defendant's Lawyers Brown, C. Mitchell (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0008
Cooper, James D. Jr. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-9000
Davidson, William Henry II (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-9000
Leventis, James C. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0002
Lide, Vinton Devane (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004 | JI-SC-0001-0008 | JI-SC-0001-9000
Lindemann, Andrew F. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-9000
Matthews, Carolyn Cason (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0005 | JI-SC-0001-0007 | JI-SC-0001-0010
Montgomery, Michael Hart (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-9000
Pauley, Michael Stephen (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0008
Pincelli, John A. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-9000
Potts, Frank S. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0008
Reeves, Paul L. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-9000
Smith, Frances G. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004
Woodward, Edward M. Jr. (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0002 | JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004 | JI-SC-0001-0005 | JI-SC-0001-0007 | JI-SC-0001-0010 | JI-SC-0001-9000
Other Lawyers Batson, Larry (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-9000
Harpootlian, Richard A (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004 | JI-SC-0001-9000
Hough, A. Randolph (South Carolina)
JI-SC-0001-0003 | JI-SC-0001-0004

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