University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Christina A. v. Bloomberg JI-SD-0001
Docket / Court 4:00-cv-04036-LLP ( D.S.D. )
State/Territory South Dakota
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization Youth Law Center
Case Summary
On February 24, 2000, juvenile inmates at the South Dakota State Training School at Plankinton filed a civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400-1487 in the United States District Court, District of South Dakota, ... read more >
On February 24, 2000, juvenile inmates at the South Dakota State Training School at Plankinton filed a civil rights lawsuit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400-1487 in the United States District Court, District of South Dakota, Southern Division, challenging conditions of confinement at the facility. Plaintiffs alleged numerous constitutional violations which included the following: (1) improper and punitive restraint methods; (2) lengthy solitary confinements; (3) lack of mental health services; (4) inadequate training of staff; (5) arbitrary' discipline and punishment;(6) the presence of male staff members in the female shower area;(7) monitoring of telephone calls and visits; and (8) the lack of special education courses. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification.

On July 7, 2000, the District Court, (Chief Judge Lawrence L. Piersol)

certified the class and subclasses. Christina A. ex rel. Jennifer A. v. Bloomberg, 197 F.R.D. 664 (D.S.D. 2000). Extensive discovery and settlement negotiations followed. A settlement was reached on November 6, 2000.

The Court held a fairness hearing on December 11, 2000 and approved the Settlement Agreement and dismissed the case without prejudice on December 13, 2000. It retained jurisdiction for purposes of enforcing the Settlement Agreement and resolving issues of costs and attorneys' fees.

The plaintiff class moved for an award of attorney's fees and expenses. On Sept. 28, 2001, the District Court awarded plaintiffs $302,617.50 in attorney's fees and $74,019.98 in costs and expenses. In making the award, the District Court found that plaintiffs were a "prevailing party" under 42 U.S.C. § 1988 and held that the Prison Litigation Reform Act (''PLRA'') was not applicable. Christina A. ex rel. Jennifer A. v. Bloomberg, 167 F.Supp.2d 1094 (D.S.D. 2001). Defendants appealed.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (Circuit Judge Beam) reversed, holding that: (1) juvenile inmate class was not a ''prevailing party'' under § 1988, and (2) the juvenile institution qualified as a correctional facility under fee limiting provisions of the PLRA. Christina A. ex rel. Jennifer A. v. Bloomberg, 315 F.3d 990 (8th Cir. 2003).

No further case activity was noted on the PACER docket.

Dan Dalton - 02/25/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Confinement/isolation
Phone
Restraints : physical
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Special education
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Visiting
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) South Dakota State Training School at Plankinton
Plaintiff Description All juvenile inmates at the South Dakota State Training School at Plankinton.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Youth Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
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 not on record
Case Closing Year 2003
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
00-4036 (D.S.D.) 04/07/2003
JI-SD-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion and Order 07/07/2000 (197 F.R.D. 664) (D.S.D.)
JI-SD-0001-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Settlement Agreement 11/06/2000
JI-SD-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order 12/13/2000 (2000 WL 33980011 / 2000 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 22312) (D.S.D.)
JI-SD-0001-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order 09/28/2001 (167 F.Supp.2d 1094) (D.S.D.)
JI-SD-0001-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 03/06/2003 (315 F.3d 990)
JI-SD-0001-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Beam, Clarence Arlen (Eighth Circuit, D. Neb.)
JI-SD-0001-0003
Piersol, Lawrence L. (D.S.D.)
JI-SD-0001-0002 | JI-SD-0001-0004 | JI-SD-0001-0005 | JI-SD-0001-9000
Simko, John E. (D.S.D.) [Magistrate]
JI-SD-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Eklund, Wally (South Dakota)
JI-SD-0001-0001 | JI-SD-0001-0002 | JI-SD-0001-0004 | JI-SD-0001-9000
Finley, Michael (District of Columbia)
JI-SD-0001-0001 | JI-SD-0001-0002 | JI-SD-0001-0004 | JI-SD-0001-9000
Johnson, Charles Rick (South Dakota)
JI-SD-0001-0001 | JI-SD-0001-0002 | JI-SD-0001-0004 | JI-SD-0001-9000
Pochop, Stephanie (South Dakota)
JI-SD-0001-0001 | JI-SD-0001-0002 | JI-SD-0001-0004 | JI-SD-0001-0005 | JI-SD-0001-9000
Schindler, Marc (District of Columbia)
JI-SD-0001-0001 | JI-SD-0001-0002 | JI-SD-0001-0004 | JI-SD-0001-0005 | JI-SD-0001-9000
Soler, Mark I. (District of Columbia)
JI-SD-0001-0001 | JI-SD-0001-0002 | JI-SD-0001-0003 | JI-SD-0001-0004 | JI-SD-0001-0005 | JI-SD-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Barnett, Mark W. (South Dakota)
JI-SD-0001-9000
Beck, William (South Dakota)
JI-SD-0001-0002 | JI-SD-0001-0004 | JI-SD-0001-0005 | JI-SD-0001-9000
McMahon, James E. (South Dakota)
JI-SD-0001-0001 | JI-SD-0001-0002 | JI-SD-0001-0002 | JI-SD-0001-0004 | JI-SD-0001-9000
Moore, James Ellis (South Dakota)
JI-SD-0001-0001 | JI-SD-0001-0002 | JI-SD-0001-0002 | JI-SD-0001-0003 | JI-SD-0001-0004 | JI-SD-0001-0005 | JI-SD-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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