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Case Name Clarence M. v. Yakima Co JI-WA-0004
Docket / Court C-78-0166 ( E.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On June 22, 1978, juveniles detained at the Yakima County Juvenile Detention Center in Washington brought a class action lawsuit in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington against the Yakima County Board of County Commissioners, Yakima County Juvenile Superior Court, and ... read more >
On June 22, 1978, juveniles detained at the Yakima County Juvenile Detention Center in Washington brought a class action lawsuit in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington against the Yakima County Board of County Commissioners, Yakima County Juvenile Superior Court, and the Director of the Yakima County Juvenile Department. The plaintiffs, represented by Evergreen Legal Services, sought declaratory and injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged constitutional violations. On March 27, 1979, the court certified the class, which included all juveniles confined at the Detention Center on or after June 22, 1978.

According to the complaint, juveniles confined at the Detention Center were subject to psychological abuse, corporal punishment, and prolonged isolation in an unlit and unventilated room. Children were locked in their rooms for eighteen hours in a day. Juveniles were not given shoes for short and infrequent outdoor recreation periods. Family members were only allowed to visit children for an hour each day and could not give their children gifts. Detention center staff of the opposite sex strip-searched juveniles and observed them in the showers. The plaintiffs alleged that medical care, school facilities, mental health counseling, probation counseling, sanitation, toilets, and fire safety were deficient. The plaintiffs complained that disciplinary procedures deprived them of due process.



In the course of settlement talks, it appears that the plaintiffs proposed a Partial Consent Judgment. On September 30, 1982, the parties entered a Stipulation for Entry of Judgment. Although the defendants admitted no wrongdoing, they agreed to improve conditions at the Detention Center. Specific clauses in the consent decree addressed sanitation, safety, hygiene, clothing, censorship of mail, telephone privileges, the length of visits, showering privacy, recreation, exercise, school, medical care, search procedures prohibiting opposite-sex searches, and overcrowding. In addition, the consent decree prohibited psychological and physical abuse, including corporal punishment. The parties agreed on guidelines for disciplinary isolation, punitive sanctions, notice, hearings, and a grievance procedure. The consent decree also addressed minimum daily out of cell time and standards for monitoring the detainees. On October 7, 1982, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (Judge Justin L. Quackenbush) approved the consent decree and dismissed the lawsuit.

The file contains no further information.

Elizabeth Chilcoat - 05/31/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Bathing and hygiene
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Education
Fire safety
Mail
Phone
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Search policies
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Strip search policy
Visiting
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Yakima County Board of Commissioners
Yakima County Detention Facility
Yakima County Juvenile Department
Yakima County Juvenile Superior Court
Plaintiff Description Juveniles detained at the Yakima County Juvenile Detention Center in Washington.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
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 1982 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1982
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Order [Reassigning Case] 03/23/1979 (E.D. Wash.)
JI-WA-0004-0009.pdf | Detail
Amended Complaint 03/26/1979
JI-WA-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Stipulation for Entry of Judgment 01/01/1982
JI-WA-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Partial Consent Judgment 01/01/1982 (E.D. Wash.)
JI-WA-0004-0007.pdf | Detail
[Approval of] Consent Decree and Order of Dismissal 10/07/1982 (E.D. Wash.)
JI-WA-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Judges Quackenbush, Justin Lowe (E.D. Wash.)
JI-WA-0004-0003 | JI-WA-0004-0004 | JI-WA-0004-0007
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Jameson, Elizabeth J. (California)
JI-WA-0004-0003 | JI-WA-0004-0007
Kinney, Donald J. (Washington)
JI-WA-0004-0003 | JI-WA-0004-0007
Kohman, Paulette L. (Washington)
JI-WA-0004-0001
Rowlette, Millard M. (Washington)
JI-WA-0004-0001
Shauffer, Carole B. (California)
JI-WA-0004-0003 | JI-WA-0004-0007
Defendant's Lawyers Sullivan, Jeffrey C. (Washington)
JI-WA-0004-0003 | JI-WA-0004-0007
Other Lawyers None on record

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