University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name David C. v. Leavitt CW-UT-0001
Docket / Court 93-CV-206C ( D. Utah )
State/Territory Utah
Case Type(s) Child Welfare
Special Collection Court-ordered receiverships
Attorney Organization National Center for Youth Law
Case Summary
This lawsuit was filed by the National Center of Youth Law on February 2, 1993, against the Utah Department of Human Services (DHS), in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. The class action complaint named as the plaintiff class all children in the custody of DHS, whether in a shelter ... read more >
This lawsuit was filed by the National Center of Youth Law on February 2, 1993, against the Utah Department of Human Services (DHS), in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. The class action complaint named as the plaintiff class all children in the custody of DHS, whether in a shelter care facility, foster family home, group home, or institutional care; and all children who known to DHS by virtue of a report of child abuse. It addressed systemic issues encompassing the shortfalls of child welfare services and the foster care system including child abuse and neglect investigations; placements; health and mental health care; caseloads and staff training; and case planning, case review, and permanency planning.

In May 1993, a settlement agreement was reached between the parties and approved by the district court (Magistrate Judge Samuel Alba). However, three years later, the defendants had managed to comply with only four of the settlement agreement's 95 components. In 1996, the plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce the settlement agreement and appoint a receiver. The court agreed that the defendant was in contempt and approved the motion for preparation for a Comprehensive Plan to enforce the settlement, but declined to appoint a receiver.

In 1998, the settlement agreement was extended for another four years with an order from Judge Campbell retaining jurisdiction. Additionally, the judge ordered the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan including a Monitoring Panel from the Child Welfare Policy & Practice Group. The order was appealed and affirmed by the Tenth Circuit.

On November 9, 2001, defendants filed a motion to dismiss based on the Tenth Circuit's initial holding in Joseph A. v. Ingram, 262 F.3d 1113 (10th Cir. 2001), opinion withdrawn and superseded on rehearing in part by Joseph A. v. Ingram, 275 F.3d 1253 (10th Cir. 2002). Plaintiffs filed an opposition brief. Based on the Tenth Circuit's reversal of its prior decision in Joseph A., defendants voluntarily withdrew their motion.

On August 22, 2002, the plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce the settlement after years of noncompliance. Rather than make a judgment, Judge Campbell ordered the parties to renegotiate a solution identifying areas for improvement. The renegotiation included stipulations requiring more trainers and the hiring of 45 new caseworkers in addition to implementing an easier procedure for caseworkers to access funding for their cases. The renegotiated "Milestone Plan" was twice amended on June 9, 2004 and July 12, 2005.

In December 2006, the parties negotiated a new settlement in contemplation of dismissing the lawsuit. The parties finalized the Agreement to Terminate the Lawsuit on May 11, 2007. The case was dismissed with prejudice on December 31, 2008.

Ariana Fink - 12/10/2012


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Content of Injunction
Goals and Timekeeping
Hire
Monitor/Master
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Receivership
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Failure to train
Family abuse and neglect
Family reunification
Foster care (benefits, training)
Funding
Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Parents (visitation, involvement)
Siblings (visitation, placement)
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Timeliness of case assignment
Youth / Adult separation
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medical care, unspecified
Mental health care, general
Mental health care, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) State of Utah
Utah Department of Human Services
Plaintiff Description All children who are or will be in the custody of DHS and who have been or will be placed by DHS in a shelter care facility, foster family home, group home or institutional care; and, all children who are known to DHS by virtue of a report of child abuse
Indexed Lawyer Organizations National Center for Youth Law
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 1993 - 2007
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies Legal Accountability in the Service-Based Welfare State: Lessons from Child Welfare Reform
By: Kathleen G. Noonan, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon (Center for High Impact Philanthropy , Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School)
Citation: 34 Law & Soc. Inquiry 523 (Summer 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Making Child Welfare Work: How the R.C. Lawsuit Forged New Partnerships to Protect Children and Sustain Families
By: Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law (Bazelon Center)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
93-CV-206C (D. Utah) 01/05/2009
CW-UT-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order 05/07/1993 (1993 WL 764518) (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0010 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Memorandum Decision and Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Award of Attorneys' Fees and Costs 07/03/1995 (900 F.Supp. 1547) (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 08/04/1998 (13 F.Supp.2d 1206) (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0009 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 03/09/2001 (242 F.3d 1206)
CW-UT-0001-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum Decision 10/01/2001 (534 U.S. 822)
CW-UT-0001-0011 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Stipulation to Enter Order to Enforce the Court's 1999 Remedial Order and Settlement Agreement 03/17/2003
CW-UT-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Order 03/17/2003 (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' November 2006 Status Report 11/08/2006
CW-UT-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreement to Terminate the Lawsuit 05/11/2007
CW-UT-0001-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Parties' Agreement to Terminate the Lawsuit and Dismissing Case Without Prejudice 06/25/2007 (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order of Dismissal with Prejudice 01/05/2009 (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Alba, Samuel (D. Utah) [Magistrate]
CW-UT-0001-0010
Campbell, Tena (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-0002 | CW-UT-0001-0005 | CW-UT-0001-0006 | CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Murphy, Michael R. (Tenth Circuit)
CW-UT-0001-0007
Winder, David Keith (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ancar, Katina (California)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Bussiere, Alice (California)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Cheng, Michelle Lee (California)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Clark, Stephen C. (California)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Dresser, Gregory P. (California)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Finberg, Jeanne (California)
CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Gold, Jana G. (California)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Grimm, William L. (California)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Hamm, Darryl L. (California)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Kaplan, Daniel A. (Wisconsin)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Matthews, Martha (California)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
McElhinny, Harold J. (California)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-9000
McElroy, Patrice (California)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Morgan, D. James (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
O'Brien, Michael Patrick (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
O'Toole, John F. (California)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Palamountain, Kathryn C. (California)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Pearl, Richard M (California)
CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Steyer, Elizabeth (California)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Thau, Stephen B. (California)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Wadsworth, H. Wayne (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Welch, Leecia (California)
CW-UT-0001-0004 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Aeschbacher, Steven J. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Balmanno, Alain (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Barlow, Craig L. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Burnett, Brent A. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Clawson, Carol (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Dever, L. A. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Eisenman, Susan (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0004
Hagan, Scott A. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Jardine, James S. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Jones, Joni J. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Luinstra-Baldwin, Linda (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Mitchell, Annina M. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Nichols, Carolyn (New Mexico)
CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Ochoa, Barbara H. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Peterson, John M. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Pugsley, Philip C. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Saperstein, Herschel J. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Shurtleff, Mark L. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0003
Springmeyer, Douglas W. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Stringham, Reed M. III (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-9000
Waterman, Steven T. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -