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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Farrell v. Harper JI-CA-0013
Docket / Court RG03079344 ( State Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Juvenile Institution
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
California's Prisoners' Rights Bar article
Attorney Organization Prison Law Office
Case Summary
On January 16, 2003, a taxpayer whose juvenile nephew was a ward of the court filed this lawsuit in the Alameda County, California, Superior Court. The plaintiff filed under state law against the director of the California Youth Authority ("CYA"). She alleged that the CYA expended funds on ... read more >
On January 16, 2003, a taxpayer whose juvenile nephew was a ward of the court filed this lawsuit in the Alameda County, California, Superior Court. The plaintiff filed under state law against the director of the California Youth Authority ("CYA"). She alleged that the CYA expended funds on policies, procedures, and practices that were illegal under state law. Represented by counsel from the Prison Law Office, from Disability Rights Advocates, and from two major firms, she sought declaratory and injunctive relief to prohibit the allegedly illegal expenditures and prevent the CYA from subjecting its wards to illegal conduct. She also sought attorneys' fees and continuing jurisdiction by the court until the CYA complied with remedial orders. The CYA generally denied her allegations. Discovery proceedings occurred for the following several months.

The plaintiff's complaint, as amended in September 2003, alleged that the CYA failed in its statutory duties to provide training, treatment and rehabilitation to juvenile wards entrusted to CYA care. CYA shortcomings allegedly included failing to provide for prisoner safety, subjecting wards to excessive force from staff and sexual assaults from other wards, to female-on-female violence, to gang violence, and to staff-encouraged fights among wards. The plaintiff also alleged that the segregation of wards for conduct reasons involved CYA placement of some wards in inhumane, filthy, stultifying housing conditions (a) lacking programs to train improved behaviors or to improve mental health problems, and (b) which promoted mental illness and suicide. Relatedly, the plaintiff alleged that, in numerous particulars, CYA wards were denied adequate medical, dental, and mental health care. Deficient or absent educational, substance abuse, exercise, religious, grievance and access to courts programs, at inadequate CYA physical facilities, were among plaintiff's allegations. The plaintiff asserted that developmentally disabled, cognitively impaired, and sensory impaired CYA wards were denied basic care, physical accommodations, and necessary staffing and were subject to discrimination and harassment, as were mentally ill wards. The plaintiff also cited sex discrimination by the CYA in its disparate provision of college classes and vocational training to female wards, in comparison to male wards. The plaintiff's complaint repeatedly quoted from CYA budget and Inspector General reports and documents to bolster her assertions. The plaintiff's complaint did not rely on federal law; instead, she cited dozens of provisions of California's constitution, civil law, and penal code in support of her claims.

The parties agreed that experts would review the CYA's performance in several topical areas. The experts' reports were made available to the plaintiff and the public in early 2004.

The parties entered into a consent decree in early November 2004. It required improving CYA shortcomings in multiple respects, including ward safety, staff training, classification, grievance systems, religious services, gang-related violence issues, verbal abuse, physical facilities, program access, mental health, education, sex offender treatment, and accommodations for disabled wards. The decree called for detailed remedial plans addressing these topics to be filed with the court by January 31, 2005, and implemented by the CYA, for interim plans and improvements in the meantime, and for appointment of Donna Brorby as Special Master, compensated by CYA funds, to monitor remedial compliance. The decree obligated the CYA to retain independent experts in the areas needing remediation and to provide them, and plaintiff's counsel, with access to CYA facilities. Disputes arising under the terms of the decree would be settled by arbitration. Attorneys' fees would be paid by the CYA. Judge Ronald M. Sabraw accepted the consent decree and entered judgment on December 29, 2004, according to the case's docket sheet.

In succeeding months and years, numerous evaluative reports were filed with the court, as well as Special Master's reports on CYA performance and compliance. Of note, the CYA's name changed during this period, becoming the Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. An agreed-upon delay in filing the remedial plans until November 2005, stemmed from the parties' desire to comprehensively remedy systemic problems at DJJ, which required improvements in adult institutions, as well. By November 2006, remedial plans were being implemented covering education, sex behavior treatment, disabilities issues, and medical care, new leadership existed at key DJJ posts, and institutional change was underway, according to the Special Master, who observed mixed progress and DJJ resource limitations.

In August 2011, a federal judge issued an order finding that the DJJ was still in violation of its duties to provide education and programming to wards housed in its facilities. The Court granted a motion for enforcement and set deadlines for the DJJ to comply with its obligations under the Remedial Plan.

The Special Master in the Farrell case has continued to file periodic reports detailing the changes in conditions for wards at Department of Juvenile Justice facilities. Active management of the case by the court appears to be on-going.

This case is similar to three other cases in this database which were brought, in part, by the Prison Law Office to challenge conditions in California juvenile facilities. Those cases are Hixon v. Hope (JI-CA-14), Porter v. Speirs (JI-CA-15), and Waters v. Woodford (JI-CA-16).

Lawsuit Timeline as of August 2013: http://www.cjcj.org/uploads/cjcj/documents/farrell_litigation_timeline.pdf

Mike Fagan - 05/16/2008


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to lawyers or judicial system
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Confinement/isolation
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Education
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Mail
Phone
Protective custody
Recreation / Exercise
Rehabilitation
Religious programs / policies
Restraints : chemical
Restraints : physical
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Strip search policy
Suicide prevention
Totality of conditions
Visiting
Medical/Mental Health
Dental care
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)
California Youth Authority (CYA)
Plaintiff Description Taxpayer petitioning to stop the use of taxpayer funds to further the allegedly illegal conditions that exist in the California Youth Authority
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Prison Law Office
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 2004 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Links Farrell litigation timeline
http://www.cjcj.org/
Posted: Aug. 01, 2013
By: Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
RG03079344 (State Trial Court) 12/07/2006
JI-CA-0013-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Complaint 01/16/2003
JI-CA-0013-0027 PDF | Detail
Document Source:
Review of Health Care Services in California Youth Authority (CYA) 08/23/2003
JI-CA-0013-0022 PDF | Detail
Amended Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 09/23/2003
JI-CA-0013-0001 PDF | Detail
Evaluation of Sex Offender Programs - The California Youth Authority 09/23/2003
JI-CA-0013-0024 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree 11/08/2003
JI-CA-0013-0002 PDF | Detail
Report of Findings of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Services to Youth in California Youth Authority Facilities 12/01/2003
JI-CA-0013-0021 PDF | Detail
Education Program Review of California Youth Authority 12/01/2003
JI-CA-0013-0023 PDF | Detail
General Corrections Review of The California Youth Authority 12/23/2003
JI-CA-0013-0025 PDF | Detail
Stipulation Regarding California Youth Authority Remedial Efforts 01/31/2005
JI-CA-0013-0003 PDF | Detail
Press Release on Reform of California Youth Authority 01/31/2005
JI-CA-0013-0026 PDF | Detail
Defendant's Notice of Filing California Youth Authority's Education Remedial Plan 03/01/2005
JI-CA-0013-0006 PDF | Detail
Defendant's Notice of Filing California Youth Authority's Sexual Behavior Treatment Remedial Plan 05/16/2005
JI-CA-0013-0014 PDF | Detail
Order 05/17/2005
JI-CA-0013-0011 PDF | Detail
Defendant's Notice of Filing California Youth Authority's Disabilities Remedial Plan and Auditing Instrument 05/31/2005
JI-CA-0013-0007 PDF | Detail
Defendant's Notice of Filing DJJ’s Appendix C to the Disabilities Remedial Plan (Part 1) 09/15/2005
JI-CA-0013-0008 PDF | Detail
Defendant's Notice of Filing DJJ’s Appendix C to the Disabilities Remedial Plan (Part 2) 09/15/2005
JI-CA-0013-0009 PDF | Detail
Defendant’s Notice of Filing DJJ’s Appendix C to the Disabilities Remedial Plan (Part 3) 09/15/2005
JI-CA-0013-0010 PDF | Detail
Stipulation Regarding Safety and Welfare Remedial Plan and Mental Health Remedial Plan; [Proposed] Order 12/01/2005
JI-CA-0013-0004 PDF | Detail
Defendant's Notice of Filing DDJ's Health Care Service Remedial Plan 02/24/2006
JI-CA-0013-0012 PDF | Detail
Report on Access to Programs and Services for Wards with Disabilities in the California Youth Authority 03/01/2006
JI-CA-0013-0020 PDF | Detail
First Report of Special Master 04/05/2006
JI-CA-0013-0015 PDF | Detail
Second Report of Special Master 06/01/2006
JI-CA-0013-0016 PDF | Detail
Second Report of Special Master - Appendix 06/01/2006
JI-CA-0013-0017 PDF | Detail
Safety and Remedial Welfare Plan (and Proposed Order) 07/10/2006
JI-CA-0013-0005 PDF | Detail
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Division of Juvenile Justice - Remedial Mental Health Plan 08/24/2006
JI-CA-0013-0013 PDF | Detail
Third Report of the Special Master 12/07/2006
JI-CA-0013-0018 PDF | Detail
Third Report of the Special Master - Appendix 12/07/2006
JI-CA-0013-0019 PDF | Detail
Judges Sabraw, Ronald M. (State Trial Court)
JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0011 | JI-CA-0013-9000
Monitors/Masters Beltz, Cathleen (California)
JI-CA-0013-0015 | JI-CA-0013-0016 | JI-CA-0013-0017 | JI-CA-0013-0018 | JI-CA-0013-0019
Brorby, Donna (California)
JI-CA-0013-0015 | JI-CA-0013-0016 | JI-CA-0013-0017 | JI-CA-0013-0018 | JI-CA-0013-0019
Plaintiff's Lawyers Busby, Kyra (California)
JI-CA-0013-0001 | JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0003
Hanson, Shawn A. (California)
JI-CA-0013-9000
Jacobs, Caroline (California)
JI-CA-0013-0001 | JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0003
Mania, Anne (California)
JI-CA-0013-0001
McKinney, Allyson (California)
JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0003
Mitchell, Caroline N. (California)
JI-CA-0013-0001 | JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0003 | JI-CA-0013-0027
Norman, Sara Linda (California)
JI-CA-0013-0001 | JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0003
Paradis, Laurence W. (California)
JI-CA-0013-9000
Scafe, Jennifer L. (California)
JI-CA-0013-0001
Specter, Donald H. (California)
JI-CA-0013-0001 | JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0003 | JI-CA-0013-0004 | JI-CA-0013-0027
Ulmer, Richard Jr. (California)
JI-CA-0013-0001 | JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0003 | JI-CA-0013-0027
Wolinsky, Sidney M. (California)
JI-CA-0013-0001 | JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0003 | JI-CA-0013-0027
Defendant's Lawyers Acquisto, Stephen (California)
JI-CA-0013-9000
Anderson, Robert R. (California)
JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0004 | JI-CA-0013-0006 | JI-CA-0013-0007 | JI-CA-0013-0009 | JI-CA-0013-0010 | JI-CA-0013-0011 | JI-CA-0013-0014
Anderson, Monica (California)
JI-CA-0013-0001 | JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0003 | JI-CA-0013-0004 | JI-CA-0013-0005 | JI-CA-0013-0006 | JI-CA-0013-0007 | JI-CA-0013-0008 | JI-CA-0013-0009 | JI-CA-0013-0010 | JI-CA-0013-0011 | JI-CA-0013-0012 | JI-CA-0013-0013 | JI-CA-0013-0014
East, Rochelle C. (California)
JI-CA-0013-0005 | JI-CA-0013-0012
Grunder, Frances T. (California)
JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0004 | JI-CA-0013-0005 | JI-CA-0013-0006 | JI-CA-0013-0007 | JI-CA-0013-0008 | JI-CA-0013-0009 | JI-CA-0013-0010 | JI-CA-0013-0011 | JI-CA-0013-0012 | JI-CA-0013-0014
Humes, James M. (California)
JI-CA-0013-0005 | JI-CA-0013-0008 | JI-CA-0013-0012
Kamberian, Van (California)
JI-CA-0013-0008
Lockyer, Bill (California)
JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0004 | JI-CA-0013-0005 | JI-CA-0013-0006 | JI-CA-0013-0007 | JI-CA-0013-0008 | JI-CA-0013-0009 | JI-CA-0013-0010 | JI-CA-0013-0011 | JI-CA-0013-0014
Neill, Jennifer Anne (California)
JI-CA-0013-0002 | JI-CA-0013-0004 | JI-CA-0013-0006 | JI-CA-0013-0007 | JI-CA-0013-0009 | JI-CA-0013-0010 | JI-CA-0013-0011 | JI-CA-0013-0014
Schreiber, Michelle L. (California)
JI-CA-0013-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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