On September 1, 2005, three LGBT teenagers confined at Hawaii Youth Correctional Facility (HYCF) filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against State Department of Human Services and the Office of Youth Services in U.S. District Court of Hawaii, Hawaii Division. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest and private counsel, sought monetary, declaratory and injunctive relief, asserting federal constitutional and state law claims. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed violations of their Due Process, Establishment, Equal Protection, and access to counsel rights, as well as state law.
The alleged violations consisted of harassment, abuse, discrimination, and isolation because of plaintiffs' actual or perceived LGBT status.
On February 7, 2006, the Court (Judge J. Michael Seabright) granted the plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction as to their Due Process claim and denied their motion for preliminary injunction as to their Establishment Clause and access to counsel claims. The Court did not reach the plaintiffs' Equal Protection claim. Per defendants' request, the Court delayed issuing an injunction to allow HYCF time to finalize a pending agreement with the DOJ.
On March 1, 2006, the Court issued the aforementioned preliminary injunction. This order enjoined defendants from discriminating against, harassing, or abusing LGBT wards in a variety of specified ways. Furthermore, defendants were required to take reasonable steps to protect LGBT wards from such treatment by other wards, including developing policies for adequate staffing and supervision of LGBT wards and a protective classification system. Finally, the injunction also required defendants to develop policies for HYCF personnel regarding their obligation to intervene in discriminatory treatment against LGBT wards, appropriately respond to reports of such treatment by HYCF wards, and appropriately counsel or discipline HYCF employees who violated these provisions.
On March 16, 2006, the Court (Magistrate Judge Leslie Kobayashi) denied plaintiffs' motion for leave to file a second amended complaint to permit maintenance as a class action. On March 21, 2006, the defendants appealed the magistrate judge's decision. This appeal was not resolved before the settlement outlined below.
On September 6, 2006, the Court (Judge J. Michael Seabright) approved the parties' settlement agreement. This agreement included the provisions of the preliminary injunction, requirements regarding defendants' retention of a consultant in furtherance of those provisions, and monetary damages for the plaintiffs. Timothy Shoffner - 06/01/2012