University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States of America v. The State of New York JI-NY-0009
Docket / Court 1:10-cv-00858 ( N.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On December 14, 2007, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) began an investigation into the conditions at four Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) facilities: Lansing Residential Center, Louis Gossett, Jr. Residential Center, Tryon Residential Center, and Tryon Girls ... read more >
On December 14, 2007, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) began an investigation into the conditions at four Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) facilities: Lansing Residential Center, Louis Gossett, Jr. Residential Center, Tryon Residential Center, and Tryon Girls Residential Center. The investigations were conducted pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. On August 14, 2009, the DOJ published in its findings letter that the facilities had violated the due process rights of the confined youths. It also concluded that 1) staff resorted to use force disproportionate to the level of juveniles' infractions and used excessive restraints to discipline them; and 2) investigations into uses of force and restraints were inadequate and that, in many instances, OCFS failed to hold staff accountable for gross violations of policy.

On July 14, 2010, the United States filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York to enforce a settlement agreement with the State of New York and the New York State Office of Children and Family Services under the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. The United States sought declaratory relief and an order enjoining the defendants from continuing practices of excessive force and restraints as detailed in the findings letter and to ensure lawful conditions of confinement. The United States claimed that the harms outlined in their findings letter, specifically that the defendants failed to take reasonable measures to prevent staff from inflicting serious harm on the youths and did not provide adequate mental health care and services, violated the the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This case was assigned to Senior Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr. and referred to Magistrate Judge David R. Homer.

On the same day, the parties also filed the settlement agreement. 2010 WL 10900167. The agreement put forth a remedial plan addressing each of the issues identified in the DOJ's original investigation. It outlined limits on use of restraints—including a prohibition on chemical restraints and psychotropic medications—and use of force in only the least amount necessary. The institutions also agreed to institute new incident reporting procedures and provide improved mental health care and treatment. A monitoring team would produce status reports approximately every six months regarding the facilities' compliance with implementing the settlement provisions. The settlement would last until the facilities achieved substantial compliance with the settlement terms for twelve consecutive months. On July 19, 2010, Judge Scullin, Jr. approved this settlement agreement.

In January 2011, the State closed Tryon Residential Center. Tryon boys were transferred to Finger Lakes Residential Center (formerly Louis Gossett, Jr. Residential Center). In August 2011, the State closed Tryon Girls Residential Center. Tryon girls were transferred to Taberg Residential Center for Girls (Taberg) and Columbia Girls Secure Center. Both parties agreed that Taberg and Columbia would be monitored under the Settlement Agreement. In August 2013, the State closed Lansing Residential Center. The girls held at Lansing were released on community supervision.

After years of monitoring and biannual status reports, the court began to dismiss the institution defendants one by one. On September 8, 2014, the court dismissed Columbia Girls Secure Center, which had maintained substantial compliance under the settlement agreement for twelve consecutive months. On December 21, 2015, the court dismissed Finger Lakes Residential Center, which had maintained substantial compliance under the settlement agreement for twelve consecutive months. And on October 20, 2017, the court dismissed Taberg Residential Center, which had maintained substantial compliance under the settlement agreement for twelve consecutive months.

Dismissing Taberg Residential Center concluded the State’s obligations under the settlement agreement. This case is now closed.

Richard Jolly - 11/24/2014
Hannah Greenhouse - 11/19/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Monitor/Master
Recordkeeping
Remedial education
Reporting
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary procedures
Excessive force
Failure to discipline
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Informed consent/involuntary medication
Juveniles
Pepper/OC spray
Restraints : chemical
Restraints : physical
Medical/Mental Health
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 14141
Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) New York State Office of Children and Family Services
The State of New York
Plaintiff Description United States on behalf of inmates at New York juvenile corrective institutions
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se 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 2010 - 2017
Filing Year 2010
Case Closing Year 2017
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Data examining the Department of Justice's civil rights investigations of local and state police departments
Marshall Project
Date: Jan. 17, 2017
By: Tom Meagher (Marshall Project)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Civil Rights Division’s Pattern and Practice Police Reform Work: 1994-Present
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  An Interactive Guide to the Civil Rights Division’s Police Reforms
https://www.justice.gov/
Date: Jan. 4, 2017
By: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Date: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Date: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
Date: 2014
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program Faculty)
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:10-cv-858 (N.D.N.Y.)
JI-NY-0009-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/20/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Investigation of the Lansing Residential Center, Louis Gossett, Jr. Residential Center, Tryon Residential Center, and Tryon Girls Center
JI-NY-0009-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/14/2009
Settlement Agreement
JI-NY-0009-0026.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 07/14/2010
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Complaint [ECF# 1]
JI-NY-0009-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/14/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion to Enter Settlement Agreement [ECF# 3]
JI-NY-0009-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/14/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Entering Settlement Agreement [ECF# 4] (N.D.N.Y.)
JI-NY-0009-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/19/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Lansing 
Residential
 Center [ECF# 5]
JI-NY-0009-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/14/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Finger Lakes Residential Center [ECF# 6]
JI-NY-0009-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/10/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Columbia Girls Secure Center [ECF# 7]
JI-NY-0009-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/23/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Taberg Residential Center for Girls [ECF# 8]
JI-NY-0009-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/27/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Lansing Residential Center [ECF# 9]
JI-NY-0009-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/11/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Finger Lakes Residential Center [ECF# 10]
JI-NY-0009-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/12/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Columbia Girls Secure Center [ECF# 11]
JI-NY-0009-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/31/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Taberg Residential Center for Girls [ECF# 12]
JI-NY-0009-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/18/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Lansing Residential Center for Girls [ECF# 13]
JI-NY-0009-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/13/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Finger Lakes Residential Center [ECF# 14]
JI-NY-0009-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/31/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Columbia Girls Secure Center [ECF# 15]
JI-NY-0009-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/30/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Taberg Residential Center for Girls [ECF# 16]
JI-NY-0009-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/26/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Finger Lakes Residential Center [ECF# 17]
JI-NY-0009-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/26/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Lansing Residential Center for Girls [ECF# 18]
JI-NY-0009-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/30/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Columbia Girls Secure Center [ECF# 19]
JI-NY-0009-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/10/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Taberg Residential Center for Girls [ECF# 20]
JI-NY-0009-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/21/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Finger Lakes Residential Center [ECF# 21]
JI-NY-0009-0022.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/24/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility 
Monitoring
 Report: Columbia Girls Secure Center [ECF# 22]
JI-NY-0009-0023.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/10/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 23]
JI-NY-0009-0024.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/04/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Dismissing Columbia Girls Secure Center from Settlement Agreement] [ECF# 24] (N.D.N.Y.)
JI-NY-0009-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/08/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Granting Motion to Dimiss] [ECF# 24] (N.D.N.Y.)
JI-NY-0009-0025.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/08/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Facility Monitoring Report: Finger Lakes Residential Center [Lansing, NY] [ECF# 27]
JI-NY-0009-0027.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/07/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Facility Monitoring Report: Taberg Residential Center for Girls [Taberg, NY] [ECF# 28]
JI-NY-0009-0028.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 05/18/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Facility Monitoring Report: Taberg Residential Center for Girls [Taberg, NY] [ECF# 31]
JI-NY-0009-0029.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 08/27/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Joint Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 32]
JI-NY-0009-0032.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 12/15/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Joint Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 33]
JI-NY-0009-0030.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 12/15/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Order (N.D.N.Y.)
JI-NY-0009-0033.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 12/21/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Order [ECF# 35] (N.D.N.Y.)
JI-NY-0009-0031.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 12/21/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Facility Monitoring Report: Taberg Residential Center for Girls [Taberg, NY] [ECF# 36]
JI-NY-0009-0034.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 04/12/2016
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Facility Monitoring Report: Taberg Residential Center for Girls [Taberg, NY] [ECF# 37]
JI-NY-0009-0035.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 10/26/2016
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Facility Monitoring Report: Taberg Residential Center for Girls Taberg, NY [ECF# 40]
JI-NY-0009-0036.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/23/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Homer, David R. (N.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
JI-NY-0009-9000
Scullin, Frederick James Jr. (FISC, N.D.N.Y.)
JI-NY-0009-0004 | JI-NY-0009-0005 | JI-NY-0009-0025 | JI-NY-0009-0031 | JI-NY-0009-0033 | JI-NY-0009-9000
Monitors/Masters Beyer, Marty (New York)
JI-NY-0009-0006 | JI-NY-0009-0007 | JI-NY-0009-0008 | JI-NY-0009-0009 | JI-NY-0009-0010 | JI-NY-0009-0011 | JI-NY-0009-0012 | JI-NY-0009-0013 | JI-NY-0009-0014 | JI-NY-0009-0015 | JI-NY-0009-0016 | JI-NY-0009-0017 | JI-NY-0009-0018 | JI-NY-0009-0019 | JI-NY-0009-0020 | JI-NY-0009-0021 | JI-NY-0009-0022 | JI-NY-0009-0023 | JI-NY-0009-0027 | JI-NY-0009-0028 | JI-NY-0009-0029 | JI-NY-0009-0034 | JI-NY-0009-0035 | JI-NY-0009-0036
Roush, David W. (New York)
JI-NY-0009-0006 | JI-NY-0009-0007 | JI-NY-0009-0008 | JI-NY-0009-0009 | JI-NY-0009-0010 | JI-NY-0009-0011 | JI-NY-0009-0012 | JI-NY-0009-0013 | JI-NY-0009-0014 | JI-NY-0009-0015 | JI-NY-0009-0016 | JI-NY-0009-0017 | JI-NY-0009-0018 | JI-NY-0009-0019 | JI-NY-0009-0020 | JI-NY-0009-0021 | JI-NY-0009-0022 | JI-NY-0009-0023 | JI-NY-0009-0027 | JI-NY-0009-0028 | JI-NY-0009-0029 | JI-NY-0009-0034 | JI-NY-0009-0035
Plaintiff's Lawyers Abbate, Julie K. (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-0002 | JI-NY-0009-0003 | JI-NY-0009-0026
Bagenstos, Samuel R. (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-0002 | JI-NY-0009-0003 | JI-NY-0009-0026
Fox, Deena (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-9000
Gayle, Winsome (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-0030 | JI-NY-0009-0032
Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-0030 | JI-NY-0009-0032
Jansen, Regina (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-0024 | JI-NY-0009-0030 | JI-NY-0009-0032
Kappelhoff, Mark (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-0024
Lareau, Alyssa Connell (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-0002 | JI-NY-0009-0003 | JI-NY-0009-0026 | JI-NY-0009-9000
Moossy, Robert J. (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-0030 | JI-NY-0009-0032
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-0001 | JI-NY-0009-0002 | JI-NY-0009-0003 | JI-NY-0009-0026
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-0002 | JI-NY-0009-0003 | JI-NY-0009-0024 | JI-NY-0009-0026 | JI-NY-0009-0030 | JI-NY-0009-0032
Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-0024
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
JI-NY-0009-0024
Defendant's Lawyers Cuomo, Andrew M. (New York)
JI-NY-0009-0026
Levine, Megan L. (New York)
JI-NY-0009-0024 | JI-NY-0009-0026 | JI-NY-0009-0030 | JI-NY-0009-0032 | JI-NY-0009-9000
Miles-Gustave, Suzanne (New York)
JI-NY-0009-0030 | JI-NY-0009-0032
Prochera, Lee (New York)
JI-NY-0009-0024
Schneiderman, Eric T. (New York)
JI-NY-0009-0024 | JI-NY-0009-0030 | JI-NY-0009-0032

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