University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Doe v. Grays Harbor County JC-WA-0012
Docket / Court 3:17-cv-05186 ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Jail Conditions
Special Collection Solitary confinement
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On March 14, 2017, a teenage boy who had formerly been in the Grays Harbor County Juvenile Detention Facility’s custody brought this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. (As the boy was a minor, his mother filed the complaint on his behalf.) The plaintiff ... read more >
On March 14, 2017, a teenage boy who had formerly been in the Grays Harbor County Juvenile Detention Facility’s custody brought this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. (As the boy was a minor, his mother filed the complaint on his behalf.) The plaintiff sued Grays Harbor County for repeatedly putting him in solitary confinement for minor rule violations during his time at the juvenile detention facility. Represented by private counsel and the ACLU of Washington, the plaintiff sought damages, injunctive relief, and declaratory relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. He claimed that the county's actions were a violation of his due process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment and constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment. The case was assigned to Judge Ronald B. Leighton.

After the close of discovery, settlement negotiations began, and the plaintiff was appointed a guardian ad litem to represent his best interests. On June 26, 2017, the guardian ad litem proposed a settlement agreement that required the county to pay the plaintiff $45,000 in general damages and revise its juvenile detention policies. The guardian ad litem also outlined a structured settlement plan in which the plaintiff would receive his damages in installments over the next three years, with much of the money unavailable until after he turned eighteen.

On October 13, 2017, the parties settled. The county agreed to pay $45,000 in damages, which it delivered in a lump sum to the plaintiff's lawyer. The county also agreed to pay for the guardian ad litem's time and the cost of the mediation that had already occurred. The settlement also required the county to revise its juvenile detention policy such that solitary confinement was only used in extreme circumstances and that the living conditions in solitary confinement were improved. The county agreed to have the revisions made and presented to the plaintiff by ninety days after the settlement date, the new training protocols related to the revised policy made and presented to the plaintiff by 120 days after the settlement date, and all juvenile detention center staff trained on the revised policy by December 1, 2017. The county was also required to provide refresher training in the revised policy to staff once every twelve months for an undetermined period of time, as well as provide the legal guardians of juvenile detainees with those detainees' files.

In return, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss all of the claims in the lawsuit with prejudice within thirty days of the county fulfilling its contractual duties to him. If a dispute arose, both parties agreed that it would be submitted to Paris K. Kallas, a former county judge from a different Washington county, for binding arbitration, and the losing party would pay attorneys costs and arbitration fees. Because the parties agreed to settle out of court, the plaintiff did not receive declaratory relief, and the first paragraph of the settlement stated that the county agreement was not an admission of the county's violation of any law or failure to fulfill any duty to the plaintiff.

On January 24, 2018, the plaintiff dismissed the case with prejudice. The plaintiff presumably continues to monitor the county's compliance with the injunction-like provisions of the settlement and may submit instances of noncompliance for arbitration. The settlement agreement does not state how long the county's obligations will be in effect; this issue may be resolved in arbitration if the plaintiff decides to bring it. The court no longer has jurisdiction, so the case is now closed.

Rebecca Strauss - 05/17/2018


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Goals and Timekeeping
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Required disclosure
Training
Defendant-type
Corrections
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Conditions of confinement
Disciplinary procedures
Failure to train
Juveniles
Record-keeping
Records Disclosure
Sanitation / living conditions
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Grays Harbor County
Plaintiff Description A teenage boy who was repeatedly put in solitary confinement for minor rule-breaking behavior while in the custody of the Grays Harbor County Juvenile Detention Facility
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 2017 - n/a
Filing Year 2017
Case Closing Year 2018
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  Solitary confinement is especially harmful to juveniles and should not be used to punish them
https://www.aclu-wa.org/
Date: Nov. 17, 2017
By: Amy Roe (ACLU of Washington)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:17-cv-05186 (W.D. Wash.)
JC-WA-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/25/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint For Damages and Injunctive and Declaratory Relief Under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 [ECF# 1]
JC-WA-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/14/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Exhibit 1: Report of Settlement Guardian Ad Litem [ECF# 15-1]
JC-WA-0012-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/09/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Exhibit 3: Settlement Agreement and Releae [ECF# 15-3]
JC-WA-0012-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/09/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Exhibit 5 [ECF# 15-5]
JC-WA-0012-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/09/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulated Order of Dismissal with Prejudice [ECF# 18] (W.D. Wash.)
JC-WA-0012-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/25/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Leighton, Ronald B. (W.D. Wash.)
JC-WA-0012-0005 | JC-WA-0012-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Read, Jo-Hanna (Washington)
JC-WA-0012-0002
Talner, Nancy Lynn (Washington)
JC-WA-0012-0001 | JC-WA-0012-9000
Whedbee, David J. (Washington)
JC-WA-0012-0001 | JC-WA-0012-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Kline, Kathleen A (Washington)
JC-WA-0012-0004 | JC-WA-0012-9000
Michael, Suzanne Kelly (Washington)
JC-WA-0012-0004 | JC-WA-0012-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -