University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name C.S. v. King County PC-WA-0028
Docket / Court 2:17-cv-01560-JCC ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On October 20, 2017, four minor plaintiffs, represented by their parents or guardians, filed a class action lawsuit against King County and the Kent School District in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by Columbia ... read more >
On October 20, 2017, four minor plaintiffs, represented by their parents or guardians, filed a class action lawsuit against King County and the Kent School District in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The plaintiffs, represented by Columbia Legal Services, alleged that King County has violated the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), by holding children in solitary confinement at King County’s Maleng Regional Justice Center. They sought injunctive and declaratory relief to end King County’s solitary confinement policy.

The plaintiffs alleged that King County denied these children, who had not yet been convicted of any crimes, meaningful social interaction and education by holding them in isolation cells for weeks or months on end. These children were given only a few minutes of face-to-face educational instruction and denied access to reading or writing materials. The plaintiffs alleged that these deprivations could cause trauma, depression, anxiety, as well as permanent interference with a child’s psychological and social development. The vast majority of children injured by King County’s actions were children of color and many suffered from mental illness.

The plaintiffs amended the complaint on October 23, 2017 to add additional named plaintiffs and an additional claim of discrimination.

The plaintiffs sought to certify a class of all children currently incarcerated at the RJC and all such children who would be held there in the future. Besides declaratory judgment, they also sought to preliminarily and permanently enjoin the defendant from carrying out the allegedly unlawful policies and practices. In addition, the plaintiffs asked the court to issue declaratory and injunctive relief on behalf of a subclass of such children who have disabilities, as defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and were in need of special education and related services.

The parties quickly began settlement negotiations. On August 20, 2018, the court granted plaintiffs’ motion to approve a settlement agreement. Under the terms of the proposed settlements, the plaintiffs would receive $240,000 from King County and $25,000 from the Kent School District. King County agreed that the solitary confinement of juveniles is banned in all King County detention facilities, except when necessary to prevent physical harm to others, and that any use of solitary confinement will be discussed at a daily meeting. The parties also agreed to appoint a monitor to review alternatives to solitary confinement, and issue quarterly monitor's reports.

The settlement is set to expire on January 31, 2022 if defendant complies with all terms.

Sichun Liu - 01/31/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Remedial education
Reporting
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Conditions of confinement
Confinement/isolation
Disciplinary procedures
Disciplinary segregation
Education
Juveniles
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Solitary confinement/Supermax (conditions or process)
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Defendant(s) King County
Plaintiff Description Four minors, under the age of 18, who were held in solitary confinement at King County’s Maleng Regional Justice Center (RJC) at the King County Jail.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2018 - 2022
Filing Year 2017
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
Book
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
2:17-cv-01560 (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0028-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/20/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-WA-0028-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/20/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 2] (2017 WL 10647321)
PC-WA-0028-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 10/23/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
CR 2A Agreements [Exhibit A&B to ECF #24]
PC-WA-0028-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/09/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motions to Appoint Guardian ad litem, Approve Settlement, and Voluntarily Dismiss [ECF# 33] (W.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0028-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/20/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Coughenour, John C. (W.D. Wash.) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0028-0003 | PC-WA-0028-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allen, Nicholas B. (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0028-0001 | PC-WA-0028-0002 | PC-WA-0028-9000
Althauser, Michael (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0028-0001 | PC-WA-0028-0002 | PC-WA-0028-9000
Branch, Sujatha Jagadeesh (California) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0028-0001 | PC-WA-0028-0002 | PC-WA-0028-9000
Straley, Nicholas Broten (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0028-0001 | PC-WA-0028-0002 | PC-WA-0028-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Herzer, Pascal (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0028-9000
Kanner, Samantha (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0028-9000

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