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Case Name G.H. v. Marstiller JI-FL-0008
Docket / Court 4:19-cv-00431-MW-MJF ( N.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Juvenile Institution
Special Collection Solitary confinement
Attorney Organization Florida Justice Institute
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On September 4, 2019, three minors represented by their legal guardians filed a complaint against the Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The plaintiffs, ... read more >
On September 4, 2019, three minors represented by their legal guardians filed a complaint against the Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida. The plaintiffs, represented by lawyers from the Southern Poverty Law Center, Florida Justice Institute, and Florida Legal Services, sought class action certification to represent several thousand juveniles (and several hundred in a subclass of juveniles with disabilities) who were or would be in custody in a Florida Department of Juvenile Justice operated secure detention center and subjected to solitary confinement. The plaintiffs alleged that through policy and practice, the DJJ subjected children to solitary confinement, often repeatedly and without any time limit. The plaintiffs cited scientific material that discusses the side effects of isolation: trauma, depression, anxiety, an increased risk of suicide and self-harm, and permanent interference with development. The plaintiffs also alleged that the DJJ failed to provide mental health exams prior to confinement and failed to provide meaningful mental health services during confinement to prevent the onset or exacerbation of mental illness. The plaintiffs brought claims of Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment violations under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The plaintiff class sought declaratory and injunctive relief requiring defendants to cease the statewide policy and practice of using solitary confinement in secure detention centers.

On October 28, 2019, the defendants filed to dismiss the case by arguing that the plaintiffs did not have a right of action. According to the defendants, the plaintiffs' complaint alleged entitlement to much more than the law required and failed to provide sufficient facts regarding the policy or actual injury from it. As of October 28, 2019, the case is ongoing pending a decision on the motion.

Richa Bijlani - 10/28/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Conditions of confinement
Confinement/isolation
Juveniles
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Recreation / Exercise
Suicide prevention
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Self-injurious behaviors
Suicide prevention
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Department of Juvenile Justice
Secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice
Plaintiff Description Three minors seeking to represent a class consisting of children, including a subclass of disabled juveniles, who are, or will be, in custody in a Florida Department of Juvenile Justice operated secure detention center and subject to solitary confinement.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Florida Justice Institute
Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
4:19-cv-00431-MW-MJF (N.D. Fla.)
JI-FL-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/28/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 2]
JI-FL-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/05/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Walker, Mark Eaton (N.D. Fla.) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Agarwal, Shalini Goel (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-0001 | JI-FL-0008-9000
Costello, Andrea Hope (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-0001 | JI-FL-0008-9000
Ferro, Laura Anne (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-0001 | JI-FL-0008-9000
Graybill, Lisa S. (Louisiana) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-0001 | JI-FL-0008-9000
Jones, Christopher Michael (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-0001 | JI-FL-0008-9000
Knapp, Kelly Jean (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-0001 | JI-FL-0008-9000
Laurenceau, Leonard J. (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-0001 | JI-FL-0008-9000
Painter, Jennifer Morrissey (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-0001 | JI-FL-0008-9000
Trevisani, Dante Pasquale (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-0001 | JI-FL-0008-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Aranda, Robert J. (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-9000
Campbell, Henry B. (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-9000
Davis, Barbara William (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-9000
Mitchell, Elliott Van (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-9000
Tamayo, John Marc (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-9000
Trohn, Jonathan Barnet (Florida) show/hide docs
JI-FL-0008-9000

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