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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name McCadden v. Flint PN-MI-0012
Docket / Court 2:18-cv-12377 ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Policing
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Michigan
Case Summary
On October 12th, 2015, the plaintiff, who was a black 7 year-old with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), was attending after school program administered by defendant Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. While there, the plaintiff experienced some behavioral challenges related to his ... read more >
On October 12th, 2015, the plaintiff, who was a black 7 year-old with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), was attending after school program administered by defendant Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. While there, the plaintiff experienced some behavioral challenges related to his disability, which staff were aware of. The plaintiff’s behavior reportedly involved kicking a supply cart and running around on the bleachers. Staff requested a school resource officer (SRO), who arrived on the scene and handcuffed the plaintiff behind his back. After the plaintiff's mother arrived and demanded that the handcuffs be removed, the officer responded that the key was in a lockbox and he would need to await the arrival of other officers to remove the handcuffs. The plaintiff remained handcuffed for nearly an hour in the lobby of the building, attracting a crowd of observers. The complaint also noted that the plaintiff's ADHD may have been exacerbated or caused by the health crisis happening in Flint, MI at this time. Residents were urged to stop drinking Flint’s tap water due to high levels of lead in the drinking water, which can cause behavioral problems and learning disabilities in children

On July 31st, 2018 plaintiff’s mother filed this lawsuit on her son's behalf in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. Represented by the Disability Rights Program of the ACLU, the ACLU of Michigan, and private counsel, the plaintiff sued the City of Flint, MI, Flint's Chief of Police in his official capacity, the school resource officer in his individual capacity, the Flint Chamber of Commerce, and the Genesee Chamber of Commerce under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging unreasonable seizure and excessive force in violation of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. The plaintiff sought permanent injunctive relief that would prohibit the defendants from taking similarly excessive action against schoolchildren in the future and declaratory relief establishing that the defendants have violated his constitutional and civil rights under the Fourth Amendment, Title II of the American with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and Michigan's Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act. The plaintiff also sought compensatory and punitive damages for the significant emotional suffering, psychological injury and trauma he suffered, and reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred during the litigation.

The defendants City of Flint and City Police Chief filed a motion to dismiss on October 9, 2018. On April 12th, 2019 the motion to dismiss was granted for the Chief of Police since the court felt that those claims overlapped with the claims against the City, since the plaintiff was suing the Chief of Police in his official capacity. The Chief of Police was removed from the litigation on May 20th, 2019. The order to dismiss was granted in part and denied in part with respect to the claims against the City, sustaining most of the claims against the City, but removing the claim under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, since the plaintiff failed to allege that the City or the other defendants were aware of the plaintiff's disability. After that failed motion to dismiss, the parties began a series of settlement conferences, meeting 8 times between November 15th, 2019 and July 10th, 2020. During those meetings the parties negotiated the following settlement agreement:
  1. The creation of a fund of $40,000 to help address the plaintiff's needs, and new policies adopted by the after-school program and the Flint Police Department.
  2. The Flint-Genesee Chamber of Commerce agreed that the after-school program will adopt the following policies, among others:
    • No physical restraint or intervention except as a last resort;
    • No school resource officer involvement except when there is imminent danger;
    • Require documentation of physical restraint and notice to parents; and
    • Provide training for staff regarding disabilities.
  3. The Flint Police Department’s juvenile offender policy will be revised to encourage officers to do the following, among other things, whenever possible:
    • Limit police involvement at schools to criminal offenses and not become involved in school discipline issues;
    • Use alternatives to arresting juveniles;
    • Use the lowest level of enforcement for elementary school children;
    • Involve parents whenever possible;
    • Release children without further action when there has been no property damage or physical injury;
    • De-escalate whenever appropriate; and
    • Participate in training related to implicit bias, de-escalation, special education, and positive behavior intervention.
  4. Defendants also covered the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees
The Clearinghouse does not have access to the full settlement agreement, but details regarding the settlement can be found in this ACLU press release. The parties reached this agreement on August 14th, 2020. The settlement was approved by District Judge Denise Page Hood on September 9th, 2020, who subsequently dismissed the case on September 29th. The settlement is ongoing.

Tessa McEvoy - 10/14/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Unreasonable search and seizure
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Provide antidiscrimination training
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Excessive force
Juveniles
Restraints : physical
Mental Disability
Learning disability
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
State law
Defendant(s) Chief of Police
City of Flint
Flint Chamber of Commerce
Genesee Chamber of Commerce
Terrance Walker
Plaintiff Description Seven-year-old African American boy with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
ACLU National (all projects)
ACLU of Michigan
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
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
Filed 07/31/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  McCadden v. City of Flint
aclu.org
Date: Jun. 5, 2020
By: American Civil Liberties Union
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
E.D. Mich.
09/29/2020
2:18-cv-12377
PN-MI-0012-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
E.D. Mich.
07/31/2018
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PN-MI-0012-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
04/12/2019
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part City Defendants' Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 25] (2019 WL 1584548)
PN-MI-0012-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
07/22/2019
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 32]
PN-MI-0012-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
06/12/2020
Plaintiff's Motion for Approval of Settlement, Attorneys Fees and Costs and to Authorize Disbursements [ECF# 48]
PN-MI-0012-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
08/13/2020
Notice of Resolution Approving Settlement [ECF# 52]
PN-MI-0012-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D. Mich.
09/09/2020
Order Granting Motion to Approve Settlement [ECF# 55]
PN-MI-0012-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Hood, Denise Page (E.D. Mich.) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-0002 | PN-MI-0012-0006 | PN-MI-0012-9000
Patti, Anthony P. Court not on record [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-9000
Whalen, R. Steven (E.D. Mich.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Center, Claudia B. (California) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-0001 | PN-MI-0012-0003 | PN-MI-0012-9000
Fancher, Mark P. (Michigan) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-0001 | PN-MI-0012-0003 | PN-MI-0012-9000
Finnegan, John Mark (Michigan) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-0001 | PN-MI-0012-0003
Marko, Jonathan R (Michigan) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-0001 | PN-MI-0012-0003 | PN-MI-0012-0005 | PN-MI-0012-9000
Mizner, Susan (California) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-0001 | PN-MI-0012-0003 | PN-MI-0012-9000
Steinberg, Michael J. (Michigan) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-0001 | PN-MI-0012-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Chinonis, Nancy (Michigan) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-9000
Edmunds, Michael W. (Michigan) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-9000
Eriksson, Reed E. (Michigan) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-9000
Kim, William Young (Michigan) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-0007 | PN-MI-0012-9000
Koss, Ryan (Michigan) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-9000
Starr, Joseph (Michigan) show/hide docs
PN-MI-0012-9000

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