University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. v. Georgia JI-GA-0002
Docket / Court 98-CV-836 ( N.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On March 13, 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the State of Georgia under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 14141. The Complaint, brought in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, alleged that the State failed ... read more >
On March 13, 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the State of Georgia under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 14141. The Complaint, brought in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, alleged that the State failed to protect the constitutional rights of juveniles incarcerated in the State's correctional facilities. Specifically, the State denied the youths adequate special educational services and medical and mental health care, and facilities staff used excessive force and arbitrary disciplinary policies. In addition, the facilities lacked sufficient living space, sufficient numbers of trained staff, and recreational activities. The government sought an injunction against these practices.

The government's lawsuit was prompted by its 1997 investigation of Georgia's juvenile facilities. On February 13, 1998, the Department reported to the State its findings, gathered from documents, interviews, and on-site visits to juvenile facilities. The report described extensive inadequacies in medical care, education and rehabilitation, and staff supervision. The report also included instances of abuse, overcrowding, and the use of chemical restraints.

The parties reached an out-of-court settlement agreement, which called for the defendants to make changes in the practices described in the complaint, including improving medical and mental health care, access to educational and recreational activities, and refraining from the use of excessive force. The agreement provided for enforcement by a monitor, who would submit reports on the State's progress every six months.

The parties submitted a Joint Motion for Conditional Dismissal, which the court (Judge Julie E. Carnes) approved on March 31, 1998. The court closed the case the same day.

On July 22, 2008, the parties filed a joint motion to reopen the case, which was granted by the court. The parties entered a joint modification of the 1998 agreement with the court. This new stipulation stated that the defendants had reached substantial compliance with all terms of the agreement. On May 5, 2009, the case was again closed.

Kristen Sagar - 06/15/2009

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Assault/abuse by staff
Recreation / Exercise
Special education
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Defendant(s) Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice
Regional Youth Detention Centers
Youth Development Campuses
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
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 1998 - 2009
Filing Year 1998
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
98-836 (N.D. Ga.)
JI-GA-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/05/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum of Agreement Between the U.S. and the State of Georgia re: Georgia Juvenile Facilities
JI-GA-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/01/1998
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of State Juvenile Justice Facilities
JI-GA-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/13/1998
JI-GA-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/18/1998
Joint Motion for Conditional Dismissal
JI-GA-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/18/1998
Remarks by Governor Zell Miller
JI-GA-0002-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/18/1998
Human Rights Watch Statement on U.S.-Georgia Agreement on Juvenile Justice
JI-GA-0002-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/18/1998
Georgia Agrees with Justice Department to Upgrade Conditions at Juvenile Detention Centers
JI-GA-0002-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/18/1998
Order (N.D. Ga.)
JI-GA-0002-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/18/1998
Speech by Attorney General, on Signing of the Agreement
JI-GA-0002-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/19/1998
Summary of Agreement
JI-GA-0002-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/01/1998
Joint Motion to Amend the Order of Conditional Dismissal [ECF# 8]
JI-GA-0002-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/22/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Carnes, Julie E. (N.D. Ga., Eleventh Circuit)
JI-GA-0002-0014 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia)
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
Caldwell, Daniel A. III (Georgia)
JI-GA-0002-0015 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Deane, Richard H. Jr. (Georgia)
JI-GA-0002-0003 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Delaney, Joshua (District of Columbia)
JI-GA-0002-0015 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Dixon, Harry Donival Jr. (Georgia)
Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)
JI-GA-0002-0004 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Lee, Bill Lann (District of Columbia)
JI-GA-0002-0001 | JI-GA-0002-0002 | JI-GA-0002-0003 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Martin, Beverly Baldwin (Georgia)
Murphy, Amie S. (District of Columbia)
JI-GA-0002-0015 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Nahmias, David (Georgia)
Nelson, Mellie H. (District of Columbia)
JI-GA-0002-0001 | JI-GA-0002-0003 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
JI-GA-0002-0004 | JI-GA-0002-0015 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)
JI-GA-0002-0001 | JI-GA-0002-0003 | JI-GA-0002-0006
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
JI-GA-0002-0001 | JI-GA-0002-0004 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Russell, Kevin K. (District of Columbia)
JI-GA-0002-0001 | JI-GA-0002-0003 | JI-GA-0002-0004 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Welp, Laura M. (District of Columbia)
JI-GA-0002-0015 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Wright, David (Georgia)
JI-GA-0002-0003 | JI-GA-0002-0004 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Baker, Thurbert E. (Georgia)
JI-GA-0002-0001 | JI-GA-0002-0004 | JI-GA-0002-0015 | JI-GA-0002-9000
Drolet, Joseph J (Georgia)
Dunn, Dennis R. (Georgia)
Egan, Michael Cohen (Georgia)
Joy, William C. (Georgia)
Milsteen, Jeff L. (Georgia)
Westmoreland, Mary Beth (Georgia)
White, L. Todd (Georgia)

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