On November 13, 1978, four juvenile inmates of the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Home (CCJDH) filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Cuyahoga County in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. The plaintiffs, represented by the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland, alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated by physical abuse, lengthy solitary confinement without a hearing, deprivation of education, and inhumane conditions at CCJDH.
On May 22, 1979, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Judge Robert B. Krupansky) dismissed the plaintiffs' complaint sua sponte in reliance upon an obscure and rarely used abstention doctrine. The plaintiffs appealed. On September 2, 1980, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Judge George Clifton Edwards, Jr.) reversed the district court's decision, holding that the dismissal of the case was improper, and remanded it back to the district court. Hanna v. Toner, 630 F.2d 442 (6th Cir. 1980). The defendants appealed. On February 23, 1981, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal. Toner v. Hanna, 450 U.S. 919 (1981).
On January 29, 1985, the district court (Judge Samuel H. Bell) approved a consent decree in the case. The decree contained agreements in the areas of staffing levels, staff training, individual care plans for each juvenile, plans for a special treatment unit, psychological assessments for each child, medical evaluations, education, nutrition, record keeping, clothing, chemical restraints, mechanical/psychiatric restraints, isolation, strip searches, use of holding rooms, admission procedures, and monitoring.
On April 8, 1985, the plaintiffs asked the district court to award them attorneys fees. On July 9, 1985, the parties settled the issue of attorneys fees and the district court (Judge Bell) dismissed the case.Kristen Sagar - 11/13/2007