On August 27, 1982, juveniles confined in the Salt Lake Detention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah, filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Second District Juvenile Court in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, Central Division. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory, injunctive and other equitable relief, alleging that the defendants violated their rights to due process of law and equal protection of the laws. Specifically, the plaintiffs contended that they were detained without a prompt judicial determination of probable cause and without adequate constitutional safeguards to prevent unnecessary and punitive incarceration.
On February 15, 1983, the District Court (Judge David K. Winder) granted class certification on a provisional basis, constituting a class consisting of any past, present or future juveniles confined at the Detention Center.
On March 27, 1984, the District Court (Judge Winder) approved a consent decree. Under the consent decree, the defendants agreed to implement a new procedure for determining probable cause for alleged offenses. The new procedures provided for a probable cause hearing within 48 hours, a determination based on testimony and release of those whose allegation were not supported by probable cause.
The consent decree required that a juvenile would be detained only if (a) secure placement of the juvenile was required to protect the juvenile from harm, (b) to protect persons in the community form being harmed, or (c) to secure the attendance of the juvenile at future court proceedings. The consent decree permitted, though did not require, detention to protect the juvenile or members of the community only if the juvenile was alleged to have committed an offense specified in the consent decree. Offenses sufficient to alone justify detention included serious offenses such as aggravated assault and kidnapping, felony attempt and conspiracy, manslaughter and murder. Offenses necessary, though not sufficient, to alone justify detention included less serious offenses. The consent decree permitted, though did not require, detention to secure the attendance of the juvenile at future court proceedings if the juvenile was an escapee from a secure institution, failed to appear at a juvenile proceeding in the past year, was a fugitive from another institution, or had voluntarily absented himself or herself from three or more non-secure placements.
Under the consent decree, juveniles could not be detained if brought to the Detention Center solely by reason of having been (a) alleged to be ungovernable or runaway, (b) taken into custody for neglect, abuse, abandonment, dependence, or requiring protection for any other reason, (c) alleged to have committed a status offense (an offense which would not be a crime if committed by an adult), (d) taken into custody solely for an endangering condition or for attempted suicide. The consent decree prohibited detention of juveniles under the age of ten years old.
Under the consent decree, the plaintiffs reserved the right to request such attorneys' fees and costs, and defendants reserved the right to oppose such requests.
Because we only have the consent decree, we have no more information on this file.Josh Altman - 05/22/2006