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Case Name David C. v. Leavitt CW-UT-0001
Docket / Court 93-CV-206C ( D. Utah )
State/Territory Utah
Case Type(s) Child Welfare
Special Collection Court-ordered receiverships
Attorney Organization National Center for Youth Law
Case Summary
This lawsuit was filed by the National Center of Youth Law on February 2, 1993, against the Utah Department of Human Services (DHS), in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. The class action complaint named as the plaintiff class all children in the custody of DHS, whether in a shelter ... read more >
This lawsuit was filed by the National Center of Youth Law on February 2, 1993, against the Utah Department of Human Services (DHS), in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. The class action complaint named as the plaintiff class all children in the custody of DHS, whether in a shelter care facility, foster family home, group home, or institutional care; and all children who known to DHS by virtue of a report of child abuse. It addressed systemic issues encompassing the shortfalls of child welfare services and the foster care system including child abuse and neglect investigations; placements; health and mental health care; caseloads and staff training; and case planning, case review, and permanency planning.

In May 1993, a settlement agreement was reached between the parties and approved by the district court (Magistrate Judge Samuel Alba). However, three years later, the defendants had managed to comply with only four of the settlement agreement's 95 components. In 1996, the plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce the settlement agreement and appoint a receiver. The court agreed that the defendant was in contempt and approved the motion for preparation for a Comprehensive Plan to enforce the settlement, but declined to appoint a receiver.

In 1998, the settlement agreement was extended for another four years with an order from Judge Campbell retaining jurisdiction. Additionally, the judge ordered the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan including a Monitoring Panel from the Child Welfare Policy & Practice Group. The order was appealed and affirmed by the Tenth Circuit.

On November 9, 2001, defendants filed a motion to dismiss based on the Tenth Circuit's initial holding in Joseph A. v. Ingram, 262 F.3d 1113 (10th Cir. 2001), opinion withdrawn and superseded on rehearing in part by Joseph A. v. Ingram, 275 F.3d 1253 (10th Cir. 2002). Plaintiffs filed an opposition brief. Based on the Tenth Circuit's reversal of its prior decision in Joseph A., defendants voluntarily withdrew their motion.

On August 22, 2002, the plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce the settlement after years of noncompliance. Rather than make a judgment, Judge Campbell ordered the parties to renegotiate a solution identifying areas for improvement. The renegotiation included stipulations requiring more trainers and the hiring of 45 new caseworkers in addition to implementing an easier procedure for caseworkers to access funding for their cases. The renegotiated "Milestone Plan" was twice amended on June 9, 2004 and July 12, 2005.

In December 2006, the parties negotiated a new settlement in contemplation of dismissing the lawsuit. The parties finalized the Agreement to Terminate the Lawsuit on May 11, 2007. The case was dismissed with prejudice on December 31, 2008.

Ariana Fink - 12/10/2012

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Content of Injunction
Goals and Timekeeping
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Crowding / caseload
Failure to train
Family abuse and neglect
Family reunification
Foster care (benefits, training)
Inadequate citizen complaint investigations and procedures
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Parents (visitation, involvement)
Siblings (visitation, placement)
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Timeliness of case assignment
Youth / Adult separation
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medical care, unspecified
Mental health care, general
Mental health care, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) State of Utah
Utah Department of Human Services
Plaintiff Description All children who are or will be in the custody of DHS and who have been or will be placed by DHS in a shelter care facility, foster family home, group home or institutional care; and, all children who are known to DHS by virtue of a report of child abuse
Indexed Lawyer Organizations National Center for Youth Law
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
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 1993 - 2007
Filing Year 1993
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  Legal Accountability in the Service-Based Welfare State: Lessons from Child Welfare Reform
Date: Summer 2009
By: Kathleen G. Noonan, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon (Center for High Impact Philanthropy , Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School Faculty)
Citation: 34 Law & Soc. Inquiry 523 (Summer 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

93-CV-206C (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/05/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order (1993 WL 764518) (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/07/1993
Memorandum Decision and Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Award of Attorneys' Fees and Costs (900 F.Supp. 1547) (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/03/1995
Source: Google Scholar
Order (13 F.Supp.2d 1206) (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/04/1998
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (242 F.3d 1206)
CW-UT-0001-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/09/2001
Source: Westlaw
Memorandum Decision (534 U.S. 822)
CW-UT-0001-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/01/2001
Source: Westlaw
Stipulation to Enter Order to Enforce the Court's 1999 Remedial Order and Settlement Agreement
CW-UT-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/17/2003
Order [ECF# 518] (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/17/2003
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' November 2006 Status Report [ECF# 570]
CW-UT-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/08/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreement to Terminate the Lawsuit [ECF# 580]
CW-UT-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/11/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Parties' Agreement to Terminate the Lawsuit and Dismissing Case Without Prejudice [ECF# 601] (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/25/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order of Dismissal with Prejudice [ECF# 610] (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/05/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Alba, Samuel (D. Utah)
Campbell, Tena (D. Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-0002 | CW-UT-0001-0005 | CW-UT-0001-0006 | CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Murphy, Michael R. (Tenth Circuit)
Winder, David Keith (D. Utah)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ancar, Katina (California)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Bussiere, Alice (California)
Cheng, Michelle Lee (California)
Clark, Stephen C. (California)
Dresser, Gregory P. (California)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Finberg, Jeanne (California)
CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Gold, Jana G. (California)
Grimm, William L. (California)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Hamm, Darryl L. (California)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Kaplan, Daniel A. (Wisconsin)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Matthews, Martha (California)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
McElhinny, Harold J. (California)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-9000
McElroy, Patrice (California)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Morgan, D. James (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
O'Brien, Michael Patrick (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
O'Toole, John F. (California)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Palamountain, Kathryn C. (California)
Pearl, Richard M (California)
CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Steyer, Elizabeth (California)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Thau, Stephen B. (California)
Wadsworth, H. Wayne (Utah)
Welch, Leecia (California)
CW-UT-0001-0004 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Aeschbacher, Steven J. (Utah)
Balmanno, Alain (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0001 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Barlow, Craig L. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Burnett, Brent A. (Utah)
Clawson, Carol (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Dever, L. A. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Eisenman, Susan (Utah)
Hagan, Scott A. (Utah)
Jardine, James S. (Utah)
Jones, Joni J. (Utah)
Luinstra-Baldwin, Linda (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Mitchell, Annina M. (Utah)
Nichols, Carolyn (New Mexico)
CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Ochoa, Barbara H. (Utah)
Peterson, John M. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0009 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Pugsley, Philip C. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0008 | CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000
Saperstein, Herschel J. (Utah)
Shurtleff, Mark L. (Utah)
Springmeyer, Douglas W. (Utah)
Stringham, Reed M. III (Utah)
Waterman, Steven T. (Utah)
CW-UT-0001-0010 | CW-UT-0001-9000

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