University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name S.H. v. Stickrath JI-OH-0004
Docket / Court 2:04-cv-01206-GCS-TPK ( S.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Juvenile Institution
Special Collection Strip Search Cases
Attorney Organization Youth Law Center
Case Summary
On December 24, 2004, private civil rights attorneys and attorneys for the Youth Law Center, Inc. the Children's Law Center, Inc, and the Ohio Justice & Policy Center filed a § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, challenging the treatment of ... read more >
On December 24, 2004, private civil rights attorneys and attorneys for the Youth Law Center, Inc. the Children's Law Center, Inc, and the Ohio Justice & Policy Center filed a § 1983 class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, challenging the treatment of juveniles in the custody or under the supervision of the Ohio Department of Youth Services (ODYS). The ODYS operated juvenile correctional institutions in Ohio which included Circleville Youth Center, Cuyahoga Hills Boys School, Indian River School, Marion Juvenile Correctional Center, Mohican Youth Center, Ohio River Valley Youth Center, Scioto Juvenile Correctional Center, and the Freedom Center.

Plaintiffs' complaint alleged that the individually named plaintiffs and the plaintiff class members were subjected to abusive, inhumane, and illegal conditions, policies, and practices, which included: excessive force, physical abuse, unreasonable mechanical restraints, lockdown and isolation for arbitrary reasons, improper strip searches, inadequate mental health care and medical treatment, inadequate education services and programs, and ineffective disciplinary measures. Plaintiffs further alleged that the ODYS denied equal access and services for girls in its custody. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification.

Plaintiffs amended the complaint on June 15, 2005. Defendants moved to dismiss.

On July 29, 2005, the District Court (Magistrate Judge Terence P Kemp) stayed the case at the request of the parties so that they could pursue settlement negotiations. The Court denied plaintiffs' request for class certification without prejudice to refilling and administratively closed the case.

On April 4, 2007, plaintiffs requested that the court ordered stay be lifted and that they be granted leave to file a second amended complaint.

On May 18, 2007, United States Magistrate Judge Kemp appointed Fred Cohen as Independent Fact Finder. Cohen assembled a team of 10 experts with whom he conducted intensive site visits of various Ohio Department of Youth Services (ODYS) facilities. The team interviewed staff, youth and ODYS officials and reviewed numerous records and reports. On December 13, 2007, Cohen issued a 214 page Fact-Finding Final Report, which addressed his team's findings and its recommendations for an overhaul of the ODYS system and facilities.

On May 21, 2008, the court approved a settlement in the case. Under the terms of the agreement, the defendants agreed to a comprehensive continuum of care in a regionalized services delivery system, a system of monitoring, youth-focused care, quality treatment interventions, engagement of families, education and vocational training of youths in the system, a grievance system, access to advocates/attorneys, strong re-entry programs, and a fair and effective release process.

Less than a week before the settlement was approved, the Department of Justice filed its own suit. Details on that case (JI-OH-0006 in this Clearinghouse) are available here. That case was soon settled, and compliance work on the two has continued together. On Feb. 11, 2015, the monitoring Correctional Institution Inspection Committee, issued a report showing a dramatic decline in use of seclusion.

Kristen Sagar - 03/02/2009
Megan Richardson - 06/16/2014

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Assault/abuse by residents/inmates/students
Assault/abuse by staff
Classification / placement
Disciplinary procedures
Personal injury
Restraints : physical
Search policies
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Strip search policy
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Circleville Youth Center
Cuyahoga Hills Boys School
Freedom Center
Indian River School
Marion Juvenile Correctional Center
Mohican Youth Center
Ohio Department of Youth Services (ODYS)
Ohio River Valley Youth Center
Scioto Juvenile Correctional Center
Plaintiff Description All persons who are now, or in the future, will be held in the custody or under the supervision of ODYS.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Youth Law Center
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 2008 - n/a
Filing Year 2004
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing JI-OH-0006 : United States v. Strickland (S.D. Ohio)
Additional Resources
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  Jail Strip-Search Cases: Patterns and Participants
Date: Spring 2008
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University in St. Louis Faculty)
Citation: 71 Law & Contemp. Problems 65 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

2:04-cv-01206-GCS-TPK (S.D. Ohio)
JI-OH-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/28/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Exhibit A: Proposal to Reduce Violence and Improve the Response to Violence in DYS Facilities [Monitoring Grid] [ECF# 400-2]
JI-OH-0004-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order (S.D. Ohio)
JI-OH-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/29/2005
Second Amended Class Action Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 46-2]
JI-OH-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/04/2007
Final Fact-Finding Report - S.H. V.. Stickrath
JI-OH-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/13/2007
JI-OH-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/20/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Psychiatry Site Visit Report
JI-OH-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/11/2009
Consent Order [ECF# 359] (S.D. Ohio)
JI-OH-0004-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/18/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Justice Department Settles Lawsuit Against State of Ohio to End Unlawful Seclusion of Youth in Juvenile Correctional Facilities
JI-OH-0004-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/21/2014
Source: U.S. DOJ, Civil Rights Division, Education Section
Agreed Order re: MH and Isolation [ECF# 401] (S.D. Ohio)
JI-OH-0004-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/21/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
DYS Seclusion Hours: Correctional Institution Inspection Committee
JI-OH-0004-0009.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 02/11/2015
Judges Kemp, Terence Peter (S.D. Ohio)
JI-OH-0004-0002 | JI-OH-0004-9000
Marbley, Algenon L. (S.D. Ohio)
JI-OH-0004-0004 | JI-OH-0004-0007 | JI-OH-0004-0010 | JI-OH-0004-9000
Smith, George Curtis (S.D. Ohio)
Monitors/Masters Cohen, Fred (Arizona)
Wills, Cheryl D. (Ohio)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Branch, Jennifer L. (Ohio)
Coe, Cynthia (District of Columbia)
Dominguez-Reese, Silvia J. (District of Columbia)
Gerhardstein, Alphonse A. (Ohio)
JI-OH-0004-0001 | JI-OH-0004-0007 | JI-OH-0004-0010 | JI-OH-0004-9000
Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia)
Jackson, Angelina N. (Ohio)
Kinsley, Jennifer M. (Ohio)
JI-OH-0004-0001 | JI-OH-0004-9000
Moore, Janet (Ohio)
Ramiu, Maria Felisa (California)
JI-OH-0004-0001 | JI-OH-0004-9000
Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)
Sanders, Deborah (Ohio)
Scantlebury, Joseph Zavier (District of Columbia)
Schindler, Marc (District of Columbia)
Shandell, Alexandra L. (District of Columbia)
Singleton, David A. (Ohio)
JI-OH-0004-0001 | JI-OH-0004-9000
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
Soler, Mark I. (District of Columbia)
Stewart, Carter M. (Ohio)
Tandy, Kimberly Brooks (Kentucky)
JI-OH-0004-0001 | JI-OH-0004-0007 | JI-OH-0004-0010 | JI-OH-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Anger, Thomas (Ohio)
Anthony, Laura Greenberg (Ohio)
Arbogast, Janet R Hill (Ohio)
Burnes, James Place (Ohio)
Cholar, Richard Thomas Jr. (Ohio)
Goldstein, Judith B. (Ohio)
Holloway, James Eric (Ohio)
Jennings, Sharon A. (Ohio)
King, Philip A. (Ohio)
Mancini, Joseph Matthew (Ohio)
Moul, Geoffrey J. (Ohio)
Strigari, Frank M. (Ohio)
Swisher, Zachary (Ohio)
Worly, Mindy Ann (Ohio)
JI-OH-0004-0010 | JI-OH-0004-9000
Other Lawyers Cuncannan, Jacqueline (District of Columbia)
Dominguez, Silvia Judith (District of Columbia)
Gonzalez, Gregory (District of Columbia)
Herman, Vincent P. (District of Columbia)
Ogletree, Rashida J (District of Columbia)
Tayloe, Benjamin O. (District of Columbia)
JI-OH-0004-0007 | JI-OH-0004-9000

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