Part two: case summaries by major topic.

Position:P. 66-100 - Case overview

26. JUVENILES

U.S. District Court USE OF Plair v. City of New York, 789 F.Supp.2d FORCE FAILURE TO PROTECT 459 (S.D.N.Y. 2011.) A pre-trial detainee at an adolescent jail brought an action against a city, city officials, and corrections officers, asserting claims under [section] 1983 and state law arising from an incident in which an officer allegedly punched him in the face. The defendants moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the detainee failed to state excessive force claims against supervisory officials and a [section] 1983 claim against the city. The court found that correctional officers and supervisors did not have immunity under New York law from state law claims and the city did not have immunity under New York law from state law claims brought on the respondeat superior basis. The court held that the determination of whether the pretrial detainee's claim against the city for its negligent hiring, training, and retention of officers and supervisors allegedly involved in the detainee's beating could not be resolved at the motion to dismiss phase because of factual issues as to whether the actions of these officers and supervisors were undertaken in the scope of their employment. (Robert N. Davoren Center, Rikers Island, New York City) U.S. District Court Troy D. v. Mickens, 806 F.Supp.2d 758 CONDITIONS DUE PROCESS (D.NJ. 201 L) Two juvenile delinquents ISOLATION PROGRAMS brought a [section] 1983 action against mental health providers and the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC), alleging that the actions of the defendants while the delinquents were in custody violated the Fourteenth Amendment and New Jersey law. One of the plaintiffs was 15 years old when he was adjudicated delinquent and remained in custody for a total of 225 days. For approximately 178 of those days, the delinquent was held in isolation under a special observation status requiring close or constant watch, purportedly for his own safety. Although the delinquents were placed in isolation for different reasons, the conditions they experienced were similar. Each was confined to a seven-foot-by-seven-foot room and allowed out only for hygiene purposes. The rooms contained only a concrete bed slab, a toilet, a sink, and a mattress pad. One delinquent was allegedly held in extreme cold, and the other was allegedly isolated for four days in extreme heat. Both were denied any educational materials or programming, and were prevented from interacting with their peers. One delinquents mattress pad was often removed, a light remained on for 24 hours a day, and he was often required to wear a bulky, sleeveless smock. Both delinquents were allegedly denied mental health treatment during their periods in isolation. The defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. The district court denied the motion. The court held that there was no evidence that a juvenile delinquent housed in New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) facilities was educated about filing a form with a social worker as the procedure for filing an administrative grievance, as required for the procedure to be available to the delinquent to exhaust his [section] 1983 claims against JJC and mental health providers. The court also found that there was no evidence the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) provided written notice to the juvenile delinquent housed at JJC facilities of the opportunity to appeal their disciplinary sanctions, which would have triggered the requirement that he appeal each sanction within 48 hours of notice, as required to exhaust administrative remedies. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to: (1) whether the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) and mental health providers were deliberately indifferent towards conditions of confinement, in protecting and in providing medical care for the juvenile delinquent housed in JJC facilities; (2) whether placing Lhejuvenile delinquent housed in temporary close custody and special observation status implicated a liberty interest; (3) whether a juvenile delinquent housed in New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) facilities had procedural due process protections available to him upon a change of status; (4) whether the juvenile delinquent had a liberty interest implicated in his transfer to a more restrictive placement; (5) whether the juvenile delinquent had sufficient procedural due process protections available to him upon transfer to a more restrictive placement; and (6) whether the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC) and mental health providers aclcd with malice or reckless indifference. (New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission, Juvenile Medium Security Facility, New Jersey Training School, Juvenile Reception and Assessment Center) 27. LIABILITY

U.S. Appeals Court At-Amin v. Smithy 637 F.3d 1192 (11th COMPENSATORY Cir. 2011). A state prison inmate brought DAMAGES PLRA- a [section] 1983 action against state Prison Litigation corrections officials, alleging that the Reform officials had repeatedly opened his Act PUNITIVE DAMAGES privileged attorney mail outside of his presence, in violation of his rights of access to the courts and free speech. The district court denied the officials' motion for summary judgment. The appeals court affirmed in part and reversed in part, and denied rehearing en banc. The United States Supreme Court denied certiorari. On remand, the district court granted the officials' motion, precluding the inmate from offering evidence of either compensatory or punitive damages. The inmate appealed. The appeals court affirmed, finding that the prisoner could not seek punitive damages relief absent a physical injury, under the provisions of the Prison Litigation Reform Act. (Georgia State Prison) U.S. District Court Barringtort v. New York, 806 F,Supp.2d PUNITIVE DAMAGES SOVEREIGN 730 (S.D.N. Y. 2011.) A prisoner brought IMMUNITY a [section] 1983 action against correctional officers and a state, alleging violation of his constitutional rights as the result of an assault from officers in retaliation for filing grievances about disciplinary actions taken against him. The defendants moved for summary judgment. The district court granted the motion in part and denied in part. The court held that the state was entitled to sovereign immunity. The court found that the prisoner's [section] 1983 excessive force suit against correctional officers in their individual capacities did not implicate a rule against double recovery, under New York law, despite the officers' contention that the prisoner had already won an excessive force suit in state court against the officers in their official capacities and now wanted "a second bite at apple. " The court noted that there was no court in which the prisoner could have brought both an excessive force claim under state law against the state and the officers in their official capacities and a [section] 1983 claim against the officers in individual capacities for which punitive damages were available. The court held that summary judgment was precluded by a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the prisoner's filing of a grievance was the motivating factor for the alleged assault by the correctional officers. (Green Haven Correctional Facility, New York) U.S. Appeals Court Cash v. County of Erie, 654 F.3d 324 (2nd MUNICIPAL LIABILITY Cir. 2011). A pretrial detainee filed a [section] 1983 action against a county, sheriff, and deputy sheriff alleging that the deputy sexually assaulted her. After entry of a jury verdict in the detainee's favor the district court granted the defendants' motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. The parties filed cross-appeals. The appeals court reversed and remanded. The appeals court held that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury's finding that the sheriff was deliberately indifferent to the risk of sexual misconduct, and the jury's determination that the county was subject to municipal liability was not irreconcilably inconsistent with its finding that the sheriff was not negligent According to the court, trial evidence revealed that the detainee was housed in a female housing unit at the facility, that the deputy, acting alone, escorted some female detainees to the recreation center but ordered the plaintiff to remain behind. When the deputy returned, he grabbed the plaintiff, put his hands over her nose and mouth, forced her into the deputies' bathroom, and raped her. The plaintiff reported the assault the next morning, prompting an investigation that led to the deputy's arrest for first-degree rape. (Erie County Holding Center, New York) U.S. District Court Chao v. Baltista, 806 F.Supp,2d 358 FAILURE TO PROTECT FAILURE (D.Mass. 2011.) A female former inmate TO brought an action under [section] 1983 SUPERVISE FAILURE TO and 1 the Massachusetts Civil Rights Act TRAIN QUALIFIED (MCRA) against a prison guard and IMMUNITY superintendent, alleging that the guard SUPERVISORY violated her constitutional rights by LIABILITY sexually exploiting her while she was incarcerated, and that the superintendent failed to protect her from the guard's repeated sexual battery. Following a jury trial, the district court entered judgment in the inmate's favor. The defendants subsequently moved for judgment as matter of law or for a new trial. The district court denied the motions. The court held that the question of whether the prison guard's misconduct in sexually exploiting the inmate while she was incarcerated rose to the level of "sufficiently serious harm" necessary to establish an Eighth Amendment violation, was for the jury. The court also found that the issue of whether the prison guard and superintendent were deliberately indifferent to the rights, health, or safety of the inmate was for the jury. The court found that the jury verdict finding that the...

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