Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

J.H. v. Williamson County

United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division

May 22, 2017

J.H., by next friend BETTY HARRIS
v.
WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TENNESSEE, et al.

          MEMORANDUM

          ALETA A. TRAUGER UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Pending before the court is an Initial Motion to Dismiss and/or for Partial Summary Judgment[1] (Docket No. 47), filed by Defendants Williamson County, Betsy Adgent, Sharon Guffee, and Steve McMahan (collectively for purposes of this Motion, “Defendants”). For the reasons stated herein, Defendants' Motion will be granted.

         INTRODUCTION

         This action was brought on behalf of a minor Plaintiff, J.H., by his next friend and mother, Betty Harris, against Williamson County, a governmental entity that operates the Williamson County Detention Center for Juveniles (the “JDC”) in Franklin, Tennessee; Juan Cruz, a former employee of Williamson County; Steve McMahon, Supervisor of the JDC; Betsy Adgent, Director of Juvenile Services for the Williamson County Juvenile Court; and Sharon Guffee, Williamson County Juvenile Court Judge. The individual Defendants are sued in both their individual and official capacities.

         The Complaint (Docket No. 1)[2] alleges violations of J.H.'s Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Plaintiff has conceded that J.H. was at all times a pretrial detainee and, therefore, his Eighth Amendment claims are moot. Docket No. 112, p. 5. Accordingly, Plaintiff's Eighth Amendment claims against all Defendants will be dismissed.

         The Complaint also alleges violations of J.H.'s Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) rights. Plaintiff has conceded that his ADA claims should be dismissed because the JDC is not a “public accommodation.” Docket No. 112, p. 26. Accordingly, Plaintiff's ADA claims against all Defendants will be dismissed.

         The parties agree that J.H. was detained at the JDC on multiple occasions between May 2013 and December 2013. The Complaint alleges that J.H. has a medical diagnosis of Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (“PANDAS”), which manifests in a variety of behavioral and psychiatric disturbances.[3] Plaintiff alleges causes of action related to alleged solitary confinement, lack of medical and mental health care, limited visitation rights, sexual assault, and negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

         In setting the scope of Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, the parties agreed that Defendants' partial summary judgment arguments concerning judicial immunity, quasi-judicial immunity, and the Rooker-Feldman doctrine are addressed to four specific instances only. Docket No. 67. Plaintiff has represented that he does not challenge the first three of those instances (Docket No. 112, p. 9), so all claims as to the following decisions of Judge Guffee and the actions of any other Defendant to implement those will be dismissed:

1. Judge Sharon Guffee's decision following a hearing on October 17, 2013 and reflected in her order filed on October 23, 2013 and in an Agreed Order of the parties signed by Judge Guffee on October 25, 2013 allowing for release of Plaintiff from juvenile detention for purposes of enrolling in treatment at the NeuroRestorative Center, based upon certain conditions.
2. Judge Guffee's November 14, 2013 decision that Plaintiff be returned to the detention center by midnight and the corresponding written order filed on November 20, 2013.
3. Judge Guffee's decisions following the November 21, 2013 detention hearing and reflected in her written order filed on November 22, 2013 to continue the detention of Plaintiff and to restrict Plaintiff's mother's visits to one time per week, limit those visits to thirty minutes, and prohibit Plaintiff's mother from bringing anything with her.

         Docket Nos. 67, p. 2, and 112, p. 9.

         Therefore, the only instance to be addressed on this Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is the following:[4]

Judge Guffee's decisions following the December 9, 2013 hearing to allow Lee Dryer to withdraw as Plaintiff's counsel after interviewing Plaintiff in camera; to continue the detention of Plaintiff under the same terms of confinement with limitations on visitation and communications with parents; and to continue Plaintiff's confinement in a single cell. Defendants also assert that ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.