United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
JOHN DOE, a minor, by and through his Mother and next friend SHARIEKA FRAIZER, Plaintiffs,
BONNIE HOMMRICH, et al Defendants.
FINAL ORDER APPROVING CLASS SETTLEMENT, ORDERING
PERMANENT INJUNCTIVE RELIEF, AND DISMISSING CASE WITH
RICHARDSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter came to be heard in open Court upon a Fairness
Hearing, conducted on July 19, 2019, for final consideration
of the proposed Class Settlement Agreement. The parties
provided Notice to the Class of the proposed settlement
agreement and the Fairness Hearing consistent with the
approved Fairness Hearing Notice approved by this Court.
reasons stated herein, the proposed Class Settlement
Agreement is approved, and the Court makes the following
FINDINGS and IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS
March 27, 2019, the plaintiffs John Doe, individually and on
behalf of the class as Class Representative (“Mr.
Doe”) and counsel for Mr. Doe and the class certified
by this Court, Thomas H. Castelli, Mark J. Downton and Wesley
B. Clark (collectively “Class Counsel”), and the
defendants Bonnie Hommrich, in her official capacity as the
Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of the
Children's Services (“Commissioner
Hommrich”), the Tennessee Department of the
Children's Services (the “Department”), and,
Rutherford County, Tennessee (the “County”) filed
a Corrected Second Agreed Motion to Approve Class Settlement
(Docket No. (“Motion to Approve”.) Attached to
the Motion to Approve is the executed Class Action Settlement
Agreement (the “Class Settlement Agreement”),
which all parties request this Court to approve and based on
which the parties seek this final order. A copy of the Class
Settlement Agreement is attached to this Order as Exhibit
March 28, 2019, this Court entered an Order Granting
Preliminary Approval of the Class Settlement, Directing
Notice to the Class, and Scheduling Fairness Hearing (Docket
No. 144 (the “Preliminary Approval Order”).)
Pursuant to the Preliminary Approval Order, a Fairness
Hearing was conducted on July 19, 2019.
Final Order Approving Class Settlement, Ordering Permanent
Injunctive Relief, and Dismissing Case with Prejudice (the
“Final Order”) incorporates the Class Settlement
Agreement and its exhibits, and the Preliminary Approval
Based on the entire record before this Court, including the
Memorandum and Order entered on February 17, 2017 (Docket No.
100), the Class Settlement Agreement (attached as Exhibit
A), the Motion to Approve (Docket No. 143), the
Preliminary Approval Order (Docket No. 144), the Fairness
Hearing, and all other prior submissions and filings in this
proceeding, the Court hereby confirms that the certified and
final class in this matter is as follows (hereinafter
referred to as the “Class” and/or the
All juveniles detained in the Rutherford County
Juvenile Detention Center who are or were placed in solitary
confinement or isolation for punitive reasons, from April 25,
2015 to the present.
(Docket No. 100, p. 9; and, Class Settlement Agreement,
Court confirms that the Class meets all the applicable
requirements of FED. R. CIV. P. 23(a) and (b)(2).
Court has personal jurisdiction over all parties in the
Litigation, including all Class Members, and has subject
matter jurisdiction over this class litigation, including
jurisdiction to approve the Settlement Agreement, grant final
certification of the Class, to settle and release all claims
released in the Settlement Agreement, to enter the permanent
injunction, and to dismiss this matter with prejudice.
Further, venue is proper in this Court.
accordance with the Preliminary Approval Order, the Class
Members were given notice of the terms of the Settlement (the
“Notice”), as well as the date, time and location
of the Fairness Hearing and the deadline for presenting
objections to the Class Settlement Agreement. In particular
and in conformity with the Preliminary Approval Order, the
Notice was provided to Class Members by the following means:
a mailing by Rutherford County to the last known address of
the one-hundred and twenty-eight (128) potential class
members identified by Rutherford County in the course of
discovery and referenced by the Court in its Order certifying
the class (Docket No. 100 at 4), unless excluded from
potential class membership by agreement of counsel for
Rutherford County and Plaintiffs; publication on the websites
of the County and the Department; posting in the entrance
lobby and visitor areas of the Rutherford County Juvenile
Detention Center; and, mailing to Juvenile Court Judge and
Magistrates for the Juvenile Court of Rutherford County, the
Rutherford County Public Defender's Office, and the
Rutherford County District Attorney's Office. The Notice
informed the Class Members of who was in the class, a summary
of basis for the litigation, a description of the proposed
settlement, that they could object to the proposed
settlement, a description of the proposed release, and the
procedure and deadline for submitting any such objections.
The Notice provided Class Members with adequate time to
submit any objections to the Class Settlement Agreement. This
Court finds that the Notice, both its content and the method
by which it was published to potential Class Members,
afforded Class Members appropriate and adequate protections
to make informed decisions regarding the Class Settlement
Agreement, and satisfied the requirement of law and due
designated class representative is John Doe, and the Court
finds that he adequately represents the Class for purposes of
entering into and implementing the Settlement Agreement.
Moreover, the Court finds that Thomas H. Castelli, Mark J.
Downton and Wesley B. Clark are appropriate class counsel.
the July 19, 2019, Fairness Hearing, the Parties presented
support for why the Class Settlement Agreement is fair,
reasonable and adequate to all concerned. Moreover, no Class
Member has lodged an objection to the Class Settlement