Doe v. McFaul

Decision Date26 December 1984
Docket NumberC82-3605.,Civ. A. No. C82-2985
Citation599 F. Supp. 1421
PartiesJohn DOE, Plaintiff, v. Gerald T. McFAUL, et al., Defendants. John DOE, et al., Plaintiffs, v. Gerald T. McFAUL, et al., Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Northern District of Ohio


Jerome Emoff, Mary Ann O. Rini, Shaker Heights, Ohio, Thomas E. Frye, Euclid, Ohio, for plaintiff.

Richard Hoenigman, Patrick Murphy, Asst. Prosecutors, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, Ohio, for defendants.


ANN ALDRICH, District Judge.

These civil rights and tort actions1 challenge the incarceration of juvenile offenders in an adult corrections facility by a state juvenile court judge as a violation of state statutes and the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution. During their imprisonment both juveniles were assaulted and allegedly raped. In cross-motions for summary judgment, the plaintiffs seek a determination of liability against the government entities and officials who allegedly implemented the incarceration and permitted the assaults, while the defendants eschew responsibility for plaintiffs' injuries.


The plaintiffs in both actions proceed under pseudonyms. In No. C82-2985 ("John Doe I"), the amended complaint states claims against Gerald T. McFaul, the Sheriff of Cuyahoga County ("the County"); Walter W. Brown, the Warden of the Cuyahoga County Corrections Center ("Corrections Center" or "the jail"); the County; the three County Commissioners at the time the cause of action arose, Edward Feighan, Vincent Campanella, and Virgil Brown ("the Commissioners"); Judge Leo M. Spellacy, the administrative judge of the Court of Common Pleas; various unnamed corrections officers; one named officer, James McTigue; and Tyrone Sweeney and Joel Williams, who were also inmates at the Corrections Center. In No. C82-3605 ("John Doe II"), the amended complaint names as defendants McFaul; Brown; ten named corrections officers; Judge Spellacy; the Commissioners; four Corrections Center inmates; the County; and Robert Pace, who was chief of security and later director of corrections at the Corrections Center.

The amended complaints in the two cases are essentially identical. Both actions are commenced pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and the Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2201-02, to redress alleged violations of the First, Fourth, Sixth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act ("JJDPA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 5601-5751. Pendent state claims allege violations of Article I of the Ohio Constitution, the Ohio Juvenile Code, Ohio Rev. Code § 2151.01 et seq., and Ohio common law. Subject matter jurisdiction is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343(3) and (4).

Both plaintiffs allege that at the time the causes of action arose they were seventeen years old, were under the jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court, and had been found delinquent for violations of the Ohio Revised Code. Both claim that they were confined at the Corrections Center pending final disposition and sentencing, and were assaulted by other prisoners while corrections officers were away from their posts. John Doe I alleges that he was homosexually raped; John Doe II originally alleged attempted homosexual rape, but in a supplemental affidavit now claims that he was raped.

Count 1 of each amended complaint alleges that all defendants had "constructive or actual knowledge of the danger of assault and rape to any juvenile due to the physical layout of the cell/pod area, the inadequate supervisory staff, and the commingling with adult offenders," and that the "conditions under which all juveniles are housed constitutes a pattern, practice, and custom of all defendants. "Count 2 states that confinement of juveniles at the Corrections Center violated the JJDPA, 42 U.S.C. § 5633(12), and Ohio Rev.Code § 2151.01, and deprived them of due process. Count 3 claims that the confinement constituted cruel and unusual punishment as prohibited by the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments. Count 4 terms the confinement a violation of § 1983. Count 5 repeats the previous allegations that due process and § 1983 were violated and adds a claim of "false imprisonment," presumably as a pendent state claim. Count 6 alleges that the defendants' conduct constituted intentional infliction of emotional distress. Count 7 claims that the confinement of juveniles at the Corrections Center breached defendants' duty to protect juveniles in state custody and caused physical and emotional injury. Count 8 is directed solely against the other inmates and charges them with assault. The prayer for relief seeks compensatory and punitive damages, declaratory relief, costs and attorney's fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988.

Defaults have been entered against the inmates, who are not parties to the pending motions.


In assessing the cross-motions for summary judgment, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c) requires that summary judgment may be entered only "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." The evidence must be viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 90 S.Ct. 1598, 26 L.Ed.2d 142 (1970); Hasan v. CleveTrust Realty Investors, 729 F.2d 372 (6th Cir.1984).

A. Statutory Scheme of the Corrections Center

Cuyahoga County is a subdivision of the State of Ohio established under Article X of the Ohio Constitution. The board of three county commissioners manages the County's affairs. The Commissioners possess the power to establish "a department of detention and correction." Ohio Rev. Code § 302.13(A). The Commissioners supervise the financial affairs of the Sheriff, Id. §§ 305.19, 305.20, and "each county commissioner shall visit, unannounced, at least once in every six months, each ... house of detention, ... and note its sanitary condition and the condition and treatment of inmates ..." Id. § 307.62. The Cuyahoga County Commissioners have established two detention facilities: the Corrections Center, where adults and juveniles who are remanded ("bound over") to the Court of Common Pleas for prosecution as adults are incarcerated, and a juvenile Detention Home, which provides care for individuals under the age of eighteen in conformity with the Juvenile Code. Feighan, Brown, and Campanella were Commissioners at all times pertinent to these actions.

Once they establish detention facilities, the Commissioners are obligated to provide heat, fuel, food, and other fixtures and supplies. Id. § 341.19. Day-to-day management of the jail and its inmates rests with the Sheriff, who "shall keep such persons safely, attend to the jail, and govern and regulate the jail according to the rules and regulations proscribed by the court of common pleas." Id. § 341.01. The Sheriff must prepare an annual report about the jail and must visit it monthly. Id. §§ 341.03, 341.04. He may appoint one of his deputies as the "keeper." Id. § 341.06. McFaul was the Sheriff at the time of the incarcerations of John Doe I and John Doe II. Pace was chief of security when Doe I was at the jail and director of corrections while Doe II was there. Brown was warden at all pertinent times. McFaul and his top assistants issue orders to corrections personnel through Policy and Procedure Directives. Individual corrections officers are required to be familiar with the Sheriff's directives.

Under § 341.06, "the court of common pleas shall prescribe rules for the regulation and government of county jail ..." The judges are to forward such rules to the Sheriff, Id. § 341.07, and may alter or amend them, Id. § 341.08. Consistent with this authority, the Court of Common Pleas for Cuyahoga County entered a Journal Entry in May of 1976, adopting "Rules for the Regulation of the Cuyahoga County Jail." The rules were promulgated in the name of all the local common pleas judges and the journal entry was signed by twenty-one of them. The cover of the rules mentions Judge Spellacy as presiding judge, since under the court's Rule 2 "the administrative judge shall be the presiding officer of his division and shall have full responsibility for and control over the administration, docket and calendar of the division which he serves."

B. Statutory Scheme Concerning Juvenile Offenders

The state and federal governments, the Court of Common Pleas, the Juvenile Court, and the Sheriff have laid down specific rules concerning the incarceration of juvenile offenders.

Ohio Rev.Code ch. 2151 governs juvenile courts and juvenile justice. The introductory provision, § 2151.01, states that the chapter

... shall be ... construed so as to effectuate the following purposes:
(A) To provide for the care, protection, and mental and physical development of children ...,
(B) To protect the public interest in removing the consequences of criminal behavior and the taint of criminality from children committing criminal acts and to substitute therefor a program of supervision, care, and rehabilitation;
(C) To achieve the following purposes, whenever possible, in a family environment, separating the child from its parents only when necessary for his welfare or in the interest of public safety;
(D) To provide judicial procedures through which Chapter 2151 of the Revised Code is executed and enforced, and in which the parties are assured of a fair hearing, and their constitutional and other legal rights are recognized and enforced.

Section 2151.312 governs the place of detention of juveniles. During 1981, at the time John Doe I was incarcerated, it provided in pertinent part:

(A) A child alleged to be delinquent, unruly, or a juvenile traffic offender may be detained only in the following

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