Filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of two juveniles who were subjected to excessive and intolerable isolation while in the custody of the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission (JJC), claiming violations of substantive and procedural due process rights under federal and state law.
Filed a "King's Bench petition" for extraordinary relief in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court seeking relief on behalf of the juveniles adjudicated by former Luzerne County juvenile court judge Mark A. Ciavarella during the "kids-for-cash" scandal.
Supporting a juvenile defendant in Illinois who challenged the representation he received in court, when his defense lawyer sacrificed his defense believing that it was in the child’s "best interests."
Child Welfare and Foster Care, Juvenile and Criminal Justice
Filed a federal class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on behalf of the children and families of Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, who suffered significant harm as a result of ex-Luzerne County juvenile court judge Mark A. Ciavarella and the "kids-for-cash" scandal.
Juvenile Law Center was co-counsel in Montgomery v. Louisiana, a case recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court holding that Miller v. Alabama (2012) applies retroactively to individuals serving mandatory juvenile life without parole sentences.
These briefs involved a thirteen-year-old student who was questioned by four adults, including a uniformed police officer, on school grounds regarding a series of break-ins. Juvenile Law Center argued that the student should have been considered in custody for Miranda purposes.
Supreme Court held the execution of juveniles unconstitutional. Juvenile Law Center’s brief argued the developmental differences between adolescents and adults in critical areas, including impulse control and understanding consequences.
One of the most important lessons from our 40 years of experience is that children involved with the justice and foster care systems need zealous legal advocates. Your support for our work is more important now than ever before.