Case Law


Davis v. Ayala

Twelve days after the death of Kalief Browder, Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote a concurring opinion about the dangers of solitary confinement in Davis v. Ayala, 135 S.Ct. 2187 (2015). Even though the case did not focus on issues of conditions of confinement, Justice Kennedy took time to dedicate his concurrence to the conditions in which the respondent, Hector Ayala, had been held. Justice Kennedy noted that Ayala had spent the majority of 25 years in custody in solitary confinement. In his concurrence, Justice Kennedy cited concerns raised by the Supreme Court as far back as 1890 regarding the use of solitary confinement. Justice Kennedy cited Kalief’s suicide and invited a case for the Court to “determine whether workable alternative systems for long-term confinement exist, and, if so, whether a correctional system should be required to adopt them.” Read more in The Atlantic here.

Troy D. v. Mickens

In December, 2013, the U.S. District Court in New Jersey approved a settlement of a lawsuit by juvenile plaintiffs Troy D. and O’Neill S. against the New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission. The Juvenile Law Center, with pro bono co-counsel filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on behalf of two plaintiffs against New Jersey Juvenile Justice Commission officials as well as other state officials. Their claim was that both boys’ substantive and procedural due process rights under the United States and New Jersey Constitutions were violated, as was the New Jersey state law.  The Complaint also challenges certain New Jersey administrative regulations governing isolation. Read more about the case from the Juvenile Law Center here. See the opinion from the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey.