Trial for lawsuit against SVJC continued to January 2019

Published: Dec. 14, 2018 at 7:46 PM EST
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A federal judge has granted a request to continue the trial over a lawsuit against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center Commission.

In court documents filed on Friday, Judge Elizabeth Dillon granted a joint request from the plaintiffs, the John Does bringing the lawsuit, to continue the trial, which was originally scheduled for Monday, Dec. 17. The trial has been continued until Jan. 31, 2019.

on Oct. 4, 2017, in federal court detailing

who say they were beaten while handcuffed and locked up for long periods in solitary confinement, left nude and shivering in concrete cells. Lawyers for the detention center deny any wrongdoing.

Gov. Ralph Northam ordered state officials to investigate the claims in June after a report from The Associated Press. In August, the state review

the harsh treatment described by detainees did not meet the state's legal threshold of abuse or neglect, though they did confirm the use of restraint techniques that can include strapping children to chair and placing mesh bags over their heads. You can read the full report


From now until the trial, the plaintiffs will be able to substitute in a new class representative, John Doe 5, to "pursue a claim of constitutionally inadequate mental health care."

If the plaintiffs are not able to find a new member with a credible claim about mental health care by Jan. 31, 2019, they will withdraw and voluntary dismiss their claims of excessive force, restraints and isolation. The case would be dismissed at that point, and both sides would cover their own court costs.

If the plaintiffs do find a new member by Jan. 31, they would be able to submit a "Third Amended Complaint" by Feb. 25, 2019.

If the Third Amended Complaint is filed, both sides would have 60 days to file new documents, but no new expert testimony would be allowed, with the exception of a psychological evaluation of John Doe 5.