Federal Lawsuit Updates

During the most recent Federal Lawsuit Hearing in June, the plaintiffs representing Texas children asked the court to hold the State in contempt for continuing to violate court orders and constitutional guidelines. The attorneys representing Texas children have highlighted the State’s continued struggle to:

  • Adequately inform children of their constitutional rights
  • Properly monitor residential treatment centers
  • Appropriately prescribe psychotropic drugs for kids in foster care
  • Keep youth in care out of unlicensed child watch placements.

At the end of October, the court monitors released a new report regarding the Children Without Placement (CWOP) crisis. This report details numerous troubling and tragic incidents in CWOP locations across the State, with particular focus on placements in Bell County and Central Texas. This report includes specific details related to the children in these unlicensed placements in addition to pictures of some of the unlicensed placements. More details about this report and the Agency’s response are available to read here.

Earlier this month, the plaintiffs representing Texas children filed this motion with the court regarding the State’s continued deficiencies and struggles to comply with remedial orders. In this motion, the plaintiffs asked the Court to have the State held in contempt and sanctioned for failing to comply with court orders. They also urged the Court to set a historical precedent by imposing partial federal receiverships in the areas where the State has shown it will not or cannot comply with remedial orders intended to ensure child safety. As this motion is considered, the court monitors could develop a plan to implement partial receiverships over areas that the Court considers most significant.

The next hearing will be held on Monday, December 4, 2023 at 9:00am. This hearing will differ from previous hearings due to the motions that have been filed. This hearing will likely be similar to a trial and it could last up to a week.

If you have any questions or would like more information as this lawsuit progresses, please email publicpolicy@texascasa.org. The Public Policy Team will continue to provide updates to the CASA network as promptly as possible.