TULSA (AP) - An agreement that would have settled a lawsuit filed by a federal government agency against the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs has been rejected by a judge.
U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell said the 30-page agreement, which would address conditions at the L.E. Rader Center in Sand Springs, a juvenile detention facility, did not meet "the statutory condition for a private settlement agreement."
Frizzell, citing the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995, said the agreement "is instead a consent decree as defined by the PLRA, and is subject to statutory limitations of relief."
The judge told the U.S. Justice Department to clarify the agreement's status and intent under that law by next Tuesday.
"If plaintiff agrees that the proposed agreement is in fact a consent decree as defined in the PLRA, the plaintiff shall address how the limitation" is satisfied, the judge wrote. He said the state could file a brief, although it is not required.
The Justice Department's Civil Rights Division filed the lawsuit in December 2006, claiming juveniles held at the Rader Center had been subjected to sexual and physical assaults.