By Ashley Benkarski
NASHVILLE, TN — Attorneys with Brazil Clark, LLC is urging affected persons of a recent successful class action lawsuit to file claims for compensation before the Oct. 29 deadline.
The class action suit, titled K.W., et al. v. Rutherford County, could award families a total of $11 million (or $1,000 to $5,000 per person), the firm said.
The suit successfully challenged Rutherford County’s illegal arrest (“Always Arrest”) and detainment policy (“Filter System”) that impacted nearly 1,500 children. Due to these policies, Rutherford County’s juvenile detention rate was 10 times higher than anywhere else in the state, said lead attorney Kyle Mothershead.
With the help of 10 students Dr. Sekou Franklin, Professor in the Department of Political Science at Middle Tennessee State University, is assisting with the case for families in Rutherford County by developing outreach activities.
The persons affected by these policies are now eligible for monetary damages but must file for the payments and notify the civil rights attorneys that brought the suit. Those attorneys can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 615-730-8619, or https://www.rutherfordjuvenilesettlement.com/.
If you believe you’re a member of both the Arrest and Detention Classes you can file for compensation for both by filing separate Arrest and Detention Claims.
It’s likely the persons affected are disproportionately African American. The attorneys also believe Latino/a/x youth were disproportionately impacted by these policies. The case dates back some years. Hence, most of the affected persons are probably in their twenties, Mothershead added.
According to the website an individual is eligible “If on or before June 21, 2021 you were taken into custody by a Rutherford County Sheriff’s deputy and transported to the Rutherford County Juvenile Detention Center (RCJDC) for either a juvenile unruly or a juvenile misdemeanor delinquent offense, and (a) you were born on or after July 26th, 1998, or (b) such custody occurred on or after July 26, 2016, and if certain other circumstances were present, YOU MAY BE A MEMBER OF THE ARREST CLASS. NOTE THAT YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE BEEN DETAINED AT RCJDC TO BE A MEMBER OF THE ARREST CLASS IF THE OTHER CRITERIA ARE MET.
If on or before June 21, 2021 you were detained at RCJDC on a juvenile delinquent or unruly charge and, (a) were born on or after October 14, 1997, or (b) such secure detention occurred at any time from and after October 14, 2015, and (c) if certain other circumstances were present, YOU MAY BE A MEMBER OF THE DETENTION CLASS. NOTE THAT YOU DO NOT NEED TO HAVE BEEN ARRESTED BY THE RUTHERFORD COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE TO BE A MEMBER OF THE DETENTION CLASS.
To be eligible for compensation, affected persons must submit a Claim Form by mail or online for each arrest and/or detention and the Claim Form must be approved in accordance with the Settlement procedure. The form must be submitted to the completed Claim Form(s) at rutherfordjuvenilesettlement.com no later than 11:59 p.m. on October 29, 2021, or mail this Claim Form to the Claim Administrator at:
Geerts v. Rutherford County Settlement Administrator P.O. Box 10584a Tallahassee, FL 32302-2584
Postmark must be on or before October 29, 2021 in order to be eligible.