NCYL joined 89 other advocacy groups and individuals as amicus curiae in Jackson v. Hobbs and Miller v. Alabama. The two cases before the U.S. Supreme Court challenge the constitutionality of imposing life without parole sentences on juveniles convicted of homicide offenses.
In January, NCYL joined as amicus curiae urging the New Jersey Supreme Court to reconsider the state’s practice of prosecuting juveniles in adult criminal court.
NCYL has joined as amicus curiae in a brief to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concerning attempted cuts to in-home services for elderly and disabled Medicaid recipients in Washington State.
NCYL joined as amicus curiae in two consolidated cases regarding the State of Washington’s denial of marriage equality to same-sex couples. Amici urged the Court to affirm the trial court decisions, which found the statute denying marriage equality unconstitutional.
Sharon S. requested that the Superior Court of San Diego dismiss her partner's (Annette F.) petition to adopt the child they were raising together - despite Sharon's prior consent to the adoption. The superior court denied the motion and Sharon appealed. NCYL submitted amicus curiae briefs in the court of appeal and the Supreme Court arguing that adoption statutes, policies, and case law must focus on the best interests of the child, and not arbitrarily or categorically exclude potential adoptive parents due to gender, marital status, or sexual orientation.
John and James Doe were removed from their home on allegations of abandonment and neglect and placed into the custody of the State of Florida. In September 2006, Mr. Gill petitioned to adopt the siblings so that he could provide them with a permanent family where they would be nurtured and well taken care of. Mr. Gill’s application for adoption was denied because of a Florida law banning lesbians and gay men from adopting children.
Brought to challenge the Florida statute, which provides that “No person eligible to adopt under this statute may adopt if that person is a homosexual.”The suit argues that the Florida law violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection and family integrity.
A class action lawsuit filed October 30, 2002, which NCYL joined as amicus curiae, against New York City’s Administration of Children Services (ACS) challenging its practices of removing children from battered mothers on the basis of neglect when the mothers themselves have done nothing wrong. Parties settled, agreeing that domestic violence does not automatically warrant placement of children in foster care.
S.J. was adjudicated dependent and in Pennsylvania’s foster care system prior to her 18th birthday. Upon completing high school and before turning 18, S.J. petitioned the court to allow her to remain in care while she attended college. NCYL joined as amicus curiae, arguing that the Juvenile Act, the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, the Foster Care Independence Act and Pennsylvania case law support the juvenile court’s authority to continue its jurisdiction over S.J. while she pursues a college education and to order CYA to provide limited financial support.
Elisa B. sought a writ to set aside a decision of the El Dorado County Superior Court whereby she was found to be a legal parent of, and ordered to pay child support for, children born during her relationship with another woman. NCYL joined amicus curea, arguing that a parent, regardless of gender or marital status, is obligated to support a child born through assisted reproductive technology where that parent consented to, and was involved in, the insemination decision and process.
NCYL joined in an amicus brief arguing that the Alaska Parental Consent Act is unconstitutional, in October 2004. The Act prohibits physicians from performing abortions on unmarried, unemancipated minors without parental consent. Amici argued that the Act’s judicial bypass procedure imposes a burden on minors, is in some cases detrimental to the health of minors, and that the Act infringes upon a minor’s constitutional right to privacy.
In October, 2005, NCYL joined the Center for Adolescent Health & the Law, the National Association of Social Workers, the National Association of Social Workers, New Hampshire Chapter, and six others as amici in support of respondents Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.
The Administration for Children's Services (ACS) appealed from an order of the New York County Family Court, filed in Feb 2007, directing ACS to arrange and pay for respondent Mariah L. to undergo sexual reassignment surgery. NCYL filed amicus in support of an affirmance of the Family Court's order, requiring ACS to provide Mariah with all medically necessary health care, including but not limited to sexual reassignment surgery.
A class action lawsuit against the California Department of Health Services. Plaintiffs, Medi-Cal providers and beneficiaries, sought injunctive relief from an impending 5% reduction in the reimbursement rate paid to providers, claiming that this reduction would violate the Medicaid statute’s quality of care and equal access provisions.
NCYL joined in an amicus brief submitted on January 14, 2004 by the Children’s Defense Fund and twelve others urging the Georgia Supreme Court to overturn the conviction and sentencing of Marcus Dixon for aggravated child molestation.
Parents filed suit alleging Planned Parenthood performed an illegal abortion on their 14-year-old daughter. The parents alleged Planned Parenthood failed to obtain their consent, failed to obtain their daughter’s informed consent, and breached a duty to report suspected child abuse.
The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that a Yakima Juvenile Court Commissioner improperly used the court’s “inherent” contempt powers to sentence children to up to 60 days in jail for running away from foster care. The Supreme Court, in its December 20, 2007 ruling, substantially limited the use of the controversial “inherent contempt” procedure.
A California juvenile court found that George T., a high school student, had made a criminal threat in violation of California Penal Code Section 422 by writing a poem and giving it to fellow students in his English Honors Class. The amicus brief supported the student’s contention that the poem was a lawful exercise of his First Amendment rights and not a criminal threat under the California Penal Code.
In 1997, Gary Flakes was charged with murder in adult court, in connection with an incident that occurred when Gary was 16 years old, pursuant to Colorado’s direct file statute. NCYL's amicus brief argues that the sentencing provisions of the direct file statute in Colorado are unconstitutional, violating equal protection, contravening separation of powers principles, and denying the due process rights of Gary Flakes and other similarly situated youth.
When Guthrie G. was 14 years old, police officers went to his home to question him about his possible possession of a gun. Guthrie invited them in, and the police officers questioned Guthrie about the gun. He told them he had a BB gun. Amici argue that Guthrie’s confession and the police officers’ search was unconstitutional because the state did not prove that he voluntarily consented to the search or made a knowing and intelligent waiver of his right against self-incrimination.
Thirteen organizations and individuals, including NCYL, filed this amicus brief in the Kansas Supreme Court on behalf of a 17-year old juvenile who had been adjudicated a delinquent for an “aggravated sexual battery.”
The National Center for Youth Law join twelve other Amici organizations in this case to urge the United States Supreme Court to grant certiorari to review a 30-year mandatory minimum sentence without the possibility of parole imposed on a 12-year-old child in the State of South Carolina. The Amici Brief analyzes why such a lengthy mandatory sentence that does not take into consideration the age of the child at the time of the offense violates the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the United States Constitution.
The National Center for Youth Law joined an amicus brief on behalf of Prison Legal News and prepared by Morrison & Foerster, LLP arguing that attorneys should be able to obtain reasonable attorneys’ fees for all phases of work necessary to bring about enforcement of a settlement agreement in a civil rights case.
The U.S. Supreme Court held that the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit the execution of individuals who were under the age of 18 when they committed their crimes. In doing so, the Court recognized that significant differences in brain development exist between adolescents and adults and that these differences diminish the level of culpability of juveniles, a position advocated by the amici groups, including NCYL.
NCYL was one of sixteen organizations signing on to an amicus brief filed in this case supporting Savana Redding, a 13-year old student, who was strip-searched at school.
Suit challenging a district court's refusal to certify a class of prisoners who have serious unmet mental health needs. The district court denied class certification to prisoners at the El Paso County Jail in Colorado Springs, Colorado, based on a belief that the term "serious mental illness" is vague, and that it is too complex to determine which individuals present a need for mental health treatment while confined.