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In re Expungement of Juvenile Records and Vacatur of Luzerne County Juvenile Court Consent Decrees or Adjudications From 2003-2008

May 28, 2009

IN RE: EXPUNGEMENT OF JUVENILE RECORDS AND VACATUR OF LUZERNE COUNTY JUVENILE COURT CONSENT DECREES OR ADJUDICATIONS FROM 2003-2008
RELATED TO: IN RE: J.V.R.; H.T., A MINOR THROUGH HER MOTHER, L.T.; ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND SIMILARLY SITUATED YOUTH



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Arthur E. Grim, S.J., Special Master

ORDER

THE BACKGROUND OF THIS ORDER IS AS FOLLOWS:

The undersigned Special Master is of the view that the following facts are undisputed, based upon existing public records, court filings, and guilty pleas in open Court: 1. PA Child Care, located in Pittston Township, Luzerne County, opened in approximately February 2003.

2. The Luzerne County Juvenile Court began sending juveniles to PA Child Care shortly after it opened.

3. In or about late 2004, Luzerne County entered into a 20 year lease, at a cost of approximately $58 million, for all beds at PA Child Care.

4. For all juveniles sent to PA Child Care by the Luzerne County Juvenile Court, Luzerne County sought reimbursement for some of the costs from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare.

5. After the $58 million lease was entered into in 2004, any beds at PA Child Care which were not being used by juveniles sent by the Luzerne County Juvenile Court were made available to juveniles from other courts and jurisdictions. These other courts and jurisdictions would pay Luzerne County for the beds they used.

6. The entity which owned PA Child Care built Western PA Child Care, located in Butler County, Pennsylvania. Western PA Child Care opened in summer or early fall 2005.

7. Luzerne County entered into an agreement with Western PA Child Care whereby Luzerne County leased 12 beds at Western PA Child Care.

8. The Luzerne County Juvenile Court sent juveniles to Western PA Child Care after it opened.

9. Sometime during the period 2000 through 2006 or 2007, PA Child Care, or its owners or principals, made, or participated in making, hundreds of thousands of dollars of improper and illegal payments to Judge Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr. and Judge Michael T. Conahan.

10. The Special Master believes, but has been unable to verify as of this date, that for each juvenile sent to PA Child Care by the Luzerne County Juvenile Court from early 2003 until the 20 year lease was entered into in late 2004, Luzerne County paid a per-person fee to PA Child Care.

NOW, THEREFORE, BASED UPON THE FOREGOING AND UPON THE IN-CHAMBERS CONFERENCE WITH COUNSEL ON MAY 13, 2009, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:

1. On or before June 9, 2009, counsel for the Petitioners-Plaintiffs shall file with the Prothonotary of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Harrisburg, and shall serve upon the Special Master and all counsel in this case, including counsel for amicus parties, a memorandum of law addressing the ...


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