NON-SECURE JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITY DID NOT OWE A DUTY OF CARE TO PLAINTIFF WHO WAS STRUCK BY A CAR DRIVEN BY A FORMER RESIDENT OF THE FACILITY.
The Third Department determined the complaint against defendant non-secure detention facility for juveniles was properly dismissed. Weeks after the juvenile had left and been discharged from the detention facility, the juvenile was in a high-speed police car-chase and crashed into plaintiff’s car. The Third Department concluded that the detention facility did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiff, did not have a duty to supervise the juvenile because the juvenile was not in defendant’s custody, and, from the standpoint of the detention facility, the juvenile’s actions were not foreseeable:
Defendant’s nonsecure residential treatment center is located on an open campus without gates or bars, and residents are not locked in. Here, the resident was attending an educational program when he chose to leave. One of defendant’s staff members followed him and tried unsuccessfully to persuade him to return. The staff member did not attempt to physically prevent the resident from leaving, pursuant to defendant’s policy that — under the statutory mandate against physical restrictions — permits such intervention only when a resident’s behavior is dangerous to the resident or others. After the resident departed, defendant notified DSS and the police and discharged him when directed to do so by DSS a week later. Plaintiff’s argument that defendant should have imposed greater supervision or restraints to prevent the resident from leaving disregards the distinction between secure and nonsecure detention facilities and, more fundamentally, disregards the fact that defendant did not make the placement decision. …
The duty owed by a school to prevent foreseeable injuries caused by negligent supervision of its students arises “from the simple fact that a school, in assuming physical custody and control over its students, effectively takes the place of parents and guardians” … . Because this duty arises from the school’s physical custody of its students, it ceases when a student leaves the premises and the student’s parent or legal custodian is free to resume control … . Here, assuming without deciding that defendant’s residential treatment center can be analogized to a school for this purpose, the collision that injured plaintiff occurred almost a month after the resident left defendant’s physical premises, and three weeks after defendant discharged him from its care, upon the direction of the resident’s legal custodian. Any duty that may have existed while the resident was in its physical custody had long since terminated … . Mayorga v Berkshire Farm Ctr. & Servs. for Youth, 2016 NY Slip Op 01375, 3rd Dept 2-25-16
NEGLIGENCE (NON-SECURE JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITY DID NOT OWE A DUTY OF CARE TO PLAINTIFF STRUCK BY A CAR DRIVEN BY A FORMER RESIDENT OF THE FACILITY)/DUTY OF CARE (NON-SECURE JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITY DID NOT OWE A DUTY OF CARE TO PLAINTIFF STRUCK BY A CAR DRIVEN BY A FORMER RESIDENT OF THE FACILITY)/NEGLIGENT SUPERVISION (DUTY TO SUPERVISE A RESIDENT OF A NON-SECURE JUVENILE DETENTION FACILITY CEASES WHEN CUSTODY CEASES)