In May 2013 we filed suit for Stacy Winslow on behalf of her minor daughter A.K., who was treated brutally by a Metro Transit Police officer who believed she was violating the D.C. curfew law when she was going home on the subway after a late movie one Saturday night with her 18-year-old sister and a cousin. (The curfew law does not apply to a minor who is “[i]n a motor vehicle, train, or bus involved in interstate travel.”) She was charged with assault on a police officer and disorderly conduct, but the District of Columbia dismissed the charges prior to trial.
After discovery ended, Judge Sullivan referred the case to mediation and the parties reached a settlement, which included payment of $34,000 into a special needs trust for the benefit of the juvenile, and a review of Transit Police policies and procedures regarding juveniles by an independent expert retained by WMATA. Because the case was brought on behalf of a minor, we sought court approval of the settlement, which was granted in April 2015.
The independent expert’s review is continuing.
In the meantime, on February 9, 2017, the district court held a hearing on our motion for an order releasing the settlement funds in this case from a special needs trust for A.K. The court directed the parties to confer with the trustee, Shared Horizons, to see if more flexibility could be achieved within the trust. We did, and filed a joint status report on February 24, indicating that the trustee will reach out to A.K. to discuss A.K.’s current needs and to explain the discretion that A.K. has in using these funds.