A District Court judge in Washington, D.C., delayed ruling yesterday on whether the city should be held in contempt for continued overcrowding at its maximum-security juvenile detention center in Laurel.
Both sides in the case are negotiating a settlement, said David Reiser, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, who won a consent decree in 1986 that limited the number of inmates at Oak Hill to 150.
The consent decree, signed by Superior Court Judge Ricardo Urbina, still is being monitored by attorneys. It already has led to the closure of Cedar Knoll, the district's minimum-security prison across the street.
Mr. Reiser told Judge Urbina yesterday that discussions with district lawyers "are fruitful, but not conclusive." He said that by next month, he "expects some final result of the outstanding issues."
Mr. Reiser asked the judge for the contempt citation last month. If granted, it would mean fines levied against the district for overcrowding at Oak Hill would increase from $1,000 a day to $1,000 per day for each inmate exceeding the limit of 150. As of yesterday, 167 youths were housed at Oak Hill, officials said.
Lawyers would not discuss the negotiations outside the courtroom and Judge Urbina did not press for details. "I'm sure we will find out in due course," he said.
A hearing was set for Nov. 17.
Man eludes police after robbing bank
A man who waited outside a Crofton bank until it opened yesterday morning robbed it just moments later of an undisclosed amount of money, county police said.
Officers disclosed few details of the robbery at 9 a.m. at the Suburban Federal Savings Bank in the 1600 block of Village Green, Crofton.
They said the bandit handed a 22-year-old teller a note and a green zippered bank bag. The note demanded money and said the suspect was armed with a gun.
After getting money, the man ran out of the bank and headed south toward the clubhouse on the Crofton Country Club. Police said no gun was displayed.