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Case Name Canupp v. Liberty Behavioral Health Corporation MH-FL-0002
Docket / Court 04-0260 ( M.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Mental Health (Facility)
Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
On May 7, 2004, individuals in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) filed a civil rights suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, challenging the conditions of their confinement at the Florida Civil Commitment ... read more >
On May 7, 2004, individuals in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) filed a civil rights suit pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, challenging the conditions of their confinement at the Florida Civil Commitment Center (FCCC) in Arcadia, Florida. Plaintiffs were all involuntarily civilly confined at the FCCC pursuant to Sexually Violent Predator Act §§ 394.910, et seq. Fla. Stat. (2003). Plaintiffs alleged violations of their constitutional rights, specifically their 14th Amendment rights, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12131 et. seq. (ADA) by the denial of effective sex offender treatment programs, lack of appropriate mental health care, and the failure to identify and accommodate inmates with disabilities in a way that would allow them to participate effectively in sex-offender treatment. Attorneys for the Southern Legal Counsel, Inc., the Florida Institutional Legal Services, Inc. and the Legal Advocacy Center of Central Florida, Inc. represented plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as class certification. Defendants named in the Complaint were the DCF and the private corporation Liberty Behavioral Healthcare Corp. which operated the FCCC pursuant to a contract with the DCF.

Discovery and discovery related disputes comprised the majority of the case activity for the next several years.

On January 16, 2007, the District Court (Judge John E. Steele) granted Liberty's motion to be dismissed as a defendant, on the grounds that Liberty no longer operated the FCCC and that the plaintiff class sought declaratory and injunctive relief, but not money damages. Plaintiffs moved to join GEO Group, Inc., the company contracted to run the facility for a five-year term beginning on January 1, 2007, as a defendant. This motion was granted, but because of likely delays that would have resulted from GEO's participation as a party, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed GEO on June 4, 2007. The case continued against DCF.

Discovery disputes and failed attempts by other inmates to join the case as intervening plaintiffs dominated the case docket for the next two and a half years. The case was scheduled to go to trial in September 2009, but on July 16, 2009 the parties moved to have the case stayed while a settlement was finalized. The case settled on November 23, 2009, and the case was dismissed with prejudice.

The settlement established a Final Action Plan, which itself was not, the parties agreed, a judicially enforceable settlement or court issued injunction. The Plan called for improvements to the oversight and staffing of the inpatient mental health unit, the implementation of policies addressing the screening and referral process for the use of anti-androgens, comprehensive discharge planning for Phase IV residents, modifications to the special needs treatment track, and additional training for clinical staff and housing staff. The Final Action Plan also acknowledged significant improvements implemented by DCF and GEO during the pendency of the case. All of the issues in the plaintiffs complaint were either addressed by the terms of the Final Action Plan, or had been addressed by changes to FCCC's policies during the pendency of the case. The Final Action Plan was scheduled to be fully implemented by February 2010.

The defendants agreed to pay $249,000 in fees and costs to the plaintiffs' attorneys.

Several class members objected to the settlement. They argued, inter alia, that the settlement should have required a federal monitor or court oversight to ensure compliance. The district court rejected this argument when it approved the settlement, and several class members then filed separate appeals to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied each appeal, and on February 24, 2010 affirmed the District Court's approval of the settlement.

Dan Dalton - 03/05/2007
Alex Colbert-Taylor - 08/02/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Conditions of confinement
Individualized planning
Placement in mental health facilities
Rehabilitation
Sex offender regulation
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Mental health care, general
Mental health care, unspecified
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Florida Civil Commitment Center (FCCC)
Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF)
Plaintiff Description Individuals confined at the Florida Civil Commitment Center (FCCC) in Arcadia, Florida.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2009 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing Unknown
Docket(s)
2:04-cv-00260-UA-DNF (M.D. Fla.) 02/24/2012
MH-FL-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint 05/07/2004
MH-FL-0002-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Answer and Defenses of Defendant Jerry Regier 07/22/2004
MH-FL-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Voluntary Dismissal of Daniel Fabian, Bruce Kramer, and Count 4 02/04/2005
MH-FL-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order (granting plaintiff's motion for voluntary dismissal) 03/14/2005 (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/14/2005 (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Motion for Partial Summary Judgment] 03/22/2005 (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order (granting plaintiff's motion for class action and certifying two subclasses) 03/29/2005 (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 12/30/2005 (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order of Partial Dismissal 01/16/2007 (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' and Defendants' Joint Stipulation Regarding Resolution of Potential HIPAA or Privacy Concerns and Request to be Relieved from Filing Briefs 02/07/2007
MH-FL-0002-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order (granting plaintiff's motion to join GEO, Inc.) 03/26/2007 (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order (granting plaintiff's motion for voluntary dismissal of GEO) 06/04/2007 (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order 09/11/2008 (2008 WL 4194854) (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Interested Class Action Parties' Motion to Intervene on New Legal Issues Violation of Due Process Liberty Interest and Motioning for an Investigation for an Injunction and/or Temporary Restraining Order Relief 12/15/2008
MH-FL-0002-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order (denying interested class action parties motion) 01/09/2009 (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/16/2009 (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Exhibit A 08/21/2009
MH-FL-0002-0019.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Appendix 5 - Canupp Final Action Plan 11/03/2009
MH-FL-0002-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 11/23/2009 (2009 WL 4042928) (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0016.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 02/24/2012 (447 Fed.Appx. 976)
MH-FL-0002-0017.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Chappell, Sheri Polster (M.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
MH-FL-0002-0012
Covington, Virginia Maria Hernandez (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0004 | MH-FL-0002-0005 | MH-FL-0002-0018
Edmondson, James Larry (Eleventh Circuit)
MH-FL-0002-0017
Frazier, Douglas N. (M.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
MH-FL-0002-0001 | MH-FL-0002-0007 | MH-FL-0002-0008 | MH-FL-0002-0011 | MH-FL-0002-0013 | MH-FL-0002-9000
Lazzara, Richard A. (M.D. Fla.)
MH-FL-0002-0015
Steele, John E. (M.D. Fla.) [Magistrate]
MH-FL-0002-0001 | MH-FL-0002-0006 | MH-FL-0002-0009 | MH-FL-0002-0016
Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (Fifth Circuit, M.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit)
MH-FL-0002-0017
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Capobianco, Cassandra J. (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-9000
Cooley, Kristen M. (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-0001 | MH-FL-0002-0014
Copabianco, Cassandra J. (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-0001 | MH-FL-0002-0003 | MH-FL-0002-0014
Jones, Christopher Michael (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-0001 | MH-FL-0002-0003 | MH-FL-0002-0014 | MH-FL-0002-9000
Lentz, Kristen Cooley (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-0003 | MH-FL-0002-9000
Nelson, Alice K. (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-0001 | MH-FL-0002-0003 | MH-FL-0002-0014 | MH-FL-0002-9000
Shirley, Lisa White (Texas)
MH-FL-0002-9000
Sleasman, Peter P. (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-0001 | MH-FL-0002-0003 | MH-FL-0002-0014 | MH-FL-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bradley, Cecilia (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-0002 | MH-FL-0002-9000
Crist, Charles J. Jr. (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-0002
Fromm, Barbara C. (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-9000
Haymes, Jennifer R. (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-9000
Jolly, John W. Jr. (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-9000
Kilinski, Caryl (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-9000
Maher, Susan Adams (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-0014 | MH-FL-0002-9000
Smith, Chesterfield Jr. (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-0002 | MH-FL-0002-0014 | MH-FL-0002-9000
Vail, E. Jason (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-0002 | MH-FL-0002-9000
Other Lawyers Adkins, Gwendolyn Palmer (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-9000
Kummerlen, Gregory A (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-9000
Sullivan, Jennifer Ann (Florida)
MH-FL-0002-9000

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