University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Sobky v. Gould PB-CA-0007
Docket / Court 2:92-cv-00613-JAM-GGH ( E.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Case Summary
On April 16, 1992, providers and recipients, or potential recipients, of State of California Medicaid-funded drug abuse treatment services filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the California Department of Alcohol and Drugs Programs, California Health and Welfare Agency, California ... read more >
On April 16, 1992, providers and recipients, or potential recipients, of State of California Medicaid-funded drug abuse treatment services filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the California Department of Alcohol and Drugs Programs, California Health and Welfare Agency, California Department of Health Services, and Alameda County. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive and declaratory relief, claiming that California's federally-funded Medi-Cal drug abuse program was not being administered consistently with the Medicaid Act (42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq.). Specifically, Plaintiffs claimed that methadone maintenance was wholly unavailable to residents of certain counties because the State allowed counties to determine whether and in what amount to provide such services. Further, Plaintiffs alleged that levels of service were often insufficient even in those counties were methadone maintenance was offered.

The Court (Judge David F. Levi) certified a class as "all persons in the State of California eligible for Medi-Cal for whom methadone maintenance treatment is medically necessary and otherwise appropriate but how are, or may in the future be, unable to obtain methadone maintenance treatment through the Medi-Cal program" on September 15, 1992.

On December 8, 1992, the Court related case this case, 2:92-cv-613, with case 2:92-cv-1905.

On June 14, 1994, the Court (Judge David F. Levi) issued an amended memorandum of decision and order. Sobkey v. Smoley, 855 F.Supp. 1123 (E.D. Cal. 1994). Plaintiffs had moved for summary judgment and for reconsideration. The Court held that: Plaintiff had enforceable rights under § 1983; Medicaid recipients were entitled to a preliminary injunction; Plaintiffs were not entitled to summary judgment; the state practice did not violate the equal access provision of the Medicaid Act; the state's failure to fund enough methadone maintenance slots violated the needy equal treatment required; the state's practice violated the Medicaid requirement that services be provided with reasonable promptness; and, Plaintiffs' due process rights were not violated.

The Court issued a permanent injunction on August 22, 1994. The Court had previously issued a preliminary injunction, but its contents are unclear. The permanent injunction required Defendants to: refrain from violating 42 U.S.C. § 1396 in provision of methadone and methadone maintenance serviced under the Medi-Cal program; take all practicable steps to assure contracts between counties and the Department of Alcohol/Drug Programs; provide written notice to all methadone maintenance programs of the availability of state hearings; and, to submit a plan regarding Defendants' proposed method of complying with the injunction.

On March 27, 1995, the Court issued an order settling Plaintiffs' claim for attorneys' fees and costs. The exact amount of the award is unclear.

Defendants filed reports for a period of time, but there has been no further litigation.

Haley Waller - 01/20/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Alameda County
Alameda County Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs
Alameda County Health Care Services Agency
California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs
California Department of Health Services
California Health and Welfare Agency
Plaintiff Description Providers and recipients, or potential recipients, of State of California Medicaid-funded drug abuse treatment services
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1994
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:92-cv-00613-JAM-GGH (E.D. Cal.) 06/25/2010
PB-CA-0007-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
AMENDED MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER 06/14/1994 (855 F.Supp. 1123) (E.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0007-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order of Reaasignment 06/25/2010 (E.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0007-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Ishii, Anthony W. (E.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0007-0001
Levi, David F. (E.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0007-0002 | PB-CA-0007-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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