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Case Name Susan J. v. Riley PB-AL-0002
Docket / Court 2:00-cv-00918-MEF-WC ( M.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On July 12, 2000, fourteen developmentally disabled Alabama residents filed a lawsuit under the Medicaid Act (Title XIX of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq.), 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and 28 U.S.C. §§2201 et seq. The plaintiffs filed ... read more >
On July 12, 2000, fourteen developmentally disabled Alabama residents filed a lawsuit under the Medicaid Act (Title XIX of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq.), 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and 28 U.S.C. §§2201 et seq. The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit against the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (DMH/MR), its Commissioner, and the Alabama Governor in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that Defendants failed to ensure that (1) the development of appropriate residential placement services, day habilitation services, and/or other services; (2) Plaintiffs could apply for and receive these services with reasonable promptness; (3) these services were made available to the plaintiffs in the same manner as the services were provided to other similarly situated Medicaid assistance recipients in Alabama; and (4) Plaintiffs received these services.

The plaintiffs filed the lawsuit on behalf of developmentally disabled persons who applied for services under Alabama's Home and Community Based Waiver Programs and (1) were found eligible for such services but either did not receive them with reasonable promptness or received services that were inadequate or inappropriate; (2) were deemed ineligible and not given notice or an opportunity for hearing; or (3) did not receive a claims determination with reasonable promptness. On October 24, 2008, the Court (Judge Mark E. Fuller) denied the plaintiffs' motion for class certification as to the first subclass but granted it as to the second and third subclasses.

The parties reached a settlement agreement in which the Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation agreed "to provide additional notices and procedures on a system-wide basis." Susan J. v. Riley, No. 2:00-cv-918-MEF, 2009 WL 2259524, at *1 (M.D. Ala July 29, 2009). As part of the settlement agreement, the parties filed a joint motion to decertify the two subclasses, which the Court granted on July 29, 2009. As the Court explains, "The combination of system-wide relief and decertification would have the effect of allowing the benefits of the settlement to reach all class members (and other persons who are not class members) without the otherwise attendant burdens of issue and claim preclusion." Id.

Subsequent to the Settlement Agreement, the parties filed a Joint Stipulation of Dismissal With prejudice, and on August 10, 2009, the Court dismissed the case. The PACER docket does not reflect any further activity.

Jordan Rossen - 01/06/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Classification / placement
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation
Plaintiff Description Developmentally disabled Alabama residents eligible for Medicaid services put indefinitely on wait list for community based services.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2009 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:00-cv-00918-MEF-WC (M.D. Ala.) 08/10/2009
PB-AL-0002-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order Denying Defendants' Motion To Dismiss 06/15/2004 (M.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0002-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Memorandum in Support of Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings 02/17/2006 (2006 WL 823313)
PB-AL-0002-0001 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Plaintiffs' Memorandum of Law Opposing Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings 03/20/2006 (2006 WL 1201261)
PB-AL-0002-0002 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion and Order Denying Defendants' Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings 06/23/2006 (M.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0002-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Amended Complaint 07/26/2007
PB-AL-0002-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order Denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification 09/12/2007 (2007 WL 2702073) (M.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0002-0009 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion and Order Granting In Part and Denying In Part Plaintiffs' Amended Motion for Class Certification 10/24/2008 (254 F.R.D. 439) (M.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0002-0008 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion and Order [(1) denying plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on Reasonable Promptness claim and (2) denying defendants’ motion for summary judgment as to some plaintiffs and granting it as to other plaintiffs] 04/29/2009 (616 F.Supp.2d 1219) (M.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0002-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion and Order (granting joint motion to decertify classes, subject to the parties’ filing of a joint stipulation of dismissal) 07/29/2009 (2009 WL 2259524) (M.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0002-0010 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Joint Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice 08/03/2009
PB-AL-0002-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Capel, Wallace Jr. (M.D. Ala.) [Magistrate]
PB-AL-0002-9000
Fuller, Mark E. (M.D. Ala.)
PB-AL-0002-0003 | PB-AL-0002-0004 | PB-AL-0002-0007 | PB-AL-0002-0008 | PB-AL-0002-0009 | PB-AL-0002-0010 | PB-AL-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baxter, Glenn Nelson (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-9000
Hackney, James Patrick (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-0005 | PB-AL-0002-0006 | PB-AL-0002-9000
Kracke, Robert Russell Sr. (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-0002 | PB-AL-0002-0005 | PB-AL-0002-9000
Mattison, Deborah A. (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-0002 | PB-AL-0002-0005 | PB-AL-0002-9000
McGinley, Rachel Lee (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-0005 | PB-AL-0002-9000
Reiss, Sandra Beth (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-9000
Tucker, James A. (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-0002 | PB-AL-0002-0006 | PB-AL-0002-9000
Wilson-Carr, Lauren (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-0002 | PB-AL-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, James William (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-0006 | PB-AL-0002-9000
Fairbanks, Misty S (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-9000
Fleming, Margaret L. (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-9000
Jackson, David Elzy (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-0001 | PB-AL-0002-9000
King, Troy Robin (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-0001 | PB-AL-0002-0006
Park, John J. Jr. (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-0001 | PB-AL-0002-9000
Tarver, Courtney W. (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-0001 | PB-AL-0002-9000
Trawick, Gary R. (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-9000
Wilson, James Eldon (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-9000
Other Lawyers Jordan, Ezra III (Alabama)
PB-AL-0002-9000

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