University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Disability Rights New Jersey v. Velez PB-NJ-0003
Docket / Court 3:05-cv-01784 ( D.N.J. )
State/Territory New Jersey
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
NOTE: This is one of three identically named cases in the Clearinghouse. For the 2005 case generally challenging the unnecessary institutionalization of individuals with disabilities in New Jersey, see PB-NJ-0007. For the case ... read more >
NOTE: This is one of three identically named cases in the Clearinghouse. For the 2005 case generally challenging the unnecessary institutionalization of individuals with disabilities in New Jersey, see PB-NJ-0007. For the case challenging the long waitlists for community-based services, see PB-NJ-0004.

On April 5, 2005, a non-profit organization representing approximately one thousand individuals confined in psychiatric hospitals in New Jersey filed a lawsuit against Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services under Due Process Clause, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The plaintiff, represented by public services counsel, asked the Court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the defendant failed to provide community placements for individuals currently residing in state psychiatric hospitals that had been adjudicated as no longer meeting the standards for civil commitment. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant had used the Conditional Extension Pending Placement ("CEPP") to confine individuals for excessive periods of time and has failed to implement an effective plan for discharging these individuals into the community, even though under New Jersey law, the state might use CEPP to continue confinement while the state was still developing an appropriate community placement.

On September 30, 2005, the Court (Judge Stanley R. Chesler) denied the defendant's motion to dismiss.

On July 29, 2009, after extended negotiations, the parties reached a settlement whereby the state agreed to place 1065 individuals in the community through FY 2014.

Kunyi Zhang - 03/01/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Plaintiff Type
State Plaintiff
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) New Jersey Department of Human Services
Plaintiff Description A non-profit corporation that serves as New Jersey’s protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2009 - 2014
Case Closing Year 2009
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:05−cv−01784 (D.N.J.) 07/26/2010
PB-NJ-0003-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 05/19/2005
PB-NJ-0003-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (Motion to Dismiss Denied) 09/30/2005 (2005 WL 2416962) (D.N.J.)
PB-NJ-0003-0002 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 07/29/2009
PB-NJ-0003-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: Non-web U.S. District Court Clerk's Office
Judges Bongiovanni, Tonianne J. (D.N.J.) [Magistrate]
PB-NJ-0003-9000
Chesler, Stanley R. (D.N.J.) [Magistrate]
PB-NJ-0003-0002
Wolfson, Freda L. (D.N.J.) [Magistrate]
PB-NJ-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Carr, Jeffrey A. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0003-0003 | PB-NJ-0003-9000
Dodick, Helen C. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0003-0001
Dwyer, William Emmett (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0003-0001 | PB-NJ-0003-9000
Kouletsis, Nicholas M. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0003-0003 | PB-NJ-0003-9000
Lauch, Patricia Ann (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0003-9000
Stern, Jordan Adam (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dacosta, David L (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0003-9000
Hughes, Gerard Andrew (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0003-9000
Mitchell, Beth Leigh (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0003-0003 | PB-NJ-0003-9000
Polanco, Katiusca (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0003-9000
Tompkins, Laurie Manus (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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