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