University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Disability Rights New Jersey v. Velez PB-NJ-0004
Docket / Court 3:08-cv-01858-AET -LHG ( 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 challenging New Jersey's overuse of Conditional Extension Pending Placement (CEPP), see PB-NJ-0003. For the 2005 case generally challenging the ... read more >
NOTE: This is one of three identically named cases in the Clearinghouse. For the 2005 case challenging New Jersey's overuse of Conditional Extension Pending Placement (CEPP), see PB-NJ-0003. For the 2005 case generally challenging the unnecessary institutionalization of individuals with disabilities in New Jersey, which was settled together with this case, see PB-NJ-0007.

On April 16, 2008, New Jersey Protection and Advocacy (NJP&A) filed a lawsuit under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act against the state's Department of Human Services in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. The Plaintiff, represented by private counsel, sought declaratory and injunctive relief regarding New Jersey's practice of wait-listing eligible citizens instead of providing them services. Specifically, the plaintiff asked the Court to direct the state to offer and provide home and community-based services with reasonable promptness to eligible individuals.

NJP&A, a non-profit corporation, is the federally funded agency designated to serve as New Jersey's protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities. Individuals named in the Complaint are Medicaid recipients who have disabilities. These individuals receive services from the New Jersey Department of Human Services, Division of Developmental Disabilities and meet the requirements for Medicaid's home and community-based waiver services (HCS). All of the individuals named in the Complaint would be able to live in less restrictive settings with waiver supports and services, but they are all on a wait-list for services under the HCS program. They have been on a wait-list for years, but have not been informed of their status or how long they will have to wait.

On September 9, 2008, the Court (Judge Anne E. Thompson) granted the state's Motion for a More Definite Statement and Motion to Strike. The Court ordered the disclosure of the identities of the named plaintiffs (who had been identified with only initials in the Complaint) to the state. The Court also ordered the plaintiffs to strike the statements of the Interested Parties that had been included in the Complaint.

On March 10, 2009, the Court issued an order notifying the Attorney General of the United States that the constitutionality of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act had been called into question in the case. The order required the United States to file a petition for intervention if it wished to intervene. The United States did so on May 18, 2009.

The Court denied the state's motion to dismiss on July 23, 2009. The Court found that the plaintiffs had standing to bring suit and that the state's 11th Amendment arguments were inapposite.

After a long period of discovery and concurrent settlement negotiations, the parties ultimately agreed to a settlement in December 2012, which was entered by the court upon the case's dismissal in March 2013. The settlement agreement resolved both this case and the longstanding Olmstead case challenging New Jersey's unnecessary institutionalization of individuals with developmental disabilities (see PB-NJ-0007).

Through this agreement, the State will discharge all community-eligible individuals from institutions by 2017 (about 600 people) and provide necessary services. The state will also increase screening and diversion services for those who are slated for placement in an institution. The agreement also includes funding for a consultant who will assist in implementing the agreement, and allows for Disability Rights New Jersey to serve as a monitor.

Haley Waller - 04/07/2011
Andrew Junker - 10/23/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Content of Injunction
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Reasonable Accommodation
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Housing
Reasonable Accommodations
Rehabilitation
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medical care, unspecified
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
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) Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services
Plaintiff Description New Jersey Protection and Advocacy and individuals with disabilities eligible for community-based services
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 2012 - 2017
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Insurer Must Pay $100.5 Million in Redlining Case
The New York Times
Written: Oct. 27, 1998
By: Joseph B. Treaster
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Nationwide Settles Virginia Redlining Suit
Property Casualty 360
Written: May. 06, 2000
By: Amanda Levin
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:08−cv−01858 (D.N.J.) 03/06/2013
PB-NJ-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 04/16/2008
PB-NJ-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM & ORDER 09/09/2008 (2008 WL 4192068) (D.N.J.)
PB-NJ-0004-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF 09/26/2008
PB-NJ-0004-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER CERTIFIYING TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES A CHALLENGE TO THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF AN ACT OF CONGRESS 03/10/2009 (D.N.J.)
PB-NJ-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
CONSENT ORDER EXTENDING TIME TO SERVE AND FILE NOTICE OF INTERVENTION 04/08/2009 (D.N.J.)
PB-NJ-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
UNITED STATES’ NOTICE OF INTERVENTION PURSUANT TO 28 U.S.C. 2403(a) 05/18/2009
PB-NJ-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
BRIEF OF THE UNITED STATES AS INTERVENOR IN SUPPORT OF THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF SECTION 504 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT AND TITLE II OF THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT 06/29/2009
PB-NJ-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER 07/23/2009 (D.N.J.)
PB-NJ-0004-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 03/04/2013
PB-NJ-0004-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Thompson, Anne Elise (D.N.J.)
PB-NJ-0004-0002 | PB-NJ-0004-0003 | PB-NJ-0004-0006 | PB-NJ-0004-0007 | PB-NJ-0004-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cooney, Bernard J. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0004-0009
Dwyer, William Emmett (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0004-0008 | PB-NJ-0004-0009 | PB-NJ-0004-9000
Gibson, William (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0004-0009
Marra, Ralph J. (District of Columbia)
PB-NJ-0004-0004 | PB-NJ-0004-0005 | PB-NJ-0004-9000
Ruymann, J. Andrew (District of Columbia)
PB-NJ-0004-0004 | PB-NJ-0004-0005 | PB-NJ-0004-9000
Stio, Angelo A. III (Pennsylvania)
PB-NJ-0004-0009
Thompson, R. Scott (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0004-0001 | PB-NJ-0004-0008 | PB-NJ-0004-0009 | PB-NJ-0004-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hughes, Gerard Andrew (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0004-0009
Kalik, Lance J. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0004-0009
Liss, Brenda C. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0004-0009
Other Lawyers None on record

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