University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name J.K. v. Eden CW-AZ-0001
Docket / Court 4:91-cv-00261-AWT ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Child Welfare
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Education
Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization Bazelon Center
National Center for Youth Law
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
Representing the class of persons under age twenty-one who were eligible for behavioral health services through Medicaid's Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) mandate, 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq., the Bazelon Center, Arizona Center for Disability Law, and National Center ... read more >
Representing the class of persons under age twenty-one who were eligible for behavioral health services through Medicaid's Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) mandate, 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq., the Bazelon Center, Arizona Center for Disability Law, and National Center for Youth Law brought suit in 1991 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, against the state of Arizona.

Both parties sought summary judgment, but in 1993, District Judge John Roll denied the motions. The defendants argued that the challenged conduct did not constitute state action at all because the Arizona Department of Health Services contracted with private health care providers to provide behavioral health services to eligible children. The court disagreed, holding that even though the private providers made decisions about levels of care for children, the state was ultimately responsible for the providers' compliance with the federal Medicaid statute. J.K. v. Dillenberg, 836 F. Supp. 694 (D. Ariz. 1993).

In 1995, plaintiffs renewed their motion for partial summary judgment, and on May 13, 1996, the Court granted the motion, declaring certain aspects of the state's policy unlawful and enjoining the defendants from reducing any plaintiff's Title XIX covered services based on medical needs assessments without providing notice and a fair hearing. (The Court denied the state's cross motion for summary judgment.) The case continued to move towards trial on other issues, but on August 10, 1998, the court granted the parties' joint motion for a year-and-a-half stay of all litigation, on specified terms from the joint motion (not available in the Clearinghouse). The agreement was at least in part to allow time for an independent expert to assess the adequacy of mental health and substance abuse services provided to the plaintiffs.

After completion of the independent study, the parties began settlement negotiations. They reached a settlement on March 27, 2001, which the district court preliminarily approved on April 5, 2001. Notice was provided to the class, and a fairness hearing was held on June 26, 2001, at which time the court approved the settlement. Under the settlement, which was set to last until July 2007, the State agreed to increase funding for training, respite care, pilot projects, and improvements in the structure of the state's behavioral health managed care system.

The agreement rested on broad principles that "require initiatives to improve front-line practice, enhance the capacity of private agencies to deliver needed services, promote collaboration among public agencies, and develop a quality management and improvement system focused on sound practice." The defendants agreed to move as quickly as practicable to deploy a system in compliance with the principles. The agreement allowed for court enforcement, but did not impose any deadlines for compliance. However, it did specify that "none of the parties may engage in activities which delay, prolong or frustrate performance of the obligations of this Agreement with the aim of taking advantage of the time-limited nature of this Settlement Agreement. The Court may, after application and a hearing, impose severe sanctions for such conduct."

On December 3, 2001, after a stipulation by the parties, the court approved attorneys’ fees payable to the plaintiffs' counsel of $1.2 million. Over the next several years, attorney's fees were paid to plaintiffs' counsel for its work monitoring and enforcing the settlement.

In January 2006, the plaintiffs invoked the settlement agreement's dispute resolution process, claiming that the state had not complied with the agreement, and in particular had failed to "move as quickly as is practicable to develop a Title XIX behavioral health system that delivers services according to the [settlement's] Principles" as required. On November 21, 2006, the parties agreed to amend the 2001 settlement by extending its compliance date from July 2007 till July 2010.

On March 6, 2009, plaintiffs again invoked the dispute resolution provisions by sending a letter to defendants, listing six serious issues in dispute. Although the parties agreed to the basic rules governing contract interpretation, they disagreed about the test to apply to determine whether defendants have breached any contractual obligation. Plaintiffs asserted that the test is whether defendants have substantially complied with the terms of the Agreement, while Defendants asserted that performance should be measured under a standard of good faith.

The parties were unable to resolve their differences, and on November 13, 2009, the plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce the settlement agreement. Plaintiffs asserted that defendants were in noncompliance because there were still too few intensive community services for children with complex needs, no quality management system, inadequate substance abuse services , inadequate training, a lack of promised benefits for youth aged eighteen to twenty-one, and no system for determining whether children were being served according to the settlement agreement. The defendants objected, arguing that the plaintiffs had failed to use the agreement's dispute resolution process, and that as a result the entire case should be terminated. In September 2010, the Court denied the defendant's motion to dismiss and denied the plaintiff's motion to enforce. The plaintiff re-urged the Court to enforce the settlement, and defendant moved again to dismiss the case and terminate the Court's jurisdiction. In February 2012, the Court again denied the motions. Furthermore, because the parties could not resolve the matter through mediation, the Court recommended appointment of a Special Master.

The Court outlined that the Special Master was to issue a written report recommending to the Court a resolution of the parties' differences concerning the interpretation of the Settlement Agreement and to recommend how to proceed in resolving any disputes arising under the Agreement if necessary. On November 15, 2012, the Court (Judge A. Wallace Tashima) signed an order appointing Justice Ruth V. McGregor as Special Master.

On May 17, 2013, the Special Master submitted the Special Master’s Report and Recommendation to the Court. The Special Master recommended that the Court limit the disputes for resolution to the issues expressly raised in plaintiffs’ March 2009 letter. The Special Master determined that the defendants had complied with contractual obligations related to substance abuse treatment, and that all other issues either did not raise a dispute cognizable under the Settlement Agreement or required factual development.

On July 9, 2013, Judge Tashima Adopted Special Master’s Report and Recommendation and granted Motion Special Master’s Application for Compensation, requiring the defendants to pay 100% of the Special Master’s fee.

Parties continued litigation until March 12, 2014, when plaintiffs filed Notice of Withdrawal of Motion for Enforcement of Settlement Agreement. On March 21, 2014, Judge Tashima granted the parties’ Joint Motion to Vacate Hearing and Dismiss Litigation, and the case was dismissed without prejudice.

Elizabeth Homan - 11/28/2012
Frances Hollander - 02/14/2016


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Benefit Source
SSDI
Content of Injunction
Auditing
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Reasonable Accommodation
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Education
Government Services (specify)
Juveniles
Placement in mental health facilities
Public assistance grants
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Reassessment and care planning
Special education
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medical care, unspecified
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Learning disability
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
Defendant(s) Arizona
Plaintiff Description All persons under age 21 who are eligible for Title XIX behavioral health services in the State of Arizona
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Bazelon Center
National Center for Youth Law
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
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 2001 - 2010
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
Case Studies Legal Accountability in the Service-Based Welfare State: Lessons from Child Welfare Reform
By: Kathleen G. Noonan, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon (Center for High Impact Philanthropy , Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School)
Citation: 34 Law & Soc. Inquiry 523 (Summer 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Making Child Welfare Work: How the R.C. Lawsuit Forged New Partnerships to Protect Children and Sustain Families
By: Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law (Bazelon Center)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Links Additional information on JK Settlement Agreement
JK Settlement Agreement
By: Arizona Department of Health Services
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
4:91−cv−00261 (D. Ariz.) 08/13/2014
CW-AZ-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 10/07/1993 (836 F.Supp. 694) (D. Ariz.)
CW-AZ-0001-0018.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Settlement Agreement (Class Action) 03/01/2001
CW-AZ-0001-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Stipulation to Amend Settlement Agreement 11/21/2006
CW-AZ-0001-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Report of Mediator 08/13/2009
CW-AZ-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Enforcement of Settlement Agreement 11/13/2009
CW-AZ-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Transcript of Proceedings Before Honorable John M. Roll 03/23/2010
CW-AZ-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report 09/10/2010
CW-AZ-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 09/23/2010 (D. Ariz.)
CW-AZ-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 11/29/2010 (D. Ariz.)
CW-AZ-0001-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Transcript of Motions Hearing Before the Honorable John M. Roll 12/30/2010
CW-AZ-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Motion to Terminate the Court's Jurisdiction and to Dismiss the Case 03/04/2011
CW-AZ-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 02/27/2012 (D. Ariz.)
CW-AZ-0001-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Motion to Clarify and Reconsider 03/12/2012
CW-AZ-0001-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 04/07/2012 (D. Ariz.)
CW-AZ-0001-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Transcript Order 04/09/2012
CW-AZ-0001-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Filing Defendants' Proposed Order Regarding Reference to a Special Master and Objection to One of Plaintiffs' Candidates for Special Master 04/20/2012
CW-AZ-0001-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Proposed Order Appointing Special Master Pursuant to Rule 53 of Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 04/20/2012 (D. Ariz.)
CW-AZ-0001-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Appointing Special Master 11/15/2012 (D. Ariz.)
CW-AZ-0001-0017.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Special Master's Report and Recommendations 05/17/2013
CW-AZ-0001-0019.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Roll, John McCarthy (D. Ariz.)
CW-AZ-0001-0007 | CW-AZ-0001-0008 | CW-AZ-0001-0009 | CW-AZ-0001-0010 | CW-AZ-0001-0016 | CW-AZ-0001-0018
Tashima, Atsushi Wallace (Ninth Circuit, C.D. Cal.)
CW-AZ-0001-0011 | CW-AZ-0001-0013 | CW-AZ-0001-0017 | CW-AZ-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters McGregor, Ruth (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-0019
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barkoff, Alison (District of Columbia)
CW-AZ-0001-0003 | CW-AZ-0001-9000
Barnett, George Salazar (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Burnim, Ira Abraham (District of Columbia)
CW-AZ-0001-0001 | CW-AZ-0001-0003 | CW-AZ-0001-0006 | CW-AZ-0001-0007 | CW-AZ-0001-9000
Bussiere, Alice (California)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Cohen, Susanne B. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Cohen, Leslie J. (District of Columbia)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Coulon, Robbin Michelle (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Epstein, Dena Rose (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-0001
Finberg, Jeanne (California)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Gardner, Patrick (California)
CW-AZ-0001-0001 | CW-AZ-0001-0003 | CW-AZ-0001-0006 | CW-AZ-0001-9000
Giliberti, Mary (District of Columbia)
CW-AZ-0001-0001 | CW-AZ-0001-9000
Graff, Julia (District of Columbia)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Hogan, Timothy Michael (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
LeMaire, Kerstin Gramatzki (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
McGarry, Joseph E (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-0001 | CW-AZ-0001-9000
Michelson, Michelle S. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Morris, William Eric (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Mudryk, Andrew M. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Myers, Edward Leo (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-0003 | CW-AZ-0001-0006 | CW-AZ-0001-9000
Palamountain, Kathryn C. (California)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Read, Emily B. (District of Columbia)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Ronan, Anne (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-0001 | CW-AZ-0001-0002 | CW-AZ-0001-0003 | CW-AZ-0001-0006 | CW-AZ-0001-0007 | CW-AZ-0001-0010 | CW-AZ-0001-0014 | CW-AZ-0001-9000
Samuels, Bruce (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-0001
Sutton, Jared Lynn (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Varma, Asim (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Weiss, Jon David (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Baldino, Helen M. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Bond, Caroline Eileen (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Ching, Anthony B. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Devlin, Matthew Joseph (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Federhar, Andrew Mark (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Garrahan, Melinda (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Good, Coni R. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Honig, Gregory David (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-0004 | CW-AZ-0001-0010 | CW-AZ-0001-0012 | CW-AZ-0001-0015 | CW-AZ-0001-9000
Horne, Thomas C. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-0004 | CW-AZ-0001-0012 | CW-AZ-0001-0015
Johnston, Logan T. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-0002 | CW-AZ-0001-0007 | CW-AZ-0001-0012 | CW-AZ-0001-0015 | CW-AZ-0001-9000
Leeson, Amy Jo (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
McDonough, Lawrence (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Niederdeppe, David L. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Plumb, Catherine Dodd (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Ray, Kevin D. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Sammons, Winn L. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Shein, Margo F. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-9000
Sorce, Robert J (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-0002 | CW-AZ-0001-0007 | CW-AZ-0001-9000
Steen, Paul E. (Arizona)
CW-AZ-0001-0004 | CW-AZ-0001-0010 | CW-AZ-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -