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Case Name Katie A. v. Bonta CW-CA-0005
Docket / Court 2:02-cv-5662 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Child Welfare
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Southern California
Bazelon Center
Children's Rights, Inc.
National Center for Youth Law
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Youth Law Center
Case Summary
This lawsuit was filed in the Central District of California on July 18, 2002, by the class of children and young adults who (a) are in the custody of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services; (b) have a behavioral, emotional, or psychiatric impairment; and (c) need ... read more >
This lawsuit was filed in the Central District of California on July 18, 2002, by the class of children and young adults who (a) are in the custody of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services; (b) have a behavioral, emotional, or psychiatric impairment; and (c) need individualized mental health services. The suit is against County and State agencies for neglecting their responsibilities to provide mental health care services to foster children in California. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief from the State and Los Angeles County under provisions of the Medicaid Act, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT), 42 U.S.C. § 1396; the Substantive Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; Article I, section 7(a) of the California Constitution; the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12132; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 701; and California Government Code § 11135. Plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU of Southern California, Center for Public Interest, Western Center for Law and Poverty, Protection & Advocacy, Inc., Youth Law Center, and Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

In March 2003, Plaintiffs and L.A. County began settlement negotiations. On June 19, 2003, United States District Judge A. Howard Matz certified class status, and on July 16, 2003, the Court approved a jointly submitted settlement agreement as fair, reasonable, and adequate. The settlement agreement has four objectives: (1) to facilitate a provision of services delivered in a coordinated, comprehensive, community-based fashion; (2) to support the development and delivery of a service structure and fiscal system that supports core practices and services model; (3) to support an effective and sustainable solution that will involve standards and methods to achieve quality-based oversight; and (4) to address the need for certain class members with more intensive needs to receive medically necessary mental health services in their own home, a family settings, or the most homelike setting appropriate to their needs, in order to facilitate reunification, and to meet their needs for safety, permanence, and well-being.

Pursuant to the Agreement, the parties appointed a six-member expert advisory panel to determine whether the County met the objectives set forth and implemented the plans. The Panel was required to make regular written reports to the parties and Court of its findings and recommendations. In August 2005, the Panel issued a two-year report finding that the County had not complied with the terms of the Agreement.

Only L.A. settled; because the state agencies did not participate in the settlement, plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction against them on September 15, 2005. Judge Matz granted the motion on March 14, 2006, ordering the State to provide "wraparound services" and "therapeutic foster care," to thousands of Medi-Cal eligible children who are in foster care or at risk of foster care placement. There are approximately 85,000 children in foster care in California and an even greater number of children served by the child welfare system in their own homes. The court's order extends to both groups of children.

(In the meantime, on February 16, 2006, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Compel Compliance with the Settlement Agreement against LA County, but Judge Matz denied this motion on June 15, 2006.)

The State of California appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On March 23, 2007, the Ninth Circuit vacated the March 14th preliminary injunction, holding that Judge Matz had erroneously interpreted the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) provisions of the Medicaid Act by not "explor[ing] the possibility that the State might only have an obligation to fund the component services of wraparound and TFC, rather than to offer the coordinated complex of services in a single package." Katie A. v. Bonta, 481 F.3d 1150 (9th Cir. 2007).

After further discovery, Plaintiffs filed another Motion for Preliminary Injunction on January 11, 2008. In response, the Court ruled that wraparound services are Medi-Cal eligible and ordered the parties to address how to provide and bill for those services. A Special Master was appointed in March 2009 to facilitate a settlement between the parties.

The parties reached a settlement agreement in December 2011, which included the development of an Implementation Plan to be evaluated by the Special Master. The agreement included a payment of $3.75 million in attorneys' fees, including costs and expenses, to plaintiffs' counsel. The parties developed a two-phase Implementation Plan. On August 28, 2012, the Special Master informed the District Court that he found the Implementation Plan reasonably and sufficiently calculated to meet the objectives of the agreement, and the Court accepted his recommendations on September 13, 2012.
The Special Master and Advisory Panel continued to monitor and report on the completion of the Implementation Plan.

In light of the fact that the District Court's jurisdiction was scheduled to end in December 2014, the Special Master put forth a set of recommendations in his report on September 26, 2014 to sustain the growth in the development and delivery of the intensive services agreed to by the parties. The Special Master submitted a final report to the Court on November 20, 2014. The report identified areas of progress and growth, but also found that there remained significant unfinished deliverables from the settlement agreement and identified the key activities the State should begin or continue implementing.

As of December 2, 2014, a final status conference had not yet been held.

Elizabeth Homan - 10/04/2012
Samantha Kirby - 12/02/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Monitor/Master
Preliminary relief granted
Recordkeeping
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Age discrimination
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Adoption
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Foster care (benefits, training)
Government Services (specify)
Juveniles
Placement in mental health facilities
Public assistance grants
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Record-keeping
Rehabilitation
Restraints : physical
Special education
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Mental Disability
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
State law
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) California Department of Health Services
California Department of Social Services
Los Angeles City
Los Angeles County
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are a class of children and young adults who (a) are in the custody of Los Angeles County Dept of Children and Family Services; (b) have a behavioral, emotional, or psychiatric impairment; and (c) need individualized mental health services.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Southern California
Bazelon Center
Children's Rights, Inc.
National Center for Youth Law
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Youth Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2003 - 2014
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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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 ]

Docket(s)
2:02-cv-5662 (C.D. Cal.) 11/24/2014
CW-CA-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 12/20/2002
CW-CA-0005-0012.pdf | Detail
Order for Approval of Class Settlement, Provisional Certification of Settlement Class, Approval of Form and Manner of Notice to Class, and Scheduling of Fairness Hearing 05/20/2003 (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order re: Class Certification 06/19/2003 (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulated Order re Final Approval of Class Settlement 07/16/2003 (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation Between Plaintiffs and County Defendants Regarding Definition of Class Members; Order 02/23/2004 (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 03/14/2006 (433 F.Supp.2d 1065) (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0015.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Addendum to Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction 05/12/2006 (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law re Settlement Agreement Between Plaintiffs and County; Order Thereon 11/20/2006 (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals 03/27/2007 (481 F.3d 1150)
CW-CA-0005-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Joint Status Report Pursuant to Court's September 22, 2008 Order 10/29/2008
CW-CA-0005-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Class Action Comments of the United States in Support of Final Approval of the Proposed Settlement Agreement 11/18/2011
CW-CA-0005-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulated Judgment Pursuant to Class Action Settlement Agreement 12/05/2011 (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Awarding Attorneys' Fees, Costs and Expenses Pursuant to Settlement Agreement 12/06/2011 (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Special Master's Report on Progress Toward Completion of the Katie A. Implementation Plan 08/28/2012
CW-CA-0005-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Special Master's Progress Report on the Implementation of the Katie A. Plan 11/20/2014
CW-CA-0005-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Hillman, Stephen J. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
CW-CA-0005-9000
Kronstadt, John Arnold (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Matz, A. Howard (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0001 | CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0005 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0007 | CW-CA-0005-0011 | CW-CA-0005-0013 | CW-CA-0005-0015
Tashima, Atsushi Wallace (Ninth Circuit, C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0014
Monitors/Masters Saletta, Richard (California)
CW-CA-0005-0010 | CW-CA-0005-0016 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ancar, Katina (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Barkoff, Alison (District of Columbia)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Bird, Melinda R. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Burnim, Ira Abraham (District of Columbia)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Bussiere, Alice (California)
CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Diamond, Laura N (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Dozier, Antionette D (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Garcia, Robert (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Gardner, Patrick (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Giliberti, Mary (District of Columbia)
CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Hall, Carlyle W III (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Holle, Marilyn (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Hollman, Lew (California)
CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Hornbeck, Kirk A Jr (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Kolek, Alissa Beth (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Kong, Lin Min (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Lewis, Kimberly (California)
CW-CA-0005-0005 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0007 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
McIntosh, Katrina (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Mudryk, Andrew M. (Arizona)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Newman, Robert D. Jr. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0005 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0007 | CW-CA-0005-0008 | CW-CA-0005-9000
O'Toole, John F. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Peterson, Ronald C (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Quraishi, Fiza A (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Rosenbaum, Mark Dale (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Rothschild, Richard (California)
CW-CA-0005-0007 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Shauffer, Carole B. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Stortz, Michael James (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Welch, Leecia (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006
Wizner, Ben (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Zaragoza-Cruz, Gina L (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Ackerson-Brazille, Karen (California)
CW-CA-0005-0008 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Black, Lauren M (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Bowser, Katherine M (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Custis, Gerald M (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Felix, Cristina (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Fortner, Raymond G. Jr. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0007
Gardiner, Ada (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0012
Glancy, Lionel Zevi (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Goldsmith, Sandra L (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Harrison, Dawyn R (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0012
Hinoj Quinonez, Laura Elizabeth (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Kim, Jennifer M. (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Lockyer, Bill (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012
Lowry, Marcia Robinson (New York)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Lustbader, Ira P. (New York)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Martinez, Ernest (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Nichols, Brandon T (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0007 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Owens, James M (California)
CW-CA-0005-0005
Owens, Andrew W. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0007
Pellman, Lloyd W. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0005 | CW-CA-0005-0012
Pitchal, Erik S. (New York)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Pratt, Catherine J (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0005 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Sanders, John H. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012
Snuggs, Carmen (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Ugaz, Sarah (California)
CW-CA-0005-9000
Waldow, Richard T. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012
Other Lawyers England, Travis W (District of Columbia)
CW-CA-0005-0009 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Monteleone, Robyn-Marie L (California)
CW-CA-0005-0009 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Weidman, Leon W. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0009 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Wohlenhaus, Renee M. (District of Columbia)
CW-CA-0005-0009 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Wolfe, Kathleen P. (District of Columbia)
CW-CA-0005-0009 | CW-CA-0005-9000

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