University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Disability Rights New Jersey v. Velez PB-NJ-0007
Docket / Court 3:05-cv-04723 ( 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 2008 case challenging the long ... 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 2008 case challenging the long waitlists for community-based waiver services, see PB-NJ-0004.

Disability Rights New Jersey (DRNJ), the state Protection and Advocacy agency, filed this lawsuit to challenge New Jersey's pervasive over-institutionalization of individuals with developmental disabilities. In its complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on September 29, 2005, DRNJ alleged that the state's failure to provide community-based support services, housing, and appropriate assessment tools has lead to the unnecessary institutionalization of this population in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (under the 1999 Supreme Court precedent, Olmstead v. L.C.), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the federal Medicaid statute.

After a long period of discovery and negotiation, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment on March 25, 2010. Because the Defendants' summary judgment motion attacked the constitutionality of the ADA and Section 504, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a motion to intervene to defend the constitutionality of a federal statute. DOJ (Civil Rights Division) also separately filed a brief supporting the Plaintiffs on the merits of their motion for summary judgment.

On September 24, 2010, Judge Anne E. Thompson denied the Plaintiffs' motion and most of the Defendants' motion. She granted summary judgment to the Defendants, however, on the Plaintiffs' Medicaid Act claims, finding that the Plaintiffs do not claim a right to access financial assistance under Medicaid, but rather, they wish to access certain medical services and thus cannot raise a claim under the statute. After this order, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration on that issue on October 6, 2010. They argued that the financial assistance v. medical services distinction had been overturned by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), and that the PPACA had resolved a circuit split and specifically overturned the cases from other circuits upon which Judge Thompson had relied in her decision. In light of this, the Judge granted the motion for reconsideration and reinstated the Plaintiffs' Medicaid claim on December 2, 2010.

After more discovery and negotiation, 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 a case challenging the long waitlists for Medicaid-funded Home and Community Based Waiver Services (see PB-NJ-0004).

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.

Beth Kurtz - 04/13/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitoring
Preliminary relief granted
Reasonable Accommodation
Reporting
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
disability, unspecified
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
Defendant(s) New Jersey Department of Human Services
Plaintiff Description Disability Rights New Jersey is the state Protection and Advocacy agency. DRNJ brings this case on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities living in New Jersey.
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
Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2013 - 2017
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:05−cv−04723 (D.N.J.) 03/06/2013
PB-NJ-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injuntive Relief 02/01/2007
PB-NJ-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment 03/25/2010
PB-NJ-0007-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment 03/25/2010
PB-NJ-0007-0003.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 05/24/2010
PB-NJ-0007-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief of the United States as Amicus Curiae in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment 06/21/2010
PB-NJ-0007-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order 09/24/2010 (2010 WL 3862536) (D.N.J.)
PB-NJ-0007-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Plaintiffs' Motion for Reconsideration of the Court's September 24, 2010 Opinion and Order 10/06/2010
PB-NJ-0007-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order 11/30/2010 (2010 WL 5055820) (D.N.J.)
PB-NJ-0007-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 12/21/2012 (D.N.J.)
PB-NJ-0007-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 03/04/2013
PB-NJ-0007-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Thompson, Anne Elise (D.N.J.)
PB-NJ-0007-0002 | PB-NJ-0007-0005 | PB-NJ-0007-0007 | PB-NJ-0007-0009 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berkley, Brian Anthony (Pennsylvania)
PB-NJ-0007-9000
Carr, Jeffrey A. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-9000
Carr, Jeffrey A. (Pennsylvania)
PB-NJ-0007-0008
Cooney, Bernard J. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-0010
Duffield, Robert P. II (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-0002 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
Dwyer, William Emmett (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-0001 | PB-NJ-0007-0002 | PB-NJ-0007-0008 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
Gibson, William (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-0010 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
Kearney, John B. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-0001 | PB-NJ-0007-0002 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
Kuzinski, Eugene J. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-0001 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
McIlvain, James Bradford (Pennsylvania)
PB-NJ-0007-9000
Nelson, Travis P. (Pennsylvania)
PB-NJ-0007-0008 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
Stio, Angelo A. III (Pennsylvania)
PB-NJ-0007-0008 | PB-NJ-0007-0010 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
Thompson, R. Scott (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-0010
Walsh, Rosemary Bates (Pennsylvania)
PB-NJ-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Beaty, Mary Stephanie (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-9000
Beran, Gail R. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-9000
D'Amora, Natalie (Pennsylvania)
PB-NJ-0007-9000
Dacosta, David L (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-9000
Dow, Paula T. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-0003
Duff, Amy E. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-9000
Dugan, Jennifer L. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-9000
Hughes, Gerard Andrew (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-0003 | PB-NJ-0007-0010 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
Kalik, Lance J. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-0010 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
Liss, Brenda C. (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-0010 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
Mitchell, Beth Leigh (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-9000
Other Lawyers Bagenstos, Samuel R. (District of Columbia)
PB-NJ-0007-0006
Farano, Richard J. (District of Columbia)
PB-NJ-0007-0006 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
Fishman, Paul (New Jersey)
PB-NJ-0007-0004
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
PB-NJ-0007-0004 | PB-NJ-0007-0006
Phillips, Dirk Christian (District of Columbia)
PB-NJ-0007-0004
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
PB-NJ-0007-0006
Ruymann, J. Andrew (District of Columbia)
PB-NJ-0007-0004 | PB-NJ-0007-9000
Silver, Jessica Dunsay (District of Columbia)
PB-NJ-0007-0004

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