University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States v. Rhode Island DR-RI-0003
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-00175-L-PAS ( D.R.I. )
State/Territory Rhode Island
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On January 6, 2014, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice sent a findings letter to the attorney general for the State of Rhode Island. The letter reported that the Division's investigation of Rhode Island's educational, vocational, and shelter services for the intellectually ... read more >
On January 6, 2014, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice sent a findings letter to the attorney general for the State of Rhode Island. The letter reported that the Division's investigation of Rhode Island's educational, vocational, and shelter services for the intellectually and developmentally disabled (I/DD) found that Rhode Island violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, by "unjustifiably" isolating persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in sheltered workshops and facility-based day programs.

On April 8, 2014, the Civil Rights Division filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island against the State of Rhode Island under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134. The plaintiff asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief alleging that the defendant discriminated against people with I/DD by failing to provide state services in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs and by putting Rhode Island high school students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities at "serious risk of segregation" by failing to inform them of or provide them with state services that would allow them to work in an integrated workplace. The plaintiff further claimed that Rhode Island failed to reasonably modify its delivery of its services to prevent them from causing unnecessary segregation on the basis of disability.

On that same day that the complaint was filed, both parties submitted a proposed consent decree to settle the lawsuit, indicating that the parties had likely been engaged in negotiations since the issuance of the findings letter in January.

On April 9, 2014, the District Court (Senior Judge Ronald R. Lugueux) approved a consent decree between the parties that would last for ten (10) years. The Decree requires the state to develop employment and educational programming and subjects the state to monitoring.

Brian Kempfer - 04/13/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
SSDI
SSI
Content of Injunction
Comply with advertising/recruiting requirements
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Goals and Timekeeping
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Reasonable Accommodation
Reporting
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
disability, unspecified
Integrated setting
Mental impairment
Discrimination-area
Steering
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Confinement/isolation
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Individualized planning
Juveniles
Placement in shelters
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Special education
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Mental Disability
Developmental disability without intellectual disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Learning disability
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Rhode Island
Plaintiff Description Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities receiving educational, vocational, and shelter services in Rhode Island
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
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 2014 - 2024
Case Closing Year 2024
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PB-GA-0001 : L.C.v. Olmstead (N.D. Ga.)
DR-RI-0004 : United States v. Rhode Island and City of Providence (D.R.I.)
Docket(s)
1:14-cv-00175 (D.R.I.) 04/09/2014
DR-RI-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Fact Sheet
DR-RI-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Non-PACER U.S. District Court Website
Findings Letter 01/06/2014
DR-RI-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Non-PACER U.S. District Court Website
Complaint 04/08/2014
DR-RI-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree 04/09/2014 (D.R.I.)
DR-RI-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Lagueux, Ronald Rene (D.R.I.)
DR-RI-0003-0002 | DR-RI-0003-9000
Sullivan, Patricia A. Court not on record
DR-RI-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bond, Rebecca B. (District of Columbia)
DR-RI-0003-0001
Kline, Regina (District of Columbia)
DR-RI-0003-0001 | DR-RI-0003-9000
Myrus, Richard B. (Rhode Island)
DR-RI-0003-0001 | DR-RI-0003-9000
Neronha, Peter F. (Rhode Island)
DR-RI-0003-0001 | DR-RI-0003-0002
Defendant's Lawyers DeSisto, Marc (Rhode Island)
DR-RI-0003-0004 | DR-RI-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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