University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Valentini v. Shinseki PB-CA-0044
Docket / Court 11-cv-4846 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization ACLU of Southern California
Case Summary
On June 8, 2011, several veterans, on behalf of all homeless veterans suffering from disabilities caused by their military service, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act against the Department of ... read more >
On June 8, 2011, several veterans, on behalf of all homeless veterans suffering from disabilities caused by their military service, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act against the Department of Veterans' Affairs. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest and private counsel, asked the court for an injunction requiring the defendants to provide the plaintiff class with permanent supportive housing that accommodates their disabilities so that they can access the VHA benefits for which they are eligible. They requested that the court prevent defendants from using the WLA campus for any purpose that is not directly related to housing disabled veterans and to require an accounting of profits of all money received for land use agreements for the WLA campus. The plaintiffs also asked the court to declare that the design and implementation of the VHA benefits program was discriminatory and that plaintiffs were being denied meaningful access to benefits by defendants because of their disabilities.

Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the WLA campus was intended, under the grant that established it, to provide housing and services for disabled veterans. By entering into land use agreements with commercial and non-DVA entities, defendants violated the grant, which plaintiffs argue was a charitable trust. Additionally, plaintiffs allege that there was never a public accounting of the transactions. Plaintiffs claim this lack of housing prevents the plaintiffs from meaningfully accessing the veterans' benefits to which they are entitled.

Mediation was attempted during the course of trial, but was unsuccessful. Following the mediation, both parties moved for summary judgment. The court denied the defendant's motion, but granted in part the plaintiff's motion.

On August 29, 2013, the District Court (Judge S. James Otero) entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff, declaring the land use agreements that defendant had with non-healthcare organizations were unauthorized by law and therefore void.

The defendants moved to intervene/vacate judgment, which was denied, and then appealed.

The case is currently on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; the parties continue to attempt mediation.

Noel Ripberger - 10/14/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Recordkeeping
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Government Services (specify)
Housing assistance
Poverty/homelessness
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. ยงยง 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Veterans' Affairs
Plaintiff Description Veterans who are eligible for the benefits provided by the Veterans Health Administration and reside within the service area of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and who have a mental disability and/or brain injury that renders them unable to obtain or maintain stable housing.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU of Southern California
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 Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
2:11-cv-04846-SJO-MRW (C.D. Cal.) 11/26/2013
PB-CA-0044-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive, Declaratory, and Mandamus Relief 06/08/2011
PB-CA-0044-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint for Injunctive, Declaratory, Mandamus, and Accounting Relief 08/12/2011
PB-CA-0044-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Civil Minutes- Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss 03/06/2012 (860 F.Supp.2d 1079) (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0044-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and Granting in Part Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment 08/29/2013 (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0044-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 08/29/2013 (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0044-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Civil Minutes- Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion (1) for Leave to Intervene and (2) to Vacate the Judgment 10/21/2013 (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0044-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Otero, S. James (C.D. Cal.)
PB-CA-0044-0006 | PB-CA-0044-0007 | PB-CA-0044-0008 | PB-CA-0044-0009
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Blasi, Gary L. (California)
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Eliasberg, Peter J. (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Finsten, James Jacob (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Gail, Leonard A (Illinois)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Hartston, Amos E. (California)
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Kugler, Elizabeth Haman (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Massey, Jonathan (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Murray, Adam (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Olson, Ronald L (California)
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Poorman, Jacob Kevin (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Rappaport, John Michael (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Rosenbaum, Mark Dale (California)
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Sapp, David B. (California)
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Shapland, David Eric (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Tribe, Laurence (Massachusetts)
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Tyner, Melissa A (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Ulin, John C. (California)
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bloom, Karen S (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Fox, Richard L (Pennsylvania)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Galbally, Erin (Pennsylvania)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Kneedler, Jennie L. (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Layton, Elizabeth (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0044-9000
McKeever, Kristen (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Medrano, Alarice (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Neubauer, Mark A (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Seifert, Karen P (District of Columbia)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Other Lawyers DeRecat, Craig J (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Escalante, Kristin (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Fenner, Alexander Michael (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Floyd, Daniel S (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Goldstein, Michael R (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Petrulakis, Karen J (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Robinson, Charles Furlonge (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Soneff, George M (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000
Yang, Deborah W. (California)
PB-CA-0044-9000

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