University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name CRIPA Investigation, San Jose (CA) ID-CA-0002
Docket / Court No Court Case ( No Court )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
From October 5-9, 1992, the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigated allegations of abuse and inadequate care at Agnews Developmental Center in San Jose, California, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997. The ... read more >
From October 5-9, 1992, the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigated allegations of abuse and inadequate care at Agnews Developmental Center in San Jose, California, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997. The investigation found that residents with developmental disabilities suffered physical harm as the result of neglect and abuse. Specifically, the investigation found constitutional violations resulting from deficiencies in responses to pica and other self-injurious behaviors, personal hygiene, physical care, individualized programming, medical care, mental health care, physical and occupational therapy, feeding procedures, and investigation and prevention of abuse. In one instance of abuse, a resident died after being beaten and stabbed by an institution's employee. The investigation also found that residents suffered undue bodily and chemical restraints.

On May 6, 1994, the Department of Justice announced similar findings following a CRIPA investigation at Sonoma Developmental Center, in Eldridge, California. The Department of Justice found constitutional violations resulting from inadequate supervision and programming, poor response to self-injurious behaviors, grossly inadequate medical care, undue physical and chemical restraints used in place of training programs, and dangerous feeding protocols and seizure management. The investigation of the Sonoma Developmental Center also uncovered violations of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400-1486, in the treatment of school-aged residents.

Following both investigations, the Department of Justice both outlined remedial measures and sought to negotiate a consent decree with the State. In September 1994, the State and the Department of Justice discussed settlement, but the State rejected the idea of entering into an agreement on January 17, 1995. In response, the Special Litigation Section of the Department of Justice notified the Civil Rights Division that conditions at Agnew and Sonoma Developmental Centers also violated federal statutory law. On March 6, 1995, the Civil Rights Division notified the Governor of California that, in addition to violating the Constitution, conditions at the institutions also violated the Americans With Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq., § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Social Security Act (the Medicaid Act), 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq., and prohibitions on discrimination in vocational rehabilitation, 29 U.S.C. § 794 et seq. The Civil Rights Division again asked the State to negotiate a consent decree.

The file contains no additional information about conditions at Sonoma and Agnews; we do not know if negotiations were ever conducted, if the parties entered a consent decree, or if a CRIPA lawsuit was ever filed.

Elizabeth Chilcoat - 06/20/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Bathing and hygiene
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Individualized planning
Juveniles
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Restraints : chemical
Restraints : physical
Special education
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Social Security (Title XX), 42 U.S.C. § 1397 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) State of Calfornia
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Unknown
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Findings Letter re: Agnews Developmental Center, San Jose, California 12/03/1992
ID-CA-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Re: Sonoma Developmental Center 05/06/1994
ID-CA-0002-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Sonoma/Agnews Developmental Centers Supplemental Findings Letter 02/24/1995
ID-CA-0002-0004 PDF | Detail
Supplemental Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Sonoma Developmental Center and Agnews Developmental Center 03/06/1995
ID-CA-0002-0002 PDF | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
ID-CA-0002-0004
Yamaguchi, Michael J. (California)
ID-CA-0002-0003
Defendant's Lawyers Lungren, Daniel E. (California)
ID-CA-0002-0003
Other Lawyers Dunne, John R. (District of Columbia)
ID-CA-0002-0001
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
ID-CA-0002-0002 | ID-CA-0002-0003 | ID-CA-0002-0004

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