University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. v. Colorado ID-CO-0001
Docket / Court 86-F-1470 ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
On July 10, 1986, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the State of Colorado under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The government asked the court for injunctive relief, ... read more >
On July 10, 1986, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the State of Colorado under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The government asked the court for injunctive relief, alleging that the conditions of confinement at Wheat Ridge Regional Center, a mental institution in Denver, Colorado, violated the residents' constitutional rights. Specifically, the State failed to provide residents with adequate medical care and to protect their personal safety. The defendants also failed to employ a sufficient number of trained staff, and the staff failed to ensure that restraints were used only when necessary.

The government's Complaint was prompted by its investigation, summarized in a report sent to the State on December 12, 1984, in which the conditions of the facility were found to violate the residents' constitutional rights, particularly in the areas of medical care, medication practices, neglect, and staff training.

On July 23, 1986, the parties entered into a Consent Decree, which the court (Judge Sherman G. Finesilver) approved the same day. The parties agreed to ensure that the residents' rights to personal safety were protected, including threats from staff and unnecessary physical restraints; that residents would receive proper medical treatment and medication; and that the facility would maintain a sufficient number of trained staff who would outline treatment plans for the residents.

According to the PACER docket, the Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit vacated the district court's Judgment, entered on June 25, 1991, regarding a Stipulation between the parties. The docket also shows that the parties filed Joint Notice of Agreement to Dismiss on September 20, 1991.

We have only part of the docket and thus have no further information on this case.

Laura Uberti - 07/17/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Neglect by staff
Restraints : chemical
Restraints : physical
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Colorado Department of Institutions
Wheat Ridge Regional Center
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
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 not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Docket(s)
86-1470 (D. Colo.) 10/26/2005
ID-CO-0001-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Wheat Ridge Regional Center, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1997(b)(a)(1) 12/07/1984
ID-CO-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Complaint 06/30/1986
ID-CO-0001-0004 PDF | Detail
Summons 07/10/1986
ID-CO-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree 07/23/1986
ID-CO-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
Judges Finesilver, Sherman Glenn (D. Colo.)
ID-CO-0001-0002 | ID-CO-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bowers, Susan (District of Columbia)
ID-CO-0001-9000
Cage, James R. (Colorado)
ID-CO-0001-0003
Meese, Edwin III (District of Columbia)
ID-CO-0001-0004
Miller, V. Colleen (District of Columbia)
ID-CO-0001-0002 | ID-CO-0001-0004
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
ID-CO-0001-0002 | ID-CO-0001-0004
Pharo, William George (Colorado)
ID-CO-0001-9000
Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia)
ID-CO-0001-0001 | ID-CO-0001-0002 | ID-CO-0001-0004
Spelke, Robert A. (District of Columbia)
ID-CO-0001-0002 | ID-CO-0001-0004
Stutman, Edward A. (Pennsylvania)
ID-CO-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Decator, Eric R. (Colorado)
ID-CO-0001-9000
Miller, Robert N. (Colorado)
ID-CO-0001-0002 | ID-CO-0001-0004
Other Lawyers None on record

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