On December 8, 1986, Iowa Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc. filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa on behalf of Evert Conner and persons who were or would become residents of Glenwood or Woodward State Hospital-Schools. Plaintiffs ...
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On December 8, 1986, Iowa Protection and Advocacy Services, Inc. filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa on behalf of Evert Conner and persons who were or would become residents of Glenwood or Woodward State Hospital-Schools. Plaintiffs were also represented by the University of Iowa College of Law Clinical Program, the Legal Center for Special Education, and private attorneys. Defendants were the State of Iowa, the Division of Mental Health/Mental Retardation, Iowa Department of Human Services, and the state hospitals. The lawsuit challenged Iowa's institutionally-based model of services for persons with developmental disabilities, alleging that the policy amounted to violations of Title XIX of the Social Security Act, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.
In the following years, the district court granted several continuances. The defendants moved for summary judgment. On December 9, 1994, the court (Magistrate Judge Mark W. Bennett) denied the motion in part but dismissed the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act claims and denied that Due Process requires individuals to be in the least restrictive placement available. Conner v. Branstad, 839 F.Supp. 1346 (S. D. Iowa 1993).
The parties entered into a Consent Decree, approved by the district court (Judge Bennett) on December 2, 1994. Among the provisions in the Decree, the defendants agreed to provide individualized treatment plans to class members, provide training and employment opportunities, notify class members of their eligibility to receive community-based services, and develop a five-year plan for creating community support and services. In 1995, the Conner advisory committee was convened and created the "Plan for Community Development," the five-year plan called for in the Consent Decree.
According to the PACER docket, litigation continued regarding fees. Plaintiffs' attorneys withdrew in 2003. Angela Heverling - 03/20/2007