University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. v. Louisiana ID-LA-0004
Docket / Court 87-025 ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
On November 30, 1984, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) initiated an investigation of the Belle Chasse State School, which was a mental retardation facility in Belle Chase, Louisiana, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.. During ... read more >
On November 30, 1984, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) initiated an investigation of the Belle Chasse State School, which was a mental retardation facility in Belle Chase, Louisiana, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.. During the investigation, the facility was renamed the Metropolitan Developmental Center (MDC). On January 16, 1986, the DOJ issued a findings letter to the State of Louisiana, alleging constitutional violations in the areas of medical care, record-keeping, staffing, safety procedures, and freedom from of patients undue bodily restraints. The DOJ proposed a resolution of these violations by consent decree, but on April 22, 1986, Louisiana refused to settle.

On January 6, 1987, the DOJ filed a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1997 (CRIPA) against the State of Louisiana in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, alleging that the defendants had violated the constitutional rights of MDC patients. On July 22, 1987, the district court (Judge Henry Alvan Mentz, Jr.) issued a consent decree in the case. The consent decree covered the areas of medical care, staffing, bodily restraints, record-keeping, and safety procedures.

Sometime thereafter, in an undated court order, the district court (Judge Mentz) approved a stipulation of dismissal and dismissed the case, finding the defendants in compliance with the consent decree.

Kristen Sagar - 07/21/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Disability
Least restrictive environment
General
Fire safety
Record-keeping
Restraints : physical
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
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) Belle Chasse State School
State of Louisiana
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 1987 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Notice Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Belle Chasse State School, Belle Chasse, Louisiana 11/30/1984
ID-LA-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Belle Chasse State School 01/16/1986
ID-LA-0004-0002.pdf | Detail
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Metropolitan Developmental Center, 42 U.S.C. Sect. 1997 (1982). 08/22/1986
ID-LA-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Consent Decree 07/22/1987 (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0004-0004.pdf | Detail
Stipulation of Dismissal 07/23/1987 (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Judges Mentz, Henry Alvan Jr. (E.D. La.)
ID-LA-0004-0004 | ID-LA-0004-0005
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Baity, William F. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0004-0004
Katz, Cynthia L. (District of Columbia)
ID-LA-0004-0005
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
ID-LA-0004-0004 | ID-LA-0004-0005
Pollot, Mark L. (District of Columbia)
ID-LA-0004-0004
Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia)
ID-LA-0004-0001 | ID-LA-0004-0002 | ID-LA-0004-0003
Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)
ID-LA-0004-0005
Volz, John P. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0004-0004 | ID-LA-0004-0005
Defendant's Lawyers Castille, Charles F. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0004-0005
Davis, Lois C. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0004-0005
Guste, William J. Jr. (Louisiana)
ID-LA-0004-0004
Other Lawyers None on record

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