University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name U.S. v. Solomon ID-MD-0004
Docket / Court N-74-181 ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
On February 21, 1974, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The plaintiff asked the district court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the defendants had ... read more >
On February 21, 1974, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. The plaintiff asked the district court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the defendants had violated the constitutional rights of patients at the Rosewood State Hospital (RSH) in Owings Mill, Maryland. RSH was a facility where mentally retarded citizens were confined for the purpose of treatment, and the plaintiff alleged that the defendants had unconstitutionally failed to provide such treatment. The complaint also alleged that the RSH patients were unconstitutionally subjected to insufficient staffing, lack of security (which allowed residents to inflict physical harm on themselves or each other), lack of care for personal hygiene, use of isolation rooms, insufficient sleeping space, lack of sanitation in living/sleeping areas, unpleasant odors, and unsanitary kitchen and laundry facilities.

The defendants made no reply to the plaintiff's complaint, but on April 27, 1976, the defendants asked the district court to dismiss the complaint. On July 8, 1976, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (Judge Edward Skottowe Northrop) dismissed the case, holding that the plaintiff had no authority to bring the lawsuit. U.S. v. Solomon, 419 F.Supp. 358 (D.Md. 1976). The plaintiff appealed.

On October 12, 1977, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit (Judge Harrison Lee Winter) affirmed the district court's decision to dismiss the case, holding that the plaintiff had no authority to bring the lawsuit. U.S. v. Solomon, 563 F.2d 1121 (4th Cir. 1977).

Kristen Sagar - 07/21/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Aggressive behavior
Bathing and hygiene
Confinement/isolation
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Sanitation / living conditions
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
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 Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1977
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
United States' First Interrogatories from U.S. v. Solomon 06/02/1974
ID-MD-0004-0001 PDF | Detail
Reported Opinion 07/08/1976 (419 F.Supp. 358) (D. Md.)
ID-MD-0004-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Brief for the United States 12/01/1976
ID-MD-0004-0004 PDF | Detail
Brief of Defendants-Appellees 12/29/1976
ID-MD-0004-0003 PDF | Detail
Brief for the Comonwealth of Pennsylvania and the State of Connecticut as Amici Curiae 12/30/1976
ID-MD-0004-0005 PDF | Detail
Reply Brief for Plaintiff 01/19/1977
ID-MD-0004-0002 PDF | Detail
Reported Opinion 10/12/1977 (563 F.2d 1121)
ID-MD-0004-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Northrop, Edward Skottowe (D. Md., FISCR)
ID-MD-0004-0006
Winter, Harrison Lee (D. Md., Fourth Circuit)
ID-MD-0004-0007
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allen, Frank D. Jr. (District of Columbia)
ID-MD-0004-0002 | ID-MD-0004-0004 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Finney, Jervis (Maryland)
ID-MD-0004-0002 | ID-MD-0004-0004 | ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Landsberg, Brian K. (District of Columbia)
ID-MD-0004-0002 | ID-MD-0004-0004 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Lentz, Susan (District of Columbia)
ID-MD-0004-0006
Levi, Edward H. (District of Columbia)
ID-MD-0004-0006
Lottman, Michael S. (New York)
ID-MD-0004-0006
Pottinger, J. Stanley (District of Columbia)
ID-MD-0004-0002 | ID-MD-0004-0004 | ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Queen, Jesse H. (District of Columbia)
ID-MD-0004-0006
Steiman, Mickey A. (District of Columbia)
ID-MD-0004-0006
Thrasher, Louis M. (District of Columbia)
ID-MD-0004-0002 | ID-MD-0004-0004 | ID-MD-0004-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Burch, Francis B. (Maryland)
ID-MD-0004-0003 | ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Sfekas, Stephen J. (Maryland)
ID-MD-0004-0003 | ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Sykes, Judith K. (Maryland)
ID-MD-0004-0003 | ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Vettori, Paul M. (Maryland)
ID-MD-0004-0006
Walter, Paul (Maryland)
ID-MD-0004-0003 | ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Other Lawyers Ajello, Carl R. (Connecticut)
ID-MD-0004-0005 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Blewitt, J. Justin (Pennsylvania)
ID-MD-0004-0005 | ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Choate, Thomas W. (Texas)
ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Cooper, Jeffrey (Pennsylvania)
ID-MD-0004-0005 | ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Hill, John L. (Texas)
ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Kane, Robert P. (Pennsylvania)
ID-MD-0004-0005 | ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Kendall, David M. Jr. (Texas)
ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Rivers, Richel W. (Texas)
ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007
Watkins, Norman J. (Pennsylvania)
ID-MD-0004-0005 | ID-MD-0004-0006 | ID-MD-0004-0007

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