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Case Name Horacek v. Exon ID-NE-0001
Docket / Court CV72-L-299 ( D. Neb. )
State/Territory Nebraska
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
On September 28, 1972, parents of mentally retarded residents of the Beatrice State Home brought a civil rights class action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for Nebraska, alleging that the physical conditions, care, treatment and training provided at the Beatrice State Home ... read more >
On September 28, 1972, parents of mentally retarded residents of the Beatrice State Home brought a civil rights class action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for Nebraska, alleging that the physical conditions, care, treatment and training provided at the Beatrice State Home did not meet constitutional standards. Plaintiffs maintained that less restrictive community alternatives were available which would provide them adequate care, treatment, education and training. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

Defendants moved to dismiss the action for failure to state a claim. On March 22, 1973, the District Court (Chief Judge Urbom) denied defendants' motion. Horacek v. Exon , 357 F.Supp. 71 (D.Neb.1973).

The National Center for Law and the Handicapped and the U.S. Department of Justice were allowed to intervene in the case as amicus curiae.

Discovery commenced and the parties eventually reached a settlement of the case. The District Court entered and approved the Consent Decree on October 31, 1975. The Decree called for periodic evaluations to determine the most appropriate manner to transfer residents of the Beatrice State Home to less restrictive community based mental health facilities. In the event that a parent or legal guardian of any resident of the home objected to such a transfer, the Decree provided that due process hearing would be held before the Nebraska State Department of Public Institutions (DPI).

Litigation regarding implementation and compliance with the Consent Decree ensued and continued for years.

Due to the age of the case, no PACER docket exists. Our information about the subsequent procedural history is limited to the pre-PACER docket, which is part of the case documents.

According to the docket, the District Court (Judge Albert G. Schatz) entered a TRO and injunction on December 28, 1978 regarding construction at the Beatrice Home. Numerous modifications to the implementation plan followed. On September 28, 1981, the Court approved defendants' Plan of Implementation and dissolved the previously issued injunction. Thereafter, periodic progress reports were submitted to the Court.

In 1982, an attorney for a Beatrice resident who objected to his transfer sought attorney's fees for his representation. The District Court (Judge Albert G. Schatz) denied the fee request. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Ross) affirmed. Horacek V. Thone, 710 F.2d 496 (8th Cir. 1983).

On January 31, 1984, the case was dismissed and closed. Progress reports were filed in 1985 and 1986. No other substantive activity was noted on the docket

Dan Dalton - 04/17/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Disability
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
General
Classification / placement
Confinement/isolation
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Individualized planning
Totality of conditions
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Beatrice State Home
Plaintiff Description Mentally retarded residents of Beatrice State Home.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
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 1975 - 1984
Case Closing Year 1984
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
72-L-299 (D. Neb.) 07/14/1989
ID-NE-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
Memorandum and Order on Motion to Dismiss 03/22/1973 (357 F.Supp. 71) (D. Neb.)
ID-NE-0001-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 06/30/1983 (710 F.2d 496)
ID-NE-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Ross, Donald Roe (Eighth Circuit)
ID-NE-0001-0005
Schatz, Albert Gerard (D. Neb.)
ID-NE-0001-9000
Urbom, Warren Keith (D. Neb.)
ID-NE-0001-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dinerstein, Robert D. (District of Columbia)
ID-NE-0001-9000
Green, J. Patrick (Nebraska)
ID-NE-0001-9000
Hewitt, James W. (Nebraska)
ID-NE-0001-9000
Mason, Bruce G. (Nebraska)
ID-NE-0001-0004 | ID-NE-0001-9000
Mason, Annette E. (Nebraska)
ID-NE-0001-9000
Moser, James D. (Nebraska)
ID-NE-0001-9000
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
ID-NE-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Douglas, Paul L. (Nebraska)
ID-NE-0001-0005 | ID-NE-0001-9000
Kammerlohr, Melvin K. (Nebraska)
ID-NE-0001-0004 | ID-NE-0001-0005
Other Lawyers Broom, Robert V. (Nebraska)
ID-NE-0001-9000
Fischer, Gary L. (Nebraska)
ID-NE-0001-9000
McClain, Richard D. (Indiana)
ID-NE-0001-0005 | ID-NE-0001-9000
Soskin, Ronald M. (Indiana)
ID-NE-0001-9000

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