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Case Name New Jersey ARC v. N.J. Dept. Human Services ID-NJ-0002
Docket / Court Not available ( State Court )
State/Territory New Jersey
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
On March 16, 1977, residents at the Hunterdon State School, a state-run residential institution for the mentally retarded in Clinton, New Jersey, filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all present and future residents of the School against the State. They brought the suit in the Superior Court ... read more >
On March 16, 1977, residents at the Hunterdon State School, a state-run residential institution for the mentally retarded in Clinton, New Jersey, filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of all present and future residents of the School against the State. They brought the suit in the Superior Court of Hunterdon County, and asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief. They alleged that the State failed to tailor education and training programs to individuals' needs, and to facilitate these programs in the least restrictive setting feasible.

Before the suit came to trial, the defendants attempted to improve the conditions at Hunterdon by complying with federal standards under the Intermediate Care Facility/ Mentally Retarded Program guidelines. The State created new staff positions and habilitation teams to develop an individualized plan for each resident.

The case proceeded to a non-jury trial in October and November, 1979. In an oral opinion, the court (Judge Morton Greenberg) held that the State had not violated the residents' statutory or constitutional rights, finding that, by the time of the trial, the conditions at Hunterdon had improved and that the defendants were complying with their legal obligations to the residents. The court dismissed the Complaint on November 30, 1979. The Appellate Division affirmed on March 2, 1981.

The plaintiffs appealed to the Supreme Court of New Jersey, asking for declaratory judgment as to the State's the legal obligations to Hunterdon residents. On May 13, 1982, the Court (Justice Morris Pashman) held that, under the Developmentally Disabled Rights Act of 1977, N.J.S.A. 30:6D, child Hunterdon residents had the right to a thorough and efficient education suited to each child's needs. Further, all Hunterdon residents had the right to treatment, training, habilitation, care, and protection. Finally, these services were to be provided in the setting that was least restrictive to their personal liberty but still compatible with their personal needs. N.J. Ass'n for Retarded Citizens, Inc. v. N.J. Dep't of Human Serv., 445 A.2d 704 (N.J. 1982).

Laura Uberti - 07/20/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Disability
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
General
Education
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Individualized planning
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. ยง 15001 et seq.
Defendant(s) Hunterdon State School
New Jersey Department of Human Services
Plaintiff Description All present and future residents of Hunterdon State School
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 05/13/1982 (445 A.2d 704)
ID-NJ-0002-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Pashman, Morris (State Supreme Court)
ID-NJ-0002-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Eisdorfer, Stephen (New Jersey)
ID-NJ-0002-0001
Morheuser, Marilyn J. (New Jersey)
ID-NJ-0002-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Conley, Erminie L. (New Jersey)
ID-NJ-0002-0001
Harned, Barbara A. (New Jersey)
ID-NJ-0002-0001
Kimelman, Irwin (New Jersey)
ID-NJ-0002-0001
Wallach, Steven D. (New Jersey)
ID-NJ-0002-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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