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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name NYSARC & Parisi v. Carey ID-NY-0003
Docket / Court 72 Civ. 356 ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
On January 1, 1972, residents at the Willowbrook State School for the Mentally Retarded filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the State of New York in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs, represented by the New York Civil Liberties ... read more >
On January 1, 1972, residents at the Willowbrook State School for the Mentally Retarded filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the State of New York in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs, represented by the New York Civil Liberties Union and the Legal Aid Society of Staten Island, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that their constitutional rights had been violated by overcrowding, failure to protect the physical safety of inmates, inadequate staffing, inadequate medical care, inadequate mental healthcare, and lack of sanitation.

On July 28, 1972, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Judge Orrin Grimmell Judd) certified the plaintiffs as a class. On April 10, 1973, the court denied the plaintiffs' requests for the immediate release of residents and the closing of the institution, but granted the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction to protect the plysical safety of the inmates. NYSARC v. Rockefeller, 357 F.Supp. 752 (E.D.N.Y. 1973).

In 1975, the parties entered into a consent decree, which they submitted to the court for approval. The consent decree provided for changes in the areas of physical environment, staffing, programs, and therapy for residents. On May 5, 1975, the district court approved the consent decree. NYSARC v. Carey, 393 F.Supp. 716, (E.D.N.Y. 1975).

Several years later, the plaintiffs asked the court to hold the defendants in contempt for violations of the consent decree. The defendants simultaneously asked the court to modify the consent decree. On July 13, 1982, the district court (Judge John Ries Bartels) denied the defendants' motion to modify the decree and held that they had violated the terms of the agreement. The court ordered the appointment of a special master to monitor compliance with the decree. NYSARC v. Carey, 551 F.Supp. 1165 (E.D.N.Y. 1982). The defendants appealed.

On March 31, 1983, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the portion of the district court's order for the appointment of a special master, but reversed the district court's denial of the defendants' motion to modify the decree. The Second Circuit remanded the case to the district court. NYSARC v. Carey, 706 F.2d 956 (2nd Cir. 1983). Both parties appealed. On October 17, 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari. NYSARC v. Carey, 464 U.S. 915 (1983).

As of April 18, 2007, the parties continue to litigate about enforcement of the order and about attorneys fees.

Kristen Sagar - 04/18/2007


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
General
Aggressive behavior
Bathing and hygiene
Classification / placement
Confinement/isolation
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Sanitation / living conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Willowbrook Developmental Center
Plaintiff Description residents at the Willowbrook State School for the Mentally Retarded
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 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing ID-NY-0005 : Society for Good Will to Retarded Children Inc. v. Cuomo (E.D.N.Y.)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies The Willowbrook Wars
By: David J. Rothman and Sheila M. Rothman (Columbia University)
Citation: (1984)
[ Detail ]

  Willowbrook
By: Christopher Hansen
Citation: Social Policy, vol. 41, Nov.-Dec. 1979
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
72-356 (E.D.N.Y.) 06/26/2007
ID-NY-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum 04/10/1973 (357 F.Supp. 752) (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0003-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum 05/05/1975 (393 F.Supp. 715) (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0003-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 07/13/1982 (551 F.Supp. 1165) (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0003-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 03/31/1983 (706 F.2d 956)
ID-NY-0003-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Decision 10/17/1983 (464 U.S. 915)
ID-NY-0003-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Final Judgment 04/30/1985 (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0003-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Plaintiffs' counsel
Judges Bartels, John Ries (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0003-0006
Dearie, Raymond Joseph (E.D.N.Y., D.D.C.)
ID-NY-0003-9000
Friendly, Henry Jacob (Second Circuit)
ID-NY-0003-0005
Judd, Orrin Grimmell (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0003-0004 | ID-NY-0003-0007
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barrett, Anita Fisher (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0004 | ID-NY-0003-0007
Beslity, James M. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0006
Dinker, Morton B. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0006
DuBose, Eugene Z. (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0007
Ennis, Bruce J. (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0004 | ID-NY-0003-0007
Feldt, Robert L. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0007
Finkel, Kalman (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0004 | ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0007
Halpern, Charles R. (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0007
Hansen, Christopher A. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0004 | ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Haroules, Beth (New York)
ID-NY-0003-9000
Herr, Stanley (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0007
Hershkoff, Helen (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Kirklin, John E. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0004 | ID-NY-0003-0007
Koltun, Elizabeth (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0006
Lado, Marianne Engelman (New York)
ID-NY-0003-9000
Laplace, Lisa J. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-9000
Leonard, Douglas (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0004
Levy, Robert M. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Mangones, Joan (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0004
Mueller, Roberta L. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-9000
Murray, Archibald R. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005
Neuborne, Burt (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0007
Redfield, Walter (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Rivlin, Elisa M. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005
Schneps, Murray B. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Siegfried, Jonathan D. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Tanaka, Diana T. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Tepper, Julian (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0007
Weintraub, Henry S. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0006
Weiss, Paul (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Abrams, Robert W. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005
Briggs, Taylor R. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Brutten, Caren S. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0006
Cohen, Leonard Arthur (New York)
ID-NY-0003-9000
Cole, Richard C. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Feigenbaum, Joy (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Gordon, Judith A. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0007
Kramer, Judith T. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0007
Lefkowitz, Louis J. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0004 | ID-NY-0003-0007
Lewittes, Joel (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0004
Mehlman, Frederick K. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Pollack, Lawrence W. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Sistrom, Peter A. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-9000
Soloff, Brenda (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0007
Sperduto, Kim Hoyt (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0006
Weinstein, Jay T. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-9000
Wolfe, Richard Paul (New York)
ID-NY-0003-9000
Other Lawyers Chaw, Terisa (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0006
Cook, Timothy M. (Pennsylvania)
ID-NY-0003-0006
Dorfman, Diane S. (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0004
Korman, Edward Robert (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005
Landsberg, Brian K. (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0005
Lerner, Louise A. (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0005
Lottman, Michael S. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0004 | ID-NY-0003-0005 | ID-NY-0003-0006
Marker, Jack R. (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0004
Pack, Leonard B. (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0007
Pottinger, J. Stanley (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0004
Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0005
Rieser, Leonard (District of Columbia)
ID-NY-0003-0006
Wilkinson, J. Harvie (New York)
ID-NY-0003-0005

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