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Case Name Society for Good Will to Retarded Children Inc. v. Cuomo ID-NY-0005
Docket / Court 78-Civ.-1847 ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
On August 23, 1978, the Society for Good Will to Retarded Children filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of residents of the Suffolk Developmental Center (later called Long Island Developmental Center), an institution for the profoundly retarded, in the United States District Court for the Eastern ... read more >
On August 23, 1978, the Society for Good Will to Retarded Children filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of residents of the Suffolk Developmental Center (later called Long Island Developmental Center), an institution for the profoundly retarded, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The lawsuit sought to improve conditions at the facility and provide small residential facilities for most of its clients.

A lengthy trial was held in 1982. On February 24, 1983, the district court (Judge Jack B. Weinstein) issued an interim memorandum and order requiring the Director of the facility to provide the court with a written four-year plan for improvement of the institution. Society for Good Will to Retarded Children, Inc. v. Carey, 572 F. Supp. 1298 (E.D.N.Y. 1983).

On August 10, 1983, the court (Judge Weinstein) issued an opinion outlining the constitutional violations within the facility in the areas of food, shelter, clothing, and medical care. Society for Good Will to Retarded Children, Inc. v. Cuomo, 572 F. Supp. 1300 (E.D.N.Y. 1983). The court noted that its opinion in New York State Association for Retarded Children, Inc. v. Carey (ID-NY-0003) was used as guidance in determining the standards of care for individuals in developmental centers. The court found conditions at Suffolk Developmental Center to be lacking in many areas, including staffing, training, physical environment, and community programs. The court also found that the written plan provided by the center lacked detailed steps to remedy the constitutional violations and made changes to it.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed the decision, holding that the district court failed to specify which parts of its order were designed to remedy federal constitutional violations and which were addressing state constitutional violations. Society for Good Will to Retarded Children, Inc. v. Cuomo, 737 F.2d 1239 (2d Cir. 1984). It noted that some of the district court's findings could only be supported by state law and federal courts could not grant injunctive relief based on state constitutional violations. On remand, the district court (Judge Weinstein) held that the defendants voluntarily agreed to continue to implement its plan for improving the state facility following the August 10, 1983 court order and the issue was therefore moot. Society for Good Will to Retarded Children, Inc. v. Cuomo, 103 F.R.D. 168 (E.D.N.Y. 1984).

In 1986, plaintiffs moved to reinstate the case, alleging continued violations of federal constitutional law. Judge Weinstein denied the motion and granted plaintiffs sixty days to file a new complaint. The Second Circuit reversed and remanded so the district court could reinstate the case and enforce those parts of the 1983 order that were based in federal constitutional law. Society for Good Will to Retarded Children, Inc. v. Cuomo, 832 F.2d 245 (2d Cir. 1987). On remand, the district court (Judge Weinstein) found that although there were improvements, there remained constitutional violations in the center. Society for Good Will for Retarded Children, Inc. v. Cuomo, 718 F. Supp. 139 (E.D.N.Y. 1989). It ordered the state to implement a plan to make improvements. The Second Circuit reversed and remanded because the district court's findings were not adequate to review the case. Society for Good Will to Retarded Children, Inc. v. Cuomo, 902 F.2d 1085 (2d Cir. 1990). Litigation regarding attorneys' fees continued throughout this period.

On September 26, 1990, Judge Weinstein entered a memorandum, stipulation and order, approving the settlement of the lawsuit. Society for Good Will to Retarded Children v. Cuomo, 745 F. Supp. 879 (E.D.N.Y. 1990). The court noted that conditions at the facility had greatly improved and many residents had been moved to community-based homes. The stipulation was to remain in effect until March 31, 1993 and required defendants to continue meeting constitutional standards.

The Long Island Developmental Center closed in June of 1993 and transitioned to a community-based service system. The case was closed on June 24, 1993.

Angela Heverling - 05/09/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Crowding
Crowding / caseload
Disability
Least restrictive environment
General
Bathing and hygiene
Education
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Individualized planning
Recreation / Exercise
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
Defendant(s) Suffolk Developmental Center
Plaintiff Description Residents of Suffolk Developmental Center (later called Long Island Developmental Center)
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
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1983 - 1993
Case Closing Year 1993
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing ID-NY-0003 : NYSARC & Parisi v. Carey (E.D.N.Y.)
Docket(s)
78-CIV-1847 (E.D.N.Y.) 06/24/1993
ID-NY-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum, Interim Findings and Order 02/24/1983 (572 F.Supp. 1298) (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0005-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order 08/10/1983 (572 F.Supp. 1300) (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0005-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order 11/17/1983 (574 F.Supp. 994) (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0005-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 06/13/1984 (737 F.2d 1239)
ID-NY-0005-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 06/14/1984 (737 F.2d 1253)
ID-NY-0005-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order 10/04/1984 (103 F.R.D. 168) (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0005-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order 10/04/1984 (103 F.R.D. 169) (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0005-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Reported Opinion 12/11/1986 (1986 WL 13931 / 1986 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 16608) (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0005-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum and Order 01/27/1987 (652 F.Supp. 515) (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0005-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 11/02/1987 (832 F.2d 245)
ID-NY-0005-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order 08/03/1989 (718 F.Supp. 139) (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0005-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 11/14/1989 (891 F.2d 278)
ID-NY-0005-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Opinion 05/04/1990 (902 F.2d 1085)
ID-NY-0005-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum, Stipulation and Order 09/26/1990 (745 F.Supp. 879) (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0005-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Altimari, Frank X. (Second Circuit, E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0005-0004
Kaufman, Frank Albert (D. Md.)
ID-NY-0005-0004
Meskill, Thomas Joseph (Second Circuit)
ID-NY-0005-0003 | ID-NY-0005-0009
Pierce, Lawrence Warren (Second Circuit, S.D.N.Y., FISC)
ID-NY-0005-0009
Pratt, George Cheney (E.D.N.Y., Second Circuit)
ID-NY-0005-0004 | ID-NY-0005-0009
Timbers, William Homer (D. Conn., Second Circuit)
ID-NY-0005-0006
Weinstein, Jack Bertrand (E.D.N.Y.)
ID-NY-0005-0001 | ID-NY-0005-0002 | ID-NY-0005-0005 | ID-NY-0005-0007 | ID-NY-0005-0008 | ID-NY-0005-0010 | ID-NY-0005-0011 | ID-NY-0005-0012 | ID-NY-0005-0013 | ID-NY-0005-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Lottman, Michael S. (New York)
ID-NY-0005-0001 | ID-NY-0005-0002 | ID-NY-0005-0003 | ID-NY-0005-0004 | ID-NY-0005-0005 | ID-NY-0005-0006 | ID-NY-0005-0007 | ID-NY-0005-0008 | ID-NY-0005-0009 | ID-NY-0005-0010 | ID-NY-0005-0011 | ID-NY-0005-0012 | ID-NY-0005-0013
Newberg, Herbert B. (Pennsylvania)
ID-NY-0005-0009
Schneps, Murray B. (New York)
ID-NY-0005-0001 | ID-NY-0005-0002 | ID-NY-0005-0003 | ID-NY-0005-0004 | ID-NY-0005-0005 | ID-NY-0005-0006 | ID-NY-0005-0007 | ID-NY-0005-0008 | ID-NY-0005-0009 | ID-NY-0005-0010 | ID-NY-0005-0011 | ID-NY-0005-0012 | ID-NY-0005-0013 | ID-NY-0005-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Abrams, Robert W. (New York)
ID-NY-0005-0001 | ID-NY-0005-0002 | ID-NY-0005-0003 | ID-NY-0005-0004 | ID-NY-0005-0005 | ID-NY-0005-0006 | ID-NY-0005-0008 | ID-NY-0005-0009 | ID-NY-0005-0010 | ID-NY-0005-0011 | ID-NY-0005-0012 | ID-NY-0005-0013
Adler, Alan M. (New York)
ID-NY-0005-0001 | ID-NY-0005-0002 | ID-NY-0005-0007 | ID-NY-0005-0008 | ID-NY-0005-0010 | ID-NY-0005-0013
Brutten, Caren S. (New York)
ID-NY-0005-0001 | ID-NY-0005-0002 | ID-NY-0005-0003 | ID-NY-0005-0004 | ID-NY-0005-0005 | ID-NY-0005-0006 | ID-NY-0005-0007 | ID-NY-0005-0008 | ID-NY-0005-0009 | ID-NY-0005-0010 | ID-NY-0005-0011 | ID-NY-0005-0012 | ID-NY-0005-0013
Caplow, William J. (New York)
ID-NY-0005-0001 | ID-NY-0005-0002 | ID-NY-0005-0003 | ID-NY-0005-0008
Hoffman, Kenneth S. (New York)
ID-NY-0005-0011 | ID-NY-0005-0012
Kahn, Lawrence S. (New York)
ID-NY-0005-0004 | ID-NY-0005-0006
Leventhal, Melvyn R. (New York)
ID-NY-0005-0003 | ID-NY-0005-0009
Mehlman, Frederick K. (New York)
ID-NY-0005-0001 | ID-NY-0005-0002 | ID-NY-0005-0008 | ID-NY-0005-0009 | ID-NY-0005-0011 | ID-NY-0005-0012
Mendelsohn, Stephen (New York)
ID-NY-0005-0005 | ID-NY-0005-0006
Sherwood, O. Peter (New York)
ID-NY-0005-0006
Other Lawyers None on record

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