University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name In Re: Schmidt ID-PA-0003
Docket / Court Docket No. Not Available ( State Court )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
This case involved a dispute between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (State) and County of Allegheny (County) over whether the County or the State was responsible under Pennsylvania state law, the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966, 50 P.S. s 4101-4704 (1969), for providing long-term ... read more >
This case involved a dispute between the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (State) and County of Allegheny (County) over whether the County or the State was responsible under Pennsylvania state law, the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966, 50 P.S. s 4101-4704 (1969), for providing long-term care for mentally retarded and mentally disabled persons. The action arose when the County petitioned the Court of Common Pleas for the involuntary commitment of Joseph Schmidt, a mentally retarded individual, to an appropriate facility. The State intervened as a party-respondent and asserted that the State-operated facility, known as Western Center, would not be an appropriate facility for Ms. Schmidt and that it was the County's legal responsibility to provide for his care. The Court of Common Pleas found that Mr. Schmidt was a mentally retarded individual requiring a closely supervised structured residential program and ordered the County to develop a plan to manage his care within six months. During that six month period, the Court allowed for Mr. Schmidt to be temporarily placed in the Western Center. The County appealed.

On appeal, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania (Justice Nix) reversed and remanded. In Re: Schmidt, 429 A.2d 631 (Pa. 1981). The Supreme Court interpreted the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Act of 1966, 50 P.S.ยง 4101-4704 (1969), to require the State to provide mental retardation services for persons in need of them. The Court reasoned that the State could not ignore its responsibility even if an appropriate facility was not immediately available.

We have no further information on the case.

Dan Dalton - 03/16/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Classification / placement
Payment for care
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Western Center
Plaintiff Description A mentally disabled individual requiring a closely supervised residential program petitioning for the development of a practical life management plan setting forth in detail the type of residential placement appropriate for his needs
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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 1981 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 02/04/1981 (429 A.2d 631)
ID-PA-0003-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Nix, Robert N.C. Jr. (State Supreme Court)
ID-PA-0003-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Coval, Thomas E. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0003-0001
Finnerty, Timothy E. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0003-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Biondo, Dennis R. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0003-0001
Esler, James A. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0003-0001
Jackson, Marlene W. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0003-0001
McLean, James H. (Pennsylvania)
ID-PA-0003-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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