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Case Name Brown v. Bush PB-FL-0001
Docket / Court 1:98-cv-00673 ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On May 24, 1998, a group of individuals confined to Florida's four Developmental State Institutions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities ("DSIs") filed suit against the state of Florida and relevant state officials alleging that defendants failed to take appropriate measures to habilitate ... read more >
On May 24, 1998, a group of individuals confined to Florida's four Developmental State Institutions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities ("DSIs") filed suit against the state of Florida and relevant state officials alleging that defendants failed to take appropriate measures to habilitate the plaintiffs, and that the plaintiffs suffered grave harm as a result. They asserted claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. ("ADA") and its regulations; the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; 29 U .S.C. § 794; the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1396 et seq . and its regulations; and 42 U .S.C. § 1983, alleging Due Process and Equal Protection violations. Represented by Florida's Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, the plaintiffs asked the U.S District Court for the Southern District of Florida for declaratory and injunctive relief.

In May 1998, defendants filed a motion to dismiss based, among other things, on lack of standing and failure to state a claim under the ADA. Defendants also argued that plaintiffs were barred from bringing suit against the State because the State was immune from suit by private citizens under the Eleventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In July 1998, the United States Department of Justice filed a motion to intervene in the case and included a memorandum in opposition to defendants' motion to dismiss. The DOJ also filed for leave to address as amicus curiae the proper construction of the ADA as it related to this case.

In its memo on the motion to dismiss, the DOJ argued that the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act were valid examples of Congress's power to abrogate, or abolish, the states' immunity from suit by private citizens. It also argued that both the ADA and the integration mandate established by the Supreme Court in L.C. v. Olmstead in 1998 provided a cause of action under which plaintiffs could challenge unnecessary institutionalization of mentally ill persons. On October 15, 1998, Judge Ferguson granted the DOJ's motion to intervene in the motion to dismiss and denied its motion to participate as amicus curiae.

On March 31, 1999, Judge Ferguson denied defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint.

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs moved for class certification. On March 10, 1999, the Court (Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson) entered an order certifying a class. Defendants appealed the order to the Eleventh Circuit and on February 3, 2000, the Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion reversing and vacating the class certification order and remanding the matter back to the Court for further action with instructions to certify the class as instructed. On February 11, 2000, the Court (Judge Ferguson) issued a Revised Order certifying a class.

After lengthy mediation and negotiations, the parties reached a Settlement Agreement on May 11, 2004, which was filed with the Court on May 21, 2004. On June 16, 2004, the parties submitted an amended Agreement, according to which defendants agreed to utilize both the Supported Living Home and Community-Based Services Waiver and the Developmental Disabilities Home and Community-Based Services Waiver to serve clients residing in the DSIs. Defendants also agreed to close one DSI no later than June 30, 2005 and another no later than July 1, 2010.

On August 11, 2005, the Court (Judge Jose E. Martinez) approved the Amended Settlement Agreement. On July 2, 2007, Judge Martinez granted the parties' Joint Motion to Dismiss Case After Substantial Compliance with Amended Settlement Agreement and closed the case.

Kunyi Zhang - 01/30/2011
Lauren Latterell Powell - 11/04/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Disparate Treatment
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Housing
Placement in mental health facilities
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Mental Disability
Depression
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Schizophrenia
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
Defendant(s) State of Florida
Plaintiff Description Individuals then confined to Florida’s four Developmental State Institutions for Persons with Developmental Disabilities.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
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 2004 - 2007
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  William G. v. Pataki
http://www.bazelon.org/william-g-v-pataki/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Disability Rights New Jersey v. Velez
http://www.bazelon.org/drnj-v-velez/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Williams v. Quinn
http://www.bazelon.org/williams-v-quinn/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States of America v. Commonwealth of Virginia
http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-virginia/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States of America v. North Carolina
http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-north-carolina/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  U.S. v. Georgia
http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-georgia/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  O'Toole v. Cuomo [Formerly DAI v. Cuomo]
http://www.bazelon.org/otoole-v-cuomo/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Amanda D. v. Hassan
http://www.bazelon.org/amanda-d-v-hassan/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:98-cv-00673 (S.D. Fla.)
PB-FL-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PB-FL-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/26/1998
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
United States' Memorandum of Law as Amicus Curiae and Intervenor in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
PB-FL-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/17/1998
Source: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section
United States' Memorandum of Law As Amicus Curiae and Intervenor In Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
PB-FL-0001-0008.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 07/17/1998
Memorandum on Motion for Class Certification [ECF# 123] (S.D. Fla.)
PB-FL-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/11/1999
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement [ECF# 293]
PB-FL-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/21/2004
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Settlement Agreement [ECF# 296]
PB-FL-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/17/2004
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Approving Settlement Agreement [ECF# 341]
PB-FL-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/12/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Joint Motion to Dismiss Case [ECF# 360] (S.D. Fla.)
PB-FL-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/02/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Ferguson, Wilkie D. Jr. (S.D. Fla.)
PB-FL-0001-0002
Martinez, Jose E. (S.D. Fla.)
PB-FL-0001-0005 | PB-FL-0001-0006 | PB-FL-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fleischner, Robert D. (Massachusetts)
PB-FL-0001-0003 | PB-FL-0001-0004 | PB-FL-0001-9000
Grissom, Hubert A. (Florida)
PB-FL-0001-0003 | PB-FL-0001-0004 | PB-FL-0001-9000
Lippman, Juliette E (Florida)
PB-FL-0001-0001 | PB-FL-0001-9000
Nimkoff, Peter (Florida)
PB-FL-0001-0001 | PB-FL-0001-9000
Ortiz, Isaias (Florida)
PB-FL-0001-9000
Saideman, Ellen Marjorie (Florida)
PB-FL-0001-0001 | PB-FL-0001-0003 | PB-FL-0001-0004 | PB-FL-0001-9000
Schwartz, Steven J. (Massachusetts)
PB-FL-0001-0003 | PB-FL-0001-0004 | PB-FL-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Crist, Charles J. Jr. (Florida)
PB-FL-0001-0003 | PB-FL-0001-0004
Daniel, Stephanie A. (Florida)
PB-FL-0001-0003 | PB-FL-0001-0004 | PB-FL-0001-9000
Meyers, Andrew Jeffrey (Florida)
PB-FL-0001-9000
Miller, JC (District of Columbia)
PB-FL-0001-9000
Smith, Chesterfield Jr. (Florida)
PB-FL-0001-0003 | PB-FL-0001-0004 | PB-FL-0001-9000
York, Thomas B. (Pennsylvania)
PB-FL-0001-9000
Other Lawyers Breen, Philip L. (District of Columbia)
PB-FL-0001-0007 | PB-FL-0001-0008
Frohboese, Robinsue (District of Columbia)
PB-FL-0001-0007 | PB-FL-0001-0008
Harrell-James, Veronica Vanessa (Florida)
PB-FL-0001-0007 | PB-FL-0001-0008
Lee, Bill Lann (District of Columbia)
PB-FL-0001-0007 | PB-FL-0001-0008
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
PB-FL-0001-0007 | PB-FL-0001-0008
Scott, Thomas E. (Florida)
PB-FL-0001-0007 | PB-FL-0001-0008
Smith, Louisa A. (District of Columbia)
PB-FL-0001-0007 | PB-FL-0001-0008
Wodatch, John L. (District of Columbia)
PB-FL-0001-0007 | PB-FL-0001-0008
Wohlenhaus, Renee M. (District of Columbia)
PB-FL-0001-0007 | PB-FL-0001-0008
Worden, Jeanine M (District of Columbia)
PB-FL-0001-0007 | PB-FL-0001-0008

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