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Case Name Katie A. v. Bonta CW-CA-0005
Docket / Court 2:02-cv-5662 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Child Welfare
Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Southern California
Bazelon Center
Children's Rights, Inc.
National Center for Youth Law
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Youth Law Center
Case Summary
This lawsuit was filed in the Central District of California on July 18, 2002, by the class of children and young adults who (a) are in the custody of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services; (b) have a behavioral, emotional, or psychiatric impairment; and (c) need ... read more >
This lawsuit was filed in the Central District of California on July 18, 2002, by the class of children and young adults who (a) are in the custody of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services; (b) have a behavioral, emotional, or psychiatric impairment; and (c) need individualized mental health services. The suit is against County and State agencies for neglecting their responsibilities to provide mental health care services to foster children in California. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief from the State and Los Angeles County under provisions of the Medicaid Act, Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment (EPSDT), 42 U.S.C. § 1396; the Substantive Due Process clause of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; Article I, section 7(a) of the California Constitution; the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12132; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 701; and California Government Code § 11135. Plaintiffs are represented by the ACLU of Southern California, Center for Public Interest, Western Center for Law and Poverty, Protection & Advocacy, Inc., Youth Law Center, and Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law.

In March 2003, Plaintiffs and L.A. County began settlement negotiations. On June 19, 2003, United States District Judge A. Howard Matz certified class status, and on July 16, 2003, the Court approved a jointly submitted settlement agreement as fair, reasonable, and adequate. The settlement agreement has four objectives: (1) to facilitate a provision of services delivered in a coordinated, comprehensive, community-based fashion; (2) to support the development and delivery of a service structure and fiscal system that supports core practices and services model; (3) to support an effective and sustainable solution that will involve standards and methods to achieve quality-based oversight; and (4) to address the need for certain class members with more intensive needs to receive medically necessary mental health services in their own home, a family settings, or the most homelike setting appropriate to their needs, in order to facilitate reunification, and to meet their needs for safety, permanence, and well-being.

Pursuant to the Agreement, the parties to the settlement appointed a six-member expert advisory panel to determine whether the County met the objectives set forth and implemented the plans. The Panel was required to make regular written reports to the parties and Court of its findings and recommendations. In August 2005, the Panel issued a two-year report finding that the County had not complied with the terms of the Agreement.

Because the state agencies did not participate in the settlement, plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction against them on September 15, 2005. Judge Matz granted the motion on March 14, 2006, ordering the State to provide "wraparound services" and "therapeutic foster care," to thousands of Medi-Cal eligible children who are in foster care or at risk of foster care placement. There are approximately 85,000 children in foster care in California and an even greater number of children served by the child welfare system in their own homes. The court's order extends to both groups of children.

(In the meantime, on February 16, 2006, Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Compel Compliance with the Settlement Agreement against LA County. In November 2006, Judge Matz ordered the County to address deficiencies in its implementation plan.)

The State of California appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On March 23, 2007, the Ninth Circuit vacated the March 14th, 2006, preliminary injunction, holding that Judge Matz had erroneously interpreted the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) provisions of the Medicaid Act by not "explor[ing] the possibility that the State might only have an obligation to fund the component services of wraparound and TFC, rather than to offer the coordinated complex of services in a single package." Katie A. v. Bonta, 481 F.3d 1150 (9th Cir. 2007).

After further discovery, Plaintiffs filed another Motion for Preliminary Injunction against the state defendants on January 11, 2008. In response, the Court ruled that wraparound services are Medi-Cal eligible and ordered the parties to address how to provide and bill for those services. A Special Master was appointed in March 2009 to facilitate a settlement between the parties.

The parties reached a settlement agreement in December 2011, which included the development of an Implementation Plan to be evaluated by the Special Master. The agreement included a payment of $3.75 million in attorneys' fees, including costs and expenses, to plaintiffs' counsel. The parties developed a two-phase Implementation Plan. On August 28, 2012, the Special Master informed the District Court that he found the Implementation Plan reasonably and sufficiently calculated to meet the objectives of the agreement, and the Court accepted his recommendations on September 13, 2012.

The Special Master and Advisory Panel continued to monitor and report on the completion of the Implementation Plan.

In light of the fact that the District Court's jurisdiction was scheduled to end in December 2014, the Special Master put forth a set of recommendations in his report on September 26, 2014 to sustain the growth in the development and delivery of the intensive services agreed to by the parties. The Special Master submitted a final report to the Court on November 20, 2014. The report identified areas of progress and growth, but also found that there remained significant unfinished deliverables from the settlement agreement and identified the key activities the State should begin or continue implementing.

A status conference was held on November 24, 2014. Judge John A. Kronstadt determined that there was no need for the court to extend its jurisdiction at that time. Subsequently, in August of 2015, Judge Kronstadt issued a minute order stating that while the parties should continue to file reports consistent with the implementation of the settlement, the matter was considered closed. As of October 19, 2017, the parties had stipulated, with approval from the court, that the Panel monitoring L.A. County's progress toward implementation of the settlement agreement should continue to operate through December 31, 2018.

Elizabeth Homan - 10/04/2012
Samantha Kirby - 12/02/2014
Lauren Latterell Powell - 10/19/2017

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Benefit Source
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
Mental impairment
Age discrimination
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Foster care (benefits, training)
Government Services (specify)
Placement in mental health facilities
Public assistance grants
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Restraints : physical
Special education
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental health care, general
Mental Disability
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race, unspecified
Type of Facility
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
State law
Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
Defendant(s) California Department of Health Services
California Department of Social Services
Los Angeles City
Los Angeles County
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are a class of children and young adults who (a) are in the custody of Los Angeles County Dept of Children and Family Services; (b) have a behavioral, emotional, or psychiatric impairment; and (c) need individualized mental health services.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
ACLU of Southern California
Bazelon Center
Children's Rights, Inc.
National Center for Youth Law
NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Youth Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2003 - 2014
Filing Year 2002
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Katie A. v. Bonta
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Legal Accountability in the Service-Based Welfare State: Lessons from Child Welfare Reform
Date: Summer 2009
By: Kathleen G. Noonan, Charles F. Sabel, William H. Simon (Center for High Impact Philanthropy , Columbia Law School and Stanford Law School Faculty)
Citation: 34 Law & Soc. Inquiry 523 (Summer 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

2:02-cv-5662 (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/11/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief
CW-CA-0005-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/20/2002
Order for Approval of Class Settlement, Provisional Certification of Settlement Class, Approval of Form and Manner of Notice to Class, and Scheduling of Fairness Hearing [ECF# 82] (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/20/2003
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order re: Class Certification [ECF# 92] (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/19/2003
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulated Order re Final Approval of Class Settlement [ECF# 128] (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/16/2003
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation Between Plaintiffs and County Defendants Regarding Definition of Class Members; Order [ECF# 149] (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/23/2004
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (433 F.Supp.2d 1065) (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0015.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/14/2006
Source: Google Scholar
Addendum to Order Granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 454] (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/12/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
CW-CA-0005-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/26/2006
Appellees' Brief
CW-CA-0005-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/10/2006
Brief of Amici Curiae in Support of an Affirmance
CW-CA-0005-0022.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/10/2006
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law re Settlement Agreement Between Plaintiffs and County; Order Thereon [ECF# 499] (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/20/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (481 F.3d 1150)
CW-CA-0005-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Date: 03/27/2007
Plaintiffs' Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law re: Motion for Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 598]
CW-CA-0005-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/09/2008
Order on Plaintiffs' Renewed Motion for a Preliminary Injunction [ECF# 629] (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/22/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report Pursuant to Court's September 22, 2008 Order [ECF# 633]
CW-CA-0005-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/29/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Class Action Comments of the United States in Support of Final Approval of the Proposed Settlement Agreement [ECF# 771]
CW-CA-0005-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/18/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Proposed Settlement Agreement
CW-CA-0005-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/01/2011
Stipulated Judgment Pursuant to Class Action Settlement Agreement [ECF# 779] (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/05/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Awarding Attorneys' Fees, Costs and Expenses Pursuant to Settlement Agreement [ECF# 785] (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/06/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Special Master's Report on Progress Toward Completion of the Katie A. Implementation Plan [ECF# 819]
CW-CA-0005-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/28/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Special Master's Progress Report on the Implementation of the Katie A. Plan [ECF# 923]
CW-CA-0005-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/20/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Fletcher, William A. (Ninth Circuit)
Hillman, Stephen J. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
Kronstadt, John Arnold (C.D. Cal.)
Matz, A. Howard (C.D. Cal.)
CW-CA-0005-0001 | CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0005 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0007 | CW-CA-0005-0011 | CW-CA-0005-0013 | CW-CA-0005-0015 | CW-CA-0005-0017
Tashima, Atsushi Wallace (C.D. Cal., Ninth Circuit)
Thomas, Sidney Runyan (Ninth Circuit)
Monitors/Masters Saletta, Richard (California)
CW-CA-0005-0010 | CW-CA-0005-0016 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ancar, Katina (California)
Barkoff, Alison (District of Columbia)
CW-CA-0005-0021 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Bird, Melinda R. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-0019 | CW-CA-0005-0021 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Burnim, Ira Abraham (District of Columbia)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-0019 | CW-CA-0005-0021 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Bussiere, Alice (California)
CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Diamond, Laura N (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Dozier, Antionette D (California)
Garcia, Robert (California)
Gardner, Patrick (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0019 | CW-CA-0005-0021 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Giliberti, Mary (District of Columbia)
CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Hall, Carlyle W III (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Holle, Marilyn (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-0021 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Hollman, Lew (California)
CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Hornbeck, Kirk A Jr (California)
Kolek, Alissa Beth (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Kong, Lin Min (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Lewis, Kimberly (California)
CW-CA-0005-0005 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0007 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-0019 | CW-CA-0005-0021 | CW-CA-0005-9000
McIntosh, Katrina (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Mudryk, Andrew M. (Arizona)
Newman, Robert D. Jr. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0005 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0007 | CW-CA-0005-0008 | CW-CA-0005-0018 | CW-CA-0005-0019 | CW-CA-0005-0021 | CW-CA-0005-9000
O'Toole, John F. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0021 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Peterson, Ronald C (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-0021 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Quraishi, Fiza A (California)
Rosenbaum, Mark Dale (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-0019 | CW-CA-0005-0021 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Rothschild, Richard (California)
CW-CA-0005-0007 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Shauffer, Carole B. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Stortz, Michael James (California)
Welch, Leecia (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0021
Wizner, Ben (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Zaragoza-Cruz, Gina L (California)
Defendant's Lawyers Ackerson-Brazille, Karen (California)
CW-CA-0005-0008 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Black, Lauren M (California)
Bowser, Katherine M (California)
Custis, Gerald M (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Felix, Cristina (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Fortner, Raymond G. Jr. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0007
Gardiner, Ada (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0012
Glancy, Lionel Zevi (California)
Goldsmith, Sandra L (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Harrison, Dawyn R (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0012
Hinoj Quinonez, Laura Elizabeth (California)
Kim, Jennifer M. (California)
Kozikoujekian, Vicki (California)
Lockyer, Bill (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012
Lowry, Marcia Robinson (New York)
Lustbader, Ira P. (New York)
Martinez, Ernest (California)
Nichols, Brandon T (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0007 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Owens, Andrew W. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0007
Owens, James M (California)
Pellman, Lloyd W. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0005 | CW-CA-0005-0012
Pitchal, Erik S. (New York)
Pratt, Catherine J (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0005 | CW-CA-0005-0012 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Sanders, John H. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0003 | CW-CA-0005-0004 | CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012
Snuggs, Carmen (California)
Ugaz, Sarah (California)
Waldow, Richard T. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0006 | CW-CA-0005-0012
Other Lawyers England, Travis W (District of Columbia)
CW-CA-0005-0009 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Growdon, Karen R. (California)
Maddigan, Michael M. (California)
Monteleone, Robyn-Marie L (California)
CW-CA-0005-0009 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Weidman, Leon W. (California)
CW-CA-0005-0009 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Wohlenhaus, Renee M. (District of Columbia)
CW-CA-0005-0009 | CW-CA-0005-9000
Wolfe, Kathleen P. (District of Columbia)
CW-CA-0005-0009 | CW-CA-0005-9000

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