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Case Name U.S. v. Georgia PB-GA-0004
Docket / Court 1:10-cv-00249-CAP ( N.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
In January 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia alleging that the State of Georgia violates the ADA in its unnecessary placement of individuals with disabilities in state institutions. Georgia's policies were at ... read more >
In January 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia alleging that the State of Georgia violates the ADA in its unnecessary placement of individuals with disabilities in state institutions. Georgia's policies were at issue in the landmark Supreme Court case of Olmstead v. L.C., but DOJ alleged that, ten years after Olmstead, Georgia had failed to adequately carry out its policies designed to prevent unnecessary institutionalization. The complaint addressed multiple groups, including individuals with mental illness, developmental disabilities, and/or substance abuse disorders. Through this lawsuit, DOJ sought to vindicate the rights of individuals who were unnecessarily placed in the State Psychiatric Hospitals, alleging that the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) and the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) fail to provide adequate protections against over-institutionalization.

After the complaint was filed, the court granted a stay so that the parties could enter settlement negotiations. This phase of negotiations was apparently unsuccessful, as Georgia filed a motion to dismiss on July 1, 2010 after receiving several extensions of the filing deadline. On August 9, 2010, Judge Charles A. Pannell, Jr. denied Georgia's motion to dismiss and ordered the parties to proceed to discovery. Georgia then filed an answer to the complaint on August 23, 2010. After a period of discovery, DOJ filed a motion for a preliminary injunction on September 24, 2010. After ensuing negotiations, the parties agreed to a settlement that was entered on October 19, 2010.

The settlement provided for an increase in community-based services over a five-year period. The state will cease admissions to state institutions and will provide for services in the community. The state further agreed to increase crisis support services and and create new options for community living. Pursuant to the settlement, Georgia will create new enrollment slots for Medicaid waivers for individuals with developmental disabilities and will increase home-based services for individuals participating in the waiver program. Georgia will also provide additional services to keep individuals with mental illness outside of institutions. Georgia will increase assertive community treatment, crisis management, and other services in the community. The state will also provide for housing options and support services to allow individuals with mental illness to remain in the community. Through services such as these, the state will prevent the unnecessary institutionalization of individuals with disabilities.

The parties agreed to the appointment of an independent reviewer, Elizabeth Jones. Her one-year report, issued in October 2011, documented substantial progress on the part of the state.

The independent reviewer continued to note Georgia's considerable efforts in attempting to reach the standards set out in the settlement agreement, but on September 18, 2015, Ms. Jones was forced to report that not all of the goals set by the settlement agreement had been met by the five-year deadline. Georgia had done an acceptable job of providing resources for the deinstitutionalization of adults with persistent serious mental illness, but had not complied with the standards for persons with developmental disabilities. The independent reviewer did note that there were acceptable plans on the horizon that had not yet been implemented, and that delays in implementation were not necessarily because of idleness on the part of the State.

After this report, and after an appearance by amici in December 2015, the plaintiffs filed a motion for the defendants to state why they should not be held in contempt because of their non-compliance with the settlement agreement.

Eventually, this motion was held as moot. On May 18, 2016, the parties filed a joint motion for extension of the settlement agreement, asking that the court maintain jurisdiction while Georgia strives for compliance with the settlement. On May 27, 2016, the court granted the motion.

This case is still ongoing.

Beth Kurtz - 11/20/2012
Megan Brown - 11/06/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Benefit Source
Medicaid
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Reasonable Accommodation
Reporting
Defendant-type
Hospital/Health Department
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
disability, unspecified
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Deinstitutionalization/decarceration
Discharge & termination plans
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Individualized planning
Payment for care
Placement in mental health facilities
Public assistance grants
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Mental health care, general
Mental health care, unspecified
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities
Georgia Department of Community Health
State of Georgia
Plaintiff Description The United States filed this suit on behalf of individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness in Georgia's state institutions.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
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 not on record
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:10-cv-00249-CAP (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/02/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint
PB-GA-0004-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/28/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint
PB-GA-0004-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/01/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
United States' Response to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
PB-GA-0004-0016.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/15/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply Brief in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint
PB-GA-0004-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/02/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0004-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/09/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Answer
PB-GA-0004-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/23/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion for Immediate Relief
PB-GA-0004-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/24/2010
Defendants' Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Immediate Relief
PB-GA-0004-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/24/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Law in Support of the United States' Motion for Immediate Relief
PB-GA-0004-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/24/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion to Enter the Parties' Settlement Agreement
PB-GA-0004-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/19/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
DOJ Press Release
PB-GA-0004-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/19/2010
Source: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section
Order (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0004-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/29/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Report of the Independent Reviewer
PB-GA-0004-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/07/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Joint Filing of the Report of the Independent Reviewer
PB-GA-0004-0018.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/18/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Pannell, Charles A. Jr. (N.D. Ga.)
PB-GA-0004-0007 | PB-GA-0004-0012 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Monitors/Masters Jones, Elizabeth (California)
PB-GA-0004-0015 | PB-GA-0004-0018
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bagenstos, Samuel R. (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0009 | PB-GA-0004-0011 | PB-GA-0004-0013 | PB-GA-0004-0016 | PB-GA-0004-0017 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Bohan, Mary (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0009 | PB-GA-0004-0011 | PB-GA-0004-0013 | PB-GA-0004-0016 | PB-GA-0004-0017 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0013 | PB-GA-0004-0017 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Farano, Richard J. (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0011 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Fleisher, Aaron S (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0011 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Frohboese, Robinsue (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0011
Gunston, Emily A. (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0009 | PB-GA-0004-0013 | PB-GA-0004-0017 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Houston, Katherine (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-9000
Hughes, Aileen Bell (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-0011 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Koch, Robert A. (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0009 | PB-GA-0004-0011 | PB-GA-0004-0013 | PB-GA-0004-0016 | PB-GA-0004-0017 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Lapertosa, Max (Pennsylvania)
PB-GA-0004-0011 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Mondino, Jennifer L. (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0011
Morse, Thomas Jackson (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-9000
Murray, Jeffrey Robert (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0011 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Mygatt, Timothy D (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0009 | PB-GA-0004-0011 | PB-GA-0004-0013 | PB-GA-0004-0016 | PB-GA-0004-0017 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0009 | PB-GA-0004-0011 | PB-GA-0004-0013 | PB-GA-0004-0017 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
PB-GA-0004-0009 | PB-GA-0004-0011 | PB-GA-0004-0013 | PB-GA-0004-0016 | PB-GA-0004-0017 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Yates, Sally Quillian (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-0009 | PB-GA-0004-0011 | PB-GA-0004-0013 | PB-GA-0004-0016 | PB-GA-0004-0017
Defendant's Lawyers Baker, Thurbert E. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-0005 | PB-GA-0004-0006 | PB-GA-0004-0008 | PB-GA-0004-0010
Belinfante, Joshua Barrett (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-0005 | PB-GA-0004-0006 | PB-GA-0004-0008 | PB-GA-0004-0010 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Burnette, Jeremy Patrick (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-9000
Cicero, Mark J. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-0005 | PB-GA-0004-0006 | PB-GA-0004-0008 | PB-GA-0004-0010 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Cohen, Mark Howard (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-0005 | PB-GA-0004-0006 | PB-GA-0004-0008 | PB-GA-0004-0010 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Dalton, Jennifer (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-9000
Dunn, Dennis R. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-0005 | PB-GA-0004-0006 | PB-GA-0004-0008 | PB-GA-0004-0010
Hewitson, Steven J. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-9000
Littlefield, Jeremy U. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-9000
Mann, Lindsey B. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-9000
Meeks, Kevin Gregory (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-9000
Naunas, Jason S. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-0005 | PB-GA-0004-0006 | PB-GA-0004-0008 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Nelson, Shalen S. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-0005 | PB-GA-0004-0006 | PB-GA-0004-0008 | PB-GA-0004-0010
Smith, Lynette Eaddy (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-9000
Theriot, Jamie L. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-9000
Other Lawyers Norris, Joshua A. (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-0010 | PB-GA-0004-9000
Rhee, Mina (Georgia)
PB-GA-0004-0009 | PB-GA-0004-0013 | PB-GA-0004-0016 | PB-GA-0004-0017 | PB-GA-0004-9000

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