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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Valentini v. Shinseki PB-CA-0044
Docket / Court 11-cv-4846 ( C.D. Cal. )
Additional Docket(s) 13-56887  [ 13-56887 ]
13-56880  [ 13-56880 ]
13-56842  [ 13-56842 ]
13-56836  [ 13-56836 ]
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Public Benefits / Government Services
Attorney Organization ACLU of Southern California
Case Summary
On June 8, 2011, several veterans, on behalf of all homeless veterans suffering from disabilities caused by their military service, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against the Department of Veterans' Affairs alleging violations of state law ... read more >
On June 8, 2011, several veterans, on behalf of all homeless veterans suffering from disabilities caused by their military service, filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California against the Department of Veterans' Affairs alleging violations of state law and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. The plaintiffs, represented by public interest and private counsel, asked the court for an injunction requiring the defendants to provide the plaintiff class with permanent supportive housing that accommodates their disabilities so that they can access the VHA benefits for which they are eligible. They also requested that the court enjoin defendants from using the West Los Angeles Medical Center & Community Living Center campus (WLA Campus) for any purpose that is not directly related to housing veterans with disabilities and to require an accounting of profits of all money received for land use agreements for the WLA campus. The plaintiffs asked the court to declare that the design and implementation of the VHA benefits program was discriminatory and that plaintiffs were being denied meaningful access to benefits by defendants because of their disabilities.

Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the WLA campus was intended, under the grant that established it, to provide housing and services for veterans with disabilities. By entering into land use agreements with commercial and non-DVA entities, defendants violated the grant, which plaintiffs argued was a charitable trust. Additionally, plaintiffs alleged that there was never a public accounting of the transactions. Plaintiffs claimed that this lack of housing prevented the plaintiffs from meaningfully accessing the veterans' benefits to which they were entitled.

An amended complaint filed Aug. 12, 2011 added claims under the Administrative Procedure Act (5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.).

On Mar. 16, 2012, the court (Judge S. James Otero) dismissed in part the plaintiff's claims. 860 F. Supp. 2d 1079. After the Ninth Circuit vacated Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki, 644 F.3d 845, on which the court had relied, it reconsidered the Mar. 16 ruling. Eventually, the en banc Ninth Circuit issued Veterans for Common Sense v. Shinseki, 678 F.3d 1013. Based on that decision, the court found that it lacked jurisdiction over the plaintiffs' Rehabilitation Act claims because resolving the claims would require the court to second-guess the government's determination about what benefits specific veterans were entitled to. But the court let the plaintiffs' Administrative Procedure Act claims proceed because they did not turn on questions about specific veterans' benefits. 2012 WL 12882704.

Mediation was attempted during the course of proceedings, but it proved unsuccessful. Following the mediation, both parties moved for summary judgment.

On Aug. 29, 2013, the court entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff, declaring the land use agreements that defendant had with non-healthcare organizations were unauthorized by law and therefore void. 2013 WL 12121981.

The defendants moved to vacate the judgment, which was denied on Oct. 21, 2013, and then appealed to the Ninth Circuit on Oct. 24. Meanwhile, the parties continued to attempt to find resolution outside of the courtroom, and filed notice of their decision to end litigation on Jan. 28, 2015. The parties stated that they would work together to create a strategy and action plan for veteran homelessness in Greater LA. The final plan was to address chronic homelessness through evidence-based methods and with input from all stakeholders. The VA would address various issues related to creating a plan for the WLA Campus, including bridge housing, permanent supportive housing, and land use agreements.

On Feb. 17, 2015, pursuant to a joint motion to vacate, the Ninth Circuit vacated the district court's judgment. The parties filed joint stipulation to dismiss the case on Mar. 26, 2015. The Clearinghouse does not know whether the parties agreed to a final plan after the case was dismissed or what changes, if any, occurred at the WLA Campus because of this suit.

Noel Ripberger - 10/14/2014
Virginia Weeks - 02/19/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Recordkeeping
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Government Services (specify)
Housing assistance
Poverty/homelessness
Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.
Defendant(s) Department of Veterans' Affairs
Plaintiff Description Veterans who are eligible for the benefits provided by the Veterans Health Administration and reside within the service area of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, and who have a mental disability and/or brain injury that renders them unable to obtain or maintain stable housing.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU of Southern California
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Voluntary Dismissal
Filed 06/08/2011
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
C.D. Cal.
03/26/2015
2:11-cv-04846-SJO-MRW
PB-CA-0044-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
C.D. Cal.
06/08/2011
Complaint for Injunctive, Declaratory, and Mandamus Relief [ECF# 1]
PB-CA-0044-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
08/12/2011
Amended Complaint for Injunctive, Declaratory, Mandamus, and Accounting Relief [ECF# 24]
PB-CA-0044-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
03/16/2012
Civil Minutes- Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 70] (860 F.Supp.2d 1079)
PB-CA-0044-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
06/19/2012
Proceedings: Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendants' Motion for Reconsideration [ECF# 87] (2012 WL 12882704)
PB-CA-0044-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
08/29/2013
Order Denying Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and Granting in Part Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [ECF# 141] (2013 WL 12121981)
PB-CA-0044-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
08/29/2013
Judgment [ECF# 142]
PB-CA-0044-0007.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
10/21/2013
Civil Minutes- Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion (1) for Leave to Intervene and (2) to Vacate the Judgment [ECF# 164]
PB-CA-0044-0008.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
C.D. Cal.
01/28/2015
Principles for a Partnership and Framework for Settlement By and Between the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Representatives of the Plaintiffs - Valentini v. McDonald
PB-CA-0044-0011.pdf | Detail
Source: ACLU
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Judges Otero, S. James (C.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-0006 | PB-CA-0044-0007 | PB-CA-0044-0008 | PB-CA-0044-0009 | PB-CA-0044-0010
Plaintiff's Lawyers Blasi, Gary L. (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Eliasberg, Peter J. (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Finsten, James Jacob (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Gail, Leonard A (Illinois) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Hartston, Amos E. (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Kugler, Elizabeth Haman (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Massey, Jonathan (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Murray, Adam (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Olson, Ronald L (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-0011 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Poorman, Jacob Kevin (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Rappaport, John Michael (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Rosenbaum, Mark Dale (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Sapp, David B. (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Shapland, David Eric (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Tribe, Laurence (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Tyner, Melissa A (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Ulin, John C. (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-0001 | PB-CA-0044-0002 | PB-CA-0044-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bloom, Karen S (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Fox, Richard L (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Galbally, Erin (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Kneedler, Jennie L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Layton, Elizabeth (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
McKeever, Kristen (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Medrano, Alarice (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Neubauer, Mark A (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Seifert, Karen P (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Other Lawyers DeRecat, Craig J (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Escalante, Kristin (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Fenner, Alexander Michael (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Floyd, Daniel S (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Goldstein, Michael R (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Petrulakis, Karen J (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Robinson, Charles Furlonge (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Soneff, George M (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000
Yang, Deborah W. (California) show/hide docs
PB-CA-0044-9000

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