On June 5, 2013, 35 adult disabled individuals filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), the Rehabilitation Act ("RA"), and the Social Security Act (Medicaid) - as well as a § 1983 constitutional due process claim ...
read more >
On June 5, 2013, 35 adult disabled individuals filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey under the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), the Rehabilitation Act ("RA"), and the Social Security Act (Medicaid) - as well as a § 1983 constitutional due process claim against the State of New Jersey. The plaintiffs, represented through their legal guardians by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the closing of two residential care facilities where the plaintiffs resided. The claims argued that the planned closures would violate the plaintiffs' rights or result in situations where violation of those rights would occur.
Specifically, in regard to the ADA claims, the plaintiffs claimed that discharges or transfers from their current residences were being forced without their consent and without appropriate recommendation from treating professionals. This, they argued, violated the plaintiffs' rights under the ADA and entitled them to the relief sought. The plaintiffs claimed that their discharge or transfer from their current residence would violate the RA's integration requirement. Further, that the State utilized criteria and methods of administration that subjected the plaintiffs to discrimination based on their disability. In regards to the Medicaid claim made through the Social Security Act, the plaintiffs claimed the State failed to ensure the plaintiffs needs and preferences were being met in their multidisciplinary plan. The plaintiffs claim that the discharge process, and its lack of safeguards to prevent harm to the plaintiffs, violated plaintiffs' rights not to be deprived of life or liberty without due process of law.
On September 9, 2013, defendants moved to dismiss the complaint under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim. The United States of America additionally filed a statement of interest arguing that plaintiffs failed to state a cause under the ADA and RA. On December 13, 2013, the District Court (Judge Stanley R. Chesler) granted the defendant's motion to dismiss. The court found that each claim either did not meet the factual standard required in pleading or that, in the case of the Medicaid claim, the cited statues did not apply to private actions.
The plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal of the order on motion to dismiss on January 10, 2014. Patrick Branson - 09/24/2014