University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
view search results
page permalink
Case Name Georgia Advocacy Office v. Shelp MH-GA-0001
Docket / Court 1:09-CV-2880-CAP ( N.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Mental Health (Facility)
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On October 16, 2009, the Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO), a non-profit Georgia corporation that provides protection and advocacy services to individuals with disabilities, filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The plaintiffs sued Georgia ... read more >
On October 16, 2009, the Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO), a non-profit Georgia corporation that provides protection and advocacy services to individuals with disabilities, filed this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The plaintiffs sued Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities and the Regional Hospital Administrator at Southwestern State Hospital (SWSH) under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and 42 U.S.C. 10801. The plaintiffs, represented by the Fulton County Attorney’s Office, the Georgia Advocacy Office, and private counsel, sought injunctive and declaratory relief requiring the defendants to comply with the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (PAIMI) and permit plaintiffs entrance to their facilities. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that they suspected a patient had been sexually assaulted while at SWSH. When GAO tried to investigate the facility, the defendants denied them access.

Along with their complaint, the plaintiff also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order and a motion for a preliminary injunction. On October 22, 2009, Judge Charles A. Pannell Jr. denied the temporary restraining order and set a hearing for the motion for a preliminary injunction. The plaintiffs filed an amended complaint on November 2, 2009, which included more information on the responsibilities of the GAO and the defendants. Throughout November and December, the parties attempted to come to an agreement. As they did so, the plaintiff removed the motion for a preliminary injunction.

These negotiations were unsuccessful, and on May 7, 2010, both parties filed a motion for summary judgment. Judge Pannell Jr. denied both motions on March 9, 2011. He held that there were still issues of fact to be resolved, and that the PAIMI Act required parties to try to resolve conflicts through mediation before initiating litigation. The parties entered into mediation with a third party in April 2011. By September, they had formed a stipulation agreement, which Judge Pannell approved on September 30, 2011. The agreement required the defendants to provide plaintiffs with reasonable unaccompanied access to their facilities, information, and records. The agreement was to be enforced through the court until August 31, 2014. The parties were unable to agree as to peer review documents (documents created when health care providers evaluate one another). This issue remained open in court, and on October 31, 2011, the plaintiffs filed a motion for permanent injunction requiring the defendants to provide them with access to peer review documents when requested.

On May 9, 2012, Judge Pannell Jr. granted the motion for permanent injunction, holding that peer review document were within the definition of “record” as outlined in the PAIMI Act. He then granted plaintiffs attorneys fees on September 12, 2012 for $39,561.50.

Gabriela Hybel - 09/24/2017


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Content of Injunction
Required disclosure
Training
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Records Disclosure
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Act, 42 U.S.C. § 10801
Defendant(s) Georgia
Plaintiff Description Georgia Advocacy Office (GAO), a non-profit Georgia corporation that provides protection and advocacy services to individuals with disabilities.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2011 - 2014
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  Pierce County v. Washington
www.bazelon.org
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Jane Doe v. Hunter College
http://www.bazelon.org/jane-doe-v-hunter-college/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Office of Protection and Advocacy v. State of Conneticut
http://www.bazelon.org/opa-v-ct/
Date: 2017
By: The Bazelon Center (The Bazelon Center)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  From Hospitals to Prisons: A New Explanation
http://cornelllawreview.org/clronline/from-hospitals-to-prisons-a-new-explanation
Date: 2017
By: Fredrick E. Vars & Shelby B. Calambokidis (Cornell Law Review)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:09-cv-2880 (N.D. Ga.)
MH-GA-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/11/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
MH-GA-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/16/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint [ECF# 7]
MH-GA-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/02/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Interest of The United States of America
MH-GA-0001-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 06/25/2010
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Order [ECF# 53] (N.D. Ga.)
MH-GA-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/09/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulated Agreement [ECF# 63]
MH-GA-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/29/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 81] (N.D. Ga.)
MH-GA-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/09/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 94] (N.D. Ga.)
MH-GA-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/12/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 94] (N.D. Ga.)
MH-GA-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/12/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Pannell, Charles A. Jr. (N.D. Ga.)
MH-GA-0001-0004 | MH-GA-0001-0005 | MH-GA-0001-0007 | MH-GA-0001-0008 | MH-GA-0001-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bagenstos, Samuel R. (District of Columbia)
MH-GA-0001-0001
Bohan, Mary (District of Columbia)
MH-GA-0001-0001
Gunston, Emily A. (District of Columbia)
MH-GA-0001-0001
Kegley, Julie Coleman (Georgia)
MH-GA-0001-9000
Koch, Robert A. (District of Columbia)
MH-GA-0001-0001
Mygatt, Timothy D (District of Columbia)
MH-GA-0001-0001
Norris, Joshua H. (Georgia)
MH-GA-0001-0002 | MH-GA-0001-0003 | MH-GA-0001-0006 | MH-GA-0001-9000
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
MH-GA-0001-0001
Preston, Judy C. (District of Columbia)
MH-GA-0001-0001
Rafferty [Miller], Paua Marie (Georgia)
MH-GA-0001-9000
Rhee, Mina (Georgia)
MH-GA-0001-0001
Yates, Sally Quillian (Georgia)
MH-GA-0001-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Dunn, Dennis R. (Georgia)
MH-GA-0001-0006
Frazier, Carolyn Elizabeth (Georgia)
MH-GA-0001-9000
Harps, Calandra A. (Georgia)
MH-GA-0001-0006 | MH-GA-0001-9000
Naunas, Jason S. (Georgia)
MH-GA-0001-0006 | MH-GA-0001-9000
Nelson, Shalen S. (Georgia)
MH-GA-0001-0006
Olens, Samuel (Georgia)
MH-GA-0001-0006

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
view search results
page permalink

- top of page -