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Case Name Disability Rights Mississippi v. Mississippi Children's Home Services MH-MS-0002
Docket / Court 3:13-cv-00547-HTW-LRA ( S.D. Miss. )
State/Territory Mississippi
Case Type(s) Mental Health (Facility)
Special Collection DOJ Civil Rights Division Statements of Interest
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
Plaintiff, Disability Rights Mississippi ("DRMS"), filed this lawsuit against CARES, Inc. (initially identified in Complaint as Mississippi Children's Home Services) on September 6, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Defendant, a non-profit organization, ... read more >
Plaintiff, Disability Rights Mississippi ("DRMS"), filed this lawsuit against CARES, Inc. (initially identified in Complaint as Mississippi Children's Home Services) on September 6, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. Defendant, a non-profit organization, operated CARES Center, a residential treatment facility for children with severe emotional or behavioral disabilities. Plaintiff asserted that, as Mississippi's designated Protection & Advocacy organization for individuals with disabilities, it had monitoring authority over the CARES Center under federal P&A Acts. Plaintiff alleged that between July and August of 2013, defendant had denied both DRMS and the Southern Poverty Law Center ("SPLC") - which had contracted with DRMS to conduct monitoring visits - access to its facilities despite numerous attempts to explain DRMS's and SPLC's authority to conduct such visits under federal law. After defendant wrote a letter formally denying plaintiff access to its facilities, plaintiff filed this lawsuit.

Plaintiff brought claims under the federal P&A Acts and their accompanying regulations (42 U.S.C §§ 10805(a)(3), 15043 (a)(2)(H); 42 C.F.R. § 51.42(c); 45 C.F.R. §1386.22(g). Plaintiff sought declaratory and injunctive relief requiring it and SPLC access to the CARES Center. Plaintiff filed the Complaint along with a motion for a preliminary injunction.

On December 13, 2013, Defendant filed an Answer and Counterclaim. Defendant sought a declaratory judgment under 28 U.S.C §2201 stating that DRMS's authority to access the facility did not extend to unlimited and general operational investigations, but only to limited investigations of abuse or neglect. On January 2, 2014, plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss this counterclaim.

On February 5, 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in the case. The statement asserted that the PAIMI Act was intended to provide P&A organizations with broad access to facilities like CARES, even in the absence of allegations of abuse or neglect. It also stated that monitoring is an important part of P&A organizations' mandate to protect vulnerable populations. Accordingly, the statement argued that plaintiff should have reasonable unaccompanied access to the CARES facilities.

On September 24, 2014, after the parties notified the court that they had reached a tentative working agreement, the court placed all pending motions - including plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction - on its inactive docket. On September 28, 2015, the parties jointly filed a stipulation of dismissal along with a sealed Settlement Agreement. While there is no formal dismissal on the record, there has been no action in the case since September of 2015.

Lauren Latterell Powell - 01/08/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Monitoring
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Juveniles
Records Disclosure
Mental Disability
Developmental disability without intellectual disability
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government non-profit
Causes of Action Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Act, 42 U.S.C. § 10801
Protection and Advocacy of Individual Rights (PAIR), 29 U.S.C. § 794e
Defendant(s) CARES, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Mississippi's P&A, Disability Rights Mississippi.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filing Year 2013
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:13-cv-00547-HTW-LRA (S.D. Miss.)
MH-MS-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/28/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
MH-MS-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/06/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Answer and Affirmative Defenses of Cares, Inc. Incorrectly Identified as Mississippi Children's Home Services [ECF# 18]
MH-MS-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/13/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Statement of Interest of The United States [ECF# 40]
MH-MS-0002-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 02/05/2014
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Joint Stipulation of Dismissal Without Prejudice [ECF# 64]
MH-MS-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/28/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Anderson, Linda Randle (S.D. Miss.) [Magistrate]
MH-MS-0002-9000
Wingate, Henry Travillion (S.D. Miss.)
MH-MS-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bensky, Eric A. (District of Columbia)
MH-MS-0002-9000
Burnim, Ira Abraham (District of Columbia)
MH-MS-0002-9000
Canter, Joseph A. (Mississippi)
MH-MS-0002-0002 | MH-MS-0002-9000
Hardage, Frances Kay (Mississippi)
MH-MS-0002-9000
Johnson, Elissa F (Mississippi)
MH-MS-0002-9000
Katzerman, Jerri (Alabama)
MH-MS-0002-9000
McCarthy, Brooke L. (Mississippi)
MH-MS-0002-9000
Owens, Jody E. II (Mississippi)
MH-MS-0002-0002 | MH-MS-0002-0004 | MH-MS-0002-9000
Owens, Joi L. (Mississippi)
MH-MS-0002-9000
White, Wendy Wilson (Mississippi)
MH-MS-0002-0002 | MH-MS-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Adkins, Arin Clark (Mississippi)
MH-MS-0002-0003 | MH-MS-0002-9000
Bey, Sheryl (Mississippi)
MH-MS-0002-0003 | MH-MS-0002-0004 | MH-MS-0002-9000
Harris, Savaria B. (District of Columbia)
MH-MS-0002-0003 | MH-MS-0002-9000
Johnson, Ebony S. (District of Columbia)
MH-MS-0002-0003 | MH-MS-0002-9000
Other Lawyers Davis, Gregory K. (Mississippi)
MH-MS-0002-0001
Fox, Deena (District of Columbia)
MH-MS-0002-0001 | MH-MS-0002-9000
Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia)
MH-MS-0002-0001
Paige, Mitzi Dease (Mississippi)
MH-MS-0002-0001 | MH-MS-0002-9000
Preston, Judith C. (District of Columbia)
MH-MS-0002-0001
Samuels, Jocelyn (District of Columbia)
MH-MS-0002-0001
Schultz, William B (District of Columbia)
MH-MS-0002-0001
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
MH-MS-0002-0001

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