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Case Name Disability Rights Washington v. Inslee PC-WA-0031
Docket / Court 4:18-cv-05071-RMP ( E.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Prison Conditions
Special Collection Post-PLRA Jail and Prison Private Settlement Agreements
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On April 23, 2018, Disability Rights Washington—the state protection and advocacy organization—filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. The plaintiff sued Governor Jay Inslee, the Secretary of the Department of Corrections, and the Superintendent of ... read more >
On April 23, 2018, Disability Rights Washington—the state protection and advocacy organization—filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington. The plaintiff sued Governor Jay Inslee, the Secretary of the Department of Corrections, and the Superintendent of the State Penitentiary under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act on behalf of its constituents who are inmates with mental illness held in overly restrictive conditions due to their disability. The plaintiff, represented by Disability Rights Washington and private counsel sought declaratory and injunctive relief and attorneys fees. The plaintiff claimed that defendants’ policy and practice of housing all inmates in need of mental health services in a more restrictive close custody setting irrespective of their actual custody classifications denies them the benefit of DOC’s services, program, and activities. Additionally, the plaintiffs claim that this practice subjects them to discrimination on the basis of their disability.

The case was assigned to Judge Rosanna M. Peterson. The defendants filed their answer on May 21, 2018 and the parties then entered discovery. On February 13, 2019, the court granted the parties joint motion to stay proceedings to finalize a possible settlement, which was contingent on legislative funding. The Department of Corrections received approximately $5 million in requested funding from the Washington Legislature conditioned on the money being used to resolve this litigation.

On June 27, 2019, the parties jointly stipulated and moved to dismiss all claims against Governor Inslee. The same day, the parties jointly moved for approval of their Final Settlement Agreement.

The proposed settlement agreement required the defendants to review the custody score, assigned custody, and housing assignment for each person in the Residential Treatment Center at the Baker, Adams, and Rainer (Bar) Units at the Washington State Penitentiary. For those inmates whose behavioral or mental health needs dictate a higher custodial setting than their custody score under other DOC policy, they will be reviewed individually. If a more restrictive setting is required, reducing behaviors or symptoms associated with the more restrictive placement would be included as a treatment goal along with specific, objective, and individualized benchmarks in the treatment plan. The settlement also called for one designated medium security BAR unit with at least two mods designated as residential treatment units, and for physical retrofits to the new unit. The defendants would ensure that people housed in the new medium security mods have comparable out-of-cell time, program, and activities as are provided to people housed in other units.

The proposed agreement called for defendants to develop a work plan, ideally within two months of execution of the agreement, including interim benchmarks, and for the parties to meet quarterly to discuss defendants’ progress. The plaintiff is entitled to reasonable monitoring and will visit the new unit twice per year.

The parties intended to work in good faith to achieve substantial compliance within two years of court approval, but also requested that the court incorporate the agreement into an order and retain jurisdiction to enforce the substantive terms of the agreement for 30 months following approval.

The defendants agreed to pay plaintiff $185,000 in attorneys’ fees and $25,000 annually as compensation for monitoring while the agreement remains in effect.

On July 1, 2019 Judge Peterson granted the stipulated motion for approval of the settlement and terminated Governor Inslee as a defendant with prejudice. The court will retain jurisdiction for 30 months and then dismiss the case with prejudice absent an extension.

Claire Shimberg - 05/07/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Mental impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Classification / placement
Confinement/isolation
Reasonable Accommodations
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Donald Holbrook, Superintendent of the Washington State Penitentiary
Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington
Secretary of the Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description Disability Rights Washington, on behalf of its constituents who are inmates with mental illness held in overly restrictive conditions due to their disability.
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 Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2019 - 2022
Filed 04/23/2018
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Docket(s)
4:18-cv-05071-RMP (E.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0031-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/01/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-WA-0031-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/23/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Motion for Approval of Settlement [ECF# 24]
PC-WA-0031-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/27/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order of Dismissal with Prejudice [ECF# 25] (E.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0031-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/01/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Stipulated Motion for Approval of Settlement [ECF# 27] (E.D. Wash.)
PC-WA-0031-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/01/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Peterson, Rosanna Malouf (E.D. Wash.) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0031-0003 | PC-WA-0031-0004 | PC-WA-0031-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Beggs, Breean Lawrence (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0031-0001 | PC-WA-0031-0002 | PC-WA-0031-9000
Biviano, Andrew Sean (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0031-0001 | PC-WA-0031-0002 | PC-WA-0031-9000
Carlson, David R. (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0031-0001 | PC-WA-0031-0002 | PC-WA-0031-9000
Dillon, Mary Elizabeth (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0031-0001 | PC-WA-0031-0002 | PC-WA-0031-9000
McKimmie, Heather Lynn (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0031-0001 | PC-WA-0031-0002 | PC-WA-0031-9000
Seevers, Rachael E (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0031-0001 | PC-WA-0031-0002 | PC-WA-0031-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Beach, Haley Christine (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0031-0002 | PC-WA-0031-9000
Lang, Timothy Norman (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0031-0002 | PC-WA-0031-9000
vanRoojen, Cassie B (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0031-0002 | PC-WA-0031-9000

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