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Case Name S.H. v. Edwards ID-GA-0002
Docket / Court 81-877 ( N.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
On May 11, 1981, two residents of the Gracewood State School and Hospital filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794), and state law against the state of Georgia in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The ... read more >
On May 11, 1981, two residents of the Gracewood State School and Hospital filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794), and state law against the state of Georgia in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. The plaintiffs, represented by Georgia Legal Services and the Atlanta Legal Aid Society, and alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated because they had been denied access to due process hearing procedures, which would determine their need for community placement or continued hospitalization. The class consisted of residents of the Gracewood State School and Hospital.

On April 10, 1987, the district court dismissed the plaintiffs' state law claims, granted summary judgment to the defendants on the issue of a right to community rehabilitation and on all claims under the Rehabilitation Act. The court then granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs on the state law claim of a right to a continued rehabilitation review procedure. Both parties appealed. On November 28, 1988, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (Judge Peter Thorp Fay, Judge Thomas Alonzo Clark, and Judge Jose Alejandro Gonzalez, Jr.) issued a per curiam opinion affirming the district court's decision. S.H. v. Edwards, 860 F.2d 1045 (11th Cir. 1988). The defendants requested a rehearing en banc, and on January 9, 1989, the Eleventh Circuit denied that request. S.H. v. Edwards, 866 F.2d 1420 (11th Cir. 1989). The defendants appealed. On June 19, 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of certiorari. S.H. v. Edwards, 491 U.S. 905 (1989).

On July 31, 1989, the Eleventh Circuit reconsidered their refusal to rehear the case en banc, and issued an order that the case would be reheard with oral arguments. S.H. v. Edwards, 880 F.2d 1203 (11th Cir. 1989). On September 28, 1989, the court clarified that the only claim that would be considered by the en banc session would be the plaintiffs' claims for relief in the nature of rehabilitation in the least restrictive environment in accordance with the recommendation of professional treatment staff. S.H. v. Edwards, 886 F.2d 292 (11th Cir. 1989).

On October 26, 1989, the Eleventh Circuit issued an en banc ruling affirming the ruling of the district court. According to the docket, there was no activity on this case for several years, and on February 1, 1993, the district court dismissed the case with prejudice by consent of all parties.

Kristen Sagar - 08/17/2006

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Classification / placement
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual disability/mental illness dual diagnosis
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Type of Facility
Causes of Action State law
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Southwestern State Hospital
Plaintiff Description residents of the Gracewood State School and Hospital
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 1981
Case Closing Year 1993
Case Ongoing No
1:81-cv-00877-HTW (N.D. Ga.)
ID-GA-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/23/1993
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Reported Opinion (860 F.2d 1045)
ID-GA-0002-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/28/1988
Source: Google Scholar
Denial of Rehearing En Banc (866 F.2d 1420)
ID-GA-0002-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/09/1989
Memorandum Decision (491 U.S. 905)
ID-GA-0002-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/19/1989
Source: Westlaw
Reported Opinion (880 F.2d 1203)
ID-GA-0002-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 07/31/1989
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (886 F.2d 292)
ID-GA-0002-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/28/1989
Source: Google Scholar
Judges Anderson, Robert Lanier III (Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006
Clark, Thomas Alonzo (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
ID-GA-0002-0004 | ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006
Cox, Emmett Ripley (S.D. Ala., Eleventh Circuit)
ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006
Edmondson, James Larry (Eleventh Circuit)
ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006
Fay, Peter Thorp (Eleventh Circuit, S.D. Fla., Fifth Circuit)
ID-GA-0002-0004 | ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006
Gonzalez, Jose Alejandro Jr. (S.D. Fla.)
Hatchett, Joseph Woodrow (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006
Hill, Robert Andrews (N.D. Miss., S.D. Miss.)
ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006
Johnson, Frank Minis Jr. (Eleventh Circuit, M.D. Ala., Fifth Circuit)
ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006
Kravitch, Phyllis A. (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006
Roney, Paul Hitch (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit, FISCR)
ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006
Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (Eleventh Circuit, M.D. Fla., Fifth Circuit)
ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006
Vance, Robert Smith (Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006
Ward, Horace Taliaferro (N.D. Ga.)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cromartie, John L. Jr. (Georgia)
Holmen, Phyllis J. (Georgia)
ID-GA-0002-0004 | ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006 | ID-GA-0002-9000
Kurs, Michael Alan (Georgia)
Remar, Robert B. (Georgia)
Sokol, Howard G. (Georgia)
Zimring, Jonathan A. (Georgia)
ID-GA-0002-0004 | ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006 | ID-GA-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cosgrove, Carol Atha (Georgia)
ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006 | ID-GA-0002-9000
Davis, Jefferson James (Georgia)
ID-GA-0002-0004 | ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006 | ID-GA-0002-9000
Egan, Vivian Davidson (Georgia)
ID-GA-0002-0004 | ID-GA-0002-0005 | ID-GA-0002-0006 | ID-GA-0002-9000
Other Lawyers Ferleger, David (Pennsylvania)
Gran, Judith A. (Pennsylvania)
Nelson, Alice K. (Florida)
Schwartz, Steven J. (Massachusetts)
Siegel, Jodi (Florida)

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