University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Jackson v. Fort Stanton Hospital & Training School ID-NM-0003
Docket / Court 1:87-cv-0839-JAP-KBM ( D.N.M. )
Additional Docket(s) 16-02172  [ 16-2172 ]  Federal Court of Appeals
91-2027  [ 91-2027 ]  Federal Court of Appeals
State/Territory New Mexico
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Public Benefits / Government Services
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Case Summary
On July 8, 1987, the Supporters of Developmentally Disabled New Mexicans, Inc. and twenty-one persons with developmental disabilities filed this class action in District Court for the District of New Mexico. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, ... read more >
On July 8, 1987, the Supporters of Developmentally Disabled New Mexicans, Inc. and twenty-one persons with developmental disabilities filed this class action in District Court for the District of New Mexico. The plaintiffs sued under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, challenging the institutionalization of developmentally disabled persons at two state-owned and operated institutions: 1) Fort Stanton Hospital and Training School (Fort Stanton) and 2) Los Lunas Hospital and Training School (Los Lunas). The New Mexico Human Services Department ran the institutions. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief, asking the defendants to allow developmentally disabled persons at Fort Stanton and Los Lunas to live in integrated, family-like settings within the community.

In June 1988, the District Court (Judge James A. Parker) allowed more than 125 parents and guardians of residents of the facilities to intervene. The intervenors also wanted to bring the facilities into compliance with federal law, but opposed the plaintiffs' efforts to require the mandatory transfer of residents to community-based facilities.

On May 23, 1989, the District Court certified the class. The class consisted of all persons who resided at either facility or who would become residents while the action remained pending, and all persons who had been transferred from these two institutions to other state facilities. The class was divided into two subclasses: (1) those who sought both closure of Fort Stanton and Los Lunas and community placement of the residents, and (2) those who sought to improve the conditions at the institutions, but opposed mandatory transfers of residents. Thirteen of the original plaintiffs were named class representatives.

Trial began in October 1989 and continued for eight weeks through April 1990. Evidence was presented at trial by the original thirteen plaintiffs as to conditions at the institutions. Following the trial, the plaintiffs moved to disqualify District Judge Parker due to ex-parte communications with the court-appointed expert. The motion was denied. 757 F.Supp. 1231 (D.N.M.1990).

On December 28, 1990, the District Court (Judge Parker) entered a comprehensive order in which it made detailed findings of fact based on the evidence presented at trial. The court found that the conditions at Fort Stanton and Los Lunas violated the plaintiffs' rights under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794, and under the substantive due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The parties were ordered to submit a plan to correct the numerous deficiencies. The court set the deadline for correction for September 10, 1991.

The order required the development of individual programs of treatment for the residents of the facilities, the prevention of abuse and reduction of accidents and injuries to the residents, better training and supervision of staff, and improvements in treatment, record keeping, and services in other areas. The defendants were also ordered to prepare a plan for transfer to a community setting for each resident of Fort Stanton and Los Lunas who had been recommended for transfer by an interdisciplinary treatment team (IDT). The IDTs were prohibited from considering the availability of community facilities when making their transfer evaluations. 757 F.Supp. 1243 (D.N.M.1990). The intervenors appealed, but the defendants did not join in the appeal.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (Circuit Judge Tacha) reversed in part and remanded the case, holding that the District Court went too far when it ordered that the IDTs were prohibited from considering the availability of community facilities when making transfer decisions. 964 F.2d 980 (10th Cir. 1992).

On January 27, 1994, the lower court granted plaintiffs leave to amend to include a claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act in the complaint. Thereafter, the remedial stage of the litigation continued.

In 1994 New Mexico elected to close Fort Stanton by 1995 and transfer all residents to community-based services. The parties filed a joint motion to modify portions of the District Court's 12/28/1990 order and to terminate its Fort Stanton requirement upon closure. The court granted the motion, relieving the defendants from making further improvements to Fort Stanton. Los Lunas was eventually closed in 1997, and its residents were similarly moved into community-based care facilities.

To ensure that the plaintiffs' rights were not being violated in the community settings going forward, and to "define the further actions and requirements which the defendants must complete and the services, supports, and benefits which must be provided," the parties filed their Joint Stipulation on Disengagement ("JSD"). After a fairness hearing on November 20, 1997, the District Court entered an Order Approving Stipulation on Disengagement on December 19, 1997.

On April 2, 1999, the defendants filed a motion for relief from the court's December 19, 1997 order, based on the recent Supreme Court opinion in Idaho v. Coeur d'Alene Tribe of Idaho, 521 U.S. 261 (1997). The defendants argued that Coeur d'Alene Tribe effectively narrowed an exception to Eleventh Amendment immunity, such that it was no longer applicable to the defendants in this case. The defendants requested that the Court vacate the JSD and dismiss the case. District Judge Parker denied the motion on September 7, 1999.

Remediation continued. As substantial compliance with certain provisions and requirements of the JSD was achieved, the defendants notified the Court and filed motions to terminate oversight of those specific JSD provisions.

On October 31, 2003, the District Court denied the defendants' motion to vacate the JSD or to stay the proceedings while Frew v. Hawkins was pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Frew addressed issues of state immunity regarding enforcement of consent decrees. 540 U.S. 431 (2004).

In May 2004, the plaintiffs filed a motion for an order to show cause and for further remedial relief to require the defendants to comply with the court's 1997 order approving the JSD. On May 20, 2005, the District Court adopted a joint stipulation of the parties which resolved disagreements over the defendants' compliance with certain JSD provisions. This created new obligations for the defendants, requiring them to address deficiencies in the following areas: case management; quality enhancement; incident management; behavior services; crisis services; sexuality services; supported employment services; vocational rehabilitation; and day services.

The improvements required by the Joint Stipulation were supposed to be implemented by the end of fiscal year 2007. The defendants were not in full compliance with the Joint Stipulation by this point. So on December 21, 2007 the court entered an order appointing Dr. Sue Gant as a Rule 706 Expert, defining her role to be "to substantially assist the Court in the determination of compliance with the orders of the Court, including the Joint Stipulation[.]" Dr. Gant has issued several reports over the years as part of this role.

On July 15, 2010, the plaintiffs filed a motion for further remedial relief, alleging that the defendants were in substantial non-compliance with the JSD and the joint stipulation with respect to providing adequate health care, safe environments, and adequately supported employment for class members. On February 9, 2011, the court denied this motion without prejudice, as it pertained to issues that could not be resolved until after the results of an evidentiary hearing and thus would need to be rewritten. The evidentiary hearing occurred between June 13 and June 17, 2011. On November 14, 2011, the plaintiffs filed a renewed motion for further remedial relief, in light of the outcome of the hearing.

On October 12, 2012, as a result of the June 2011 hearing, the court issued extensive findings of fact and conclusions of law. It found that the defendants had not substantially complied with the JSD or the joint stipulation in many areas and had failed to comply with recommendations made by the 706 Expert (Dr. Gant), which would have moved them closer to compliance with the stipulations. The defendants failed to show by a preponderance of the evidence that their failure to comply fully with the JSD did not defeat essential purposes of the JSD, e.g., to provide class members with adequate health care and a safe environment, and to provide class members with the opportunity to engage in a supported employment. The court agreed to appoint a Compliance Administrator with the appropriate expertise "to prod Defendants into final substantial compliance." The court held that the defendants should be in compliance with the JSD and joint stipulation within 18 months of the appointment of the Administrator.

The October 12, 2012, the findings also granted the plaintiffs leave to file a motion under a claim of disparate treatment, arising from the allegation that the defendants denied services and opportunities to more severely disabled class members than it granted to less severely disabled members. By allowing this, the court elected not to follow the recent Tenth Circuit precedent case Cohon v. New Mexico Dept. of Health, 646 F.3d 717 (10th Cir. 2011) (holding that the courts do not recognize disparate treatment between different degrees of disability to be prohibited discrimination), and finding the holding in that case to be contrary to the landmark Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999).

On January 1, 2013, Dr. Sue Gant was appointed Compliance Administrator, with the consent of the parties. She was scheduled to make progress reports every six months, beginning July 2013. From 2013-2016, the defendants periodically filed unopposed motions for partial disengagement from portions of the JSD and the Joint Stipulation.

On November 21, 2014, the defendants filed "evaluative components" as directed by the court to assess its progress with meeting the goals and objectives of the Safety, Health, and Supported Employment Plans, all remaining obligations. The defendants continued to file occasional motions for partial disengagement. On April 3, 2015, the court determined that the defendants were not yet in complete compliance with the goals and objectives previously set out and directed the parties to continue to work together on compliance.

In June 2015, the parties jointly filed a revised final list of objectives in the areas of health, safety, and supported employment with projected completion dates.

In August 2015, the defendants moved to vacate all consent decrees and to terminate the court's oversight, arguing that changed factual circumstances warranted the requested relief. The court denied the motion in 2016 and the defendants appealed to the Tenth Circuit. On January 23, 2018, the Tenth Circuit vacated the District Court's 2016 order and remanded for the lower court to make up-to-date findings and determine whether the defendants were currently violating class members' rights. Jackson v. Los Lunas Cmty. Program, 880 F.3d 1176 (2018).

After the Tenth Circuit remanded, the parties engaged in discovery. One major discovery dispute occurred. The plaintiffs were requesting information from the defendants regarding non-class members, putting forth a disparate impact argument for relevance of the requested data. 2018 U.S. Dist. Lexis 125508. As of November 6, 2018, the case is ongoing, with a trial expected to be held in 2019 by Judge Parker on the issues remanded by the Tenth Circuit.

Dan Dalton - 04/18/2007
Alex Colbert-Taylor - 06/10/2013
Jessica Kincaid - 03/18/2016
Sam Kulhanek - 11/08/2018

compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Goals and Timekeeping
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reasonable Accommodation
Hospital/Health Department
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
Mental impairment
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Discharge & termination plans
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Individualized planning
Pattern or Practice
Reassessment and care planning
Restraints : physical
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Medical care, general
Medical care, unspecified
Mental Disability
Developmental disability without intellectual disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) Fort Stanton Hospital & Training School
Los Lunas Hospital and Training School
New Mexico
Plaintiff Description All persons who resided at Fort Stanton Hospital and Training School and Los Lunas Hospital and Training School and those who would become residents during the pendency of the action, and all persons who had been transferred from these two institutions to other state facilities.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filing Year 1987
Case Ongoing Yes
87-839 (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/31/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 1]
ID-NM-0003-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/08/1987
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fourth Amended Complaint by Interlineation [ECF# 238]
ID-NM-0003-0022.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/13/1988
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order (757 F.Supp. 1243) (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0015.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/28/1990
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Opinion and Order (757 F.Supp. 1231) (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0017.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/28/1990
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (964 F.2d 980)
ID-NM-0003-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/18/1992
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 831] (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/27/1994
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/07/1999
Order [ECF# 1198] (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/13/2000
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/26/2003
Order (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/31/2003
Joint Stipulation on Agreed Actions to Comply With Joint Stipulation on Disengagement and Plan of Action to Resolve Pending Motions to Show Cause to Re-engage
ID-NM-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/20/2005
Memorandum Opinion and Order (489 F.Supp.2d 1267) (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0018.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/24/2007
Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 1584] (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/24/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Jackson Plan of Action Agreement to Modify Sexuality Outcomes [ECF# 1665]
ID-NM-0003-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/24/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 1680] (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/28/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulated Agreement on Disengagement Process for 1998 Audit Recommendations and Appendix A Areas [ECF# 1688]
ID-NM-0003-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/18/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 1798] (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/27/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 1897] (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/14/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 1911] (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/16/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Order [ECF# 1930] (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/12/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 2035] (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0019.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/03/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulated Order for Disengagement of Objective [ECF# 2095] (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/11/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico [Ct. of App. ECF# 01019934522] (880 F.3d 1176)
ID-NM-0003-0023.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/23/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Molzen, Karen Ballard (D.N.M.) [Magistrate]
Parker, James Aubrey (D.N.M.)
ID-NM-0003-0001 | ID-NM-0003-0003 | ID-NM-0003-0004 | ID-NM-0003-0005 | ID-NM-0003-0006 | ID-NM-0003-0007 | ID-NM-0003-0009 | ID-NM-0003-0011 | ID-NM-0003-0012 | ID-NM-0003-0013 | ID-NM-0003-0014 | ID-NM-0003-0015 | ID-NM-0003-0017 | ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-0019 | ID-NM-0003-0020 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Smith, Leslie C. (D.N.M.)
Tacha, Deanell Reece (Tenth Circuit)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Beyer, Roberta (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0016 | ID-NM-0003-0022 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Biderman, Paul L. (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0015 | ID-NM-0003-0017 | ID-NM-0003-0021
Church, Elizabeth (New Mexico)
Cook, Timothy M. (Pennsylvania)
Coppin, Chris (New Mexico)
Costanzo, Cathy E. (Massachusetts)
ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Cubra, Peter (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0002 | ID-NM-0003-0016 | ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-0020 | ID-NM-0003-0021 | ID-NM-0003-0022 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Davis, Philip B. (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0016 | ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-0021 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Drucker, Dennis (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Eby, Lynn C. (New Mexico)
Foster, Marlene (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0015 | ID-NM-0003-0017 | ID-NM-0003-0021
Gardner, Tim (New Mexico)
Gomez, Sandra L. (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Gran, Judith A. (Pennsylvania)
ID-NM-0003-0016 | ID-NM-0003-0021
Harvey, Ann M. (Nebraska)
Jiron, Becky S. (New Mexico)
Koenigsberg, Nancy (New Mexico)
Laski, Frank J. (Pennsylvania)
ID-NM-0003-0016 | ID-NM-0003-0021
Levy, Robert D. (New Mexico)
McCartney, Ann Tilford (New Mexico)
Miller, V. Collen (New Mexico)
Ohline, Beverly Sorensen (New Mexico)
Schwartz, Steven J. (Massachusetts)
ID-NM-0003-0010 | ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Shapiro, Daniel W. (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0017 | ID-NM-0003-0021
Sims, Ann Tilford (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Sylvest, Flynn Evelyn (New Mexico)
Winchester, Kent (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0016 | ID-NM-0003-0017 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Becker, Robert W. (New Mexico)
Biehler, Gregory L. (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0002 | ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Booms, Robert Tabor (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0016 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Brown, Rebecca L. (District of Columbia)
Bustamante, Patricia E. (New Mexico)
Clough, John H. (New Mexico)
Cohn, Bennett S. (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Dickinson, Jerry A. (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0008 | ID-NM-0003-0017
Harris, Josh A. (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Joseph, Andrea F. (New Mexico)
Kunkel, Kathyleen M. (New Mexico)
Madrid, Patricia A. (New Mexico)
Malave, Sally (New Mexico)
Reed, Judith E. (New Mexico)
Ritzma, Paul R. (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Salazar, Richard R. (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Schaefer, Beth W. (New Mexico)
Stone, Jennifer (New Mexico)
Sullivan, Susan (New Mexico)
Taylor, Nancy Alma (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0016 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Thalley, Corliss G. (New Mexico)
Udall, Tom (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0016 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Walz, Jerry A. (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0010 | ID-NM-0003-0020 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Other Lawyers Allen, Patrick D. (New Mexico)
Salvador, Vernon W. (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0016 | ID-NM-0003-0017 | ID-NM-0003-9000
Sanchez, Michael S (New Mexico)
Sanders, Maureen (New Mexico)
ID-NM-0003-0002 | ID-NM-0003-0018 | ID-NM-0003-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -