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Case Name People First of Tenn. v. Clover Bottom Devel. Center ID-TN-0002
Docket / Court 3:95-cv-01227 ( M.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Special Collection Olmstead Cases
Case Summary
On December 22, 1995, People First of Tennessee filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee against the State of Tennessee on behalf of residents of the Clover Bottom Developmental Center, Greene Valley Developmental Center, and Winston Developmental ... read more >
On December 22, 1995, People First of Tennessee filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee against the State of Tennessee on behalf of residents of the Clover Bottom Developmental Center, Greene Valley Developmental Center, and Winston Developmental Center. The plaintiffs were represented by the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia and private attorneys. The complaint alleged that a Department of Justice CRIPA investigation of the facilities in 1994 found a pattern of injury, abuse, and neglect, deficient medical care, a lack of activities, and a failure to provide educations to school-age children as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It also alleged the use of unnecessary restraints, inadequate discharge planning, and failure to provide habilitation and training.

On November 15, 1996, the United States Department of Justice also filed a lawsuit in the Middle District of Tennessee against the state, alleging similar violations. That case was styled U.S. v. Tennessee Civ. No. 96-cv-01056 (M.D.Tenn.) ("United States case") (See ID-TN-4).

On December 2, 1996, the district court (Judge Robert L. Echnols) granted a motion to consolidate the People First case with the United States case.

People First, the Department of Justice, and the State of Tennessee entered into a settlement agreement, which was approved by Judge Echnols on November 27, 1996. In the settlement, the state agreed to a number of changes, including the following:

• Create person-centered evaluation of citizens in need of services
• Develop community programs and resources
• Increase staffing and staff training
• Improve living conditions in the centers
• Provide education for school-age residents

On the same date, the court granted plaintiff People First of Tennessee's motion to amend their complaint.

According to the PACER docket, litigation continued after the settlement regarding defendants' compliance with the settlement agreement, the Parent-Guardian Association's (PGA) intervention in the action, and attorneys' fees.

Community Rehabilitation Agencies of Tennessee (CMRA), an association of agencies providing services to individuals with intellectual disabilities, moved to intervene in both of the lawsuits. The court (Judge Jon McCallas) denied the motions for each case. On August 8, 2001, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals (District Judge John Feikens, Eastern District of Michigan, sitting by designation) affirmed the denials. U.S. v. Tennessee, 260 F.3d 587 (6th Cir. 2001).

On Mar. 18, 2002, the court ordered the case administratively closed in light of the ongoing settlement process. The court allowed the case to be reopened by either party.

The case was reopened on Feb. 22, 2006 to address the state's motion for partial termination of the settlement regarding Greene Valley Developmental Center. The settlement agreement allowed the state to seek partial termination of the agreement after two years if the state showed compliance with provisions related to institutional care services and protection from harm. The court had to address if "the State has substantially complied with" the provisions. The court granted the motion on Mar. 16, 2006, finding that the state had achieved compliance with respect to the conditions at the Greene Valley Developmental Center.

The court terminated the settlement agreement with respect to the Harold Jordan Center on Sept. 30, 2008, finding that the state showed compliance with provisions related to institutional care services and protection from harm at that particular facility.

The court once again ordered the case administratively closed on Mar. 31, 2009. While the case remained closed, a series of procedural developments occurred. First, on Nov. 19, the state indicated that budgetary considerations compelled it to close the Clover Bottom Developmental Center and Harold Jordan Center. On Dec. 21, 2009, the PGA filed a motion for temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in response to the state's asserted intent to close the facilities without a comprehensive closure plan. The court denied the motion on Jan. 12, 2010, arguing that the parties did not make a sufficient effort to confer with the state, as required by the settlement agreement, before bringing their motion.

After many months of negotiation, the parties drafted an exit plan that established criteria that if the state satisfied would result in a dismissal of this case. The court approved the exit plan on Jan. 29, 2015. A year later, on Jan. 12, 2016, the court found that the state had complied with the exit plan provisions and ordered the case dismissed with prejudice. The court also vacated previously granted injunctive relief, except as to class members residing at Greene Valley Developmental Center while they continue to reside there. The court continued to have jurisdiction over the matter only as to these residents. On Sept. 8, 2017, after the parties filed a joint motion to dismiss case as to the outstanding injunction, the court dismissed the case with prejudice, finding that the state was in full compliance with the exit plan as to Greene Valley Developmental Center.

Throughout the course of this litigation, the court awarded installments of attorneys' fees and reimbursements totaling $2,778,833.84 for the plaintiffs and $753,433.86 for the PGA.

Many of the documents from prior to 2006 are unavailable. The case is closed, though the court currently retains jurisdiction solely over matters related to attorneys' fees.

Angela Heverling - 04/01/2007
Virginia Weeks - 10/10/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Education
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Individualized planning
Neglect by staff
Recreation / Exercise
Restraints : physical
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Title XIX of the Social Security (Medicaid) Act, 42 U.S.C §1396
Defendant(s) Clover Bottom Developmental Center
Greene Valley Developmental Center
Winston Developmental Center
Plaintiff Description Residents of the Clover Bottom Developmental Center, Greene Valley Developmental Center, and Winston Developmental Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing ID-TN-0004 : U.S. v. Tennessee (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0001 : People First of Tenn. v. Arlington Developmental Center (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003 : U.S. v. Tennessee (W.D. Tenn.)
Docket(s)
96-1056 (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-9001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/06/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
95-1227 (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint Class Action
ID-TN-0002-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/01/1995
Settlement Agreement Between People First, the United States, and the State of Tennessee
ID-TN-0002-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/15/1996
Order to Amend Plaintiff's Complaint (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/27/1996
Order Approving Settlement Agreement (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/27/1996
Order Granting Class Certification (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/02/1996
Opinion (260 F.3d 587)
ID-TN-0002-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/01/2001
Source: Google Scholar
Agreed Order Granting Defendants' Motion For Partial Termination of the Settlement Agreement [ECF# 770] (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/16/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Defendants' Motion For Partial Termination of the Settlement Agreement As to Harold Jordan Center [ECF# 871] (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/30/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum [ECF# 1136] (2015 WL 404077) (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0009.pdf | WESTLAW | External Link | Detail
Date: 01/29/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Memorandum [ECF# 1136] (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/29/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreed Order [ECF# 1138-1 ] (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0008.pdf | External Link | Detail
Date: 01/29/2015
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Agreed Order [ECF# 1138] (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/29/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreed Order Vacating Injunctive Relief and Partially Dismissing Case With Prejudice [ECF# 1162] (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/15/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Agreed Order Granting Joint Motion to Vacate All Outstanding Injunctive Relief and Dismissing Case With Prejudice [ECF# 1213] (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0015.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/08/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Crenshaw, Waverly David Jr. (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0015 | ID-TN-0002-9000
Echols, Robert L. (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0002 | ID-TN-0002-0003 | ID-TN-0002-0004 | ID-TN-0002-0005 | ID-TN-0002-0006 | ID-TN-0002-0010 | ID-TN-0002-0011 | ID-TN-0002-9001
Feikens, John (E.D. Mich.)
ID-TN-0002-0007
Haynes, William Joseph Jr. (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0002
Holmes, Barbara D. Court not on record [Magistrate]
ID-TN-0002-9000
Sharp, Kevin Hunter (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002-0008 | ID-TN-0002-0009 | ID-TN-0002-0012 | ID-TN-0002-0013 | ID-TN-0002-0014
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bell, Aileen M. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9001
Bowman, Robert C. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-0003 | ID-TN-0002-9001
Connette, Edward G. III (North Carolina)
ID-TN-0002-0002 | ID-TN-0002-0010 | ID-TN-0002-9000
Derryberry, Jack W. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-0002 | ID-TN-0002-0003 | ID-TN-0002-0007 | ID-TN-0002-0008 | ID-TN-0002-0010 | ID-TN-0002-0011 | ID-TN-0002-9000
Donehey, Darcey Kathleen (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9000 | ID-TN-0002-9001
Donnelly, Matthew J. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Edwards, Lisa Wilson (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-0007
Frohboese, Robinsue (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-0003 | ID-TN-0002-9000 | ID-TN-0002-9001
Geissler, R. Jonas (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-0008 | ID-TN-0002-9000 | ID-TN-0002-9001
Goggin, Wendy Hildreth (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9001
Gran, Judith A. (Pennsylvania)
ID-TN-0002-0002 | ID-TN-0002-0007 | ID-TN-0002-0008 | ID-TN-0002-0010 | ID-TN-0002-0011 | ID-TN-0002-9000
Gross, Mark L. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-0007
Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-0008
Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-0008
Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-0008 | ID-TN-0002-9001
Jones, Michelle A. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9000 | ID-TN-0002-9001
Keyser, Linda L. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Lowenthal, Jessica R. (Pennsylvania)
ID-TN-0002-0002
Manus, Roger (North Carolina)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Murphy, Amie S. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-0003 | ID-TN-0002-9000 | ID-TN-0002-9001
Picciotti-Bayer, Andrea (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9001
Porter, Nicole (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9001
Rieger, Alexander Stuart (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Rivera, David (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-0008
Rocah, David R. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9001
Roden, Michael (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-0008 | ID-TN-0002-9000
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9000 | ID-TN-0002-9001
Russell, Kevin K. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-0007
Schneider, Todd J. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9000 | ID-TN-0002-9001
Schwarz, Earle J. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-0002 | ID-TN-0002-0008 | ID-TN-0002-0010 | ID-TN-0002-0011 | ID-TN-0002-9000
Scott, Janine (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9001
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-0008
Trepel, Samantha Kay (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9000 | ID-TN-0002-9001
Watson, Robert C. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-0003 | ID-TN-0002-9000 | ID-TN-0002-9001
Weinstein, Laurie J. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0002-9001
Woods, Allen (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Woods, Larry D. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Barrick, William M. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-0007
Campbell, Martha A. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-0008 | ID-TN-0002-9000
Dycus, Dianne Stanley (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-0003 | ID-TN-0002-0007 | ID-TN-0002-0010 | ID-TN-0002-0011 | ID-TN-0002-9000
Ferguson, Randall Chadwell (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Ferrara, Mary Byrd (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Floyd, John F. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Hollabaugh, Lewis Berkley (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Lakey, Jonathan P. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-0008 | ID-TN-0002-0010 | ID-TN-0002-0011 | ID-TN-0002-9000
Maloy, Kathleen A. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-0003
Slatery, Herbert III (Texas)
ID-TN-0002-0008
Other Lawyers Carlton, Jonathan Stephen (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Carson, Lisa M. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Hardin, Hal D. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Harrington, Nancy Penny (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Howser, Hugh C. Jr. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Hubbard, William B. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-0007 | ID-TN-0002-9000
Robinson, Charles M. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
Schaffner, Mary Martin (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000
West, Dudley Mack (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0002-9000

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