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Case Name U.S. v. Tennessee ID-TN-0003
Docket / Court 2:92-cv-02062-BBD ( W.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Intellectual Disability (Facility)
Case Summary
In December of 1990, the United States Department of Justice, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et al, investigated the Arlington Developmental Center (ADC) in Tennessee. The investigation revealed that conditions in the facility seriously ... read more >
In December of 1990, the United States Department of Justice, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et al, investigated the Arlington Developmental Center (ADC) in Tennessee. The investigation revealed that conditions in the facility seriously threatened the health and safety of its developmentally delayed residents. The Department of Justice found that residents were subject to abuse and neglect, inadequate medical care, an unsafe physical environment, and lack of educational services.

On January 21, 1992, the United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against the State of Tennessee pursuant to CRIPA in the United States District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, alleging that the state had failed to provide humane conditions and adequate treatment at Arlington Developmental Center. The case was styled United States v. Tennessee, Civ. No. 92-2062. (W.D.Tenn.1992)(''the United States case").

The case followed a similar action that was filed against the ADC by private plaintiffs, styled People First of Tennessee v. Arlington Developmental Ctr., No. 92-2213 (W.D.Tenn.1992)(''People First case'') (See ID-TN-1 of this collection).

On August 7, 1992, the District Court (Judge Jon Phipps McCalla) denied the state's motion for summary judgment in the United States case. U.S. v. Tennessee, 798 F.Supp.483 (W.D. Tenn. 1992).

A lengthy trial in the United States case began on August 30, 1993 and continued through October 1993. On November 22, 1993, the Court (Judge McCalla) made issued an oral ruling against the defendants, finding that the conditions at ADC violated the due process rights of the residents. Written findings of fact were issued by the Court on February 18, 1994. On September 2, 1994 entered a detailed remedial order to correct the violations the Court found. The order called for the appointment of a monitor. Linda R. O'Neall, Ph.D. was subsequently appointed to that position.

On June 30, 1995, Judge McCalla issued an emergency order after the monitor reported that a state of medical emergency existed at the facility. After the state failed to comply with the emergency order, the court entered a preliminary injunction on July 21, 1995 required the center to hire a Developmental Medicine Physician, additional physicians for overnight coverage, additional nurses, and a full-time psychiatrist. On August 9, 1995, Judge McCalla found the state in contempt for failure to comply. In a reported opinion dated November 6, 1995, the court described the state's history of noncompliance in this matter and approved appropriate sanctions. United States v. Tennessee, 925 F.Supp. 1292 (W.D. Tenn. 1995).

On September 27, 1995, the Plaintiffs and the Intervenor in the People First case (ID-TN-1) were named as Intervenors in the United States case.

Defendants remained in contempt and on June 26, 1996 the court entered a stipulation and order whereby, in lieu of sanctions for contempt, the defendants agreed to develop three comprehensive plans addressing compliance with previous orders, downsizing the facility, and community placement of residents.

The court approved the State's proposed community placement plan on August 21, 1997. On June 28, 1999, the court ordered the creation of workgroups to facilitate implementation of the plan but later suspended the workgroups. The parties appealed the order suspending the workgroups and submitted a mediation settlement agreement. The District Court (Judge Bernice Bouie Donald) denied a motion to approve the settlement agreement on February 24, 2003. U.S. v. Tennessee, 256 F.Supp. 2d 768 (W.D. Tenn. 2003). The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Judge Boyce F. Martin Jr.) vacated and remanded the decision of the district court on June 23, 2005. United States v. Tennessee, 143 Fed. Appx. 656 (6th Cir. 2005).

On May 16, 2006, the parties submitted a proposed settlement agreement to resolve various pending matters. The goal of the settlement, reached pursuant to the state's decision to close ADC, was to "ensure an orderly and careful closure of the ADC, the safe transition of Class Members presently living at ADC to community residences, and the accelerated development of a comprehensive network of services and supports for Class Members as they enter and live in the community." The court approved the settlement on Feb. 15, 2007. The settlement set out provisions relating to the transition of class members in light of ADC's closure, including the need for a specific closure plan and transition plan, support resources for families and class members, the development and improvement of community-based services and supports for class members, and improvement of individualized services provided to ADC residents. The settlement also provided for monitoring.

Over the next several years, litigation continued over the scope and enforcement of the settlement. On January 17, 2013, the court approved a joint exit plan. If the state completed the plan's requirements by the end of 2013, the court would dismiss the case with prejudice. The court dismissed the case and vacated all injunctive relief on December 3, 2013, finding that the state had complied with the exit plan.

Over the course of the litigation, People First were granted attorney's fees periodically. In total, the court awarded them over $4.4 million.

The case is now closed.

Angela Heverling - 04/08/2007
Virginia Weeks - 03/17/2018

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Least restrictive environment
Assault/abuse by staff
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Habilitation (training/treatment)
Neglect by staff
Restraints : physical
Special education
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Mental Disability
Developmental disability without intellectual disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action 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
Defendant(s) Arlington Developmental Center
State of Tennessee
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice
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 Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1994 - 2013
Filing Year 1992
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing ID-TN-0001 : People First of Tenn. v. Arlington Developmental Center (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0002 : People First of Tenn. v. Clover Bottom Devel. Center (M.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0004 : U.S. v. Tennessee (M.D. Tenn.)
Additional Resources
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  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Date: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

92-2062 (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/06/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum: Recommendation for Investigation of Arlington Developmental Center
ID-TN-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/18/1990
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Memorandum re: Arlington Developmental Center Proposed S.10 Investigation
ID-TN-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/18/1990
Notice Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Arlington Developmental Center, Arlington, Tennessee
ID-TN-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/11/1990
Findings Letter re: CRIPA Investigation of Arlington Developmental Center, Arlington, Tennessee
ID-TN-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/12/1991
ID-TN-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/21/1992
Order Denying Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative Summary Judgment (798 F.Supp. 483) (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0017.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/07/1992
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion of the Court (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/22/1993
Supplemental Findings of Fact (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/18/1994
Remedial Order (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/02/1994
Order on Contempt Petition (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/31/1995
Emergency Order (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/03/1995
Order (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/21/1995
Contempt Order (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/24/1995
Order on Defendants' Compliance with Emergency Provisions and on Defendants' Motions to Find Partial Compliance and Lift Sanctions (925 F.Supp. 1292) (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/06/1995
Source: Google Scholar
Stipulation and Order (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0013.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/26/1996
Opinion (260 F.3d 587)
ID-TN-0003-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/01/2001
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (2001 U.S.App.LEXIS 29309)
ID-TN-0003-0019.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Date: 10/01/2001
Source: LexisNexis
Order Denying the Approval of Mediation Settlement Agreement (256 F.Supp.2d 768) (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0015.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/21/2003
Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (143 Fed.Appx. 656)
ID-TN-0003-0018.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/23/2005
Source: Google Scholar
Joint Motion Combined with memorandum in Support to Set an Informal Status Conference to Plan for the Hearing; to Set an Evidentiary Hearing on This Motion; and to Approve Settlement Resolving Various Pending Matters [ECF# 2085]
ID-TN-0003-0026.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/16/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
All-Party Consent Order to Motion to Approve 2006 Settlement Agreement [ECF# 2174] (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0027.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/15/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Defendants' Amended Motion to Vacate and Dismiss [ECF# 2901] (986 F.Supp.2d 921) (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0020.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/04/2012
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Exit Plan [ECF# 2941]
ID-TN-0003-0021.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/17/2013
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Agreed Order [ECF# 2942] (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0023.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/17/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Joint Motion to Vacate All Outstanding Injunctive Relief and Dismissing the Case with Prejudice [ECF# 3019] (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0024.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/04/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supplemental Judgment and Vacatur of Outstanding Injunctive Relief [ECF# 3020] (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0025.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/04/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Batchelder, Alice Moore (N.D. Ohio, Sixth Circuit)
ID-TN-0003-0016 | ID-TN-0003-0019
Donald, Bernice Bouie (W.D. Tenn., Sixth Circuit)
ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-0027
Feikens, John (E.D. Mich.)
ID-TN-0003-0016 | ID-TN-0003-0019
Martin, Boyce Ficklen Jr. (Sixth Circuit)
McCalla, Jon Phipps (W.D. Tenn.)
ID-TN-0003-0007 | ID-TN-0003-0008 | ID-TN-0003-0009 | ID-TN-0003-0010 | ID-TN-0003-0011 | ID-TN-0003-0012 | ID-TN-0003-0013 | ID-TN-0003-0014 | ID-TN-0003-0017 | ID-TN-0003-0020 | ID-TN-0003-0023 | ID-TN-0003-0024 | ID-TN-0003-0025 | ID-TN-0003-9000
McKinley, Joseph H. Jr. (W.D. Ky.)
Nelson, David Aldrich (Sixth Circuit)
ID-TN-0003-0016 | ID-TN-0003-0019
Pham, Tu M. (W.D. Tenn.) [Magistrate]
Rogers, John M. (Sixth Circuit)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Aminfar, Amin (District of Columbia)
Barkoff, Alison (District of Columbia)
Barr, William P. (District of Columbia)
Barrick, William M. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0016 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Bell, Aileen M. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Bowers, Susan (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0005 | ID-TN-0003-0017 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Bowman, Robert C. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0014 | ID-TN-0003-0017 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
Bryant, Edward G. (Tennessee)
Deerinwater, Verlin Hughes (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0014 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Donehey, Darcey Kathleen (District of Columbia)
Donnelly, Matthew J. (District of Columbia)
Dunne, John R. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0001 | ID-TN-0003-0002 | ID-TN-0003-0003 | ID-TN-0003-0004 | ID-TN-0003-0005 | ID-TN-0003-0017
Dycus, Joe A. (Tennessee)
Frohboese, Robinsue (District of Columbia)
Geissler, R. Jonas (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0021 | ID-TN-0003-0026 | ID-TN-0003-0027 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Halmon, Harriett M. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0021 | ID-TN-0003-0027
Harris, Terrell L. (Tennessee)
Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia)
Hubbard, William B. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0016 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)
Jones, Michelle A. (District of Columbia)
Keyser, Linda L. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0026 | ID-TN-0003-0027 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)
Koch, Robert A. (District of Columbia)
Kustoff, David F. (Tennessee)
Maddox, William G. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0005 | ID-TN-0003-0014 | ID-TN-0003-0017 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Murphy, Amie S. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0026 | ID-TN-0003-0027 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0001 | ID-TN-0003-0002 | ID-TN-0003-0005 | ID-TN-0003-0008 | ID-TN-0003-0017
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
Picciotti-Bayer, Andrea (District of Columbia)
Porter, Nicole (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Preston, Judy C. (District of Columbia)
Rocah, David R. (District of Columbia)
Sanders, Corey M. (District of Columbia)
Schneider, Todd J. (District of Columbia)
Schoen, Benjamin P. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0005 | ID-TN-0003-0017
Scott, Janine (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)
Stanton, Edward L. III (Tennessee)
Stevens, Karen L. (District of Columbia)
Todd, Gordon Dwyer (District of Columbia)
Urban, Thomas F. II (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Weinstein, Laurie J. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0008 | ID-TN-0003-0013 | ID-TN-0003-0014 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bearman, Leo Maurice Jr. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-0026 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Burson, Charles W. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0008 | ID-TN-0003-0017
Campbell, Martha A. (Tennessee)
Cooper, Robert E. Jr. (Tennessee)
Cooper, Charles Justin (District of Columbia)
Dean, Kimberly Jennings (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0013 | ID-TN-0003-0014
Dimond, Douglas Earl (Tennessee)
Dycus, Dianne Stanley (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-0016 | ID-TN-0003-0018 | ID-TN-0003-0021 | ID-TN-0003-0026 | ID-TN-0003-0027 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Edwards, Lisa Wilson (District of Columbia)
Franklin, Mary Beth (Tennessee)
Gross, Mark L. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0016 | ID-TN-0003-0018
Hayden-Wood, Pamela A. (Tennessee)
Kirk, Michael W. (District of Columbia)
ID-TN-0003-0021 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Lakey, Jonathan P. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-0021 | ID-TN-0003-0026 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Lehn, David (District of Columbia)
Maloy, Kathleen A. (Tennessee)
Moss, Nicole J. (District of Columbia)
Oxford, Judy A. (Tennessee)
Panuccio, Jesse Michael (District of Columbia)
Ransom, Barbara E. (Pennsylvania)
Ross, Linda A. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0008 | ID-TN-0003-0017 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Russell, Kevin K. (District of Columbia)
Selby, Sharon S. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0017 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Shaffer, Derek L. (District of Columbia)
Other Lawyers Connette, Edward G. III (North Carolina)
ID-TN-0003-0014 | ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-0026 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Derryberry, Jack W. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0014 | ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-0016 | ID-TN-0003-0018 | ID-TN-0003-0021 | ID-TN-0003-0026 | ID-TN-0003-0027 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Derryberry, Marcella G. (Tennessee)
Gran, Judith A. (Pennsylvania)
ID-TN-0003-0014 | ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-0016 | ID-TN-0003-0018 | ID-TN-0003-0021 | ID-TN-0003-0026 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Headrick, S. Russell (Tennessee)
Houseal, John I. Jr. (Tennessee)
Klein, Buffey (Tennessee)
Laski, Frank J. (Pennsylvania)
ID-TN-0003-0014 | ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Likens, Steven W. (Tennessee)
Manus, Roger (North Carolina)
Mullins, Kimbrough Brown (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0018 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Prewitt, Thomas R. Jr. (Tennessee)
Ray, Nancy K. (New York)
Schwarz, Earle J. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0014 | ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-0018 | ID-TN-0003-0021 | ID-TN-0003-0026 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Sherman, William F. (Arkansas)
ID-TN-0003-0014 | ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-0018 | ID-TN-0003-0027 | ID-TN-0003-9000
Spears, Diane C. (Tennessee)
ID-TN-0003-0015 | ID-TN-0003-9000

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