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Case Name DOJ CRIPA Investigation of Patton State Hospital MH-CA-0005
Docket / Court 2:06-cv-02667-GPS-E ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Mental Health (Facility)
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On May 2, 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division ("DOJ") sent its "findings letter" to California's governor, advising him of the results of the December 2005, DOJ investigation of conditions and practices at the Patton State Hospital ("PSH"), a facility housing mentally ill ... read more >
On May 2, 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division ("DOJ") sent its "findings letter" to California's governor, advising him of the results of the December 2005, DOJ investigation of conditions and practices at the Patton State Hospital ("PSH"), a facility housing mentally ill persons. The investigation occurred under the authority of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997. DOJ and expert consultants visited the facility, reviewed a wide array of documents there, and conducted interviews with personnel and residents. The letter commended PSH staff for providing a high level of cooperation during the investigation, as well as the dedication many showed for patient well-being. Nevertheless, the investigation found "significant and wide-ranging" deficiencies in patient care at PSH.

DOJ concluded that deficiencies in conditions of patient care and treatment at PSH existed as to eight topic areas, including (1) psychiatry; (2) pharmaceutical services; (3) psychology; (4) medical care, including general medical services, medical and dental record-keeping, physical, speech, and occupational therapy, and dietary care; (5) nursing services; (6) placement in the most integrated setting; (7) protection from harm; and (8) use of restraints, seclusion, and "as-needed" medications (i.e., pro re nata, or "PRN," psychiatric medications). The letter provided details of deficiencies for all eight of these categories. Moreover, the findings letter stated that these shortcomings were materially similar to those outlined in the findings letters to the state in 2003 and 2004 concerning a similar state mental health hospital.

Minimally-acceptable remedial measures for each of these categories were outlined in the letter, which referenced a more detailed "Enhancement Plan" which had been negotiated by the state and the DOJ. That plan existed as part of a May 2, 2006, consent judgment in a separate civil rights enforcement proceeding concerning, at first, two other California mental health facilities. Settlement in that matter formed the basis for a February 27, 2007, amended consent judgment which included PSH and a fourth California mental hospital. Summarized information about that proceeding exists in this database at case MH-CA-0004 (U.S. v. California). Related information about the fourth hospital (Atascadero State Hospital) exists in this database at case MH-CA-0002.

Mike Fagan - 05/22/2008
Andrew Junker - 11/12/2014

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
Aggressive behavior
Classification / placement
Restraints : physical
Sex w/ staff; sexual harassment by staff
Sexual abuse by residents/inmates
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Suicide prevention
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.
Defendant(s) Patton State Hospital
Plaintiff Description U.S. DOJ (Civil Rights Enforcement Division)
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
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
Order Duration 2006 - 2011
Filing Year 2006
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Case Listing MH-CA-0004 : U.S. v. California (C.D. Cal.)
MH-CA-0002 : DOJ CRIPA Investigation of Atascadero State Hospital, Atascadero, California (C.D. Cal.)
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 ]

No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Re: Patton State Hospital, Patton, California
MH-CA-0005-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/02/2006
(Amended) Consent Judgment [ECF# 9]
MH-CA-0005-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/27/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Schiavelli, George P. (C.D. Cal.)
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bohan, Mary (District of Columbia)
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
Cuncannan, Jacqueline (District of Columbia)
Daniels, Howard F. (California)
Donnelly, Matthew J. (District of Columbia)
Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)
MH-CA-0005-0001 | MH-CA-0005-0002
Maddox, William G. (District of Columbia)
Plessman, Gary L. (California)
Seltman, Lee (District of Columbia)
Tayloe, Benjamin O. (District of Columbia)
Weidman, Leon W. (California)
Yang, Deborah W. (California)
Defendant's Lawyers Furtek, Frank S. (California)
Rodriguez, Cynthia (California)

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