The Center has provided individual and systemic representation to institutionalized persons with intellectual disabilities for over forty years. It has established advocacy offices at public institutions, like large, state-operated ICF/MRs, and offered assistance to persons confined in private facilities like nursing facilities and other residential settings. It has represented thousands of institutionalized persons with intellectual disabilities in class actions to end their segregation and promote their integration in the community. Read here for information on the Center's litigation activities on behalf of persons with intellectual disabilities in nursing facilities.
Documents and pleadings which may be helpful to attorneys litigating or considering the litigation of disability law related cases are available by following the links below.
United States v. Virginia
August 2012 - The US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has approved a settlement agreement in an ADA Olmstead case that will significantly increase and improve community services for individuals with intellectual disabilities and will decrease the state's reliance on large institutions. Local stakeholders have applauded the approval.
The Court approved the settlement despite opposition from some parents of institution residents. The Center represented the Arc of Virginia and other local and national family, professional and advocacy groups in support of the settlement. The filed an amici brief in support of the settlement and an amici brief in opposition to intervention by the institutional parents.
Ricci v. Okin - CPR represents the Arc/Massachusetts, a plaintiff, in this long standing case (filed in 1972) challenging conditions at several of Massachusetts's institutions for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In 1993, the U.S. District Court disengaged from its active oversight of the case and left the parties to implement a consent decree. For 11 years there was no court activity. However, when the state announced plans to close the Fernald Developmental Center, some of the plaintiffs (but not Arc/Massachusetts) asked the court to reopen the case and prevent the closing. In 2007, after a report by a court appointed monitor, the judge entered an injunction which, in effect, prevented the planned closure. The Arc/Massachusetts joined the state and an intervenor (the Disability Law Center) in an appeal to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The First Circuit reversed the trial court judge's order. The First Circuit's opinion is here. A petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court followed. The Arc and the intervenor opposed the petition. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case and the state has moved forward with plans to close Fernald. A copy of CPR's Supreme Court brief in opposition to certiorari appears here. The brief includes copies of earlier documents in the case, including the monitor's report and the court's order.
Evans v. Gray, formerly known as Evans v. Fenty
Driven by harmful conditions and substandard care, residents of the Forest Haven institution and their families brought this lawsuit in 1976 to ensure that Evans class members receive adequate care and support from the District of Columbia. In 1978 the Court found the District violated class members’ constitutional rights to be free from harm and provided adequate supports. In the ensuing decades, the Court made additional findings of noncompliance, leading to more remedial orders and consent judgments. But over the course of 30 years, the District failed to meet its court-ordered obligations to this vulnerable class. In 2006, the Center and its co-counsel, University Legal Services (the P&A for the District of Columbia) and Holland & Knight, LLP, filed motions for noncompliance and for the appointment of a receiver. In 2007, the Court found the District in systemic, continuous and serious noncompliance with its orders, and ordered the two Special Masters (one was appointed in 1995, the other in 2001) to preside over the remedial phase of the case. After a three-day trial in 2008, the Special Masters found the District was still in noncompliance and recommended the appointment of an Independent Compliance Officer. The District rejected the Special Masters’ findings and recommendation, and spurred by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2009 holding in Flores v. Horne, moved to dismiss the entire case. The Court held a two-day hearing, and in 2010 issued separate rulings rejecting the District’s Horne motion and backing the Special Masters’ report and recommendation. The parties ultimately negotiated a Settlement Agreement that includes the two-year appointment of an Independent Compliance Administrator to guide the defendants’ actions toward compliance with court orders.
Court's decision on liability [Note: this decision was reported: Evans v. Fenty, 480 F. Supp. 2d. 280 (D.D.C. 2007)].
Plaintiffs' response to defendants' motion to dismiss (Horne) 11/6/09
Court's memorandum opinion rejecting motion to dismiss [Note: this decision was reported as Evans v. Fenty, Civil Action No. 76-0293, 2010 WL 1337641 (D.D.C. Apr. 7. 2010)]
Documents regarding guardianship:
Guardian's authority to choose ward's friends 4/1/2001: Considers the extent of a guardian's legal authority to control with whom an adult ward can spend time and associate.
Interstate guardianships 6/1/1999: Addresses questions about the validity of a guardianship order from another jurisdiction. It is not unusual for people with disabilities who have guardians to be sent to another state to obtain specialized services.
The documents contained on this page and within this web site do not constitute legal advice. Anyone engaged in legal action should consult with an attorney. Attorneys should make their own independent judgments. Local laws vary and the law may have changed since these documents were written. Litigants should fully research any claims or defenses before making them.