Jackson v. Fort Stanton Hospital and Training School

Class action on behalf of 1500 residents of New Mexico’s two institutions for persons with developmental disabilities. After a lengthy trial, the Court issued a 202 page decision in 1990 finding violations of constitutional and statutory rights, and ordered the parties to negotiate corrective action plans.  In 1997, the State elected to close both institutions when they failed to implement the remedial plans, and then agreed to sweeping consent decrees requiring expansion of all aspects of New Mexico’s service system.  Due to continued noncompliance with these decrees, the Court appointed a community monitor, and then a Rule 706 expert.

Following a week-long trial in June 2011, the Court issued a 206-page decision concluding that the State still was failing to provide adequate safety, health care and supported employment services to class members, and subsequently entered broad remedial relief.  The State then moved to terminate all court orders, and appealed the district court’s refusal to modify its orders and terminate the case.  The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the proper measure for assessing compliance was not the detailed new remedial order, but rather whether the original constitutional violations were corrected and whether the State was now in compliance with federal law. 

On remand, the parties agreed to a new implementation agreement designed to define the critical issues that must be addressed to sustain compliance and ensure a durable remedy was in place.  In 2021, the State moved for a finding in compliance with this new agreement.  After several hearings, the Court approved the motion and dismissed the case in 2022. 

The case was litigated by CPR, Disability Rights New Mexico, and co-counsel Phil Davis, Peter Cubra, and Ann Sims.