Case: Mattie T. v. Johnston

2:75-cv-00031 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi

Filed Date: April 25, 1975

Closed Date: July 3, 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On April 25, 1975, the Children's Defense Fund filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi on behalf of "all school age children in the state of Mississippi who are disabled or regarded by their Local Education Agency as disabled" against the Mississippi Department of Education. The Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and counsel from the Children's Defense Fund and the ACLU, sought declaratory and injuncti…

On April 25, 1975, the Children's Defense Fund filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi on behalf of "all school age children in the state of Mississippi who are disabled or regarded by their Local Education Agency as disabled" against the Mississippi Department of Education. The Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and counsel from the Children's Defense Fund and the ACLU, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, claiming that the Defendants failed to provide appropriate educational opportunities to handicapped children in Mississippi.

On July 28, 1977, the Court (Judge Orma Rinehart Smith) granted summary judgment for the Plaintiffs, holding that the state had violated the Education of the Handicapped Act (20 U.S.C. §§ 1401, et seq.). This holding led to a consent decree between the parties, which was signed on January 26, 1979, and was aimed at correcting the Defendants' noncompliance with federal and state law regarding the education of handicapped children. This consent decree remained in place for over twenty years, however, due to the Defendants' noncompliance, the litigation was reopened in 2001.

This led to an amended consent decree signed by the parties on December 23, 2003. This agreement, set to expire in 2011, was updated to foster compliance with the newly passed Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1997. The agreement required the Defendants to hire consultants, to create a system for identifying handicapped children and creating Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) in order to create the Least Restrictive Environment for the education of handicapped children. It also required extensive monitoring and reporting, as well as the implementation of non-discriminatory assessment/evaluation procedures.

On July 3, 2012, the Parties, being satisfied with the steps taken by the Defendants, moved for dismissal with prejudice of the 2003 Amended Consent Decree. On December 10, 2012, the court granted the motion to dismiss, ordering the case dismissed with prejudice. The court praised the defendant's efforts, saying they had increased educational outcomes for all students in MS. Because of the positive changes, the court granted the motion to dismiss.

Summary Authors

Joshua Arocho (7/24/2012)

Erin Chapman (2/5/2015)

People


Judge(s)

Mills, Michael P. (Mississippi)

Smith, Orma Rinehart (Mississippi)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bowie, Courtney (New York)

Bridges, Billy G. (Mississippi)

Carlson, George C. Jr. (Mississippi)

Comstock-Galagan, Jim (Mississippi)

Ebb, Nancy (District of Columbia)

Edelman, Marion Wright (Massachusetts)

Freeland, Thomas H. III (Mississippi)

Johnson, Roy E. (Mississippi)

Judge(s)

Mills, Michael P. (Mississippi)

Smith, Orma Rinehart (Mississippi)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bowie, Courtney (New York)

Bridges, Billy G. (Mississippi)

Carlson, George C. Jr. (Mississippi)

Comstock-Galagan, Jim (Mississippi)

Ebb, Nancy (District of Columbia)

Edelman, Marion Wright (Massachusetts)

Freeland, Thomas H. III (Mississippi)

Johnson, Roy E. (Mississippi)

Lipton, Linda (District of Columbia)

Luckett, Semmes (Mississippi)

May, A. Cinclair (Mississippi)

McDade, Helen J. (Mississippi)

McKenzie, William H. III (Mississippi)

Parvin, Gary R. (Mississippi)

Ramberg, Charles H. (Mississippi)

Sims, Shields (Mississippi)

Taylor, Stanley (Mississippi)

Yohalem, Daniel (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Jernigan, Arthur F. (Mississippi)

Mason, Thomas (Mississippi)

Patterson, Leigh Ann Howerton (Mississippi)

Pizzetta, Harold Edward III (Mississippi)

Other Attorney(s)

Lewis, Michael T. (Mississippi)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:75-cv-00031

Docket

Mattie T. v. Holladay

July 31, 2009

July 31, 2009

Docket

2:75-cv-00031

Docket, (2010-2012)

Mattie T. v. Holladay

Dec. 10, 2012

Dec. 10, 2012

Docket

2:75-cv-00031

Order

74 F.R.D. 498

Oct. 4, 1976

Oct. 4, 1976

Order/Opinion

2:75-cv-00031

Memorandum of Decision

Mattie T. v. Holladay

522 F.Supp. 72

May 18, 1981

May 18, 1981

Order/Opinion

2:75-cv-00031

2003 Modified Consent Decree

Mattie T. v. Johnson

Dec. 23, 2003

Dec. 23, 2003

Settlement Agreement
6

2:75-cv-00031

Joint Motion to Dismiss with Prejudice the 2003 Modified Consent Decree

Mattie T. v. Johnson

July 3, 2012

July 3, 2012

Pleading / Motion / Brief
7

2:75-cv-00031

Order Dismissing Case with Prejudice

Dec. 10, 2012

Dec. 10, 2012

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated July 18, 2022, 3:13 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Mississippi

Case Type(s):

Education

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 25, 1975

Closing Date: July 3, 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All school age children in the state of Mississippi who are disabled or regarded by their Local Education Agency as disabled

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU Affiliates (any)

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Mississippi Department of Education, State

Defendant Type(s):

Elementary/Secondary School

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1979 - 2012

Content of Injunction:

Goals (e.g., for hiring, admissions)

Hire

Monitoring

Recordkeeping

Reporting

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Education

Failure to train

Funding

Individualized planning

Record-keeping

School/University policies

Special education

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

disability, unspecified

Least restrictive environment

Type of Facility:

Government-run