Case: Disability Rights New Jersey v. Velez

3:05-cv-01784 | U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

Filed Date: April 5, 2005

Closed Date: Oct. 3, 2017

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

NOTE: This is one of three identically named cases in the Clearinghouse. For the 2005 case generally challenging the unnecessary institutionalization of individuals with disabilities in New Jersey, see PB-NJ-0007. For the case challenging the long waitlists for community-based services, see PB-NJ-0004.On April 5, 2005, a non-profit organization representing approximately one thousand individuals confined in psychiatric hospitals in New Jersey filed a lawsuit against Commissioner of the New Je…

NOTE: This is one of three identically named cases in the Clearinghouse. For the 2005 case generally challenging the unnecessary institutionalization of individuals with disabilities in New Jersey, see PB-NJ-0007. For the case challenging the long waitlists for community-based services, see PB-NJ-0004.

On April 5, 2005, a non-profit organization representing approximately one thousand individuals confined in psychiatric hospitals in New Jersey filed a lawsuit against Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services under Due Process Clause, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. The plaintiff, represented by public services counsel, asked the Court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the defendant failed to provide community placements for individuals currently residing in state psychiatric hospitals that had been adjudicated as no longer meeting the standards for civil commitment. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant had used the Conditional Extension Pending Placement ("CEPP") to confine individuals for excessive periods of time and has failed to implement an effective plan for discharging these individuals into the community, even though under New Jersey law, the state might use CEPP to continue confinement while the state was still developing an appropriate community placement.

On September 30, 2005, the Court (Judge Stanley R. Chesler) denied the defendant's motion to dismiss.

On July 29, 2009, after extended negotiations, the parties reached a settlement whereby the state agreed to place 1065 individuals in the community through FY 2014.

The agreement was initially set to last until 2014. But, by November 2014, the defendant was not set to meet the requirements of the consent decree. Judge Wolfson therefor extended the agreement until 2016. On March 2, 2017, the parties submitted a letter to the court notifying it of substantial compliancy by the defendants. The consent decree terminated and the case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Kunyi Zhang (3/1/2011)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5706352/parties/disability-rights-new-jersey-inc-v-velez/


Judge(s)

Bongiovanni, Tonianne J. (New Jersey)

Chesler, Stanley R. (New Jersey)

Wolfson, Freda L. (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Carr, Jeffrey A. (New Jersey)

Dodick, Helen C. (New Jersey)

Dwyer, William Emmett (New Jersey)

Kouletsis, Nicholas M. (New Jersey)

Lauch, Patricia Ann (New Jersey)

Stern, Jordan Adam (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Dacosta, David L (New Jersey)

Judge(s)

Bongiovanni, Tonianne J. (New Jersey)

Chesler, Stanley R. (New Jersey)

Wolfson, Freda L. (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Carr, Jeffrey A. (New Jersey)

Dodick, Helen C. (New Jersey)

Dwyer, William Emmett (New Jersey)

Kouletsis, Nicholas M. (New Jersey)

Lauch, Patricia Ann (New Jersey)

Stern, Jordan Adam (New Jersey)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Dacosta, David L (New Jersey)

Hughes, Gerard Andrew (New Jersey)

Mitchell, Beth Leigh (New Jersey)

Polanco, Katiusca (New Jersey)

Tompkins, Laurie Manus (New Jersey)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Disability Rights New Jersey, Inc. v. Velez

Oct. 3, 2017 Docket
2

Complaint

Disability Rights New Jersey, Inc. v. Velez

May 19, 2005 Complaint
17

Opinion (Motion to Dismiss Denied)

Disability Rights New Jersey, Inc. v. Velez

2005 WL 2416962

Sept. 30, 2005 Order/Opinion
69-2

Settlement Agreement

Disability Rights New Jersey, Inc. v. Velez

July 29, 2009 Settlement Agreement

Resources

Title Description External URL

Keeping the Mentally Ill out of Jail: Sheriffs as Litigants

Mary Zdanowicz

In March 2014, Congress convened a hearing titled “Where Have All the Patients Gone? Examining the Psychiatric Bed Shortage.” Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart testified “[s]ince becoming Sheriff in 2006,… May 1, 2015 http://www.albanygovernmentlawreview.org/Articles/Vol08_2/8.2.536-Zdanowicz%20Formatted.pdf

Disability Rights New Jersey v. Velez

The Bazelon Center

The settlement brought about a significant transformation of New Jersey’s mental health service system. The state greatly expanded supported housing and other community services for people with ser… Jan. 1, 2017 http://www.bazelon.org/drnj-v-velez/

Disability Rights New Jersey v. Velez

Judge David L Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law

The settlement brought about a significant transformation of New Jersey’s mental health service system. The state greatly expanded supported housing and other community services for people with ser… http://www.bazelon.org/drnj-v-velez/#:~:text=NEW%20JERSEY%20v.-,VELEZ,of%20people%20avoid%20needless%20hospitalization.

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5706352/disability-rights-new-jersey-inc-v-velez/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
17

OPINION re 6 Amended MOTION to Dismiss (per 7/7/05 electronic notice from court) filed by JAMES DAVY, . Signed by Judge Stanley R. Chesler on 9/30/05. (ck)

Sept. 30, 2005 RECAP

State / Territory: New Jersey

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

Olmstead Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 5, 2005

Closing Date: Oct. 3, 2017

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

A non-profit corporation that serves as New Jersey’s protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities.

Plaintiff Type(s):

State Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations

Bazelon Center

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

New Jersey Department of Human Services, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.

Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

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: 2009 - 2016