Case: United States v. North Carolina

5:12-cv-00557 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina

Filed Date: Aug. 23, 2012

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

In 2010, the United States Department of Justice (Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section) began an investigation into the provision of services to individuals with mental illness in North Carolina. On July 28, 2011, the DOJ issued a letter of findings to the State Attorney General detailing violations of the ADA, Section 504, and the Olmstead v. L.C. integration mandate. The DOJ found that North Carolina unnecessarily placed individuals with mental illness in "adult care homes" rath…

In 2010, the United States Department of Justice (Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section) began an investigation into the provision of services to individuals with mental illness in North Carolina. On July 28, 2011, the DOJ issued a letter of findings to the State Attorney General detailing violations of the ADA, Section 504, and the Olmstead v. L.C. integration mandate. The DOJ found that North Carolina unnecessarily placed individuals with mental illness in "adult care homes" rather than in community-based settings, and that the state's policies cause individuals with mental illness who receive some services outside of institutions to face a risk of unnecessary institutionalization.

After a year of negotiations, the DOJ concurrently filed a complaint and settlement agreement on August 23, 2012. Through this court-enforceable settlement agreement, North Carolina promised to increase its community-based services available to individuals with mental illness and to offer additional supports so that these individuals can stay out of institutions. Specifically, North Carolina was required to put transition programs in place to move individuals out of adult care homes and divert individuals from those placements where possible. The State also agreed to create additional opportunities for individuals with mental illness to live in supported housing, and to put programs in place to expand employment opportunities. The settlement also mandated that the State improve its community-based mental health services, with an emphasis on "Assertive Community Treatment" teams and crisis services. The parties selected an independent reviewer to monitor the State's progress in complying with the agreement. The Court retained jurisdiction for purposes of enforcing the settlement.

For the next five years, the parties monitored North Carolina's progress toward the terms of the settlement agreement. On January 9, 2017, the United States submitted a motion for the court to enforce the settlement agreement. The DOJ alleged that the State had repeatedly failed to comply with the agreement's housing and employment provisions, and had redefined ways to measure its own compliance with those provisions without the agreement of the DOJ. Specifically, the DOJ found that the State was far below the housing and employment services benchmarks that had been set for the year 2016, and that, because of its shortcomings, had decided to reevaluate the way it measured its progress toward those benchmarks to artificially boost the number of individuals who had received services. The DOJ stated that because of these failures, hundreds of mentally ill North Carolinians remained needlessly segregated in adult care homes.

The State opposed the motion, arguing that the DOJ's motion for court enforcement violated terms of the settlement agreement that called for collaborative dispute resolution. It also argued that its means of evaluating progress were consistent with the terms of the agreement.

On June 22, 2017, the case was reassigned to Chief Judge James C. Dever. On September 21, 2017, Judge Dever granted the DOJ's motion in part. Finding that the United States had satisfied its dispute resolution obligations under the settlement agreement and that its interpretation of the State's obligations was correct, he ordered the parties to meet and negotiate a modified timeline for the State's compliance obligations. 2017 WL 4238866. The parties met and agreed to extend the term of the agreement from July 2020 to July 2021, finding the State needed additional time to meet its obligations. The court granted an order approving of this modification on November 1, 2017.

The parties entered into a consent protective order on June 6, 2018. The order governs the confidential information exchanged during the course of compliance with the settlement. As of April 18, 2020, the only other entry in the docket since then has been a substitution of counsel on January 17, 2020. This case is ongoing for enforcement purposes.

Summary Authors

Beth Kurtz (11/9/2012)

Lauren Latterell Powell (11/1/2017)

Alex Moody (4/18/2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4303514/parties/united-states-v-state-of-north-carolina/


Judge(s)

Dever, James C. III (North Carolina)

Fox, James Carroll (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Acker, G Norman III (North Carolina)

Barkoff, Alison (District of Columbia)

Burnim, Ira Abraham (District of Columbia)

England, Travis W (District of Columbia)

Foran, Sheila (District of Columbia)

Friel, Gregory (District of Columbia)

Graff, Julia (District of Columbia)

Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Dever, James C. III (North Carolina)

Fox, James Carroll (North Carolina)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Acker, G Norman III (North Carolina)

Barkoff, Alison (District of Columbia)

Burnim, Ira Abraham (District of Columbia)

England, Travis W (District of Columbia)

Foran, Sheila (District of Columbia)

Friel, Gregory (District of Columbia)

Graff, Julia (District of Columbia)

Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia)

Kline, Regina (District of Columbia)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Raish, Anne (District of Columbia)

Rush, Regan (District of Columbia)

Walker, Thomas G. (North Carolina)

Welan, Joy Levin (District of Columbia)

Yeh, Teresa (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Corbett, Lisa G. (North Carolina)

Rabinovitz, Brian D. (North Carolina)

Tetteh, Josephine N. (North Carolina)

Wood, Michael T. (North Carolina)

Other Attorney(s)

Mathis, Jennifer (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Nov. 1, 2017 Docket

DOJ Letter of Findings

No Court

July 28, 2011 Findings Letter/Report

Letter sent to N.C. Governor, N.C. Division of Health and Human Services, and N.C. Attorney General by Bazelon Center on behalf of stakeholder group

United States of America v. North Carolina

Oct. 11, 2011 Correspondence

Letter sent to N.C. Governor and N.C. Attorney General by Bazelon Center attorneys on behalf of stakeholder group

United States of America v. North Carolina

Nov. 30, 2011 Correspondence

Letter sent to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) by Bazelon Center attorneys on behalf of stakeholder group, regarding proposed 1915(i) option in North Carolina

United States of America v. North Carolina

April 27, 2012 Correspondence
1

Complaint

Aug. 23, 2012 Complaint

DOJ Press Release

No Court

Aug. 23, 2012 Press Release
2-2

Settlement Agreement

Aug. 23, 2012 Settlement Agreement
21

Notice of Withdrawl

Jan. 13, 2017 Notice Letter
29

Order

United States of America v. State of North Carolina

2017 WL 4238866

Sept. 21, 2017 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

United States of America v. North Carolina

The Bazelon Center

Local advocates began calling attention to the declining state of North Carolina’s public mental health system in the early-to-mid-2000s, when the state began downsizing and privatizing psychiatric h… Jan. 1, 2017 http://www.bazelon.org/u-s-v-north-carolina/

Federal Policies and Programs to Expand Employment Services Among Individuals with Serious Mental Illnesses

Mustafa Karakus, Jarnee Riley & Howard Goldman

Previous studies suggest that providing employment services to individuals with serious mental illnesses can help them obtain competitive, real-world employment. However, these services are still not… Feb. 17, 2017 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10488-017-0794-1

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4303514/united-states-v-state-of-north-carolina/

Last updated May 20, 2022, 3 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief against State of North Carolina, filed by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Proposed Summons for State of North Carolina) (Welan, Joy) (Entered: 08/23/2012)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

2 Proposed Summons for State of North Carolina

View on PACER

Aug. 23, 2012 RECAP
2

Joint MOTION to Dismiss Without Prejudice and Retain Jurisdiction by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order, # 2 Exhibit Settlement Agreement) (Welan, Joy) (Entered: 08/23/2012)

1 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

2 Exhibit Settlement Agreement

View on RECAP

Aug. 23, 2012 RECAP
3

Memorandum in Support regarding 2 Joint MOTION to Dismiss Without Prejudice and Retain Jurisdiction filed by United States of America. (Welan, Joy) (Entered: 08/23/2012)

Aug. 23, 2012 PACER
4

NOTICE of Appearance by Joy L. Welan on behalf of United States of America (Welan, Joy) (Entered: 08/23/2012)

Aug. 23, 2012 PACER
5

Summons Issued as to State of North Carolina. (Grady, B.) (Entered: 08/23/2012)

Aug. 23, 2012 PACER
6

NOTICE of Appearance by Travis W. England on behalf of United States of America (England, Travis) (Entered: 08/24/2012)

Aug. 24, 2012 PACER
7

NOTICE of Appearance by Anne S. Raish on behalf of United States of America (Raish, Anne) (Entered: 08/24/2012)

Aug. 24, 2012 PACER
8

NOTICE of Appearance by Lisa G. Corbett on behalf of State of North Carolina (Corbett, Lisa) (Entered: 08/29/2012)

Aug. 29, 2012 PACER
9

NOTICE by United States of America of Service (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A) (Welan, Joy) (Entered: 09/07/2012)

Sept. 7, 2012 PACER
10

NOTICE by United States of America of Service (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A -- Postal Service Form 3811: Return Receipt Proof of Service) (England, Travis) (Entered: 09/11/2012)

Sept. 11, 2012 PACER
11

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Answer regarding 1 Complaint by State of North Carolina. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order) (Corbett, Lisa) (Entered: 09/14/2012)

Sept. 14, 2012 PACER
12

ORDER granting 11 Motion for Extension of Time to Answer. Signed by Julie A. Richards, Clerk of Court on 9/17/2012. (Marsh, K) (Entered: 09/17/2012)

Sept. 17, 2012 PACER
13

ORDER granting 2 Motion to Dismiss. Counsel is reminded to read the order in its entirety for further information. Signed by Senior Judge James C. Fox on 10/5/2012. (Edwards, S.) (Entered: 10/05/2012)

Oct. 5, 2012 RECAP
29

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 15 Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement (D.E. 2-2). The parties shall negotiate in good faith and file any agreed-to modifications by October 27,2017. Signed by Chief Judge James C. Dever III on 9/21/2017. (Briggeman, N.)

Sept. 21, 2017 RECAP
32

ORDER granting 30 Motion to Enter Modification of Settlement Agreement and Extend Jurisdiction regarding 29 Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief. Signed by Chief Judge James C. Dever III on 11/1/2017. (Briggeman, N.)

Nov. 1, 2017 RECAP
33

Protective Order

June 6, 2018 PACER
34

CONSENT PROTECTIVE ORDER - Signed by Chief Judge James C. Dever III on 6/6/2018. (Briggeman, N.)

June 6, 2018 RECAP
14

Notice of Appearance filed by Julia M. Graff on behalf of United States of America. (Graff, Julia) (Entered: 01/09/2017)

Jan. 9, 2017
35

Notice of Substitution of Counsel

Jan. 17, 2020 PACER
15

MOTION to Enforce Settlement Agreement (D.E. 2−2) filed by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support of Motion to Enforce Settlement Agreement, with Proposed Order, # 2 Exhibit List, # 3 Exhibit A − Letter of Findings (July 28, 2011), # 4 Exhibit B − July 2014 Monthly Report (Aug. 25, 2014), # 5 Exhibit C − June 2014 Monthly Report (undated), # 6 Exhibit D − May 2014 Monthly Report (undated), # 7 Exhibit E, − April 2014 Monthly Report (undated) # 8 Exhibit F − August 2014 Monthly Report (Sept. 25, 2014), # 9 Exhibit G − January 2015 Monthly Report (Feb. 25, 2015), # 10 Exhibit H − Letter from Nicholas Lee to Lisa Corbett (Mar. 17, 2015), # 11 Exhibit I − Letter from Lisa Corbett to Nicholas Lee (June 29, 2015), # 12 Exhibit J − May 2016 Letter from North Carolina (May 27, 2016), # 13 Exhibit K − June 2015 Monthly Report (July 27, 2015), # 14 Exhibit L − August 2015 Monthly Report (Sept. 30, 2015), # 15 Exhibit M − Letter from Nicholas Lee to Roy Cooper and Richard Brajer (11/6/15), # 16 Exhibit N − Letter from Richard Brajer to Nicholas Lee (Dec. 22, 2015), # 17 Exhibit O − Letter from Nicholas Lee to Roy Cooper and Richard Brajer (3/24/16), # 18 Exhibit P − Letter from Teresa Yeh to Roy Cooper and Richard Brajer (10/21/16), # 19 Exhibit Q, − June 2016 Monthly Report (July 28, 2016) # 20 Exhibit R − N.C. Supportive Housing Corrective Action Plan (June 3, 2016), # 21 Exhibit S − November 2016 Monthly Report (Dec. 29, 2016), # 22 Exhibit T − Year One Summary (Aug. 7, 2013), # 23 Exhibit U − Transitions to Community Living Update as of January 6, 2014, # 24 Exhibit V − Supported Employment Strategic Plan (Sept. 2014), # 25 Exhibit W, − December 2014 Monthly Report (Jan. 27, 2015) # 26 Exhibit X − 2014 Annual Report (May 15, 2015), # 27 Exhibit Y − July 2015 Monthly Report (Aug. 25, 2015), # 28 Exhibit Z) (Graff, Julia) Modified on 3/22/2017 to identify exhibits. (Grady, B.) (Entered: 01/09/2017)

Jan. 9, 2017

NOTICE OF DEFICIENCY regarding 14 Notice of Appearance. Counsel is directed to flatten the notice of appearance and refile in accordance with Section B(3) of the CM/ECF Policies and Procedures Manual. Additionally, counsel should include a certificate of service. (Grady, B.) (Entered: 01/09/2017)

Jan. 9, 2017
36

Miscellaneous Relief

Oct. 21, 2020 PACER

REMINDER TO COUNSEL. Pursuant to Judge Fox's Practice Preferences located on the court's website, counsel shall provide a courtesy copy of lengthy briefs, by mailing or delivering to the clerk's office in Wilmington. Also, in the future, counsel should properly identify exhibits in the docket text pursuant to Section L of the CM/ECF Policies and Procedures Manual. (Grady, B.) (Entered: 01/09/2017)

Jan. 9, 2017
37

Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief

Oct. 21, 2020 PACER
38

Notice of Substitution of Counsel

Dec. 17, 2020 PACER
16

Notice of Appearance filed by Julia M. Graff on behalf of United States of America. (Graff, Julia) (Entered: 01/09/2017)

Jan. 9, 2017
39

Miscellaneous Relief

March 1, 2021 PACER
17

Notice of Appearance filed by Teresa Yeh on behalf of United States of America. (Yeh, Teresa) (Entered: 01/09/2017)

Jan. 9, 2017

Motion Submitted

March 1, 2021 PACER
18

Notice of Appearance filed by Michael T. Wood on behalf of State of North Carolina. (Wood, Michael) (Entered: 01/11/2017)

Jan. 11, 2017
19

Notice of Appearance filed by Brian D. Rabinovitz on behalf of State of North Carolina. (Rabinovitz, Brian) (Entered: 01/11/2017)

Jan. 11, 2017
40

ORDER granting 39 Motion to Enter Third Modification of Settlement Agreement. Signed by District Judge James C. Dever III on 3/1/2021. (Sellers, N.)

March 1, 2021 RECAP
20

Notice of Appearance filed by Josephine N. Tetteh on behalf of State of North Carolina. (Tetteh, Josephine) (Entered: 01/13/2017)

Jan. 13, 2017
41

Miscellaneous Relief

March 26, 2021 PACER

Motion Submitted

March 26, 2021 PACER
21

Notice filed by State of North Carolina Withdrawal . (Tetteh, Josephine) (Entered: 01/13/2017)

Jan. 13, 2017
42

ORDER granting 41 Motion to Enter Fourth Modification of Settlement Agreement. Signed by District Judge James C. Dever III on 3/29/2021. (Sellers, N.)

March 29, 2021 RECAP
22

Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 15 MOTION to Enforce Settlement Agreement (D.E. 2−2) filed by State of North Carolina. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order Proposed order) (Wood, Michael) (Entered: 01/25/2017)

Jan. 25, 2017
43

Miscellaneous Relief

March 1, 2022 PACER

Motion Referred to Julie Richards Johnston, Clerk of Court: 22 Consent MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response as to 15 MOTION to Enforce Settlement Agreement. (Grady, B.) (Entered: 01/25/2017)

Jan. 25, 2017
44

ORDER dismissing 43 Motion to Enjoin. Signed by District Judge James C. Dever III on 3/1/2022. Sent to Dr. Dianne Wilkes at 5333 Roan Mountain Place Raleigh, North Carolina 27613-5667 via US Mail. (Sellers, N.)

March 1, 2022 RECAP

TEXT ORDER granting the consent motion for extension of time 22 . Defendant shall have up to and including March 1, 2017 to respond to the plaintiff's motion to enforce settlement agreement 15 . Plaintiff's reply in support of the motion, if any, shall be due within 21 days after defendant's response is filed. Signed by Julie Richards Johnston, Clerk of Court on 1/25/2017. (Hockaday, A.) (Entered: 01/25/2017)

Jan. 25, 2017
23

Memorandum in Opposition regarding 15 MOTION to Enforce Settlement Agreement (D.E. 2−2) filed by State of North Carolina. (Attachments: # 1 Index Exhibit Index, # 2 Exhibit 1−Ltr from Brajer to Gupta 10−15−15, # 3 Exhibit 2−January 2017 Monthly Report, # 4 Exhibit 3−2015 Annual Report 10−14−15, # 5 Exhibit 4−Corrective Action Plan 12−22−15, # 6 Exhibit 5−Supportive Housing Corrective Action Plan 6−3−16, # 7 Exhibit 6−Supported Employment Corrective Action Plan 6−3−16, # 8 Exhibit 7−Services and Support Corrective Action Plan 6−3−16, # 9 Exhibit 8−2016 Annual Report 10−1−16, # 10 Exhibit 9−Declaration of Jessica Keith 3−1−17, # 11 Exhibit 10−Affidavit of Al Delia 2−28−17, # 12 Exhibit 11−Affidavit of Tara Larson 2−28−17, # 13 Exhibit 12−Affidavit of Beth Melcher 2−28−17, # 14 Exhibit 13−December 2016 Monthly Report) (Wood, Michael) (Entered: 03/01/2017)

March 1, 2017
25

REPLY to Response to Motion regarding 15 MOTION to Enforce Settlement Agreement (D.E. 2−2) filed by United States of America. (Yeh, Teresa) (Entered: 03/22/2017)

March 22, 2017

Motion Submitted to Senior Judge James C. Fox: 15 MOTION to Enforce Settlement Agreement (D.E. 2−2) . (Grady, B.) (Entered: 03/22/2017)

March 22, 2017
26

Notice filed by United States of America regarding 25 Reply to Response to Motion to Enforce the Settlement Agreement . (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Letter from Martha Knisley) (Yeh, Teresa) (Entered: 06/21/2017)

June 21, 2017
27

TEXT ORDER REASSIGNING CASE. At the direction of the Court, this case is reassigned to Chief Judge James C. Dever, III for all further proceedings. Senior Judge James C. Fox is no longer assigned to case. All future filings shall reflect the revised case number of 5:12−CV−557−D. Any previously scheduled hearings will be rescheduled. Entered by Peter A. Moore, Jr., Clerk of Court on 6/22/2017. (Powers, S.) (Entered: 06/22/2017)

June 22, 2017

Motion No Longer Submitted to Senior Judge James C. Fox: regarding 15 MOTION to Enforce Settlement Agreement (D.E. 2−2) . (Briggeman, N.) (Entered: 06/27/2017)

June 27, 2017

Motion Submitted to Chief Judge James C. Dever III: regarding 15 MOTION to Enforce Settlement Agreement (D.E. 2−2) . (Briggeman, N.) (Entered: 06/27/2017)

June 27, 2017
28

Notice of Withdrawal as Attorney filed by United States of America. (Graff, Julia) Modified on 9/21/2017 − changed text to correspond with document filed. (Briggeman, N.) (Entered: 09/20/2017)

Sept. 20, 2017
30

Joint MOTION to Enter Modification of Settlement Agreement and Extend Jurisdiction regarding 29 Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief, filed by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Modification of Settlement Agreement, # 2 Text of Proposed Order Proposed Consent Order Entering Modification of Settlement Agreement and Extending Jurisdiction) (Graff, Julia) (Entered: 10/27/2017)

Oct. 27, 2017

Motion Submitted to Chief Judge James C. Dever III: regarding 30 Joint MOTION to Enter Modification of Settlement Agreement and Extend Jurisdiction regarding 29 Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief. (Briggeman, N.) (Entered: 10/27/2017)

Oct. 27, 2017
31

NOTICE of Withdrawal of Governmental Counsel filed by United States of America. (Graff, Julia) Modified on 10/27/2017 − changed docket text to correctly reflect document filed. (Briggeman, N.) (Entered: 10/27/2017)

Oct. 27, 2017

State / Territory: North Carolina

Case Type(s):

Public Benefits/Government Services

Special Collection(s):

Olmstead Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 23, 2012

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The United States filed this complaint on behalf of individuals with mental illness in North Carolina who are unnecessarily housed in adult care homes or placed at risk of such institutionalization by the state's policies.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Bazelon Center

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

State of North Carolina, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

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: 2012 - 2021

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Monitoring

Reasonable Accommodation

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Deinstitutionalization/decarceration

Individualized planning

Placement in mental health facilities

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

Integrated setting

Least restrictive environment

Mental impairment

Mental Disability:

Depression

Mental Illness, Unspecified

Schizophrenia

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, general

Mental health care, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run

Benefit Source:

Medicaid