Case: United States of America v. State of Florida

0:13-cv-61576 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Filed Date: July 22, 2013

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On July 22, 2013, attorneys from United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against the State of Florida. The DOJ alleged that nearly two hundred children with disabilities were unnecessarily segregated from their communities and the general population by the State, which had placed them in nursing homes. The DOJ sought an injunction requiring the State to comply with Title II of the Americans w…

On July 22, 2013, attorneys from United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division (DOJ) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against the State of Florida. The DOJ alleged that nearly two hundred children with disabilities were unnecessarily segregated from their communities and the general population by the State, which had placed them in nursing homes. The DOJ sought an injunction requiring the State to comply with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12131-12134, which, as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999), forbids the unnecessary institutionalization of disabled individuals, and mandates that their rehabilitative and medical needs be provided in a manner that enables disabled individuals to be independent and integrated members of the community. The federal regulations implementing the ADA require that disabled recipients of government benefits receive those benefits in the most integrated setting," i.e., and environment that "enables individuals with disabilities to interact with nondisabled persons to the fullest extent possible..." 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(d), App. B., at 673 (2011).

According to the DOJ's complaint, the unnecessary institutionalization of children denies them the opportunity to develop bonds with family and limits their ability to interact with people without disabilities. The DOJ also asserted that placement in nursing homes denies children important experiences that contribute to healthy child development. The nursing homes in which these children were institutionalized resembled hospitals, with children housed in rooms shared by one to three other patients. According to the DOJ's complaint the facilities did not prove adequate, age-appropriate stimulation. The children had limited very limited control over how they spent their time. The complaint provides as an example an instance an institutionalized teenager asked to be taken in his wheelchair to an activity area. The teen was taken to a room where he was left with a group of toddlers listening to nursery rhymes.

The DOJ also alleged that Florida's policies and practices of limiting community-based services and its reductions to these services, and the State's unnecessarily burdensome recertification processes for individuals receiving these services, put at risk of unnecessary institutionalization children who were dependent on these services and who received care in their family homes or in small, community-based facilities. The complaint noted that Florida's reimbursement rates for home-based health services had not been raised or modified since 1987. The complaint also noted that the State's reductions to in-home care services coincided with an increase in the number of children placed in nursing facilities. In 2004 there were about 136 spots in nursing facilities designated to serve children, and by 2012, more than two hundred children resided in such facilities, in addition to a significant number of adults who remained in the facilities after entering as children.

In September 2012, after conducting a six-month investigation, the DOJ had provided notice to Florida that it had found the State to be in violation of the ADA. The complaint acknowledges that Florida had made some improvements to its policies, but alleged that the State's processes for transitioning institutionalized children into community-based settings remained deficient. After several months of negotiations, the DOJ determined that the State would not comply with the ADA requirements voluntarily, and therefore it filed this suit.

The DOJ sought injunctions barring Florida from failing to provide adequate community-based services and support for institutionalized disabled children and those children at risk of institutionalization. They also sought compensatory damages for injuries suffered by these children as a result of Florida's failure to comply with Title II of the ADA, and a declaratory judgment holding Florida to have violated the ADA.

On June 26, 2014, the Court consolidated this case with another pending case, A.R. v. Dudek , No. 0:12-cv-60460-WJZ in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and ordered that no more filings occur with this docket entry. The consolidated case is in the Clearinghouse as PB-FL-0007.

Summary Authors

Alex Colbert-Taylor (7/23/2013)

Andrew Junker (11/6/2014)

Related Cases

A.R. v. Dudek, Southern District of Florida (2012)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4502243/parties/united-states-v-the-state-of-florida/


Judge(s)

Dimitrouleas, William P. (Florida)

Snow, Lurana S. (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

England, Travis W (District of Columbia)

Esposito, Beth A (District of Columbia)

Harrell-James, Veronica Vanessa (Florida)

Park, H. Justin (District of Columbia)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Welan, Joy Levin (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Dimitrouleas, William P. (Florida)

Snow, Lurana S. (Florida)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

England, Travis W (District of Columbia)

Esposito, Beth A (District of Columbia)

Harrell-James, Veronica Vanessa (Florida)

Park, H. Justin (District of Columbia)

Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)

Welan, Joy Levin (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

0:13-cv-61576

Docket (PACER)

USA v. State of Florida

June 26, 2014

June 26, 2014

Docket

0:13-cv-61576

Findings Letter RE: United States’ Investigation of the State of Florida’s Service System for Children with Disabilities Who Have Medically Complex Conditions, D.J. No. 204-18-212

No Court

Sept. 5, 2012

Sept. 5, 2012

Findings Letter/Report
1

0:13-cv-61576

Complaint

USA v. State of Florida

July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

Complaint

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4502243/united-states-v-the-state-of-florida/

Last updated June 9, 2022, 3:24 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against State of Florida. Filing fees $ 400.00. USA Filer - No Filing Fee Required, filed by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summon(s), # 3 Summon(s), # 4 Certification)(England, Travis) (Entered: 07/22/2013)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

2 Summon(s)

View on PACER

3 Summon(s)

View on PACER

4 Certification

View on PACER

July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

PACER
2

Judge Assignment to Judge William P. Dimitrouleas and Magistrate Judge Lurana S. Snow (jua) (Entered: 07/22/2013)

July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

PACER
3

Civil Action Certification by United States Attorney (jua) (Entered: 07/22/2013)

July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

PACER
4

Summons Issued as to The State of Florida. (jua) (Entered: 07/22/2013)

July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

PACER
5

Summons Issued as to The State of Florida. (jua) (Entered: 07/22/2013)

July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

PACER
6

Order Requiring Joint Scheduling Report. Signed by Judge William P. Dimitrouleas on 7/23/2013. (ls) (Entered: 07/23/2013)

July 23, 2013

July 23, 2013

PACER
7

SUMMONS (Affidavit) Returned Executed on 1 Complaint, with a 21 day response/answer filing deadline by United States of America. The State of Florida served on 7/25/2013, answer due 8/15/2013. (Welan, Joy) (Entered: 08/08/2013)

Aug. 8, 2013

Aug. 8, 2013

PACER
8

ANSWER and Affirmative Defenses to Complaint by The State of Florida. Attorney George N. Meros, Jr added to party The State of Florida(pty:dft). (Meros, George) (Entered: 08/13/2013)

Aug. 13, 2013

Aug. 13, 2013

PACER
9

MOTION to Change Venue and Memorandum of Law in Support by The State of Florida. Responses due by 8/30/2013 (Meros, George) (Entered: 08/13/2013)

Aug. 13, 2013

Aug. 13, 2013

PACER
10

ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE to Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum for all further proceedings, accepted and signed on 8/27/2013. Judge William P. Dimitrouleas no longer assigned to case. Signed by Judge William P. Dimitrouleas on 8/26/2013. (ls) (Entered: 08/27/2013)

Aug. 27, 2013

Aug. 27, 2013

PACER
11

RESPONSE in Opposition re 9 MOTION to Change Venue and Memorandum of Law in Support filed by United States of America. (England, Travis) (Entered: 08/30/2013)

Aug. 30, 2013

Aug. 30, 2013

PACER
12

Certification for Transfer Case No Longer Referred to Magistrate Judge Lurana S. Snow. Signed by Magistrate Judge Lurana S. Snow on 8/30/2013. (tpl) (Entered: 09/04/2013)

Aug. 30, 2013

Aug. 30, 2013

PACER
13

Motion to Intervene, filed by Disability Rights Florida. (Attachments: # 1 Complaint)(Boyer, David) Modified on 9/6/2013 (mg). (Entered: 09/05/2013)

1 Complaint

View on PACER

Sept. 5, 2013

Sept. 5, 2013

PACER
14

SUPPLEMENT to 13 Intervenor Complaint Civil Cover Sheet by Disability Rights Florida (Boyer, David) (Entered: 09/05/2013)

Sept. 5, 2013

Sept. 5, 2013

PACER
15

SUPPLEMENT to 13 Intervenor Complaint Summons by Disability Rights Florida (Boyer, David) (Entered: 09/05/2013)

Sept. 5, 2013

Sept. 5, 2013

PACER
16

Clerks Notice to Filer re 13 Intervenor Complaint. Wrong Event Selected - Document is a Motion; ERROR - The Filer selected the wrong event. A motion event must always be selected when filing a motion. The correction was made by the Clerk. It is not necessary to refile this document. (mg) (Entered: 09/06/2013)

Sept. 6, 2013

Sept. 6, 2013

PACER
17

Clerks Notice to Filer re: Summons(es) cannot be issued. The motion to intervene has not been granted. (mg) (Entered: 09/06/2013)

Sept. 6, 2013

Sept. 6, 2013

PACER
18

RESPONSE in Support re 9 MOTION to Change Venue and Memorandum of Law in Support filed by The State of Florida. (Meros, George) (Entered: 09/09/2013)

Sept. 9, 2013

Sept. 9, 2013

PACER
19

REPLY to Response to Motion re 9 MOTION to Change Venue and Memorandum of Law in Support filed by The State of Florida. (ls)(See Image at DE # 18 ) (Entered: 09/10/2013)

Sept. 9, 2013

Sept. 9, 2013

PACER
20

Clerks Notice to Filer re 18 Response in Support of Motion. Wrong Event Selected; ERROR - The Filer selected the wrong event. The document was re-docketed by the Clerk, see [de#19]. It is not necessary to refile this document. (ls) (Entered: 09/10/2013)

Sept. 10, 2013

Sept. 10, 2013

PACER
21

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Andrew T. Sheeran on behalf of The State of Florida. Attorney Andrew T. Sheeran added to party The State of Florida(pty:dft). (Sheeran, Andrew) (Entered: 09/10/2013)

Sept. 10, 2013

Sept. 10, 2013

PACER
22

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Leslei Gayle Street on behalf of The State of Florida. Attorney Leslei Gayle Street added to party The State of Florida(pty:dft). (Street, Leslei) (Entered: 09/10/2013)

Sept. 10, 2013

Sept. 10, 2013

PACER
23

NOTICE of Attorney Appearance by Stuart Fraser Williams on behalf of The State of Florida. Attorney Stuart Fraser Williams added to party The State of Florida(pty:dft). (Williams, Stuart) (Entered: 09/10/2013)

Sept. 10, 2013

Sept. 10, 2013

PACER
24

SCHEDULING REPORT - Rule 26(f) by United States of America (England, Travis) (Entered: 09/11/2013)

Sept. 11, 2013

Sept. 11, 2013

PACER
25

RESPONSE in Opposition re 13 Motion to Intervene filed by The State of Florida. (Meros, George) (Entered: 09/23/2013)

Sept. 23, 2013

Sept. 23, 2013

PACER
26

REPLY to Response to Motion re 13 Motion to Intervene filed by Disability Rights Florida. Attorney Molly Jean Paris added to party Disability Rights Florida(pty:intvp). (Paris, Molly) (Entered: 09/30/2013)

Sept. 30, 2013

Sept. 30, 2013

PACER
27

Clerks Notice to Filer re 26 Reply to Response to Motion. This document does not have a signature. In the future, please remember to add the following to your signature lines: s/. Please see our CM/ECF Administrative Procedures for a detailed explanation. It is not necessary to refile this document. If you have any questions with regard to this, or any future filings, please contact 1-888-318-2260. (ls) (Entered: 10/01/2013)

Oct. 1, 2013

Oct. 1, 2013

PACER
28

MOTION for Judgment on the Pleadings by The State of Florida. (Meros, George) (Entered: 11/21/2013)

Nov. 21, 2013

Nov. 21, 2013

PACER
29

Unopposed MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply as to 28 MOTION for Judgment on the Pleadings by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Welan, Joy) (Entered: 11/26/2013)

1 Text of Proposed Order

View on PACER

Nov. 26, 2013

Nov. 26, 2013

PACER
30

PAPERLESS ORDER granting 29 Plaintiff's Unopposed Motion for Extension of Time to File Response re 28 Defendant's MOTION for Judgment on the Pleadings. Plaintiff's Response is now due by 12/23/2013. Signed by Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum on 11/27/2013. (kms) (Entered: 11/27/2013)

Nov. 27, 2013

Nov. 27, 2013

PACER
31

Joint MOTION for Protective Order Governing Confidential Information and Memorandum of Law by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - Qualified Protective Order Governing Confidential Information)(Welan, Joy) (Entered: 12/02/2013)

1 Exhibit 1 - Qualified Protective Order Governing Confidential Information

View on PACER

Dec. 2, 2013

Dec. 2, 2013

PACER
32

ORDER REFERRING CASE to Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt for Discovery Matters. Signed by Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum on 12/3/2013. (kms) (Entered: 12/03/2013)

Dec. 3, 2013

Dec. 3, 2013

PACER
33

Stipulated Protective Order. Signed by Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt on 12/3/2013. (tjs) (Entered: 12/03/2013)

Dec. 3, 2013

Dec. 3, 2013

PACER

Cases associated. (ar2)

Dec. 6, 2013

Dec. 6, 2013

PACER
34

ORDER granting [DE 192] Motion for Consolidation of Related Cases in case number 12-cv-60460-RSR. A.R. et al., v. Dudek, et al., Case No. 12-60460-CV-ROSENBAUM, and United States v. State of Florida, Case No. 13-61576-CV-ROSENBAUM, are hereby consolidated with each other. Signed by Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum on 12/6/2013. (ar2) (Entered: 12/06/2013)

Dec. 6, 2013

Dec. 6, 2013

PACER
35

PAPERLESS ORDER denying as moot 9 Motion to Change Venue in light of 34 Order granting Motion to Consolidate Cases. Signed by Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum on 12/6/2013. (kms) (Entered: 12/06/2013)

Dec. 6, 2013

Dec. 6, 2013

PACER
36

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE directed to Disability Rights Florida, Inc. Show Cause Response due by 12/24/2013. Please see Order for details. Signed by Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum on 12/6/2013. (kms) (Entered: 12/06/2013)

Dec. 6, 2013

Dec. 6, 2013

PACER
37

GENERAL ORDER on Discovery Objections and Procedures Signed by Magistrate Judge Patrick M. Hunt on 12/16/2013. (vp) (Entered: 12/17/2013)

Dec. 17, 2013

Dec. 17, 2013

PACER
38

RESPONSE TO ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE re 36 Order to Show Cause by Disability Rights Florida. (Paris, Molly) (Entered: 12/17/2013)

Dec. 17, 2013

Dec. 17, 2013

PACER
39

ORDER denying 13 Motion to Intervene. Signed by Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum on 4/4/2014. (ls) (Entered: 04/07/2014)

April 4, 2014

April 4, 2014

RECAP
40

ORDER denying 28 Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. Signed by Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum on 5/30/2014. (kms) (Entered: 05/30/2014)

May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014

PACER
41

CLERKS NOTICE REASSIGNING CASE pursuant to Administrative Order 2014-48. Case reassigned to Judge William J. Zloch for all further proceedings. Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum no longer assigned to case. (mb) (Entered: 05/30/2014)

May 30, 2014

May 30, 2014

PACER
42

ORDER re: Consolidation; Directing Clerk to Close Case for Statistical Purposes. Signed by Judge William J. Zloch on 6/26/2014. (ls) (Entered: 06/26/2014)

June 26, 2014

June 26, 2014

PACER

Civil Case Terminated. (ls)

June 26, 2014

June 26, 2014

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: Florida

Case Type(s):

Disability Rights

Special Collection(s):

Olmstead Cases

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 22, 2013

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The United States, represented by attorneys from the DOJ Civil Rights Division, on behalf of two hundred children with disabilities allegedly unnecessarily segregated from their communities by their placement in nursing homes by the State.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

State of Florida, State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Hospital/Health Department

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: None Yet / None

Nature of Relief:

None yet

Source of Relief:

None yet

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Commitment procedure

Deinstitutionalization/decarceration

Disparate Treatment

Funding

Government Services

Habilitation (training/treatment)

Individualized planning

Parents (visitation, involvement)

Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)

Reassessment and care planning

Rehabilitation

Relative caretakers

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

disability, unspecified

Mental Disability:

Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified

Medical/Mental Health:

Intellectual/Developmental Disability

Medical care, general

Medical care, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run

Benefit Source:

Medicaid