Case: U.S. v. State of Connecticut

3:09-cv-00085 | U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut

Filed Date: Jan. 20, 2009

Closed Date: May 22, 2015

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 19, 2005 the Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, initiated an investigation into the conditions and practices at the Connecticut Valley Hospital (CVH), the largest of five state-run psychiatric hospitals in the State of Connecticut, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997 (CRIPA).A report of findings was submitted to the governor of Connecticut on August 6, 2007. The DOJ’s investigation found that CVH regularly failed to: (1) a…

On December 19, 2005 the Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, initiated an investigation into the conditions and practices at the Connecticut Valley Hospital (CVH), the largest of five state-run psychiatric hospitals in the State of Connecticut, pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997 (CRIPA).

A report of findings was submitted to the governor of Connecticut on August 6, 2007. The DOJ’s investigation found that CVH regularly failed to: (1) adequately protect patients from harm and undue restraints; (2) provide adequate psychiatric and psychological services; and (3) ensure adequate discharge planning and placement in the most integrated setting appropriate to each patient’s individualized needs. The report formally put CVH on notice that failure to improve conditions would result in a lawsuit.

On January 20, 2009, the Department of Justice filed suit against the state of Connecticut and its Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services in U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut for the aforementioned pattern of practices at CVH, that violated the constitutional and federal statutory rights of patients under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1997 (CRIPA). The lawsuit was filed along with a settlement agreement and joint motion to dismiss.  Judge Alvin W. Thompson approved the settlement on July 8, 2009 and conditionally dismissed the suit.

In the settlement, Connecticut agreed to a wide variety of practice changes and a period of supervised operation. The state agreed to provide care and treatment “based on professional standards of practice that shall seek to: A. ameliorate symptoms such that a less restrictive locus of treatment may safely be employed; B. strengthen and support individuals’ rehabilitation and recovery; and C. enable individuals and grow and develop in ways benefiting their health and well-being.”

The settlement called for an environment that maximizes safety and is predicated on respect between the staff and those whom they serve. In addition, it mandated implementation of integrated treatment plans and interdisciplinary staff teams to increase the efficacy of treatment provided. Furthermore, the settlement outlined extensive changes in the psychiatric and psychological care provided in order to increase the safety and wellbeing of patients while also reducing the risk of harm and suicide that was extensive at CVH. Across the board, the settlement emphasized that care provided be consistent with generally accepted professional standards of care and that the environment at CVH be sufficiently humane to reduce the risk of harm. The settlement outlined a 48-month period of supervised implementation after which the agreement would terminate provided that CVH had demonstrated substantial compliance with the terms.

On September 25, 2013, the Court approved a notice of substantial compliance with certain terms of the settlement agreement and extension of termination that was filed by the State. On May 22, 2015, the Court approved the State’s notice of substantial compliance and motion to terminate the settlement agreement, effectively terminating the Court’s ability to enforce the agreement.

Although the notice of substantial compliance and motion to terminate was accepted and granted, news suggests that as late as mid-2017, patients at the Connecticut Valley Hospital continued to suffer from widespread abuse. On September 6, 2017, the Connecticut State Police announced the arrests of nine CVH employees on charges on cruelty to persons and disorderly conduct. Reports from the Associated Press and Channel 3 Eyewitness News (the New Haven area CBS news affiliate) detail violence, humiliation, and sexual harassment suffered by inmates at the hands of CVH employees.

Summary Authors

Andrew Plague (10/10/2017)

People


Judge(s)

Thompson, Alvin W. (Connecticut)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia)

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Dean, Kerry Krentler (District of Columbia)

Hughes, John B. (Connecticut)

Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Maddox, William G. (District of Columbia)

Mukasey, Michael B. (New York)

Preston, Judy C. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Thompson, Alvin W. (Connecticut)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia)

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Dean, Kerry Krentler (District of Columbia)

Hughes, John B. (Connecticut)

Jackson, Shelley (District of Columbia)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Maddox, William G. (District of Columbia)

Mukasey, Michael B. (New York)

Preston, Judy C. (District of Columbia)

Smith, Jonathan Mark (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Hoell, Jacqueline S. (Connecticut)

Ring, Thomas (Connecticut)

Salton, Henry A. (Connecticut)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

May 22, 2015 Docket

Re: CRIPA Investigation of the Connecticut Valley Hospital, Middletown, Connecticut

[No case name]

No Court

Aug. 6, 2007 Findings Letter/Report

Settlement Agreement

No Court

Jan. 20, 2009 Settlement Agreement

Notice of Substantial Compliance With Certain Terms of The Settlement Agreement and Extension of Termination

United States of America v. State of Connecticut

Sept. 10, 2013 Pleading / Motion / Brief
1

Complaint

United States of America v. The State of Connecticut

No Court

None Complaint

Docket

Last updated May 13, 2022

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against State of Connecticut, Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Svc, Luis Perez, filed by USA.(Spielberg, N.) (Entered: 01/22/2009)

Jan. 20, 2009
2

Order on Pretrial Deadlines: Motions to Dismiss due on 4/20/2009. Amended Pleadings due by 3/21/2009 Discovery due by 7/22/2009 Dispositive Motions due by 8/21/2009. Signed by Clerk on 1/20/2009. (Spielberg, N.) (Entered: 01/22/2009)

Jan. 20, 2009
3

ELECTRONIC FILING ORDER − PLEASE ENSURE COMPLIANCE WITH COURTESY COPY REQUIREMENTS IN THIS ORDER. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 1/20/09. (Spielberg, N.) (Entered: 01/22/2009)

Jan. 20, 2009
4

MOTION for Entry of Settlement Agreement by USA. (Attachments: # 1 Text of Proposed Order)(Spielberg, N.) (Entered: 01/22/2009)

Jan. 20, 2009
5

MOTION to Intervene by Ruben Perez, Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc.Responses due by 2/16/2009 (Lowry, Kirk) (Entered: 01/26/2009)

Jan. 26, 2009
6

ENTERED IN ERROR: MOTION to Intervene Memorandum in Support by Ruben Perez, Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc.Responses due by 2/16/2009 (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A Doe v. Hogan Consent Decree, # 2 Exhibit B Letter to USDOJ and CT AG, # 3 Exhibit C USDOJ Response Letter)(Lowry, Kirk) Modified on 1/27/2009 (Bauer, J.). (Entered: 01/26/2009)

Jan. 26, 2009
8

NOTICE of Appearance by Kirk W. Lowry on behalf of Ruben Perez, Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc (Lowry, Kirk) (Entered: 01/27/2009)

Jan. 27, 2009
9

NOTICE of Appearance by Jacqueline S. Hoell on behalf of State of Connecticut, Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Svc, Luis Perez (Hoell, Jacqueline) (Entered: 01/28/2009)

Jan. 28, 2009
10

NOTICE of Appearance by Thomas J. Ring on behalf of State of Connecticut, Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Svc, Luis Perez (Ring, Thomas) (Entered: 01/30/2009)

Jan. 30, 2009
11

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Alvin W. Thompson: Telephonic Status Conference held on 2/2/2009. In addition to counsel for the parties, the Movants Ruben Perez, Dan van Tassel, and their Attorney Kirk Lowry, were also on this conference call. The parties will file oppositions to the motion to intervene. Oral argument on that motion is scheduled for 2/18/09 at 3:30pm. 15 minutes (Court Reporter Thompson) (Smith, S.) (Entered: 02/03/2009)

Feb. 2, 2009

NOTICE OF E−FILED CALENDAR: THIS IS THE ONLY NOTICE COUNSEL WILL RECEIVE. Hearing on Motion to Intervene 5 set for 2/18/2009 at 03:30 PM in the South Courtroom, 450 Main Street, Hartford, CT before Judge Alvin W. Thompson. All persons entering the courthouse must present photo identification. (Smith, S.) (Entered: 02/11/2009)

Feb. 11, 2009
12

OBJECTION re 5 MOTION to Intervene filed by State of Connecticut, Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Svc, Luis Perez. (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support of Objection to Motion to Intervene)(Ring, Thomas) (Entered: 02/13/2009)

Feb. 13, 2009
13

RESPONSE re 5 MOTION to Intervene filed by USA. (Dean, Kerry) Motion Link Modified on 2/17/2009 (Bauer, J.). (Entered: 02/13/2009)

Feb. 13, 2009
14

Joint MOTION to Continue Hearing on Motion to Intervene by Ruben Perez, Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc. (Lowry, Kirk) (Entered: 02/17/2009)

Feb. 17, 2009
15

ORDER: The Joint Motion for Continuance 14 of the motion hearing is hereby GRANTED to May 21, 2009 at 3:00pm. It is so ordered. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 2/18/09. (Smith, S.) (Entered: 02/19/2009)

Feb. 19, 2009

NOTICE OF E−FILED CALENDAR: THIS IS THE ONLY NOTICE COUNSEL WILL RECEIVE.ALL PERSONS ENTERING THE COURTHOUSE MUST PRESENT PHOTO IDENTIFICATION. Hearing on Motion to Intervene set for 5/21/2009 at 03:00 PM in the South Courtroom, 450 Main Street, Hartford, CT before Judge Alvin W. Thompson. (Smith, S.) (Entered: 02/19/2009)

Feb. 19, 2009
16

REPLY to Response to 5 MOTION to Intervene filed by Ruben Perez, Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A USDOJ Findings Letter)(Lowry, Kirk) (Entered: 03/02/2009)

March 2, 2009
17

Amended Memorandum in Support re 5 MOTION to Intervene filed by Ruben Perez, Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A Doe v. Hogan Consent Decree, # 2 Affidavit B Nancy Ray Affidavit, # 3 Exhibit C Ray CV, # 4 Exhibit D MH Community Letters)(Lowry, Kirk) (Entered: 04/20/2009)

April 20, 2009
18

Amended Memorandum in Support re 5 MOTION to Intervene filed by Ruben Perez, Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A Doe v Hogan Consent Decree, # 2 Affidavit Exh. B Ray Affidavit, # 3 Exhibit C Ray CV, # 4 Exhibit D MH State−wide Organizations Letters, # 5 Exhibit E CLRP Letter to USDOJ and CTAG, # 6 Exhibit F USDOJ Response to CLRP)(Lowry, Kirk) (Entered: 04/21/2009)

April 21, 2009
19

MOTION to Intervene by Patricia Dugas, Gertrude Duncan, Pedro Cartagena, Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc.Responses due by 5/12/2009 (Lowry, Kirk) (Entered: 04/21/2009)

April 21, 2009
20

Memorandum in Support re 19 MOTION to Intervene filed by Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc, Patricia Dugas, Gertrude Duncan, Pedro Cartagena. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A Doe v Hogan Consent Decree, # 2 Affidavit Exh B Ray Affidavit, # 3 Exhibit C Ray CV, # 4 Exhibit D MH State−wide Orgs Letters, # 5 Exhibit E CLRP Letter to USDOJ and CTAG, # 6 Exhibit F DOJ Letter to CLRP)(Lowry, Kirk) (Entered: 04/21/2009)

April 21, 2009
21

REPLY to Response to 19 MOTION to Intervene filed by USA. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Original Response to Motion)(Dean, Kerry) (Entered: 05/11/2009)

May 11, 2009
22

Joint MOTION to Continue Hearing on Motion to Intervene by Ruben Perez, Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc, Patricia Dugas, Gertrude Duncan, Pedro Cartagena. (Lowry, Kirk) (Entered: 05/20/2009)

May 20, 2009
23

ORDER: The Joint Motion for Continuance 22 is hereby GRANTED. The hearing will be continued to June 22, 2009 at 2:00pm. It is so ordered. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 5/26/09. (Smith, S.) (Entered: 05/27/2009)

May 27, 2009

NOTICE OF E−FILED CALENDAR: THIS IS THE ONLY NOTICE COUNSEL WILL RECEIVE. ALL PERSONS ENTERING THE COURTHOUSE MUST PRESENT PHOTO IDENTIFICATION. Hearing on motion to intervene set for 6/22/2009 at 02:00 PM in the South Courtroom, 450 Main Street, Hartford, CT before Judge Alvin W. Thompson. (Smith, S.) (Entered: 05/27/2009)

May 27, 2009

NOTICE OF E−FILED CALENDAR: THIS IS THE ONLY NOTICE COUNSEL WILL RECEIVE. ALL PERSONS ENTERING THE COURTHOUSE MUST PRESENT PHOTO IDENTIFICATION. Hearing on Motion to Intervene has been MOVED to 7/17/2009 at 11:30 AM in the South Courtroom, 450 Main Street, Hartford, CT before Judge Alvin W. Thompson. (Smith, S.) (Entered: 06/17/2009)

June 17, 2009
24

NOTICE of Settlement and Withdrawal of Motions to Intervene by Ruben Perez, Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc, Patricia Dugas, Gertrude Duncan, Pedro Cartagena (Lowry, Kirk) (Entered: 06/30/2009)

June 30, 2009
25

Joint MOTION to Amend/Correct 4 MOTION for Settlement by State of Connecticut, Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Svc, Luis Perez.AND USA Responses due by 7/23/2009 (Hoell, Jacqueline) FILERS Modified on 7/6/2009 (Bauer, J.). (Entered: 07/02/2009)

July 2, 2009
26

ORDER: The Notice of Settlement and Withdrawal of Motions to Intervene 24 filed by Gertrude Duncan, Ruben Perez, Patricia Dugas, Pedro Cartagena, and Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc is hereby APPROVED. The docket sheet shall reflect that the Motion of Ruben Perez and Connecticut Legal Rights Project to Intervene 5 and the Motion to Intervene 19 have been withdrawn. It is so ordered. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 7/2/2009. (Jones, S.) (Entered: 07/02/2009)

July 2, 2009
27

ORDER: The Joint Motion to Amend Settlement Agreement 25 is hereby GRANTED. It is so ordered. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 7/8/2009. (Jones, S.) (Entered: 07/08/2009)

July 8, 2009
28

ORDER granting the Joint Motion for Entry of Settlement Agreement 4 and dismissing the case. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 7/8/2009. (Jones, S.) (Entered: 07/08/2009)

July 8, 2009
29

MOTION for AAG Thomas J. Ring to Withdraw as Attorney by State of Connecticut, Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Svc, Luis Perez. (Hoell, Jacqueline) (Entered: 11/02/2009)

Nov. 2, 2009
30

ORDER: Thomas Ring's Motion to Withdraw as Attorney 29 is hereby GRANTED. Attorney Thomas J. Ring terminated. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 10/5/09.(Smith, S.) (Entered: 11/06/2009)

Nov. 6, 2009
31

Joint NOTICE by State of Connecticut, Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Svc, USA (Hoell, Jacqueline) Modified on 7/2/2013 to include additional filer (Ferguson, L.). (Entered: 07/01/2013)

July 1, 2013

Docket Entry Correction re 31 Joint Notice: modified to include additional filer (USA). (Ferguson, L.) (Entered: 07/02/2013)

July 2, 2013
33

NOTICE of Appearance by Henry A. Salton on behalf of State of Connecticut, Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Svc, Luis Perez official capacity only (Salton, Henry) (Entered: 09/10/2013)

Sept. 10, 2013
34

Joint NOTICE by State of Connecticut, Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Svc, Luis Perez, USA (Hoell, Jacqueline) (Entered: 09/10/2013)

Sept. 10, 2013
35

ORDER: Notice of Substantial Compliance with Certain Terms of the Settlement Agreement and Extension of Termination 34 is hereby APPROVED. It is so ordered. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 9/24/13. (Smith, S.) (Entered: 09/25/2013)

Sept. 25, 2013
36

NOTICE by State of Connecticut, Dept of Mental Health & Addiction Svc, Luis Perez of Substantial Compliance and Termination (Hoell, Jacqueline) (Entered: 05/18/2015)

May 18, 2015
37

ORDER: The Notice of Substantial Compliance and Motion to Terminate the Settlement Agreement (Doc. No. 36 ) is hereby APPROVED. The Settlement Agreement is terminated with prejudice and the court's continuing jurisdiction to enforce the Settlement Agreement has ended. It is so ordered. Signed by Judge Alvin W. Thompson on 05/22/2015. (Koehler, S) (Entered: 05/22/2015)

May 22, 2015

State / Territory: Connecticut

Case Type(s):

Mental Health (Facility)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 20, 2009

Closing Date: May 22, 2015

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Connecticut, State

Connecticut Valley Hospital, Non-profit or advocacy

Defendant Type(s):

Hospital/Health Department

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

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

Conditional Dismissal

Order Duration: 2009 - 2013

Content of Injunction:

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Issues

General:

Aggressive behavior

Assault/abuse by staff

Conditions of confinement

Confinement/isolation

Failure to supervise

Incident/accident reporting & investigations

Placement in detention facilities

Placement in mental health facilities

Suicide prevention

Totality of conditions

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

Mental impairment

Mental Disability:

Mental Illness, Unspecified

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run