Case: Sonnenberg v. Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.

1:14-cv-00369 | U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho

Filed Date: Aug. 29, 2014

Closed Date: March 7, 2016

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 29, 2014 Ada County and the Ada County Coroner filed a complaint in the Fourth Judicial District of Idaho. They sued Disability Rights Idaho (“DRI”) under Idaho Code § 10-1201 et seq., (Uniform Declaratory Judgment Act), and Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 57. At the request of the defendant, Disability Rights Idaho, Inc. (DRI), the case was removed to the United States District Court for the District of Idaho on September 8, 2014. On September 18, 2014 DRI filed a counterclaim under th…

On August 29, 2014 Ada County and the Ada County Coroner filed a complaint in the Fourth Judicial District of Idaho. They sued Disability Rights Idaho (“DRI”) under Idaho Code § 10-1201 et seq., (Uniform Declaratory Judgment Act), and Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 57. At the request of the defendant, Disability Rights Idaho, Inc. (DRI), the case was removed to the United States District Court for the District of Idaho on September 8, 2014. On September 18, 2014 DRI filed a counterclaim under the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act (PAIMI), 42 U.S.C. § 10801 et seq. and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. DRI sought injunctive and declaratory relief to challenge the refusal of the Coroner to provide timely access to the records sought. Ada County filed a motion to remand the case, but the motion was denied by Judge Edward J. Lodge on April 29, 2015. 2015 WL 1944003.

Disability Rights Idaho (DRI) is a non-profit corporation that has been designated by Idaho to protect and advocate on behalf of people with mental illness, as defined in the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act of 1986, 42 U.S.C. § 10801 et. seq. (“PAIMI”). (PAIMI is a federal mandate that gives authority to investigate complaints of abuse, neglect, due process and rights violations in public and private facilities that provide overnight mental health treatment.) The dispute arose when the Ada County Coroner refused to provide its investigatory records relating to a suicide death of an individual, who had been residing in an inpatient behavioral health unit of an Ada County hospital. The Coroner denied DRI’s request for non-public records and initiated this declaratory judgment action in State court in response to DRI’s letter that stated they would initiate a federal lawsuit if necessary. DRI submitted an answer to the Coroner’s complaint and a counterclaim.

On June 15, 2015 both parties submitted Motions for Summary Judgment. In addition, DRI submitted a Motion to Dismiss and a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings. The Ada County Coroner argued that regardless of PAIMI, DRI did not have the right to access the Coroner’s records of its death investigation, because the Coroner was not an “agency” as defined by PAIMI. The Coroner had also cited federal and state privacy concerns and questioned DRI’s probable cause to investigate the death. On July 20, 2015, the Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted a statement of interest stating that federal law was clear that P&A’s had broad access to investigatory records relating to mental health treatment facilities. The DOJ also stated that the Coroner’s office was an “agency charged with investigating,” as stated in PAIMI, because it was a division of the Ada County government that was responsible for investigating deaths.

On March 7, 2016, Judge Edward J. Lodge entered a judgment in favor of DRI. The court held that the Coroner was an “agency charged with investigating” reports of incidents of abuse, neglect, and injury under PAIMI and that the Coroner needed to release the records to DRI. 168 F.Supp.3d 1282. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Mary Kate Sickel (10/8/2017)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5122102/parties/in-re-matter-of-disability-rights-idaho-inc/


Judge(s)

Lodge, Edward J. (Idaho)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Coe, Cynthia (District of Columbia)

England, Christine G. (Idaho)

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia)

Morgan, Sherry A. (Idaho)

Olson, Wendy (District of Columbia)

Petty, Gene A (Idaho)

Preston, Judy C. (District of Columbia)

Rush, Regan (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Lodge, Edward J. (Idaho)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Coe, Cynthia (District of Columbia)

England, Christine G. (Idaho)

Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia)

Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia)

Morgan, Sherry A. (Idaho)

Olson, Wendy (District of Columbia)

Petty, Gene A (Idaho)

Preston, Judy C. (District of Columbia)

Rush, Regan (District of Columbia)

Schultz, William B (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cunningham, Amy (Idaho)

Hummel, John C (Idaho)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Holthus, Courtney Rose (Idaho)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Sept. 5, 2014 Docket
1-3

Complaint For Declaratory Relief

In the Matter of Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.'s Request For Ada County Coroner Records Relating to the Death of D.T.

Aug. 29, 2014 Complaint
5

Answer of Disability Rights Idaho Inc., to Complaint For Declaratory Relief Dated August 29, 2014

Sept. 18, 2014 Pleading / Motion / Brief
24

Memorandum Decision and Order

Sonnenberg v. Disability Rights Idaho Inc.

2015 WL 1944003

April 29, 2015 Order/Opinion
40

Department of Justice Statement of Interest

Sonnenberg v. Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.,

July 20, 2015 Pleading / Motion / Brief
42

Memorandum and Order

Sonnenberg v. Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.,

168 F.Supp.3d 1282

March 7, 2016 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5122102/in-re-matter-of-disability-rights-idaho-inc/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

NOTICE OF REMOVAL by Disability Rights Idaho, Inc. from District Court, Fourth Judicial District, Ada County, State of Idaho, case number CV 0T 1416560.(Filing fee $400 receipt number0976-1204218.), filed by Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Cover Sheet Civil Cover Sheet 1:14-CV-369, # 2 Summons Summons CV 0T 1416560 8-29-14, # 3 State Court Complaint Complaint CV 0T 1416560, # 4 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit A, # 5 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit B, # 6 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit C, # 7 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit D, # 8 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit E, # 9 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit F, # 10 Exhibit Complain Exhibit G, # 11 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit H, # 12 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit I Part 1, # 13 Exhibit Complaint Exhibit I Part 2, # 14 State Court Service Documents CV OT 146560 Return & Affidavit of Service, # 15 CV OT 1416560 Registry of Actions 9-3-14)(Hummel, John)

Sept. 8, 2014 PACER
2

Corporate Disclosure Statement by Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.. (Hummel, John)

Sept. 8, 2014 PACER

RETURN OF SERVICE/PROCESS ASSUMED EXECUTED - Disability Rights Idaho, Inc. served on 9/5/2014. (service assumed for internal reporting purpose only) (st)

Sept. 8, 2014 PACER
3

NOTICE of Assignment to Magistrate Judge and Requirement for Consent sent to counsel for Ada County, Ada County Coroner, and Disability Rights Idaho, Inc. re 1 Notice of Removal. Consent/Objection to Magistrate due by 11/10/2014. (st)

Sept. 8, 2014 PACER
4

Docket entry only - CONSENT to Magistrate Judge filed. (st)

Sept. 9, 2014 PACER
5

ANSWER to Complaint for Declaratory Relief dated August 29, 2014, COUNTERCLAIM against Ada County Coroner by Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit DRI Counterclaim Exhibit A, # 2 Exhibit DRI Counterclaim Exhibit B, # 3 Exhibit DRI Counterclaim Exhibit C, # 4 Exhibit DRI Counterclaim Exhibit D, # 5 Exhibit DRI Counterclaim Exhibit E, # 6 Exhibit DRI Counterclaim Exhibit F, # 7 Exhibit DRI Counterclaim Exhibit G, # 8 Exhibit DRI Counterclaim Exhibit H)(Hummel, John)

Sept. 18, 2014 PACER
6

NOTICE of Hearing: Telephonic Scheduling Conference set for 10/7/2014 02:00 PM Telephonic Hearing - Boise Courtroom 6 before Judge Candy W. Dale. (Attachments: # 1 TSC Letter, # 2 Litigation Plan) (ah)

Sept. 19, 2014 PACER
7

AMENDED DOCKET ENTRY NOTICE of Hearing: Per the request of counsel in this matter, the Telephonic Scheduling Conference currently set for 10/7/2014 02:00 PM is hereby VACATED and RE-SET for 10/21/2014 01:30 PM PDT, 02:30 PM MDT Telephonic Hearing - Coeur d'Alene BK/Magistrate Courtroom before Judge Candy W. Dale. Counsel for Plaintiff to initiate the conference call and when all parties are on the line, connect to the courtroom at 208-665-6862. Litigation Plan(s) to be filed on or before 10/14/2014. (ah)

Sept. 24, 2014 PACER
8

ANSWER to 5 Answer to Complaint, Counterclaim,,,, to Counterclaim of Disability Rights Idaho, Inc. Against Erwin Sonnenberg, In His Official Capacity as Ada County Coroner by Ada County, Ada County Coroner.(Petty, Gene)

Oct. 7, 2014 PACER
9

MOTION to Remand Gene A Petty appearing for Plaintiffs Ada County, Ada County Coroner, Counter Defendant Ada County Coroner. Responses due by 10/31/2014 (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support of Motion to Remand, # 2 Affidavit of Erwin Sonnenberg in Support of Motion to Remand)(Petty, Gene)

Oct. 7, 2014 PACER
10

SCHEDULING CONFERENCE FORM - LITIGATION PLAN by Disability Rights Idaho, Inc., Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.. (Hummel, John)

Oct. 9, 2014 PACER
11

SCHEDULING CONFERENCE FORM - LITIGATION PLAN by Ada County, Ada County Coroner. (Petty, Gene)

Oct. 10, 2014 PACER
12

AMENDED DOCKET ENTRY NOTICE of Hearing: Telephonic Scheduling Conference set for 10/21/2014 02:30 PM MDT Telephonic Hearing - Boise Courtroom 6 before Judge Candy W. Dale. Counsel for Plaintiff to initiate the conference call and when all parties are on the line, connect to the courtroom at 208-334-9945. (same date/time as previously set, **please note new call-in telephone number**) (at)

Oct. 20, 2014 PACER
14

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Candy W. Dale: Appearance by Gene Petty for the Plaintiff; John Hummel for the Defendant. Telephonic Scheduling Conference held on 10/21/2014. Court and counsel discussed dates as contained in filed Litigation Plans. Consent process discussed. Telephonic Status Conference to be set in early 2015, specific date/time to be included in forthcoming Case Management Order. Time in Court 10 mins. (Hearing not recorded.) (at) (Entered: 10/23/2014)

Oct. 21, 2014 PACER
13

CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER. Amended Pleadings due by 12/15/2014. Discovery due by 2/16/2015. Joinder of Parties due by 12/15/2014. Dispositive Pretrial Motions due by 4/15/2015. The Court will conduct a telephonic status conference on Monday, 1/26/2015, at 4:00 p.m. Signed by Judge Candy W. Dale. (caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by (st)

Oct. 22, 2014 PACER

Set/Reset Hearings: Telephonic Status Conference set for 1/26/2015 04:00 PM in Boise - Courtroom 6 before Judge Candy W. Dale. (Per Case Management Order, dkt #13)(st)

Oct. 22, 2014 PACER
15

RESPONSE to Motion re 9 MOTION to Remand filed by Plaintiffs on 10/7/2014 filed by Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.. Replies due by 11/17/2014.(Hummel, John)

Oct. 29, 2014 PACER
16

NOTICE of Appearance by John C Hummel on behalf of Disability Rights Idaho, Inc., Disability Rights Idaho, Inc. (Hummel, John)

Oct. 30, 2014 PACER
17

STIPULATION to Extend Scheduling Deadlines by Ada County, Ada County Coroner. (Petty, Gene)

Nov. 7, 2014 PACER
18

ORDER TO EXTEND SCHEDULING DEADLINE. The Stipulation 17 is GRANTED. IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Ada County and Ada County Coroner's Reply Memorandum in Support of Motion to Remand 9 be extended for 30 days. Therefore, Ada County's reply memorandum is due on 12/17/2014. (Amended Pleadings due by 1/14/2015. Joinder of Parties due by 1/14/2015.). Signed by Judge Candy W. Dale. (caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by (st)

Nov. 10, 2014 PACER

Set/Reset Deadlines as to 9 MOTION to Remand . Replies due by 12/17/2014. (Per Order, dkt #18)(st)

Nov. 10, 2014 PACER

The 60 day deadline has expired. Case has been reassigned to a District Judge. No more notice of availability or assignment will be sent out. Consent deadline(s) termed. (st)

Nov. 12, 2014 PACER

DOCKET ENTRY NOTICE of Case Number Change. Case reassigned to Judge Edward J. Lodge for all further proceedings. Judge Candy W. Dale no longer assigned to case. Please use this case number on all future pleadings, 1:14-cv-00369-EJL. (st)

Nov. 12, 2014 PACER
19

MEMORANDUM in Support re 9 MOTION to Remand filed by Ada County, Ada County Coroner.(Petty, Gene)

Dec. 2, 2014 PACER
20

NOTICE of Substitution - Attorney John C Hummel terminated. (Hummel, John)

Dec. 11, 2014 PACER
21

DOCKET ENTRY NOTICE VACATING HEARING: Due to reassignment of this matter on 11/12/2014, the Telephonic Status Conference set for 1/26/2015 04:00 PM in Boise - Courtroom 6 before Judge Candy W. Dale is hereby VACATED. (at)

Jan. 7, 2015 PACER
22

STIPULATION TO CONTINUE DISPOSITIVE MOTION DEADLINE by Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.. (Cunningham, Amy)

Feb. 25, 2015 PACER
23

ORDER GRANTING A CONTINUANCE OF THE DISPOSITIVE MOTION DEADLINE re 22 Stipulation filed by Disability Rights Idaho, Inc. Accordingly, it is ORDERED that: The 4/15/2015 dispositive motion deadline in Judge Dale's Case Management Order dated 10/22/2014 (Dkt 13), in this action is hereby VACATED. The deadlines set forth below will govern the filing of dispositive motions. Dispositive Motion deadline will be forty-five (45) days from the issuance of this Court's Order on the pending Motion to Remand (Dkt 9). Signed by Judge Edward J. Lodge. (caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by (st)

Feb. 27, 2015 PACER
24

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER. Based on the foregoing, and being fully advised in the premises, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the Motion to Remand 9 is DENIED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that any dispositive motion(s) shall be filed by 6/15/2015. Signed by Judge Edward J. Lodge. (caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by (st)

April 29, 2015 RECAP
25

NOTICE of Appearance by Courtney Rose Holthus on behalf of Disability Rights Idaho, Inc., Disability Rights Idaho, Inc. (Holthus, Courtney)

May 4, 2015 PACER
26

NOTICE of Substitution - Attorney Sherry A Morgan for Ada County,Sherry A Morgan for Ada County Coroner,Sherry A Morgan for Ada County Coroner added. Attorney Gene A Petty terminated. (Morgan, Sherry)

May 21, 2015 PACER
27

MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages Courtney Rose Holthus appearing for Counter Claimant Disability Rights Idaho, Inc., Defendant Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.. Responses due by 7/6/2015 (Holthus, Courtney)

June 9, 2015 PACER
28

NOTICE by Ada County, Ada County Coroner re 27 MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages Notice of Non-Opposition (Morgan, Sherry)

June 10, 2015 PACER

CORRECTIVE ENTRY - Docket number 28 Notice (Other) filed by Ada County, Ada County Coroner was filed using the wrong event. The filing party shall re-submit their filing using the event 'Response to Motion'.(st)

June 11, 2015 PACER
29

RESPONSE to Motion re 27 MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages filed by Ada County, Ada County Coroner. Replies due by 6/29/2015.(Morgan, Sherry)

June 11, 2015 PACER
30

DOCKET ENTRY ORDER granting 27 Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages. Both parties shall be given leave to file 37-page cross-motions for summary judgment. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Edward J. Lodge. (caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by (dmc)

June 15, 2015 PACER
31

MOTION to Dismiss, Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, and Motions for Summary Judgment Courtney Rose Holthus appearing for Counter Claimant Disability Rights Idaho, Inc., Defendant Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.. Responses due by 7/9/2015 (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support Memorandum in Support of Dispositive Motions, # 2 Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts, # 3 Affidavit Affidavit of Cecilia Vega, # 4 Affidavit Affidavit of Dina M. Flores-Brewer, # 5 Affidavit Affidavit of Leanne Jopson)(Holthus, Courtney)

June 15, 2015 PACER
32

MOTION for Summary Judgment Sherry A Morgan appearing for Plaintiffs Ada County, Ada County Coroner. Responses due by 7/9/2015 (Attachments: # 1 Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment, # 2 Statement of Material Facts, # 3 Affidavit of Dotti Owens)(Morgan, Sherry)

June 15, 2015 PACER
33

MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages for Responsive Brief Courtney Rose Holthus appearing for Counter Claimant Disability Rights Idaho, Inc., Defendant Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.. Responses due by 7/27/2015 (Holthus, Courtney)

July 1, 2015 PACER
34

DOCKET ENTRY ORDER granting 33 Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages. Each party shall be allowed to file thirty (30) page response briefs, if necessary. SO ORDERED. Signed by Judge Edward J. Lodge. (caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by (dmc)

July 6, 2015 PACER
35

RESPONSE to Motion re 31 MOTION to Dismiss, Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, and Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Ada County, Ada County Coroner. Replies due by 7/23/2015.(Morgan, Sherry)

July 6, 2015 PACER
36

RESPONSE to Motion re 32 MOTION for Summary Judgment Filed on June 15, 2015 filed by Disability Rights Idaho, Inc., Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.. Replies due by 7/23/2015. (Attachments: # 1 Response_Pages 14-22, # 2 Response_Pages 23-28, # 3 Exhibit Exhibit A_Pages 1-8, # 4 Exhibit Exhibit A_Pages 9-16, # 5 Affidavit Affidavit of Jim Baugh, # 6 Exhibit Exhibit 1 to Affidavit of Jim Baugh, # 7 Exhibit Exhibit 2 to Affidavit of Jim Baugh)(Holthus, Courtney)

July 6, 2015 PACER
37

MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages Courtney Rose Holthus appearing for Counter Claimant Disability Rights Idaho, Inc., Defendant Disability Rights Idaho, Inc.. Responses due by 8/7/2015 (Holthus, Courtney)

July 14, 2015 PACER
38

REPLY to Response to Motion re 32 MOTION for Summary Judgment filed by Ada County, Ada County Coroner.(Morgan, Sherry)

July 20, 2015 PACER
40

Department of Justice Statement of Interest by United States (England, Christine) Modified on 7/23/2015 to edit filer at US Attorney's Office's request (st).

July 20, 2015 RECAP
39

REPLY to Response to Motion re 31 MOTION to Dismiss, Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, and Motions for Summary Judgment filed by Disability Rights Idaho, Inc., Disability Rights Idaho, Inc..(Holthus, Courtney)

July 20, 2015 PACER
41

DOCKET ENTRY ORDER granting 37 Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages. Signed by Judge Edward J. Lodge. (caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by (dmc)

July 27, 2015 PACER
42

MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER. NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED: DRI's Motion to Dismiss, Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, and Motion for Summary Judgment 31 is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. The Coroner must immediately give DRI access to D.T.'s records. The Coroner's Motion for Summary Judgment 32 is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. Signed by Judge Edward J. Lodge. (caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by (st)

March 7, 2016 RECAP
43

JUDGMENT. Pursuant to the Court's 3/7/2016 Memorandum Order, entered herewith, and the Court being fully advised in the premises, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, AJDUGED AND DECREED that judgment is accordingly entered as follows: Judgment is entered in favor of DisAbility Rights with respect to the issue of its right to access certain records under the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness Act of 1986, 42 U.S.C. ยง 10801 et. seq. (PAIMI), the Court having declared DisAbility Rights is entitled to such records under PAIMI, and that the Coroner shall release such records to DisAbility Rights. Signed by Judge Edward J. Lodge. (caused to be mailed to non Registered Participants at the addresses listed on the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) by (st)

March 7, 2016 PACER

State / Territory: Idaho

Case Type(s):

Mental Health (Facility)

Special Collection(s):

DOJ Civil Rights Division Statements of Interest

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 29, 2014

Closing Date: March 7, 2016

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Ada County Coroner and Ada County

Plaintiff Type(s):

City/County Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

NDRN/Protection & Advocacy 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

Disability Rights Idaho, Inc. (Boise, Ada), Non-profit or advocacy

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI) Act, 42 U.S.C. § 10801

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Required disclosure

Issues

General:

Records Disclosure

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

disability, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run