Case: Brad H. v. City of New York

99-117882 | New York state trial court

Filed Date: Aug. 24, 1999

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On August 24, 1999, inmates at Rikers Island in New York filed this putative class action lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York County, New York (the trial court in New York state court) against jail officials. The plaintiffs alleged that the jail officials had violated their rights guaranteed by the state constitution and state mental health statutes. The inmates proposed defining the class as themselves and all other current and future inmates confined in the City Jails for more than 24 h…

On August 24, 1999, inmates at Rikers Island in New York filed this putative class action lawsuit in the Supreme Court of New York County, New York (the trial court in New York state court) against jail officials. The plaintiffs alleged that the jail officials had violated their rights guaranteed by the state constitution and state mental health statutes. The inmates proposed defining the class as themselves and all other current and future inmates confined in the City Jails for more than 24 hours, who during their confinement receive treatment for mental illness. The inmates moved for a preliminary injunction requiring the defendants to provide the class with adequate discharge planning in compliance with the state constitution and statutes.

On July 12, 2000, Judge Richard Braun held that the inmates could be certified as a class, but that the definition of the class was to be narrowed to only include those who would be entitled to treatment under state law. Brad H. v. City of New York, 712 N.Y.S.2d 336 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2000). Judge Braun also held that the inmate class was entitled to the preliminary injunction, and he enjoined the defendants to provide adequate discharge planning in accordance with state law. The defendants appealed, and on October 31, 2000, the Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division (Judge P.J. Sullivan) affirmed the decision of the lower court. Brad H. v City of New York, 716 N.Y.S.2d 852 (N.Y. App. Div. 2000). On March 1, 2001, the Appellate Division denied the defendants' leave to appeal to the Court of Appeals.

Subsequently, on May 17, 2001, the inmates filed a motion for contempt, alleging that the officials failed to comply with the preliminary injunction. In connection with the motion for contempt, the inmates filed a motion for various items of discovery including medical records of inmates. On June 26, 2001, Judge Braun ordered that the records be turned over to the court by July 9, 2001. Brad H. v. City of New York, 729 N.Y.S2d 348 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2001).

Eventually, on January 8, 2003, the parties settled, and the court approved the settlement agreement on April 2, 2003. The settlement required the defendants to provide certain specified forms of discharge planning for inmates who receive treatment for mental illness while incarcerated in the City Jails, and provided for two compliance monitors to monitor the defendants’ provision of those services. Specifically, the defendants had to provide discharge planning that included an individualized assessment of each inmate’s need for continuing mental health treatment, public benefits, appropriate housing, and transportation, and the defendants had to assist each inmate in obtaining those needs. The terms of the settlement agreement were to be implemented on June 3, 2003, and terminated at the end of five years after monitoring by the compliance monitors began. The two compliance monitors were appointed by the trial court on May 6, 2003.

On October 7, 2004, the defendants moved for an order declaring that the monitors were not permitted to assess their performance with regards to inmates in the forensic units at state mental hospitals because the defendants alleged that those inmates were not covered by the settlement agreement. However, on April 18, 2005, Judge Braun denied the motion. Brad H. v. City of New York, 801 N.Y.S.2d 230 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2005). He held that the settlement was not ambiguous and clearly covered the inmates in the forensic units at the mental hospitals. Judge Braun noted that these inmates “are probably the most in need of discharge planning due to their serious functional impairments,” and that to interpret the settlement agreement otherwise would be inconsistent with the overall purpose of the settlement.

On May 22, 2009, the plaintiffs, who had previously notified the court that the defendants had failed to comply with the settlement agreement, moved for a preliminary injunction requiring the defendants to abide by its duties under the settlement agreement. The defendants cross-moved to dismiss, claiming that the plaintiffs’ motion was untimely because the settlement had expired in April 2009: according to the defendants, the settlement commenced not on the implementation date of June 3, 2003, but on May 6, 2003, when the compliance monitors were appointed. On July 10, 2009, Judge Marilyn Shafer granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction and denied the defendants’ cross motion, finding that monitoring began on the implementation date of June 3, 2003 and that the expiration date occurred on May 25 or 26, 2009 (depending on observation of Memorial Day on May 25, and 2009 because the parties had previously agreed to a 365 day extension), thereby rendering the plaintiffs’ motion timely. On August 10, 2010, the Appellate Division (the intermediate court in New York state court) reversed Judge Shafer, finding that the monitoring began on either May 19, 2003, when the monitors “began to engage in some limited reviews of draft policies and procedures,” or May 28, 2003, when the monitors observed a training session, and that on either date, the plaintiffs’ motion was untimely. However, on June 28, 2011, the Court of Appeals of New York (New York’s highest state court) reinstated Judge Shafer’s decision, finding that the implementation date of June 3, 2003 was when monitoring functions began. Pursuant to an earlier stipulation entered into by the parties, the monitoring continued throughout the pendency of all appeals.

On August 12, 2011, the plaintiffs filed a supplemental enforcement motion, requesting a two-year extension of the settlement agreement. On April 18, 2014, Judge Geoffrey Wright granted the motion, ordering extended enforcement of the settlement for an additional two years. He also required the defendants to improve the quality of its services to comply with the settlement.

In June 18, 2017, the parties reached an agreement to amend the settlement and to extend its terms to July 31, 2020.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (5/2/2009)

Lisa Limb (3/30/2019)

People


Judge(s)

Andrias, Richard T. (New York)

Braun, Richard F. (New York)

Buckley, John T. (New York)

Ciparick, Carmen Beauchamp (New York)

Edwards, Erika M. (New York)

Gonzalez, Luis A. (Florida)

Graffeo, Victoria A. (New York)

Jones, Theodore T. (New York)

Lippman, Jonathan (New York)

Manzanet-Daniels, Sallie (New York)

Judge(s)

Andrias, Richard T. (New York)

Braun, Richard F. (New York)

Buckley, John T. (New York)

Ciparick, Carmen Beauchamp (New York)

Edwards, Erika M. (New York)

Gonzalez, Luis A. (Florida)

Graffeo, Victoria A. (New York)

Jones, Theodore T. (New York)

Lippman, Jonathan (New York)

Manzanet-Daniels, Sallie (New York)

McGuire, James M. (New York)

Pigott, Eugene F. Jr. (New York)

Rakower, Eileen A. (New York)

Read, Susan P. (New York)

Saxe, David B. (New York)

Shafer, Marilyn (New York)

Smith, Robert S. (New York)

Sullivan, Joseph P. (New York)

Tom, Peter (New York)

Williams, Milton L. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barr, Heather (New York)

Beaglehole, John (New York)

Brescia, Raymond H. (New York)

Corley, Patricia G. (New York)

Devlin, Faune P. (New York)

Greshan, John A. (New York)

Lasdon, Douglas (New York)

Leinhard, William (New York)

Luckenbach, Caroline H. (New York)

Parish, Jennifer J. (New York)

Powell, Jeffrey K. (New York)

Sauer, Kristen K. (New York)

Slater, Emily O’Neill (New York)

Tahbaz, Christopher K. (New York)

Velez, Melanie (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Crane, Thomas (New York)

Dantowitz, Jeffrey S. (New York)

Hess, Michael D. (New York)

Kalkstein, Julian L. (New York)

Ravitch, Ellen (New York)

Other Attorney(s)

Karlan, Mitchell A. (New York)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Andreasian, Karen Gomes (New York)

Dlugacz, Henry (New York)

Nardelli, Eugene L. (New York)

Roskes, Erik (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [NYS State Trial Court]

June 25, 2014 Docket

Complaint

New York state supreme court

Aug. 24, 1999 Complaint

Reported Opinion

712 N.Y.S.2d 336, 2000 N.Y.Misc.LEXIS 305

July 12, 2000 Order/Opinion

Opinion

276 A.D.2d 440, 2000 N.Y.App.Div.LEXIS 11046

Oct. 31, 2000 Order/Opinion

Opinion

New York state supreme court

729 N.Y.S.2d 348, 2001 N.Y.Misc.LEXIS 221

June 26, 2001 Order/Opinion

Stipulation of Settlement

Jan. 8, 2003 Settlement Agreement

[Order]

New York state supreme court

June 5, 2003 Order/Opinion

Opinion

2003 WL 22721558, 2003 N.Y.Misc.LEXIS 1446

Nov. 12, 2003 Order/Opinion

Special Report of the Compliance Monitors

New York state supreme court

Nov. 17, 2003 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Second Quarterly Report of the Compliance Monitors

New York state supreme court

Dec. 8, 2003 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report

Resources

Title Description External URL

Brad H. v. City of New York

Urban Justice Center

Resource page by plaintiffs' counsel: <br />The Urban Justice Center filed this class action lawsuit in 1999, challenging New York City's practice of discharging people with mental illness from the C… Oct. 6, 2016 https://mhp.urbanjustice.org/mhp-bradH.v.cityofnewyork

Docket

Last updated May 13, 2022

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Jail Conditions

Special Collection(s):

Post-PLRA enforceable consent decrees

Key Dates

Filing Date: Aug. 24, 1999

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Current and future inmates confined at Rikers Island for more than 24 hours, entitled to treatment for mental illness under state law.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

New York City (New York city, New York), City

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

State law

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

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: 2000 - 2020

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Reporting

Monitor/Master

Recordkeeping

Monitoring

Required disclosure

Issues

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, general

Mental health care, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run