Case: Navarro-Ayala v. Hernandez-Colon

3:74-cv-01301 | U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico

Filed Date: Nov. 25, 1974

Closed Date: 2017

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On November 25, 1974, patients at the Rio Piedras Psychiatric Hospital (RPPH) in San Juan, Puerto Rico filed a class action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. The plaintiffs, represented by Puerto Rico Legal Services and the Civil Action and Education Corporation, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief. They alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated by overcrowding, inadequaci…

On November 25, 1974, patients at the Rio Piedras Psychiatric Hospital (RPPH) in San Juan, Puerto Rico filed a class action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico. The plaintiffs, represented by Puerto Rico Legal Services and the Civil Action and Education Corporation, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief. They alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated by overcrowding, inadequacies in the physical facilities, lack of security for personal belongings, lack of pillows, poor laundry service, unpleasant odors, insufficient therapeutic treatment, insufficient staffing, inadequate classification standards, and discrimination on the basis of geographical origin. The plaintiffs also alleged that the defendants would place them naked in isolation rooms, which lacked toilet facilities. Amicus Curae in the case included the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, the Comite De Convergencia Por La Salud Mental En Puerto Rico, and the Colegio De Medicos Cirujanos De Puerto Rico.

On June 3, 1977, the court issued a consent decree and closed the case. The decree detailed 86 standards that the parties stipulated would be observed at RPPH in the future, and it included short term plans to remove patients with intellectual disabilities, as well as other long-term patients who didn't require hospitalization to the Cayey and Bayamon Psychosocial and Rehabilitation Centers. It also included the placement of additional patients in a foster care home program. The decree contained no express provisions that any of the 86 standards would be effectuated at any other facility than RPPH.

There was little activity in the case for seven years. On February 8, 1985, the district court (Judge Hector Manuel Laffitte) appointed Dr. David Helfeld as Special Master in the case and instructed him to report back to the court on the defendants' progress. On August 10, 1987, in response to the Special Master's report detailing the overcrowding at RPPH, the district court (Judge Laffitte) ordered that 144 patients be transferred to the Guerrero facility, noting that the patients should receive care and treatment consistent with the 86 stipulations in the original consent decree.

On June 28, 1988, the defendants asked the district court to reclose the case, arguing that they had substantially complied with the court's orders. On December 8, 1988, the district court (Judge Laffitte) denied this motion, ruling that the defendants were not in full compliance with the decree.

On June 12, 1989, the plaintiffs asked the district court to hold the defendants in contempt, alleging that the patients that had been transferred to the Guerrero facility were not receiving adequate treatment. The defendants objected to this, arguing that the district court didn't have jurisdiction over Guerrero because the consent decree only pertained to RPPH. On December 28, 1989, the district court (Judge Laffitte) ruled that the consent decree did apply to RPPH patients being treated at the Guerrero facility.

On January 16, 1990, the defendants asked the district court for sanctions, stating that the plaintiff class had never been properly certified by the court. On March 6, 1990, the district court (Judge Laffitte) dismissed the defendants' request, holding that the action had been maintained as a class action since class certification was satisfied when the court approved the original stipulated agreement. The court also found that the notice requirement had been satisfied because no class member had complained during the entire 14 years of the litigation. The court stated that the defendants' arguments were frivolous and assessed sanctions of $1,500.00 in attorneys' fees against the counsel for the defendants. The defendants appealed this order. On December 18, 1991, the First Circuit (Judge Levin H. Campbell) affirmed the district court's ruling that the lawsuit could proceed as a class action, but reversed and remanded the district court's ruling that the consent decree would apply to the Guerrero facility. Navarro-Ayala v. Hernandez-Colon, 951 F.2d 1325 (1st Cir. 1991).

On remand, the district court (Judge Laffitte) ordered the parties to submit briefs on an appropriate remedial action for the defendants' systematic denial of rights under the Mental Health Code. The court also ordered the Special Master to investigate whether the medical directors at Guerrero were implementing the provisions of the Mental Health Code at that time. The defendants appealed both orders. On February 7, 1992, the First Circuit dismissed the appeal, holding that the appellate court had no jurisdiction in the matter since the district court's orders were not final orders. Navarro-Ayala v. Hernandez-Colon, 956 F.2d 348 (1st Cir. 1992).

The plaintiffs asked the district court to impose sanctions on the Assistant Secretary of Mental Health for violating Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure by falsely certifying to the court that patients at the institution could leave the hospital "at any time they want." On July 8, 1991, the district court (Judge Laffitte) granted the plaintiffs' request and issued monetary sanctions in the amount of $20,000.00. Navarro-Ayala v. Hernandez-Colon, 143 F.R.D. 460 (D.P.R. 1991). The defendants appealed. On July 13, 1992, the First Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Bruce Marshall Selya) affirmed the district court's decision to impose sanctions, but reduced the amount from $20,000.00 to $6,500.00. Navarro-Ayala v. Nunez, 968 F.2d 1421 (1st Cir. 1992).

In February 1992, the defendants filed a motion asking the district court to reconsider its reappointment of the Special Master. After considering and rejecting the motion, the district court (Judge Laffitte) decided that Colon had violated Rule 11 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and sanctioned him $500.00. Colon appealed. On August 20, 1993, the First Circuit reversed the district court's sanctions, holding that they were unwarranted. Navarro-Ayala v. Hernandez-Colon, 3 F.3d 464 (1st Cir. 1993).

As recounted in the District Court Order from January 10, 2005 (Judge H. Laffitte), the parties, on August 11, 2000, filed a Joint Stipulation and Order of Dismissal, asserting substantial compliance with the Consent Decree. The defendants agreed to maintain the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) accreditation, to maintain a yearly appropriated budge of at least $18,929,000.00, and to adequately provide for the health, welfare, safety and treatment of the patients at RPPH. The Court adopted the joint stipulation and order, and on January 28, 2002. The court dismissed the case and retained jurisdiction to enforce the agreement.

From June 2003 through August 2004, the Special Master filed five compliance reports that described as untrue the allegations regarding the reduction in budget, the diversion of hospital funds, the closure of the San Patricio Mental Health Center, and the use by a managed behavioral health organization of thirty hospital beds. In 2003, the RPPH confronted a budgetary crisis that, according to the Special Master, was not affected by the failure to assign the stipulated budget or diversion of funds, but rather the assumption that the hospital’s prior court ordered budget would suffice to maintain functioning after the consent decree. The parties met with the Special Master following the fourth report to discuss the 1996 Rehabilitation Plan. While the Special Master insisted that the plan had to be followed, the parties of the action thought that it was not legally, procedurally, or substantively required in light of the accomplishments described in the compliance reports.

In the fifth report, the Special Master indicated that defendants were not in compliance with the 1996 Rehabilitation Plan by continuing to house patients who obtained the maximum benefit of hospitalization and could be moved out of acute care in the hospital and into rehabilitation services (maximum-benefit patients).

In response to the fifth and final report in 2004, the plaintiffs acknowledged that the Special Master’s reports did not indicate conditions as severe as when patients filed the original 1974 complaint. While highlighting the presence of maximum benefit patients as concerning, the plaintiffs also noted that the Special Master’s reports sought to establish a new remedial agenda that would extend beyond the hospitals at issue in this case to multiple health care facilities in Puerto Rico. Plaintiffs’ counsel explained that the Special Master’s suggestions seek to “straightjacket the Puerto Rico Department of Health” by controlling budgets, staffing, programming, and administrative structures. Plaintiffs’ counsel made clear to the court that they did not agree to adopt any statements with respect to facilities beyond the scope of the current case. The parties therefore asked the court to close the case without full adherence to the 1996 plan or extra considerations posited by the Special Master.

On January 10, 2005, the Court (Judge H. Laffitte) entertained a motion asserting that the RPPH budget was reduced beneath the court-ordered amount and that the pre- and post-hospitalization services were inadequate. The Court determined that RPPH had in fact increased its budget and improved its pre- and post-hospitalization services. Nonetheless, the Court increased the budgetary mandate of $18,929,000.00 to $23,000,000.00 per fiscal year. It also reasserted its prior dismissal of the case, concluding that there was no evidence of further constitutional violations that warrant further judicial involvement in the case.

On September 26, 2014, a group of mental health patients at RPPH moved to reopen the case, claiming that RPPH had failed to maintain adequate staffing and funding levels, and that the patients feared that important services would be eliminated. The case officially reopened on June 18, 2015. The court appointed monitor Daniel Wathen to compile compliance reports.

In the first compliance report submitted on September 2, 2016, the monitor declared that until 2014, RPPH was a “model operation” and services were based on the 1996 Rehabilitation Plan. Before 2014, RPPH received support by block grants from the United States Government in addition to payments from patients enrolled in the Government Health Plan. During a budget session in 2014, though, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration informed RPPH that block grant funds could not be used to supplement mental health treatment services. A privately managed care provider then took over those services and part of the premises, resulting in the elimination of a number of previously offered services including partial hospitalization, pharmacy services, recreational therapy, ambulance services, vocational services, and case management. A change in compensation measures for employees also resulted in shorter visits, less continuity of care, delays in appointment scheduling, and no visits for patients without healthcare accepted by the private care provider. The monitor conceded that the plaintiffs were factually correct in alleging that these changes breached court orders.

After almost an additional year of litigation, Judge Francisco A. Besosa ordered the Commonwealth on February 22, 2016 to pay plaintiffs’ attorney’s and the monitor’s fees accruing from the time the case reopened. Defendants completed payments on December 2, 2016. Judge Besosa denied a motion to reopen the case on October 17, 2017 and the case remains closed.

Summary Authors

Kristen Sagar (7/19/2006)

Nick Kabat (11/27/2014)

Richa Bijlani (11/16/2019)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5581886/parties/navarro-ayala-v-governor-of-pret-al/


Judge(s)

Besosa, Francisco Augusto (Puerto Rico)

Boudin, Michael (Massachusetts)

Breyer, Stephen Gerald (District of Columbia)

Campbell, Levin Hicks (Massachusetts)

Coffin, Frank Morey (Maine)

Cyr, Conrad Keefe (Maine)

Laffitte, Héctor Manuel (Puerto Rico)

Pollak, Louis Heilprin (Pennsylvania)

Selya, Bruce Marshall (Rhode Island)

Torruella, Juan R. (Puerto Rico)

Judge(s)

Besosa, Francisco Augusto (Puerto Rico)

Boudin, Michael (Massachusetts)

Breyer, Stephen Gerald (District of Columbia)

Campbell, Levin Hicks (Massachusetts)

Coffin, Frank Morey (Maine)

Cyr, Conrad Keefe (Maine)

Laffitte, Héctor Manuel (Puerto Rico)

Pollak, Louis Heilprin (Pennsylvania)

Selya, Bruce Marshall (Rhode Island)

Torruella, Juan R. (Puerto Rico)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Berkan, Judith (Puerto Rico)

Bird-Lopez, Alejandra Ysabel (Puerto Rico)

Cardona-Acaba, Armando (Puerto Rico)

Font-Guzman, Jacqueline N (Oklahoma)

Garcia-Gutierrez, Carlos V. (Puerto Rico)

Rodriguez Banchs, Manuel A. (Puerto Rico)

Rodriguez-Rivera, Rafael E. (Puerto Rico)

Villaronga, Luis M. (Puerto Rico)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Almonte-Duluc, Gittel (Puerto Rico)

Annexy-Guevara, Beatriz (Puerto Rico)

Cancio Bigas, Sylvia A. (District of Columbia)

Cotti-Cruz, Norma (District of Columbia)

Del-Valle-Cruz, Carlos A. (Puerto Rico)

del Valle Ferrer, Pedro A. (Puerto Rico)

Fax, Charles S. (Maryland)

Garcia-Marrero, Janitza M. (Puerto Rico)

Landron-Guardiola, Eileen (Puerto Rico)

Perez-Borerro, Arlene R. (Puerto Rico)

Perez-Diaz, Jorge E. (District of Columbia)

Perez-Llavona, Marcia I. (Puerto Rico)

Pineiro, Maria Soledad (Puerto Rico)

Rodriguez, Anabelle (District of Columbia)

Rufat-Garcia, Yanina (Florida)

Vera-Ramirez, Eduardo A. (Puerto Rico)

Other Attorney(s)

Carlo, Alice Net (Puerto Rico)

Gutierrez-Galang, Gina Ismalia (Puerto Rico)

Rodriguez-Ortiz, Carlos A. (Puerto Rico)

Suarez-Jimenez, Manuel R. (Puerto Rico)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Helfeld, David M. (Puerto Rico)

Wathen, Daniel E. (Maine)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Navarro-Ayala v. Governor of Puerto Rico

Nov. 9, 2017 Docket

Opinion and Order

143 F.R.D. 460

July 8, 1991 Order/Opinion

Reported Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

951 F.2d 1325

Dec. 18, 1991 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

956 F.2d 348

Feb. 7, 1992 Order/Opinion

Opinion

Navarro-Ayala v. Nunez

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

968 F.2d 1421

July 13, 1992 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

3 F.3d 464

Aug. 20, 1993 Order/Opinion
604

Order [Finding No Current Evidence of Constitutional Violations]

Jan. 10, 2005 Order/Opinion
693

Opinion and Order

186 F.Supp.3d 128

May 12, 2016 Order/Opinion
718

Report of Monitor

Navarro-Ayala v. Governor of Puerto Rico

Sept. 2, 2016 Monitor/Expert/Receiver Report
757

Order

Oct. 17, 2017 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5581886/navarro-ayala-v-governor-of-pret-al/

Last updated May 19, 2022, 11:33 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
693

OPINION AND ORDER re 678 Motion for Reconsideration: DENIED. Attorney Berkan's fees will be paid no later than June 15, 2016. Signed by Judge Francisco A. Besosa on 05/12/2016. (brc)

May 12, 2016 RECAP

Case closed (ja) (Entered: 03/24/2003)

June 3, 1977

For previous entries, refer to master docket sheet (ja) (ni). Modified on 2/20/2015 to add pdf of docket sheet (ni). (Entered: 03/24/2003)

March 12, 2003
504

ORDER Status Conference for 4:30 3/18/03 before Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ( signed by Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ) (ja) (Entered: 03/24/2003)

March 12, 2003

Status Conference held before Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte (ja) (Entered: 03/24/2003)

March 18, 2003
505

Minute entry:Status Conference held on 3/18/03. The Court inquired as to the administration of the Psychiatric Hospital. Deft to file motion informing of the status of the issued discussed at this S/C. set Status Report deadline to 4/12/03 Court Reporter: NONE ( Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ) (ja) (Entered: 03/24/2003)

March 20, 2003
506

Informative Motion in compliance w/order by Rafael Hernandez−Colon re: status of certain issues. (w/attchs.) (ct) (Entered: 04/16/2003)

April 14, 2003
507

Informative Motion by Maribel Roman Sanchez; MRC (among others), pro se re: elimination of mental health services. (ct) (Entered: 04/16/2003)

April 15, 2003
508

ORDER re: compliance w/order of 1/28/02; the Ct's continuing concern w/compliance w/the order of 1/28/02; reappointment of Dr. David M. Helfeld as Special Master and notice of frothcoming investigation as to: Johnny Rullan, Dalila Aguilu, Reynaldo Rodriguez, Orlando Torres, Carlos Del Valle, Orlando Gonzalez and Erick Graffals. ( signed by Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ) (ct) (Entered: 04/29/2003)

April 29, 2003
509

Motion by Commonwealth defts in response to Court's Order of 4/29/03. (ja) (Entered: 05/08/2003)

May 6, 2003
510

MOTION SUBMITTING affs and notifying appeal w/attachment by Rafael Hernandez−Colon (np) (Entered: 05/27/2003)

May 22, 2003
511

NOTICE OF APPEAL [508−1] order by Rafael Hernandez−Colon . Transcript Order Form furnished to appellant Appeal record due on 6/2/03 (np) (Entered: 05/27/2003)

May 22, 2003
512

MOTION by Rafael Hernandez−Colon to Extend Time for 30 days to file transl (np) (Entered: 05/27/2003)

May 22, 2003

USCA appeal fees received FILING FEE $ 105.00 RECEIPT # 136787 (su) (Entered: 05/30/2003)

May 27, 2003
513

Report of Investigation by Special Master Dr. David M. Helfeld. (ja) (Entered: 06/04/2003)

June 3, 2003
514

ORDER set Status Conference for 2:30 6/13/03 before Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ( signed by Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ) (ja) (Entered: 06/06/2003)

June 6, 2003
515

MOTION by Commonwealth of PR defts to Continue status conference (ja) (Entered: 06/10/2003)

June 9, 2003
517

ORDER denying w/o prejudice [510−1] motion to stay investigation ( signed by Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ) (ja) (Entered: 06/13/2003)

June 13, 2003
518

Informative Motion by Rafael Hernandez−Colon re: Special Committee appointed to deal w/ the psychiatric center. (ja) (Entered: 06/18/2003)

June 16, 2003
519

MOTION by Rafael Hernandez−Colon to Extend Time until 7/16/03 to file translations of exhibits (ja) (Entered: 06/18/2003)

June 16, 2003

Status Conference held before Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte (ja) (Entered: 06/23/2003)

June 17, 2003
520

ORDER denying defts' petition to stay investigation pending appeal. The Court reaffirms its prior decision to appoint Dr. Helfeld as Special Master to conduct any investigation he may deem necessary to ascertain if the Commonwealth is in compliance w/all court orders. The special master's term will expire on 12/31/03, unless extended by the Court set Notice of Compliance deadline to 12/31/03 ( signed by Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ) (ja) (Entered: 06/18/2003)

June 18, 2003
521

AMENDED NOTICE OF APPEAL to include [520−2] order by Rafael Hernandez−Colon . Transcript Order Form furnished to appellant Appeal record due on 6/30/03 (ja) (Entered: 06/20/2003)

June 19, 2003
522

Certified and transmitted Record on Appeal to U.S. Court of Appeals: [511−1] appeal by Rafael Hernandez−Colon Copies & original documents; Dkt #1,...,520. Dkt#513 (Report of Investigation by Special Master) (ja) (Entered: 06/20/2003)

June 19, 2003
523

Minute entry:Status Conference held on 6/17/03 to discuss the recent re−appointment of Dr. Helfeld as Special Master & allow the Commonwealth defts an opportunity to oppose & rebut the recommendations and findings of the Special Master's unfinished report. Defts informed the Court of the recent creation of a Special Committee responsible of strengthening the management of the RPPH & establishing adm & finscal structures to made psychiatric medical services more efficient. All parties agreed that the Judge engage in ex−parte meetings w/ all parties in this case, etc. Court Reporter: none ( Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ) (ja) Modified on 07/10/2003 (Entered: 06/23/2003)

June 23, 2003
524

MOTION by Rafael Hernandez−Colon requesting that certain statements be included in the record , and requesting transcript of the Status Conferences (ja) (Entered: 06/25/2003)

June 23, 2003
525

SECOND AMENDED NOTICE OF APPEAL from the Minutes of Proceedings of 6/19/03 by Rafael Hernandez−Colon . Transcript Order Form furnished to appellant Appeal record due on 7/7/03 (ja) (Entered: 06/25/2003)

June 25, 2003
526

ORDER for plffs & the Special Master to respond to defts' Motion at Dkt #524 Response to Motion reset to 7/8/03 for [524−1] motion requesting that certain statements be included in the record, reset to 7/8/03 for [524−2] motion requesting transcript of the Status Conferences ( signed by Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ) (ja) (Entered: 06/26/2003)

June 26, 2003

USCA Case Number Re: [0−0] fee appeal, [511−1] appeal by Rafael Hernandez−Colon USCA NUMBER: 03−1884 (ja) Modified on 09/23/2003 (Entered: 07/07/2003)

July 3, 2003
527

RESPONSE w/attchs. in Spanish by David M. Helfeld to [524−1] motion requesting that certain statements be included in the record by Rafael Hernandez−Colon, [524−2] motion requesting transcript of the Status Conferences by Rafael Hernandez−Colon (ct) (Entered: 07/08/2003)

July 7, 2003
528

MOTION by Roberto Navarro−Ayala for setting of hearing , and to Extend Time to perform discovery on matters stated herein (ja) Modified on 07/10/2003 (Entered: 07/09/2003)

July 8, 2003
530

Certified and transmitted Record on Appeal to U.S. Court of Appeals: [525−1] appeal by Rafael Hernandez−Colon, [521−1] appeal by Rafael Hernandez−Colon: Copies of original documents, Dkt#521−529 & Certified Translation of #523 (Dkt#1,...,520,513/Report certified on 6/19/03), refer to CCA Case #03−1884. (ja) Modified on 07/16/2003 (Entered: 07/11/2003)

July 10, 2003
531

REPLY by Rafael Hernandez−Colon to responses of plffs and the Master. (ja) (Entered: 07/15/2003)

July 14, 2003
532

ORDER denying [524−1] motion requesting that certain statements be included in the record, denying [524−2] motion requesting transcript of the Status Conferences ( signed by Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ) (ja) (Entered: 07/16/2003)

July 16, 2003
533

Transmitted Supplemental Record on Appeal: [525−1] appeal by Rafael Hernandez−Colon, [521−1] appeal by Rafael Hernandez−Colon, [511−1] appeal by Rafael Hernandez−Colon Copies of original documents; Dkt #532 sent by fax on 7/17/03 (ja) (Entered: 07/18/2003)

July 17, 2003
534

FAXED COPY OF Letter MOTION by David M. Helfeld to request info re: the distrib. of $10 million assigned to the Rio Piedras Psychiatric Hospital (ct) (Entered: 07/31/2003)

July 31, 2003
535

FAXED COPY OF Letter MOTION by David M. Helfeld to request info re: OMB decisions as to budgetary determinations affecting the RP Psychiatric Hosp. and San Patricio Mental Health Ctr. (ct) (Entered: 07/31/2003)

July 31, 2003

USCA Case Number Re: [525−1] appeal by Rafael Hernandez−Colon, [521−1] appeal by Rafael Hernandez−Colon USCA NUMBER: 03−1998 (ja) (Entered: 08/08/2003)

Aug. 7, 2003
536

Certified copy of Judgment from USCCA on 7/21/03 as to Rafael Hernandez−Colon dismissing appeal for lack of jurisdiction and denying the petition for a writ of mandamus. Our disposition moots the motions for a stay and expedited review. (ja) (Entered: 08/11/2003)

Aug. 8, 2003
537

JUDGMENT OF USCA (certified copy), issued as informal mandate, Re: [511−1] appeal dism the appeal for lack of juridiction and denying the petition for a writ of mandamus. This disposition moots the motions for a stay and expedited review. (ja) (Entered: 09/24/2003)

Sept. 23, 2003
538

ORDER approving the proposed budget in the amt of $85,000 to cover the period of April 29 thru 12/31/03, etc. ( signed by Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ) (ja) (Additional attachment(s) added on 11/13/2014: # 1 Certification 8/29/03) (mr). (Entered: 09/24/2003)

Sept. 24, 2003
539

Second Report by David M. Helfeld, Special Master (cm) (Entered: 10/20/2003)

Oct. 17, 2003
540

OBJECTION by Rafael Hernandez−Colon to [539−1] report by David M. Helfeld (ja) (Entered: 11/04/2003)

Nov. 3, 2003
541

MOTION by David M. Helfeld for Sanctions against atty Del Valle for professional misconduct Response due 12/1/03 . (ja) (Entered: 11/17/2003)

Nov. 14, 2003
542

RESPONSE by Rafael Hernandez−Colon in opposition to [541−1] motion for Sanctions against atty Del Valle for professional misconduct by David M. Helfeld (ja) (Entered: 11/18/2003)

Nov. 17, 2003
543

ORDER denying [541−1] motion for Sanctions against atty Del Valle for professional misconduct. However, the Ct will not tolerate further personal attacks, etc. ( signed by Chief Judge Hector M. Laffitte ) (ct) (Entered: 12/09/2003)

Dec. 9, 2003
544

JUDGMENT OF USCA (certified copy), issued as informal mandate, Re: [525−1] appeal, [521−1] appeal Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction. (cm) (Entered: 01/07/2004)

Dec. 31, 2003

Record on Appeal as to Rafael Hernandez−Colon returned from U.S. Court of Appeals: [525−1] appeal by Rafael Hernandez−Colon, [521−1] appeal by Rafael Hernandez−Colon, [511−1] appeal by Rafael Hernandez−Colon; All vols received.

Dec. 31, 2003
546

THIRD REPORT, by Special Master. (ja, ) (Entered: 01/21/2004)

Jan. 21, 2004
547

ORDER extending the appointment of the Special Master, retroactive from January 1st to May 1st, 2004. Status Conference set for 2/11/2004 04:00 PM in HL's Chambers before Hector M Laffitte.The Secretary of Health, Hon. Johnny Rullan is ordered to appear.. Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 1/30/04. (ja, ) (Entered: 01/30/2004)

Jan. 30, 2004
548

OBJECTIONS filed by Commonwealth defendants Re: 546 Report filed by David M. Helfeld (ja, ) (Entered: 02/05/2004)

Feb. 4, 2004
549

OBJECTION filed by all defendants Re: 546 Report filed by David M. Helfeld (ja, ) (Entered: 02/09/2004)

Feb. 5, 2004
550

MOTION requesting rescheduling of Status Conference filed by all defendants (ja, ) (Entered: 02/09/2004)

Feb. 6, 2004

ORDER denying 550 Motion requesting rescheduling of S/C filed by Rafael Hernandez−Colon. Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 2/9/04. (ja, ) (Entered: 02/09/2004)

Feb. 6, 2004
551

MOTIONrequesting that S/C be held on the record filed by the Commonwealth defendants (ja, ) (Entered: 02/10/2004)

Feb. 9, 2004
552

MOTIONrequesting that Special Master's petition for the payment of compensation be on the record filed by Commonwealth defendants(ja, ) (Entered: 02/10/2004)

Feb. 9, 2004
553

NOTICE of Appearance by Manuel A. Rodriguez−Banchs on behalf of all plaintiffs (ja, ) (Entered: 02/12/2004)

Feb. 11, 2004
554

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Hector M Laffitte : Status Conference held on 2/11/2004. The parties hav represented to the Court that they will engage in discussions to expedite the resolution of the case. Parties will endeavor to have a proposed settlement on or before 5/1/04.Advise Court of Settlement Deadline due by 5/1/2004. (Court Reporter Patricia Garshak.) (ja, ) (Entered: 02/17/2004)

Feb. 17, 2004
555

MOTION Submitting Special Master's Compensation Application Special Master's Compensation filed by all parties (Del−Valle−Cruz, Carlos) (Entered: 02/27/2004)

Feb. 27, 2004
556

REPORT Special Master's Compensation by all parties. (Del−Valle−Cruz, Carlos) (Entered: 02/27/2004)

Feb. 27, 2004
557

ORDER Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 2/27/04. (cg, ) (Entered: 02/27/2004)

Feb. 27, 2004
558

ORDER . Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 2/27/04. (cg, ) (Entered: 02/27/2004)

Feb. 27, 2004
559

INFORMATIVE Motion Compliance Court Order February 27,2004 filed by Carlos Del−Valle−Cruz on behalf of Sila Maria Calderon (Del−Valle−Cruz, Carlos) (Entered: 03/16/2004)

March 16, 2004
560

ORDER noting 559 Informative motion . Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 3/17/04. (cg, ) (Entered: 03/17/2004)

March 17, 2004
561

INFORMATIVE Motion re: rate of compensation of the Special Master's administrative assistant filed by David M. Helfeld on behalf of David M. Helfeld (ja, ) (Entered: 03/19/2004)

March 19, 2004
562

ORDER noting 561 Informative motion . Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 3/23/04. (cg, ) (Entered: 03/23/2004)

March 23, 2004
563

ORDER setting Settlement and/or Status Conference set for 4/30/2004 02:00 PM before Hector M Laffitte. Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 4/20/04. (ct, ) (Entered: 04/20/2004)

April 20, 2004
564

Motion In Compliance Submitting Compliance Report and Requesting Case Closure filed by Carlos Del−Valle−Cruz on behalf of all defendants (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit

April 30, 2004
566

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Hector M Laffitte on April 30, 2004. (cg, ) (Entered: 05/03/2004)

May 3, 2004
567

INFORMATIVE Motion and Petition to replenish the Special Master's Account for the Months of April−June 2004 filed by David M. Helfeld on behalf of David M. Helfeld (Attachments: # 1 Special Master's Fee and Expense Statement for the period of Jan−Mar 2004)(ja, ) (Entered: 05/14/2004)

May 14, 2004
568

INFORMATIVE MOTION AND PETITION to replenish the Special Master's Account for the months of April−June 2004 filed by David M. Helfeld (Attachments: # 1 Special Master's Fee Staement: Jan 1− March 31, 2004# 2 Statement of Expenses)(ja, ) (Entered: 05/18/2004)

May 18, 2004
569

MOTION requesting Order Requesting Grace Period to Work on Response and Remedial Plan filed by Carlos Del−Valle−Cruz on behalf of all defendants (Del−Valle−Cruz, Carlos) (Entered: 05/20/2004)

May 20, 2004
570

ORDER approving Special Master's fee and expenses application. Defendants proceed to make payment to the Special Master and his assistant in three separate checks: Special Master David Helfeld $17,625.00; Reimbursement to Special Master for expenses incurred $248.00; Special Master Assistant Olga Leticia Villalon $2,680.00. Defendants are ordered to replenish the account in the amount of $36,000.00 to cover period April−June 2004, and the preparation of Special Master Fifth Report. Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 05/28/04. (yo, ) (Entered: 05/28/2004)

May 28, 2004
571

INFORMATIVE Motion re: Fee Statement of the Special Master and of his Special Assistant for the Months of April & May 2004 filed by David M. Helfeld (Attachments: # 1 Special Master's Fee Statement (April 1 − May 31, 2004)# 2 Statement of the Assistant to Special Master from 4/1/04 to 4/30/04# 3 Statement of the Assistant to Special Master from 5/1/04 to 5/31/04)(ja, ) (Entered: 06/08/2004)

June 8, 2004
572

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Document To File Commonwealth Defendants' Compliance Plan filed by Carlos Del−Valle−Cruz on behalf of all defendants Suggestions in opposition/response due by 6/28/2004 (Del−Valle−Cruz, Carlos) (Entered: 06/15/2004)

June 15, 2004
573

ORDER granting 572 Motion for Extension of Time. The Commonwealth defendants have until June 21, 2004, to submit the Compliance Plan to the Special Master. In addition, the parties shall have until July 30, 2004, to report to the Court whether they have reached a consensual resolution in this case. Upon the parties' request, Dr. Helfeld's appointment as Special Master is hereby extended until July 30, 2004 . Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 6/15/04. (cg, ) (Entered: 06/15/2004)

June 15, 2004
574

ORDER finding as moot 569 Motion requesting Order (see dockets #572 and #573). Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 06/16/04. (yo, ) (Entered: 06/16/2004)

June 16, 2004

Mail Returned as Undeliverable. Mail sent to Johnny Rullan (ct, ) (Entered: 06/23/2004)

June 22, 2004
575

**Terminated, Motion refiled to correct date** INFORMATIVE Motion Re: Stage in Settlement Process filed by David M. Helfeld, Special Master (cm, ) Modified on 6/25/2004 (cm, ). (Entered: 06/24/2004)

June 24, 2004
576

INFORMATIVE Motion re: Stage in Settlement Process filed by David M. Helfeld, Special Master (cm, ) (Entered: 06/25/2004)

June 25, 2004
577

INFORMATIVE Motion re: Special Master's Fee Statement filed by David M. Helfeld, Special Master (Attachments: # 1 Fee Statement)(cm, ) (Entered: 07/02/2004)

July 2, 2004
578

ORDER as to 571 . The Court approves the unopposed Special Master's and his assistant fees for the months of April and May 2004. Defendant shall proceed to make payment in two separate checks. Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 7/06/04. (yo, ) (Entered: 07/06/2004)

July 6, 2004
580

MOTION requesting Order Setting Status Conference filed by Alejandra Ysabel Bird−Lopez on behalf of all plaintiffs (Bird−Lopez, Alejandra) (Entered: 07/15/2004)

July 15, 2004
581

ORDER re granting 580 MOTION requesting Order Setting Status Conference filed by Roberto Navarro−Ayala, Settlement/Status Conference set for 7/21/2004 04:00 PM before Judge Hector M Laffitte . Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 7/15/04. (cm, ) (Entered: 07/15/2004)

July 15, 2004
582

ORDER re−scheduling the July 21, 2004, status conference for 5:00 pm. Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 7/20/04. (cg, ) (Entered: 07/20/2004)

July 20, 2004
583

INFORMATIVE Motion filed by Carlos Del−Valle−Cruz on behalf of Sila Maria Calderon (Attachments: # 1)(Del−Valle−Cruz, Carlos) (Entered: 07/21/2004)

July 21, 2004
584

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Judge Hector M Laffitte (cg, ) (Entered: 07/22/2004)

July 22, 2004
585

FIFTH AND FINAL REPORT by Special Master, Dr. David M. Helfeld. Note: Because of the size of this report, copies of the Fifth & Final report are available in the Clerk's Office for pick up by Attorneys Rafael Garcia Alvarez, Carlos Garcia Gutierrez and Dr. Johnny Rullan. (cm, ) (Entered: 08/12/2004)

Aug. 12, 2004
586

MOTION Requesting that an Addendum be incorporated in his re 585 Fifth Report, filed by David M. Helfeld, Special Master (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit X−1)(Related document(s) 585 ) (cm, ) (Entered: 08/23/2004)

Aug. 23, 2004
587

MOTION to Strike Special Master's Supplement to His Fifth Report Re: 586 MOTION Requesting that an Addendum be incorporated in his re 585 Report, filed by David M. Helfeld filed by David M. Helfeld filed by Carlos V. Garcia−Gutierrez on behalf of all plaintiffs Suggestions in opposition/response due by 9/7/2004 (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A)(Related document(s) 586 ) (Garcia−Gutierrez, Carlos) (Entered: 08/24/2004)

Aug. 24, 2004
588

MOTION to Appoint Special Master filed by Manuel R. Suarez−Jimenez on behalf of National Alliance Mentally Ill Suggestions in opposition/response due by 9/8/2004 (Suarez−Jimenez, Manuel) (Entered: 08/26/2004)

Aug. 26, 2004
589

INFORMATIVE Motion filed by Carlos Del−Valle−Cruz on behalf of all defendants (Del−Valle−Cruz, Carlos) (Entered: 08/26/2004)

Aug. 26, 2004
590

ORDER noting and granting 589 INFORMATIVE motion . Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 8/27/04. (cg, ) (Entered: 08/27/2004)

Aug. 27, 2004
591

MOTION for Leave to File Document Brief Of Amicus Curiae Comite De Convergencia Por La Salud Mental En Puerto Rico filed by Gina Ismalia Gutierrez−Galang on behalf of COMITE DE CONVERGENCIA POR LA SALUD MENTAL EN PUERTO RICO Suggestions in opposition/response due by 9/9/2004 (Gutierrez−Galang, Gina) (Entered: 08/27/2004)

Aug. 27, 2004
592

MOTION requesting that Plaintiff's motion re 587 MOTION to Strike be denied and substituted, if needed, by an evidentiary hearing, by David M. Helfeld, Special Master. (Related document(s) 587 ) (cm, ) (Entered: 08/30/2004)

Aug. 30, 2004
593

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply filed by Carlos Del−Valle−Cruz on behalf of all defendants Suggestions in opposition/response due by 9/13/2004 (Del−Valle−Cruz, Carlos) (Entered: 08/31/2004)

Aug. 31, 2004
594

RESPONSE to Motion Special Master's Fifth and Final Report filed by all plaintiffs Re: 585 Report, filed by David M. Helfeld (Garcia−Gutierrez, Carlos) (Entered: 09/01/2004)

Sept. 1, 2004
595

ORDER granting 593 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply re 585 Fifth Report of Special Master, Signed by Judge Hector M Laffitte on 9/01/04. (Laffitte, Hector) (Entered: 09/01/2004)

Sept. 1, 2004
597

Special Master's Fee STATEMENT for the months of July and August 2004 filed by David M. Helfeld, Special Master (Attachments: # 1)(cm, ) (Entered: 09/07/2004)

Sept. 7, 2004
598

MOTION for Leave to File Brief filed by Carlos A. Rodriguez−Ortiz on behalf of Colegio de Medicos Cirujanos de PR Suggestions in opposition/response due by 10/4/2004 (cm, ) (Entered: 09/21/2004)

Sept. 20, 2004

State / Territory: Puerto Rico

Case Type(s):

Mental Health (Facility)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Nov. 25, 1974

Closing Date: 2017

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Mental health patients of Río Piedras Psychiatric Ward Hospital.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Yes

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras), None

Defendant Type(s):

Hospital/Health Department

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 1977 - None

Content of Injunction:

Monitor/Master

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Conditions of confinement

Confinement/isolation

Loss or damage to property

Sanitation / living conditions

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Crowding:

Crowding / caseload

Discrimination-basis:

National origin discrimination

Disability:

Mental impairment

Mental Disability:

Mental Illness, Unspecified

Medical/Mental Health:

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run