Filed Date: March 15, 1996
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On March 15, 1996, the United States filed a lawsuit under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997, against the State of Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation (DMH/MR) and the Memphis Mental Health Institute (MMHI), in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee, Memphis Division. The government asked the court for injunctive relief, alleging that the defendants were depriving patients of MMHI of constitutional rights, privileges and immunities. Specifically, the plaintiff contended that the defendants failed to provide adequate medical care, failed to provide individualized psychiatric care and treatment, and failed to provide adequate trained direct care and professional staff.
The CRIPA investigation began in 1990. On November 2, 1990, the Department of Justice (DOJ) began sending internal memoranda recommending a CRIPA investigation of conditions at MMHI. The preliminary findings indicated that conditions there included inadequate psychiatric care and treatment, inadequate supervision and neglect caused by an inadequate number of professional and direct care staff, as well as general medical care deficiencies, including overuse and misuse of medication and an unsafe and unsanitary environment. On December 12, 1990, the DOJ sent the Governor of Tennessee a letter indicating an intention to investigate. And, on April 4, 1991, the DOJ sent another letter to the Governor presenting interim findings. In that letter, the DOJ indicated it found MMHI did not have a sufficient number of psychiatrists, nurses, or psychiatric technicians, and that DMH/MR planned to cut additional staff positions at MMHI. On February 6, 1992, the DOJ sent another letter to the Governor presenting its findings. In that letter, the DOJ indicated it found that MMHI failed to provide patients with adequate general and emergency medical care, had inadequate psychiatric care and medication practices, and employed improper and excessive use of physical restraints. Further, in its findings letter, DOJ demanded implementation of certain remedial measures.
Apparently, the parties began negotiating a settlement before the CRIPA lawsuit was filed. On March 15, 1996, the same day as the complaint was filed, the parties submitted a joint motion for entry of a consent decree. Under the settlement agreement the defendants agreed to implement all policies, systems, procedures and rules currently in place, to provide quarterly status reports, provide the government access to the facilities, records, patients, and employees of MMHI, and to confer in good faith on the provisions of the consent decree. Further, the consent decree contained provisions detailing staffing requirements, patient treatment and discharge plans, and non-psychiatric medical care.
On March 27, 1996, the District Court (Judge Julia S. Gibbons) approved the consent decree, and retained jurisdiction of the action until the consent decree was terminated with respect to all requirements. And, on May 21, 1997, the Court entered judgment in accordance with the consent decree and terminated the case, retaining jurisdiction for necessary enforcement of the decree. And, on September 18, 1998, the District Court (Judge Gibbons) granted the parties' joint motion for a stipulation and order, effectuating the consent decree.
On June 21, 2005, the District Court (Judge Bernice B. Donald) granted the parties' joint motion for an order partially terminating the consent decree and approved the parties' stipulation for supplemental relief.
We have no more information on this file.
Josh Altman (6/30/2006)
Megan Richardson (7/23/2014)
For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4647021/parties/united-states-v-tennessee-state-of/
Donald, Bernice Bouie (Tennessee)
Bryant, Edward G. (Tennessee)
Dunne, John R. (District of Columbia)
Burson, Charles W. (Tennessee)
Coleman–Davis, Veronica F. (New York)
Donald, Bernice Bouie (Tennessee)
Gibbons, Julia Smith (Tennessee)
See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4647021/united-states-v-tennessee-state-of/
Last updated Aug. 1, 2023, 3:02 a.m.
State / Territory: Tennessee
Filing Date: March 15, 1996
Case Ongoing: No
United States Department of Justice
Public Interest Lawyer: Yes
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: No
Class Action Outcome: Not sought
Causes of Action:
Prevailing Party: Plaintiff
Nature of Relief:
Source of Relief:
Form of Settlement:
Order Duration: 1996 - 2005
Type of Facility: