Case: Horacek v. Exon

4:72-cv-00299 | U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska

Filed Date: Sept. 28, 1972

Closed Date: 1984

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 28, 1972, parents of residents with intellectual disabilities of the Beatrice State Home brought a civil rights class action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for Nebraska, alleging that the physical conditions, care, treatment and training provided at the Beatrice State Home did not meet constitutional standards. Plaintiffs maintained that less restrictive community alternatives were available which would provide them adequate care, treatment, education and t…

On September 28, 1972, parents of residents with intellectual disabilities of the Beatrice State Home brought a civil rights class action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for Nebraska, alleging that the physical conditions, care, treatment and training provided at the Beatrice State Home did not meet constitutional standards. Plaintiffs maintained that less restrictive community alternatives were available which would provide them adequate care, treatment, education and training. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

Defendants moved to dismiss the action for failure to state a claim. On March 22, 1973, the District Court (Chief Judge Urbom) denied defendants' motion. Horacek v. Exon , 357 F.Supp. 71 (D.Neb.1973).

The National Center for Law and the Handicapped and the U.S. Department of Justice were allowed to intervene in the case as amicus curiae.

Discovery commenced and the parties eventually reached a settlement of the case. The District Court entered and approved the Consent Decree on October 31, 1975. The Decree called for periodic evaluations to determine the most appropriate manner to transfer residents of the Beatrice State Home to less restrictive community based mental health facilities. In the event that a parent or legal guardian of any resident of the home objected to such a transfer, the Decree provided that due process hearing would be held before the Nebraska State Department of Public Institutions (DPI).

Litigation regarding implementation and compliance with the Consent Decree ensued and continued for years.

Due to the age of the case, no PACER docket exists. Our information about the subsequent procedural history is limited to the pre-PACER docket, which is part of the case documents.

According to the docket, the District Court (Judge Albert G. Schatz) entered a TRO and injunction on December 28, 1978 regarding construction at the Beatrice Home. Numerous modifications to the implementation plan followed. On September 28, 1981, the Court approved defendants' Plan of Implementation and dissolved the previously issued injunction. Thereafter, periodic progress reports were submitted to the Court.

In 1982, an attorney for a Beatrice resident who objected to his transfer sought attorney's fees for his representation. The District Court (Judge Albert G. Schatz) denied the fee request. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (Judge Ross) affirmed. Horacek V. Thone, 710 F.2d 496 (8th Cir. 1983).

On January 31, 1984, the case was dismissed and closed. Progress reports were filed in 1985 and 1986. No other substantive activity was noted on the docket

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (4/17/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Ross, Donald Roe (Nebraska)

Schatz, Albert Gerard (Nebraska)

Urbom, Warren Keith (Nebraska)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dinerstein, Robert D. (District of Columbia)

Green, J. Patrick (Nebraska)

Hewitt, James W. (Nebraska)

Mason, Annette E. (Nebraska)

Moser, James D. (Nebraska)

Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Douglas, Paul L. (Nebraska)

Judge(s)

Ross, Donald Roe (Nebraska)

Schatz, Albert Gerard (Nebraska)

Urbom, Warren Keith (Nebraska)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Dinerstein, Robert D. (District of Columbia)

Green, J. Patrick (Nebraska)

Hewitt, James W. (Nebraska)

Mason, Annette E. (Nebraska)

Moser, James D. (Nebraska)

Peabody, Arthur E. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Douglas, Paul L. (Nebraska)

Kammerlohr, Melvin K. (Nebraska)

Other Attorney(s)

Broom, Robert V. (Nebraska)

Fischer, Gary L. (Nebraska)

McClain, Richard D. (Indiana)

Soskin, Ronald M. (Indiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:72-cv-00299

Court Docket

July 14, 1989

July 14, 1989

Docket
10

4:72-cv-00299

Memorandum and Order on Motion to Dismiss

March 22, 1973

March 22, 1973

Order/Opinion

82-02384

Opinion

Horacek v. Thone

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit

June 30, 1983

June 30, 1983

Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated Sept. 3, 2022, 3:09 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Nebraska

Case Type(s):

Intellectual Disability (Facility)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 28, 1972

Closing Date: 1984

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Mentally retarded residents of Beatrice State Home.

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Beatrice State Home, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

Due Process: Substantive Due Process

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

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: 1975 - 1984

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Confinement/isolation

Deinstitutionalization/decarceration

Habilitation (training/treatment)

Individualized planning

Totality of conditions

Disability:

Integrated setting

Least restrictive environment

Mental Disability:

Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run