Case: Garrity & U.S. v. Gallen

1:78-cv-00116 | U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire

Filed Date: April 12, 1978

Closed Date: 1991

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On April 12, 1978, six residents with intellectual disabilities of Laconia State School and Training Center ("Laconia") of New Hampshire filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, challenging the conditions at Laconia. Plaintiffs' complaint alleged that the institution's inadequate staffing, services and programs violated the residents' rights under the Developmentally Disabled Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, ("DD …

On April 12, 1978, six residents with intellectual disabilities of Laconia State School and Training Center ("Laconia") of New Hampshire filed a civil rights action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, challenging the conditions at Laconia. Plaintiffs' complaint alleged that the institution's inadequate staffing, services and programs violated the residents' rights under the Developmentally Disabled Assistance and Bill of Rights Act, ("DD Act"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 6000 et seq.; under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794; under the Education for All Handicapped Children Act ("EAHCA"), 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400 et seq.; under the federal Constitution; under the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and under two New Hampshire statutes, N.H.Rev.Stat.Ann. ch. 171-A and N.H.Rev.Stat.Ann. ch. 186-C. Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

The New Hampshire Association for Retarded Citizens and the United States Department of Justice intervened as amicus curiae.

On February 22, 1980, the District Court certified the case as a class action . Garrity v. Gallen, 522 F.Supp. 171, 176 (D.N.H.1981).

Before trial, the defendants made an offer of judgment, proposing the entry of a consent decree which would include extensive injunctive relief to plaintiffs, including placement of all residents for whom Laconia was not the least restrictive environment into community settings. Plaintiffs rejected the offer.

The case went to trial, and following a 40-day trial the District Court (Chief Judge Shane Devine) found in favor of plaintiffs on several claims. The Court held that defendants had discriminated against the plaintiffs in violation of section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by failing to provide individual service plans (ISP) and by denying many services, such as academic and recreational programs to the residents with more severe intellectual disabilities. The Court determined that Laconia was an "educational waste land." The Court found that Laconia violated the EAHCA and state law, while other claims, including the claim under the DD Act, were dismissed. Garrity v. Gallen, 522 F.Supp. 171 (D.N.H.1981). Following trial, the court directed the parties to work out a joint plan to implement the ordered relief. As the parties could not agree to a joint plan, they filed competing proposals. The District Court issued an implementation order on November 16, 1981, which combined the separate plans of the parties.

Following entry of the order of implementation, plaintiffs moved for an award of attorneys' fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988. Defendants' also moved for attorneys' fees from the date that their offer of judgment was rejected.

On January 25, 1982, nine school districts of the State of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire School Administrators Association sought to intervene in the case to challenge certain provisions of the District Court's order. Intervention was denied by the District Court and affirmed on appeal. Garrity v. Gallen, 697 F.2d 452 (1st Cir.1983). Plaintiffs then moved for an assessment of fees and costs against the purposed intervenors.

On August 25, 1983, the District Court (Chief Judge Shane Devine) awarded plaintiffs' attorneys' fees against the state defendants, but denied the request for fees against the purposed intervenors. The Court also denied the defendants' request for fees based on the rejection of its offer of judgment. The total amount of fees and costs awarded to plaintiffs was $220,140.58. Both parties appealed. The First Circuit Court of Appeals (Chief Judge Levin H. Campbell) affirmed in part and vacated in part and remanded. The Appeals Court upheld most of the fee award but ordered that it be recalculated by the subtraction of the portion of the fees relating solely to services performed on claims under EAHCA and state law. Garrity v. Sununu, 752 F.2d 727(1st Cir. 1984).

Our information regarding subsequent case proceedings is limited to the PACER docket, which is incomplete. According to the docket, implementation continued until 1995, with the parties filing periodic status reports with the Court. We have no further information on the matter.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (4/17/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Campbell, Levin Hicks (Massachusetts)

Davis, Oscar Hirsh (District of Columbia)

Devine, Shane (New Hampshire)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cohen, Richard A. (New Hampshire)

Gross, Mark L. (District of Columbia)

Macintosh, John D. (New Hampshire)

Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia)

Silver, Jessica Dunsay (District of Columbia)

Thayer, W. Stephen III (New Hampshire)

Turner, Abigail (Virginia)

Judge(s)

Campbell, Levin Hicks (Massachusetts)

Davis, Oscar Hirsh (District of Columbia)

Devine, Shane (New Hampshire)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Cohen, Richard A. (New Hampshire)

Gross, Mark L. (District of Columbia)

Macintosh, John D. (New Hampshire)

Reynolds, William Bradford (District of Columbia)

Silver, Jessica Dunsay (District of Columbia)

Thayer, W. Stephen III (New Hampshire)

Turner, Abigail (Virginia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Clarke, Anne (New Hampshire)

Glahn, Wilbur III (New Hampshire)

Marshall, David (New Hampshire)

Perrault, Donald (New Hampshire)

Smith, Gregory H. (New Hampshire)

Zelin, Gerald M. (New Hampshire)

Other Attorney(s)

Bellotti, Francis X. (Massachusetts)

Lospennato, Ronald (New Hampshire)

Mariani, Gerardo (Puerto Rico)

Mikochik, Stephen L. (District of Columbia)

Mohl, Bruce E. (Massachusetts)

Pagan, Miquel (Puerto Rico)

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

Rieser, Leonard (District of Columbia)

Roberts, Dennis J. II (Rhode Island)

Shaheen, Edward L. (District of Columbia)

Tierney, James E. (Maine)

Yeomans, William R. (District of Columbia)

Yogman, Judith (Massachusetts)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

Garrity v. Governor of NH

Oct. 20, 1999 Docket

Memorandum Opinion

Garrity v. Gallen

522 F.Supp. 171

Aug. 17, 1981 Order/Opinion

Opinion

Garrity v. Gallen

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

697 F.2d 452

Feb. 2, 1983 Order/Opinion

Opinion

Garrity v. Sununu

U. S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

752 F.2d 727

Dec. 28, 1984 Order/Opinion

Correspondence

Garrity v. Merrill

April 25, 1995 Correspondence

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: New Hampshire

Case Type(s):

Intellectual Disability (Facility)

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 12, 1978

Closing Date: 1991

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Developmentally disabled persons who are presently residing at LSS or who in the future may be institutionalized or reinstitutionalized at LSS.

Attorney Organizations:

Legal Services/Legal Aid

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Laconia State School and Training Center , State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Indv. w/ Disab. Educ. Act (IDEA), Educ. of All Handcpd. Children Act , 20 U.S.C. § 1400

Constitutional Clause(s):

Due Process

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

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1981 - 1991

Issues

General:

Deinstitutionalization/decarceration

Disability:

Integrated setting

Least restrictive environment

Mental Disability:

Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified

Type of Facility:

Government-run