Case: DOJ CRIPA Investigation of Atascadero State Hospital, Atascadero, California

06-cv-02667 | U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Filed Date: 2006

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding in progress

Case Summary

On May 2, 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division ("DOJ") sent its "findings letter" to California's governor, advising him of the results of the November 2005, DOJ investigation of conditions and practices at the Atascadero State Hospital ("ASH"), a facility housing residents with mental illness. The investigation occurred under the authority of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997. DOJ and expert consultants visited the facility,…

On May 2, 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division ("DOJ") sent its "findings letter" to California's governor, advising him of the results of the November 2005, DOJ investigation of conditions and practices at the Atascadero State Hospital ("ASH"), a facility housing residents with mental illness. The investigation occurred under the authority of the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997. DOJ and expert consultants visited the facility, reviewed a wide array of documents there, and conducted interviews with personnel and residents. The letter commended ASH staff for providing a high level of cooperation during the investigation, as well as the dedication many showed for patient well-being. Nevertheless, the investigation found "significant and wide-ranging" deficiencies in patient care at ASH.

DOJ concluded that deficiencies in conditions of patient care and treatment at ASH existed as to seven topical areas, including (1) psychiatry; (2) pharmaceutical services; (3) psychology; (4) medical care, including general medical services, infection control, physical and occupational therapy, dietary and dental care; (4) nursing services; (5) placement in the most integrated setting; (6) protection from harm and (7) quality assurance. Moreover, the findings letter stated that these shortcomings were materially similar to those outlined in the other findings letters to the state in 2003 and 2004. The letter provided details of deficiencies for all seven of these categories.

Minimally-acceptable remedial measures for each of these categories were outlined in the letter, which referenced a more detailed "Enhancement Plan" which had been negotiated by the state and the DOJ. That plan existed as part of a May 2, 2006, consent judgment in a separate civil rights enforcement proceeding concerning, at first, two other California mental health facilities. Settlement in that matter formed the basis for a February 27, 2007, amended consent judgment which included ASH and a fourth California mental hospital. Summarized information about that proceeding exists in this database at case MH-CA-0004 (U.S. V. California). Related information about the fourth hospital (Patton State Hospital) exists in this database at case MH-CA-0005.

Summary Authors

Mike Fagan (5/21/2008)

Related Cases

U.S. v. California, Central District of California (2006)

DOJ CRIPA Investigation of Patton State Hospital, Central District of California (2006)

People


Judge(s)

Schiavelli, George P. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Daniels, Howard F. (California)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Plessman, Gary L. (California)

Tayloe, Benjamin O. (District of Columbia)

Weidman, Leon W. (California)

Yang, Deborah W. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Furtek, Frank S. (California)

Rodriguez, Cynthia (California)

Judge(s)

Schiavelli, George P. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Daniels, Howard F. (California)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Plessman, Gary L. (California)

Tayloe, Benjamin O. (District of Columbia)

Weidman, Leon W. (California)

Yang, Deborah W. (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Furtek, Frank S. (California)

Rodriguez, Cynthia (California)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Lockyer, Bill (California)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Findings Letter: Atascadero State Hospital, Atascadero, California

No Court

May 2, 2006

May 2, 2006

Findings Letter/Report
9

06-cv-02667

(Amended) Consent Judgment

U.S.A. v. State of California

Feb. 27, 2007

Feb. 27, 2007

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Mental Health (Facility)

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2006

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

U.S. DOJ (Civil Rights Enforcment Division)

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Defendants

Atascadero State Hospital, State

California Dept. of Mental Health, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

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: 2006 - 2011

Issues

General:

Assault/abuse by staff

Habilitation (training/treatment)

Record-keeping

Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)

Disability:

Integrated setting

Least restrictive environment

Medical/Mental Health:

Medical care, unspecified

Medication, administration of

Mental health care, general

Type of Facility:

Government-run