University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States v. Indiana MH-IN-0003
Docket / Court IP00-1991-C-B/S ( S.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Mental Health (Facility)
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On December 29, 2000, United States Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division (DOJ) filed a complaint and settlement agreement concerning two Indiana state operated facilities serving approximately 560 people with developmental disabilities. The facilities were the Muscatatuck State ... read more >
On December 29, 2000, United States Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division (DOJ) filed a complaint and settlement agreement concerning two Indiana state operated facilities serving approximately 560 people with developmental disabilities. The facilities were the Muscatatuck State Developmental Center in Butlerville, Indiana, and the Fort Wayne State Developmental Center in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The investigation and complaint were done pursuant to the DOJ's authority under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA).

The agreement required defendants to take steps to ensure the safety of people placed at the two facilities as well as the safety of any persons placed in alternative community settings. Regarding the facilities, the agreement required the state to: improve training, clinical, and medication practices; ensure that use of restraints is appropriate; and increase efforts to place individuals with developmental disabilities in the most integrated setting possible which is appropriate to their individual needs.

In 2002, the DOJ filed a stipulation that amended the State plan prepared in conjunction with the original settlement. The stipulation required improvements in clinical supervision and management of various services, including: general medicine; dentistry; psychology; psychiatry; nursing; physical; speech; dietary; and occupational therapy. The stipulation also required the state to design and implement a risk assessment system for persons determined to be at a high risk of suffering from any of the following conditions: aspiration/gastroesophageal reflux disease, dysphasia, choking, seizures, dehydration, constipation, and injury from behavioral problems. Finally, the settlement required the state to provide expanded transitional supports for residents leaving state developmental centers and relocating to community based residential placements. The DOJ also continued monitoring compliance with the settlement agreement.

From 2003 to 2008, the DOJ monitored compliance with the agreement, and the parties periodically entered a series of stipulations modifying the settlement agreement. In 2008, the DOJ and the State jointly monitored training sessions on health care coordination and risk management systems for protecting persons with developmental disabilities who live in community placement. The case ended in 2008 when the DOJ and the defendants jointly moved to dismiss the action because it found that the State had corrected the unlawful conditions.

Chris Pollack - 03/11/2019

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Content of Injunction
Integrated setting
Least restrictive environment
Failure to train
Individualized planning
Placement in mental health facilities
Restraints : physical
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Medical/Mental Health
Intellectual/Developmental Disability
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Mental Disability
Intellectual/developmental disability, unspecified
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Indiana
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Filed 12/29/2000
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing MH-IN-0004 : Schindler v. O'Bannon (S.D. Ind.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Review of the Use of Monitors in Civil Settlement Agreements and Consent Decrees Involving State and Local Government Entities
U.S. Department of Justice
Date: 9/13/2021
By: Attorney General Merrick Garland and Assoc. AG Vanita Gupta (U.S. Department of Justice)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  An Analysis of CRIPA Findings Letters Issued to Jails for Constitutional Violations by the Department of Justice
Date: Apr. 15, 2016
By: Jeff Mellow, Bryce E. Peterson & Mijin Kim (John Jay College of Criminal Justice Faculty)
Citation: Am. J. Crim. Just. (April 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
S.D. Ind.
MH-IN-0003-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
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Judges Barker, Sarah Evans (S.D. Ind.) show/hide docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bailey, Sue Hendricks (Indiana) show/hide docs
Tayloe, Benjamin O. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Uhl, Wayne Elliott (Indiana) show/hide docs

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