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Jensen v. Minnesota Department of Human Services

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

May 6, 2015

James and Lorie Jensen, as parents, guardians, and next friends of Bradley J. Jensen; James Brinker and Darren Allen, as parents, guardians, and next friends of Thomas M. Allbrink; Elizabeth Jacobs, as parent, guardian, and next friend of Jason R. Jacobs; and others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
Minnesota Department of Human Services, an agency of the State of Minnesota; Director, Minnesota Extended Treatment Options, a program of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, an agency of the State of Minnesota; Clinical Director, the Minnesota Extended Treatment Options, a program of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, an agency of the State of Minnesota; Douglas Bratvold, individually and as Director of the Minnesota Extended Treatment Options, a program of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, an agency of the State of Minnesota; Scott TenNapel, individually and as Clinical Director of the Minnesota Extended Treatment Options, a program of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, an agency of the State of Minnesota; and the State of Minnesota, Defendants.

Mark R. Azman, Esq., and Shamus P. O'Meara, Esq., O'Meara Leer Wagner & Kohl, PA, counsel for Plaintiffs.

Nathan A. Brennaman, Scott H. Ikeda, Anthony R. Noss, and Aaron Winter, Assistant Attorneys General, Minnesota Attorney General's Office, counsel for State Defendants.

Samuel D. Orbovich, Esq., and Christopher A. Stafford, Esq., Fredrikson & Byron, PA, counsel for Defendant Scott TenNapel.

ORDER

DONOVAN W. FRANK, District Judge.

INTRODUCTION

Before the Court is the State of Minnesota's March 20, 2015 proposed modifications to Minnesota's Olmstead Plan ("Proposed Olmstead Plan"). (Doc. No. 401-1.) For the reasons discussed below, the Court declines to approve the Proposed Olmstead Plan as it is currently written.

BACKGROUND

In June 2011, the parties to this class action litigation entered a Stipulated Class Action Settlement Agreement ("Settlement Agreement"), which includes the following provision with respect to the Olmstead Plan:

Within eighteen (18) months of the Court's approval of this Agreement, the State and the Department shall develop and implement a comprehensive Olmstead plan that uses measurable goals to increase the number of people with disabilities receiving services that best meet their individual needs and in the "Most Integrated Setting, " and is consistent and in accord with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999).

(Doc. No. 104 at 18.) Based upon the presentations and submissions of the parties, including counsel's remarks at the Final Approval Hearing, [1] the Court approved the Settlement Agreement on December 5, 2011. ( See Doc. No. 136.)

Pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement, the State and the Department of Human Services ("DHS") were to develop and implement a comprehensive Olmstead Plan within eighteen months of the Court's approval of the Settlement Agreement. (Doc. No. 104 at 18.) After the State and DHS failed to develop and implement a comprehensive Olmstead Plan by the original due date, the Court ordered the State and DHS to file the Olmstead Plan with the Court by November 1, 2013-five months after the due date-for the Court's review and approval. (Doc. No. 224 at 5.) The State submitted the Olmstead Plan to the Court on October 31, 2013. (Doc. No. 246-1.) On January 22, 2014, the Court provisionally approved the State's proposed Olmstead Plan, subject to certain modifications, and directed the State to file an updated version of the Olmstead Plan by July 15, 2014. (Doc. No. 265 at 3-4.)

On July 10, 2014, the State filed a modified version of its Olmstead Plan. ( See Doc. No. 326-1.) On September 18, 2014, the Court declined to approve the State's modified Olmstead Plan after finding significant deficiencies, including a lack of measurable goals and a lack of accurate reporting, and directed the State to file a revised version of the Olmstead Plan by November 10, 2014. (Doc. No. 344 at 4-8.)

On November 10, 2014, the State filed a revised Olmstead Plan. ( See Doc. No. 369-1.) On January 9, 2015, the Court provisionally approved the State's revised Olmstead Plan, subject to certain modifications, and directed the State to file an updated version of the Olmstead Plan by March 20, 2015. (Doc. No. 378 at 14.)

On March 18, 2015, two days before the March 20, 2015 deadline, the State submitted a letter to the Court seeking "clarification on the scope of the Court's January 9, 2015 Order requiring the State to submit a revised Olmstead Plan by March 20, 2015" and requesting "the Court to extend the March 20 due date to allow for clarification of the Court's January 9 Order." (Doc. No. 398 ...


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