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Case History of Jackson v. Los Lunas
State: New Mexico
RE: People with Developmental Disabilities
CIV No. 87-0839-JP/LCS
Informal Case Name: Jackson V. Los Lunas
Walter Stephen Jackson, et al., Plaintiffs v.
Los Lunas Hospital and Training School, Defendants
The Arc of New Mexico, Intervenor
Year Filed: 1987
Number of Class Members (2004): 411
Joint Stipulation on Disengagement entered: December 1997. The Stipulation and Plan were entered as a remedial order of the federal court.
Contempt Motions filed: 1996, 2004
In July 1987, the parents and guardians of twenty-one people with developmental disabilities filed a federal class action lawsuit against the Department of Health, the Human Services Department, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and several state officials. The case was brought to correct unconstitutional conditions at the two state institutions for people with developmental disabilities and to remedy violations of the Rehabilitation Act which subjected people with severe disabilities to discrimination and unnecessary segregation. After the trial, the federal court held that the defendants were violating the rights of the plaintiff class by discriminating against people with severe disabilities, by unnecessarily segregating them and by subjecting them to institutional conditions which were unconstitutional in eighteen discrete areas. The court ordered the parties to negotiate corrective action plans to correct the identified violations. See Jackson v. Fort Stanton, 757 F.Supp. 1243 (D.N.M. 1990).
The parties cooperatively developed plans for the eighteen institutional deficiencies, and for establishing adequate infrastructure for the community-based developmental disability service system. For the next five years, the defendants attempted unsuccessfully to correct the deficiencies at the institutions, and to transfer to the community those people whose treatment teams decided that their continued institutionalization was unnecessary. After those efforts, many of the identified deficiencies in the institution had not been corrected. In 1996, plaintiffs filed a motion to hold the defendants in contempt of court, alleging ongoing abuse, neglect, and lack of professionally adequate care at the institutions and the on-going unnecessary segregation of class members.
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May 1, 2019