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Olmstead Cases

Andy Dorchak  /  Thursday, June 28, 2018  /  Categories: Just in Case  /  Rate this article:
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In Olmstead v. L.C., 527 U.S. 581 (1999), the Supreme Court held that "States are required to provide community based treatment for persons with mental disabilities when the State's treatment professionals determine that such placement is appropriate, the affected persons do not oppose such treatment, and the placement can be reasonably accommodated, taking into account the resources available to the State and the needs of others with mental disabilities."

A decade later, the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice announced an aggressive effort to enforce the decision. On July 24, the anniversary of the ADA, President Obama issued Proclamation 8398, noting that the United States would sign the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, while also launching the Year of Community Living to help people with disabilities live wherever they choose. The ADA's website features current Olmstead enforcement litigation efforts, technical assistance, and various break-downs of their efforts -- such as by Circuit or by specific issues. Examples of the ten topical Olmstead issues are nursing facilities, mental health facilities, persons at risk of institutionalization, children, and education.

A second, excellent, free source of information on Olmstead cases and many additional civil rights topics is the University of Michigan Law School's Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse. Choosing "Olmstead Cases" as a Special Collection retrieves 150 results. Each of the cases has a summary and often a link to the court citation and docket sheet from PACER, if available. Of note, there is also information about civil rights cases in which the DOJ achieves a settlement or resolution of the issue without having to resort to litigation. 

Thus, by using the ADA's website and the Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse, interested persons can find substantive information about the Department of Justice's efforts to help people with disabilities live happier and more productive lives.  

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