A group of Latinx families known as Padres Buscando el Cambio filed litigation to fight for more services for intellectually and developmentally disabled children and young adults who rely on Harbor Regional Center. The regional center, which has offices in Torrance and Long Beach, is supposed to provide respite services, one-to-one aides, in-home supports, day programs and other services to adults and children with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as autism and cerebral palsy. The parent group is made up of families whose children’s needs have been long ignored.
On February 26, 2021, Disability Rights California and San Benito County reached a comprehensive settlement agreement that not only addresses the rights of individuals placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold pursuant to California Welfare and Institutions Code § 5150 (“5150”) but also expands the resources and services available to assist individuals experiencing a mental health crisis in the home and/or community.
Settlement Reached in COVID Case at California State Hospital
Following months of litigation, Aldo Hernandez, Charles Gluck, and Graham Waldrop reached a settlement with the Department of State Hospitals in a landmark case about COVID-19 risk to medically vulnerable patients in one of the largest psychiatric facilities in the nation. Attorneys from Disability Rights California (DRC) and Covington & Burling represented Plaintiffs in this action. The lawsuit resulted in prioritized access to COVID-19 vaccines for the more than 6000 residents throughout the State Hospital system – one of the first cases in the country to produce such an outcome.
In the midst of a pandemic, Hastings College of the Law, along with four individual Plaintiffs and the Tenderloin Merchants and Property Association, filed a lawsuit against the City of San Francisco seeking to remove unhoused residents from the Tenderloin neighborhood. Hospitality House, Coalition on Homelessness, and Faithful Fools, along with twenty-five other homeless advocacy groups, urged the law school to pledge that it would protect the constitutional and human rights of unhoused Tenderloin residents during this lawsuit. The law school refused.
On February 6, 2020 DRC filed an Amicus Brief in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Doe v. Trump, a case challenging President Trump’s “Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry of Immigrants Who Will Financially Burden the United States Healthcare System” (PP 9945).
Suit follows years of documented disability and race discrimination by the District.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Sept. 6, 2019) – A coalition of nonprofit advocacy groups filed a lawsuit today against the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD), Superintendent Jorge A. Aguilar, and others on behalf of the Black Parallel School Board and three students in the District. The suit alleges flagrant districtwide discrimination against students with disabilities, especially Black students.
Print-only Notices Result in Financial Penalties for Blind Taxpayers
San Francisco, CA - (July 25, 2019) - Berkeley businesswoman Karen Rose, who is blind, was about to throw away what she thought was junk mail when a friend noticed that it was from the IRS. It turned out to be a second notice that she owed nearly $25,000 in additional taxes. When she contacted the agency, she learned that she had also incurred an additional $1,500 in interest and penalties because she hadn’t responded to the first notice.
(Santa Ana, CA - July 23, 2019) Today, People’s Homeless Task Force, represented by Disability Rights California and Latham & Watkins, reached a class action settlement. As a result of the lawsuit filed February 7, 2018, the settlement with the County of Orange alleges that the county efforts connecting homeless individuals with the appropriate services failed to be accessible for people with disabilities and cited the experience of seven Riverbed residents.
Tenants with disabilities file federal class action lawsuit challenging housing project’s failure to maintain a functioning elevator system
Over 100 low-income senior citizens live in the upper floors of St. Timothy’s Tower and Manor. More than half of them of have disabilities that make it hard to stand, walk or use stairs. The elevators have been out of service for most of the last six months. The owners reported 48 outages to the U.S.
Class action settlement gets final court approval in lawsuit challenging California’s failure to arrange for Medi-Cal in-home nursing care for children with disabilities.
More than 4,000 children across California have been approved by the state for Medi-Cal in-home nursing care. Yet, many of these hours go unfilled, placing an enormous strain on families, and resulting in an unacceptable risk of medical complications, hospitalizations, and placements outside the family home.
Parent Challenges State Sanctioned Segregated School
This Petition for Writ of Mandate was filed against the state Department of Education (CDE) as well as the Kern County Superintendent of Schools (KCSOS) because of their failure to protect students with disabilities from unnecessary segregation.
Systemic Failure to Identify and Serve Students with Special Needs
This class action lawsuit was filed on behalf of students with disabilities from working class, primarily Spanish speaking families who have been denied their rights to required educational supports and services because the Oxnard School District fails to ensure that it appropriately identifies and timely evaluates students for special education.
Sam Doe v. Pasadena Unified School District – Equal Educational Opportunities for Students with Mental and Behavioral Health Needs
In February 2016 Disability Rights California and co-counsel filed this class action complaint against the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) to address the district’s practice of sending students with disability related behaviors to a segregated school called Focus Point Academy.
Systemic Improvement to LAUSD’s Special Education Programs and Services
Chanda Smith is the 1993 seminal class action lawsuit against Los Angeles Unified School District that has served as a blueprint for establishing a comprehensive system for delivery of special education supports and services to students with special needs.
Laguna Honda Hospital (LHH) residents challenge segregation in huge San Francisco institution
On September 18, 2008, Judge William H. Alsup granted final approval of the settlement agreement in Chambers et al. v. the City and County of San Francisco. This action was originally filed October 11, 2006, by six residents of Laguna Honda Hospital and the Independent Living Resource Center (ILRCSF) in San Francisco, alleging discrimination in the form of unnecessary institutionalization under the Americans with Disabilities Act. These residents prefer, and have been determined to be capable of, living in their own homes and in the community.
Jim White, 69, moves into the community at last, thanks to our case
Jim White is the last of the 16 named plaintiffs of the Capitol People First case to move into the community. Filed by Disability Rights California and other advocacy groups to protect the civil rights of people with developmental disabilities, the case settled in 2009. The case settlement requires that Jim and nearly 7000 other Californians living in institutions and large facilities be informed about and helped to implement their right to choose where to live.
After case settlement, inmates in Sacramento County jail no longer routinely placed in restraints while receiving dialysis
In 2009, Disability Rights California filed a case on behalf of several inmates who were routinely placed in restraints while receiving dialysis at Sacramento County Jail. The Jail had a blanket policy requiring restraints during dialysis even if inmates did not present a threat to themselves or others.
Concerning veto of mental health services for special education students (known as AB 3632 mandate)
Public Counsel, Disability Rights California, Mental Health Advocacy Services and the global law firm, Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher joined forces on October 21 to bring suit against the Governor for his October 8 veto that will harm an estimated 20,000 students. The veto eliminated critical mental health support for special education students, who need these services to stay in school.
Napper case update: Sacramento County outpatient mental health services likely to continue until October
Disability Rights California and Sacramento County entered into an interim agreement in a class action case concerning the county's outpatient mental health services. A federal court had determined that the County's plan to cut outpatient services placed mental health clients in the County at risk of in-patient hospitalization.
Director of California Department of Health Care Services (formerly Brantley v. Maxwell-Jolly and Cota v. Maxwell-Jolly)
If you or someone you know has been denied Community Based Adult Services (CBAS), the program that was replaced Medi-Cal ADHC on March 1, 2012, Disability Rights California has put together materials to help you understand your rights and how to file an appeal of the denial. Contact Disability Rights California to receive a copy of these materials, by calling 1-800-776-5746 or emailing email@example.com.
A state appeals court ruled that the county of Marin improperly approved drugs to treat mental patients without first determining whether they were capable of making an informed choice not to take the medications.
In August 2016, DRC and its co-counsel settled the largest affordable housing accessibility case in the country, securing a significant victory for people with disabilities. As a result of the Settlement, the City of Los Angeles will ensure that at least 4,000 affordable and highly accessible housing units in the City will be built and rented to people who need them, addressing the critical shortage of affordable accessible housing in the City.
Director of the Department of Health Care Services, and California Department of Health Care Services
Disability Rights California (DRC) filed a lawsuit in October 2014 on behalf of three individuals with disabilities against the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and its Director. DRC is challenging DHCS' failure to provide medically necessary services that allow the plaintiffs to stay at home rather than in nursing homes or hospitals. Their claims are based on the “integration mandate” of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which says people with disabilities have the right to receive services in the most integrated setting.
DRC and co-counsel sue state for failure to provide needed services to keep married individuals with disabilities in their own homes
The State of California has failed to implement a provision of the ACA that requires Medi-Cal to implement eligibility rules intended to prevent one spouse from impoverishment while paying for at-home care for a spouse with a disability. On July 6, 2017 DRC with pro bono lead co-counsel McDermott Will & Emery and co-counsel Bet Tzedek Legal Services, Western Center on Law and Poverty, and Justice in Aging filed a class action suit in state court alleging violations of the federal Medicaid Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act, and other state laws resulting in the imminent risk for plaintiffs of institutionalization.
Court finds the California Department of Education must do more to correct systemic problems in Oakland Unified School District
Disability Rights California filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court, alleging that the State for its failure to monitor and correct systemic problems with Oakland Unified School District’s special education program.
LASD will make its webpages, including its inmate information center and visit scheduling system, accessible and inclusive to people with visual impairments
Alicia Juarez, who is blind, reached out to Disability Rights California for assistance in getting access to Los Angeles Sheriffs Department webpages to schedule visits and keep informed about her son in LASD’s jail facilities. Like many people with visual impairments, Ms. Juarez navigates the Internet using software that reads webpages aloud to her. The LASD webpages did not work with her screen reader, preventing her from independently being able to make appointments. DRC and co-counsel ,the Law Office of Lainey Feingold, engagedLASD in a Structured Negotiations Process to resolve LASD’s web access issues.