Lyn Rucker

Court Monitor

P.O Box 70

Herington, KS 67449

Lyn Rucker

Court Monitor

P.O Box 70

Herington, KS 67449

Phone: 785-258-2214

Toll Free: 866-302-2214

Cell: 785-366-6468

Email: rpaltd@aol.com

History of Rolland v. Patrick

Loretta Rolland, et al., v. Deval Patrick, et al. is a federal class action lawsuit first filed on January 27, 1999.*  The complaint alleged that Loretta Rolland and other Massachusetts citizens like her with mental retardation and other developmental disabilities were, in violation of professional judgment and federal Medicaid law, “unnecessarily admitted to and inappropriately confined in Massachusetts nursing facilities.”  The plaintiffs then alleged that, “As a direct result of the defendants' failure to appropriately treat and accommodate the plaintiffs' disabilities, these individual plaintiffs are segregated in nursing facilities and are not provided with even minimally adequate training, habilitation, or support services.”

 

On January 10, 2000, Judge Neiman approved the parties’ Settlement Agreement in which the Department of Mental Retardation (DMR) stated it is their policy “that its services and supports for nursing home class members should be appropriate to their needs and abilities, and that the provision of services in a community setting is desirable whenever it is appropriate for the individual’s circumstances.”  There were then identified seven factors to be considered in deciding whether someone could “handle and benefit from” a community setting.  The agreement also identified a timeline through 2007 for the development of appropriate community services for many class members.  It also agreed to divert many persons from entering nursing facilities.

 

On March 27, 2001 the court found Defendants in noncompliance with the Settlement Agreement.  In the related order the court addressed the meaning of Active Treatment:  It . . . ‘is not merely aspirational.  It means the same thing for residents of nursing facilities as it does for residents of institutional or community programs.  That is the intent of federal law and, by incorporation, the Settlement Agreement.”

 

Several disputes followed as to whether the Defendants were meeting their obligation to provide active treatment.  On July 23, 2003 Judge Neiman ordered that “Defendants must provide service plans and active treatment to each and every class member for whom specialized services is appropriate.”

 

In 2006, Plaintiff’s filed a motion alleging noncompliance and requesting further relief based on Defendants’ alleged failure to provide active treatment to the class members. On April 10, 2007 Judge Neiman found that the Defendants failed to substantially comply with the court’s orders to provide active treatment to class members.  He then ordered:  1.) the Defendants, in consultation with the plaintiffs, to revise their active treatment guidelines to mirror federal guidelines for assessing active treatment; 2.) the parties to jointly select a Court Monitor; 3.) the Court Monitor to review each class member to determine whether she/he is receiving active treatment; and 4.) the Defendants to report quarterly to the Court Monitor (among other matters) the type, frequency and provider of specialized services for each class member.

 

On June 13, 2007 Lyn Rucker was appointed Court Monitor with the responsibilities identified above.

 

*Civil Action No. 98-30208-PPN; Chief Magistrate Judge Kenneth P. Neiman, Springfield, presides over the case.  The Plaintiffs attorneys include Steven Schwartz (BBO # 448440) and Cathy E. Costanzo (BBO # 553813) of the Center for Public Representation.  The Defendants (Commonwealth of Massachusetts) are represented by the Attorney General and other Commonwealth attorneys.

Rolland Active Treatment Review

The Website of the Court Monitor

Rolland v. Patrick   98-30208-KPN

www.RollandATReview.org