965 F.2d 109 (6th Cir. 1992), 91-5932, Doe by Doe v. Cowherd

Docket Nº:91-5932.
Citation:965 F.2d 109
Party Name:Samuel DOE, by his mother and next friend, Mary DOE, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Harry J. COWHERD, Defendant-Appellant.
Case Date:June 01, 1992
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
 
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965 F.2d 109 (6th Cir. 1992)

Samuel DOE, by his mother and next friend, Mary DOE, on

behalf of himself and all others similarly

situated, Plaintiffs-Appellees,

v.

Harry J. COWHERD, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 91-5932.

United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

June 1, 1992

Argued March 30, 1992.

Page 110

Kelly A. Miller (argued and briefed), Glenna J. Curry, Ronald E. Marstin, Legal Aid Soc., Louisville, Ky., for plaintiffs-appellees.

Ryan M. Halloran, Gen. Counsel, E.D. Klatte, Staff Atty., Cabinet for Human Resources Office of the Counsel, Frankfort, Ky., William K. Moore, Staff Atty. (argued and briefed), Midway, Ky., for defendant-appellant.

Before: KEITH, Circuit Judge; LIVELY, Senior Circuit Judge; and COHN, District Judge. [*]

KEITH, Circuit Judge.

Defendant Harry J. Cowherd ("defendant") appeals the judgment of the district court, 770 F.Supp. 354, ordering the State of Kentucky to amend its release and admissions procedures for mentally retarded persons at the State's institutions. For the reasons outlined below, we AFFIRM in part and REVERSE in part.

I.

This is a class action brought pursuant to the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiff Samuel Doe ("plaintiff") is a mentally retarded adult who currently resides in a Kentucky Mental Retardation Residential Treatment Center ("RTC"). Plaintiff represents a class of citizens who are similarly situated to him as involuntarily committed adults in a Kentucky RTC. Defendant is Secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources. He appeals the July 1, 1991, judgment of the district court for partial summary judgment and preliminary injunction in favor of plaintiffs. The district court ordered the State of Kentucky

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(the "State") to amend its procedures for admissions and release of both voluntary and involuntary adults at RTCs.

The issues raised by the instant case stem from issues previously addressed by this Court in Doe v. Austin, 848 F.2d 1386 (6th Cir.), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 967, 109 S.Ct. 495, 102 L.Ed.2d 531 (1988). In Austin, we reviewed Kentucky's admission procedures for mentally retarded adults. Prior to our decision in Austin, Kentucky involuntarily committed mentally retarded adults to its RTCs without the benefit of a hearing. However, the State considered virtually all of its mentally retarded admissions to be voluntary. For example, the State treated those admissions that were initiated by the parent or guardian of the mentally retarded adult as voluntary. We held in Austin that mentally retarded adults are involuntarily committed when admission is made upon the application of a parent or guardian. We also held that mentally retarded adults are entitled to procedural due process prior to being committed involuntarily.

The State is again before us challenging the district court's expansion of the...

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