National Center for Youth Law

STRATEGIES

M.E. v. Bush
also known as M.E. v. Chiles and M.E. v. Williams

Plaintiffs alleged that the Department of Children and Families (DCF) failed to provide necessary therapeutic services for dependent and delinquent children in state custody in violation of federal substantive and procedural due process, the ADA, 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Title XIX and Title IV-E of the Social Security Act, and the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention and Treatment Act.

Overview

FILE NO., COURT AND DATE FILED

90-1008-CIV (S.D. Fla., Apr. 16, 1990)

CLEARINGHOUSE REVIEW NO.

45,828

ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFFS

Robin Rosenberg
Holland & Knight
200 Central Avenue, Suite 1600
St. Petersburg, FL, 33701
(727) 896-7171
Fax: (727) 824-6199
robin.rosenberg@hklaw.com

Christina A. Zawisza
Child Advocacy Clinic
University of Memphis Law School
109 N. Main, Second Fl
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 523-8822
Fax: (901) 543-5087
czawisza@memphis.edu

HISTORY AND STATUS

On March 6, 1992, the court approved a negotiated stipulation staying the litigation pending compliance with certain conditions and implementation of a plan entitled “Building Futures for Florida’s Children.”

In late 1994, the court lifted the stay. In February 1996, plaintiffs filed an updated motion for class certification and a second amended complaint. On April 3, 1997, the court granted plaintiffs’ motion for class certification and denied defendants’ motion for abstention.

On September 3, 1997, plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint and an updated motion for class certification. Defendants again filed a motion to abstain. The court granted certification on January 21, 1998, and denied defendants’ motion to abstain on April 9, 1998.

The parties eventually negotiated a settlement. After DCF and the Department of Juvenile Justice audits of 100 files showed sufficient improvement, the settlement became final. The court dismissed the case in November 2003.