Urban Justice Urban Justice Center individual rights - social change

Mental Health


Mental Health

Brad H. v. City of New York

The Urban Justice Center filed this class action lawsuit in 1999, challenging New York City's practice of discharging people with psychiatric disabilities from the city jails in the middle of the night with only $1.50 and two tokens, and without any psychiatric medication or referral to services. In 2003, the parties settled the case with an agreement that the City would provide the 15,000 people who receive psychiatric treatment in city jails each year with discharge planning services, including continued mental health care, case management, and assistance in accessing public benefits and housing.

Because the City has failed to comply with the settlement agreement, the Urban Justice Center sought an order from the court extending the agreement for another two years. In July 2009, Judge Marilyn Shafer of the New York State Supreme Court ordered the City to continue to comply with the agreement while the Plaintiffs' motion is litigated. The City appealed that decision. On June 28, 2011, the New York State Court of Appeals reinstated Judge Shafer’s decision, which had been overturned at the Appellate Division, and allowed litigation to proceed on whether the 2003 settlement can be extended an additional two years.

On August 12, 2011, we reinstated our motion to enforce the settlement, requesting not only a two-year extension but also an order that the City modify its failed policies which have prevented the City from complying with its obligations. Click here to read the Memorandum of Law.

Pro bono co-counsel: Debevoise & Plimpton
Co-counsel: New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

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