Posts tagged "J.W."

J.W. v. Department of Developmental Services, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-120-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   12-P-1760                                       Appeals Court   J.W.[1]  vs.  DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES & another.[2],[3] No. 12-P-1760. Middlesex.     June 2, 2014.  –  September 24, 2014.   Present:  Green, Trainor, & Grainger, JJ. Division of Administrative Law Appeals.  Department of Developmental Services.  Intellectually Disabled Person. Administrative Law, Judicial review.  Statute, Construction.     Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 15, 2011.   The case was heard by Douglas H. Wilkins, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.     Timothy J. Casey, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendants. Stephen M. Sheehy for the plaintiff.   TRAINOR, J.  The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) appeals from a Superior Court judgment that vacated the decision of the Division of Administrative Law Appeals (DALA) approving the transfer of J.W. under the provisions of G. L. c. 123B, § 3.[4] J.W. is a profoundly mentally disabled, visually impaired, and nonverbal individual.  He has little or no concept of personal safety, and therefore, while he can walk independently, he cannot negotiate stairs alone.  He has been a resident at the Fernald Developmental Center (FDC or Fernald) for nearly his entire life.  The FDC is in the process of closing, however, and the policy decision to transfer its residents, all intellectually disabled individuals, to other appropriate care facilities is no longer subject to review by the Federal courts and would require a change in State law to prevent.[5] In a comprehensive and balanced decision, an administrative magistrate of the DALA approved the plan proposed by the DDS to transfer J.W. from his residence at Malone Park 23 at the FDC to Heffron Hall A, apartment 4 at the Wrentham Developmental Center (WDC).  See G. L. c. 123B, § 3. A judge of the Superior Court, on review, concluded that “[i]f one accepts the Magistrate’s legal rulings — essentially limiting inquiry to a choice between Fernald and Heffron Hall — then there is no lack of substantial evidence for the Decision.  Nor (on the same assumption) does the Court find any error in ‘the logic of the analysis that the hearing officer articulated in [his] decision.’  Covell v. Department of Developmental Servs., 439 Mass. 766, 782 (2003).”  Despite that, the judge concluded that the magistrate erred in his legal ruling by limiting his consideration of J.W.’s best interest to either the existing placement at Fernald or the single alternative proposed by […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - September 24, 2014 at 11:06 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,

J.W. v. Department of Developmental Services, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-121-13)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us     12‑P‑1760                                       Appeals Court   J.W.[1]  vs.  DEPARTMENT OF DEVELOPMENTAL SERVICES & another.[2] No. 12‑P‑1760. Middlesex.     June 6, 2013.  ‑  October 3, 2013. Present:  Vuono, Brown, & Sikora, JJ.   Division of Administrative Law Appeals.  Department of Developmental Services.  Intellectually Disabled Person.  Administrative Law, Judicial review.  Statute, Construction.     Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 15, 2011.   The case was heard by Douglas H. Wilkins, J., on a motion for judgment on the pleadings.     Timothy J. Casey, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendants. Stephen M. Sheehy for the plaintiffs.       BROWN, J.  In a thoughtful and comprehensive seventy-six page decision, an administrative magistrate of the Division of Administrative Law Appeals (DALA) approved the involuntary transfer of J.W., a severely intellectually disabled individual, from his residence at Malone Park 23 at the Fernald Developmental Center (FDC) to Heffron Hall A, apartment 4 at the Wrentham Developmental Center (WDC).  See G. L. c. 123B, § 3, as amended through St. 2010, c. 239, §§ 46-48. On review, a judge of the Superior Court concluded that while “there [was] no lack of substantial evidence for the decision,” the magistrate erred by limiting his consideration of J.W.’s best interest to placements at either Malone Park 23 or the single alternative proposed by the Department of Developmental Services (DDS).  See G. L. c. 30A, § 14(7)(c).  On this basis, judgment entered vacating DALA’s decision and remanding the matter to DALA for further proceedings.  This appeal followed.  Although we agree with the judge’s conclusion that substantial evidence supported DALA’s decision, we disagree with his statutory construction.  Accordingly, we vacate the judgment of the Superior Court and remand the case for entry of a judgment affirming DALA’s decision. Because this appeal turns on an issue of statutory interpretation, we set out the terms of the governing transfer statute, G. L. c. 123B, § 3 (transfer statute or § 3), in some detail.  The transfer statute provides a specific process that must be followed by DDS in every case where it seeks to transfer an intellectually disabled individual “from one residential facility for the intellectually disabled to another.” G. L. c. 123B, § 3, first par.  The first paragraph of § 3 establishes that DDS must consult with the permanent guardians (or nearest relative) of the individual and give notice “at least forty-five days prior […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 3, 2013 at 7:48 pm

Categories: News   Tags: , , , , , ,