Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
DC Motion

DC Motion



|Views: 60|Likes:
Published by Susie Cambria

More info:

Published by: Susie Cambria on Feb 13, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF or read online from Scribd
See more
See less


et al.,
))Plaintiffs, ))v. ) Civil Action No. 89-1754 (TFH))ADRIAN M. FENTY,
et al.,
))Defendants. ) ____________________________________)
Defendants hereby respectfully request that the Court expedite a process for thetermination of the consent decree. To this end, the defendants ask that this Court approve theDistrict’s recently proposed six-month plan, with addendum, and upon its conclusion adoptspecific exit criteria narrowly designed to address any remaining District law violations. Thedefendants also request that the time set for any monitoring of exit criteria be brief. Theoverriding purpose of this motion is to return the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) tothe District’s full control within a year.This request is made because the unusual and compelling circumstances necessary to justify court oversight of an executive branch agency nolonger exist with regard to CFSA.SUMMARY OF POSITIONAt the outset, the District notes that fundamental public policy interests favor returningCFSA to District control rather than continuing court supervision. First, as the courts haverecognized, local government control fosters innovation. The return of local control allows
Case 1:89-cv-01754-TFH Document 914 Filed 02/06/2009 Page 1 of 31
government officials – who by law are presumed to have a high degree of competence incarrying out their official duties – to bring new insights and solutions to problems of allocatingrevenues and resources.The continuation of court supervision also raises ever-increasing concerns aboutseparation of powers. Governmental officials who enter consent decrees bind all their successorsinto the indefinite future, even to terms that might never have been entered had the matter beenlitigated to full conclusion. As a result, consent decrees deprive future officials of their designated legislative and executive powers.Moreover, judicial control severs the democratic link between citizens and their elected officials. By reducing elected officials’ control over agency management, the enforcement of consent decrees lessens the ability of citizens to hold their elected officials accountable. Thereturn of local control allows citizens to participate in decision-making and allows officials to bemore responsive to their constituents’ concerns.Consent decrees also impose considerable legal and administrative expenses on localgovernment and its taxpayers. By any standard, the collective payments to the Court Monitor and plaintiffs’ attorneys in this case over the years have been extraordinary, amounting to over $7 million since 1999. The present, process-intensive monitoring also consumes the time and resources of agency officials, and its onerous burdens hamper recruitment of visionary, high-level managers to work for the agency. Simply stated, it is hard to attract high-caliber  professionals because of the overwhelminglyintrusive nature of this litigation.The District believes that this case is now at the point where these adverse effectsoutweigh any benefit of further court supervision. The fundamental rationale for courtsupervision – to correct the systemic violations of local law originally found by the Court in2
Case 1:89-cv-01754-TFH Document 914 Filed 02/06/2009 Page 2 of 31
1991 – has been satisfied. The District is now in compliance with statutory requirements in a fullrange of areas, such as the timeliness of investigations, provision of preventative services, placement, case planning, periodic reviews, and monitoring foster homes and institutions. Inthose few remaining areas where legal compliance can be improved, the District is makingeffective and appropriate efforts.Court supervision is also no longer necessary in light of the District’s substantial, good faith compliance with Court Orders for many years. In 2001, the District complied with thecourt-mandated requirements for the terminationof the Receivership. After the termination of the Receivership, the District further met the requirements for its probationary period, whichended in 2003. The District subsequently accomplished many of the benchmarks set forth in animplementation plan, and where those benchmarkswere not met, the District agreed to anamended plan.Recent events also show the District’s good faith. In the first half of 2008, CFSA had anhistoric increase in reports of abuse and neglect and staff turnover. In July, the plaintiffs filed acontempt motion, which the District argued was unfounded. Nevertheless, at the urging of the plaintiffs and the Court Monitor, the District retained the Public Catalyst Group (PCG) as anexpert to review the agency and make recommendations. In addition, the District agreed to aStipulated Order with a range of obligations. The District met or exceeded those obligations, and it drafted a plan for the subsequent six months, based on the recommendations of PCG.In response to the District’s good faith efforts and success, the plaintiffs filed a renewed contempt motion, thereby exemplifying how the plaintiffs’ continuation of this case has gone beyond any proper purpose. The renewed contempt motion reveals the plaintiffs’ counsel’sunwillingness to recognize the significant accomplishments achieved since 1991 as well as their 3
Case 1:89-cv-01754-TFH Document 914 Filed 02/06/2009 Page 3 of 31

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->