Thursday, June 24, 2010

Two civil suits filed in Sacramento Superior Court seek to force the county to meet its obligations to the poor

An article in the Sacramento Bee, today, tells us two lawsuits have been filed that are being pressed to force the County of Sacramento to meet constitutional obligations to poor people. Quoting the article, "Sacramento County budget cuts trigger lawsuits":
… two indigent residents and Loaves & Fishes in Sacramento filed a lawsuit against the county to block cuts to medical care for the poor. That same day several nonprofit mental health providers sued to stop cuts to their programs.
The Loaves & Fishes lawsuit is number 34-2008-80000580, filed in Sacramento Superior Court on June 22. No court documents have yet been posted online regarding the litigation. The two "indigent residents" are named on public court records, and in the article, as Rhonda Poole and Jane Bryant‑Dubose. The parties being sued are named as the County of Sacramento; the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors; Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services; and Ann Edwards‑Buckley, the director of the Health and Human Services Department.

With regard to the Loaves & Fishes/Poole/Bryant‑Dubose suit, the article tells us
The Loaves & Fishes lawsuit is an attempt to stop the closure of two of three county clinics and the halving of service at the one remaining clinic. Those clinics provide medical care to poor residents who don't qualify for other health coverage such as Medi-Cal.

"Absent injunctive relief from the court, the county will fail to provide medically necessary care in a timely and humane manner to some indigent residents and will fail to provide any care whatsoever to other indigent residents," according to the lawsuit.
Ms. Poole, we are told, is suing because she was diagnosed with cancer over a year ago and has not been able to see a specialist for her condition. Ms. Poole lives in the the Salvation Army shelter. Nothing is said re Ms. Bryant­‑Dubose's part in the lawsuit. Likely, Ms. Bryant‑Dubose also has a medical condition that needs attention.

With regard to the second suit, we are told
The other lawsuit filed Tuesday was over the county's decision to cut four Regional Support Teams for adult mental health. Nonprofits El Hogar Community Services Inc.; Human Resource Consultants; Turning Point Community Programs; and Visions Unlimited have run the teams and are suing to stop the cuts, which take effect after July 1.
This case is identified on Sacramento Superior Court records as number 34-2010-00080899. It, too, was filed on June 22. Again, here, no documents have yet been posted online. The County of Sacramento; the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors; and untold others [Identified as "Does 1-50"] are cited as Defendents.

Sacramento Homeless blog will follow these cases through court records and newspaper accounts as it develops.

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