Dunn et al v. Thomas et al

Filing 1253

PHASE 2A OPINION AND ORDER PRELIMINARILY APPROVING INVOLUNTARY MEDICATION SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT: Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e), the parties jointly move the court to grant preliminary approval of their proposed Involuntary Medicati on Settlement Agreement in Phase 2A of this litigation; to approve the form of notice to class members of the proposed settlement agreement ("notice form") (attached as Exhibit A); to approve the form for objecting to or commenting on the p roposed settlement agreement ("comment form") (attached as Exhibit B); and to approve the process for providing notice and collecting comments from interested parties, as further set out. Based on the entire record before the court, the cou rt finds as follows: First, the court finds that the proposed settlement agreement should be preliminarily approved, that notice should be provided to interested parties, and that a fairness hearing should be conducted. The court further finds it app ropriate to provisionally certify a Rule 23(b)(2) injunctive-relief settlement class composed of "all persons with a serious mental health disorder or illness who are now, or will in the future be subject to defendants' formal involuntary m edication policies and practices." For reasons to be articulated in a final decision regarding whether to approve the settlement, the court preliminarily finds that the settlement class meets the requirements of Rule 23(a)-- numerosity, commonal ity, typicality, and adequacy of representation--as well as the requirement of Rule 23(b)(2) that the issues involved "apply generally to the class," such that "relief is appropriate respecting the class as a whole." The court pre liminarily finds that plaintiffs' counsel in this case can capably serve as and should be appointed class counsel, based on the factors outlined in Rule 23(g). Finally, the court finds that the notice and comment forms attached as exhibits to th is order, and that the process for distributing and collecting these forms outlined below, constitute sufficient notice of and--together with the fairness hearing described below--opportunity to be heard on the proposed settlement agreement, as is re quired by due process and Rule 23(e). It is therefore ORDERED that the joint motion for preliminary approval and notice of proposed settlement (doc. nos. 1248 ) is granted as follows, as further set out. A fairness hearing is set for 10:00 a.m. on A ugust 23, 2017, in Courtroom 2FMJ of the Frank M. Johnson Jr. United States Courthouse Complex, One Church Street, Montgomery, Alabama. At this hearing, counsel for both parties must be prepared to respond to the objections and comments made by class members, as well as to the court's concerns as outlined above, as further set out in order. Signed by Honorable Judge Myron H. Thompson on 5/11/2017. (Attachments: # 1 Notice of Proposed Class Action Settlement About Involuntary Medication, # 2 Response to Proposed Class Action Settlement)(furn: calendar, AG)(kh, )

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Response to Proposed Class Action Settlement You may be affected by the settlement of the due process claim regarding the administration of involuntary medication in the lawsuit Braggs v. Dunn, No. 2:14-cv-00601-MHT-TFM. A notice of the terms of the settlement has been posted in your facility and you can review a copy of the Proposed Settlement in the law library. You can request a copy of the Proposed Settlement from ADOC personnel or by writing to: William Van Der Pol, Jr., Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, Box 870395, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487 or Involuntary Medication Settlement Questions, Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, Alabama, 36104. If you are a prisoner with a mental health disability, you have a right to comment or object to the Proposed Settlement. If you wish to testify at the fairness hearing (which may be by videoconference or live), please indicate that in your comments. General Population: Get a pre-addressed envelope from the same location you got this response form. After filling out this form and sealing the envelope, place it in the Legal Mail Box. Segregation: Place this response form in the pre-addressed envelope provided and seal it. The forms will be collected by the Segregation Review Board for them to place in the Legal Mail Box. Infirmaries, Mental Health Units, Crisis Cells, and Death Row: Place this response form in the pre-addressed envelope provided and seal it. The forms will be collected by the Captain who is responsible for those units to be placed in the Legal Mail Box. YOU WILL NOT BE CHARGED FOR MAILING THIS FORM, AND THIS WILL NOT COUNT TOWARDS YOUR MONTHLY LEGAL-MAIL LIMIT. You can mail the completed form to: Clerk of the Court, United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, P.O. Box 711, Montgomery, AL 36101-0711. If you need assistance in completing this form, please notify a Correctional Officer. You must include your name, AIS Number, and signature on this form or it will not be considered. ALL COMMENTS MUST BE PLACED IN THE LEGAL MAIL BOX, PROVIDED TO THE APPROPRIATE ADOC OFFICER OR REPRESENTATIVE, OR POST MARKED BY JULY 17, 2017, TO BE CONSIDERED. Inmate Name (print) ___________________ AIS Number_____________ Inmate Signature______________________ Date _________ Facility_______________________________ Circle the subject area(s) of your comments Revision to the Administrative Regulation Attorneys’ Fees Monitoring process Other Dispute Resolution Process

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