Trueblood, et al v. Washington State Department of Health and Human Services et al

Filing 902

ORDER denying Defendants' 892 Motion for Additional Time. Signed by Judge Marsha J. Pechman. (SB)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 8 9 10 11 A.B., by and through her next friend CASSIE CORDELL TRUEBLOOD, et al., Plaintiffs, 12 13 14 15 16 CASE NO. C14-1178 MJP ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR ADDITIONAL TIME v. WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES, et al., Defendants. 17 18 This matter comes before the Court on Defendants’ Motion Seeking Additional Time to 19 Implement Phase 2 Outpatient Competency Restoration Services. (Dkt. No. 892.) Having 20 reviewed the Motion, Plaintiffs’ Opposition (Dkt. No. 894), and all supporting materials, and 21 having held oral argument on May 25, 2022, the Court DENIES the Motion. 22 Defendants ask the Court to excuse their failure to meet a March 31, 2022 deadline to 23 implement an Outpatient Competency Restoration Program (ORCP) in King County that was 24 part of the Phase 2 Final Implementation Plan that Defendants negotiated and signed. (See Defs. ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR ADDITIONAL TIME - 1 1 Mot. at 1 (Dkt. No. 892); Phase 2 Final Implementation Plan (Dkt. No. 838-1 at 6).) Defendants 2 point to the difficulties they have had in locating a provider for these services, despite starting 3 the request for information process in April 2021 to identify providers. (Declaration of Keri 4 Waterland ¶¶ 4-9, 12-15 (Dkt. No. 893).) Defendants also point to staffing difficulties cited by 5 existing or possible ORCP providers and the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on staffing and 6 provision of services. (Id. ¶¶ 10-11.) Against this backdrop, Plaintiffs assert that Defendants 7 failed to timely notify Plaintiffs of the challenges they faced and unreasonably delayed in 8 seeking assistance from Plaintiffs. (Declaration of Kim Mosolf ¶¶ 7-9 (Dkt. No. 895).) Plaintiffs 9 also provide evidence that they made repeated efforts through formal and informal channels to 10 assist Defendants to secure an ORCP providers in King County. (Id. ¶¶ 7-13.) And Plaintiffs 11 argue that the difficulties Defendants cite in finding an ORCP provider or staffing an ORCP 12 program were forecast well in advance of the deadline. (Pls. Opp. at 4 (Dkt. No. 894); Mosolf 13 Decl. ¶ 6 (citing the 2021 challenges in implementing ORCP in Spokane).) 14 The Court finds that Defendants have failed to provide good cause to justify the request 15 for additional time. The record here shows that when Defendants negotiated and agreed to the 16 March 31, 2022 deadline to implement ORCP in King County they knew that they would face 17 headwinds given the COVID-19 pandemic and staffing shortages. And when Defendants ran into 18 trouble finding a provider, they did not involve Plaintiffs in a timely manner or bring this matter 19 to the Court’s attention until shortly before the deadline expired. Defendants’ decision to work in 20 isolation and not seek assistance earlier demonstrates a lack of diligence that does not justify the 21 extension sought. The Court therefore DENIES the Motion. 22 \\ 23 \\ 24 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR ADDITIONAL TIME - 2 1 The clerk is ordered to provide copies of this order to all counsel. 2 Dated May 26, 2022. 3 A 4 Marsha J. Pechman United States Senior District Judge 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR ADDITIONAL TIME - 3

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