For approximately 35 years, the Jackson v. New Mexico case has been in litigation. Governor Grisham recently announced that the case has finally come to an end, with a favorable outcome for residents throughout the state who have developmental disabilities. The case was initially filed as a class-action lawsuit in 1987, when residents of two separate state-supported institutions claimed that their civil rights had been violated.
Now, more than three decades have past, when a U.S. magistrate judge issued a court order in the case. The judge ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. He also stated that the violations listed in the class-action lawsuit have since been remedied. The institutions in question were closed down many years ago.
A legal victory that is relevant to so many
Current data shows that more than 30,000 people in New Mexico may have a developmental disability. This makes the recent court decision relevant to tens of thousands of people throughout the state, if not more. The U.S. magistrate judge stated that the plaintiffs had demonstrated a clear intent to safeguard civil rights for developmentally disabled people in this state.
The director of the state division for developmental disabilities and supports also issued a public statement, saying that, because of the class-action lawsuit, the system that supports developmentally disabled people in New Mexico is now “secure, durable and sustainable.” He also said that the state is committed to making sure is disabled residents can exercise their rights to choose the communities in which they want to live. Any adult facing similar issues may seek legal support by requesting a consultation with an attorney who is well-versed in civil rights issues and matters relevant to the U.S. Constitution.