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Judge asked to impose receivership

Three individuals who filed suit against the Government of Guam seven years ago have asked District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall to impose receivership to force GovGuam to provide minimum care requirements for individuals with disabilities.

According to the motion filed late Friday afternoon in the District Court, the plaintiffs' attorney Daniel Sommerfleck contends the Department of Mental Health and DISID "lack the leadership or the will to bring themselves into compliance with the Amended Permanent Injunction and another contempt motion is not likely to bring about change that is so urgently needed."

Sommerfleck stressed that the defendants' continued failure to comply with the Injunction endangers the plaintiffs and those similarly situated. The plaintiffs cited examples of the lack of care being provided to those who need it. While 29 individuals require dental service, only 3 have received that service.

13 individuals require rehabilitation, but only one has received it. 40 consumers require cognitive behavioral therapy and 19 require psychological testing but to date none have received either service.

The plaintiffs allege that resources have been and continue to be wasted and the defendants lack sufficient leadership to "turn the tide within a reasonable time".

Sommerfleck told the court that a receiver is likely to provide a relatively quick and effective remedy as numerous contempt orders imposed by the court previously have been "ineffective". He added, "The time has come for the court to end this charade by appointing a receiver to complete what the defendants should have completed years ago."

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs' attorneys have asked the court to award them attorneys fees incurred for the last year and a half.

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