Right to Treatment and Drug Courts

United States v. Unified Judicial System

United States v. Unified Judicial System (E.D. Penn. 2023)

Dismissing, with leave to amend, suit by DOJ alleging a number of Pennsylvania county courts have adopted illegal policies prohibiting individuals with Opioid Use Disorder (“OUD”) from taking their prescribed medications while participating in court-operated drug treatment programs, in violation of the ADA.

U.S. v. Massachusetts Trial Court

A settlement agreement between the U.S. Department of Justice and the Massachusetts Trial Court finding that denying access to opioid use disorder medication is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In this case, the Massachusetts Trial Court entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Attorney after an investigation into whether drug court personnel were interfering with or requiring that participants abstain from using medications to treat opioid use disorder. The Massachusetts Trial Court denied any wrong doing or that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. As part of the settlement agreement, the Trial Court developed policies designed to ensure that drug court participants shall not be denied access to legally prescribed OUD medications. Grievance procedures were also adopted.

Gass v. 52nd Judicial Dist. Lebanon Cty

Gass v. 52nd Judicial Dist. Lebanon Cty., 232 A. 3d 706 (Pa. 2020)

“We are cognizant of the District’s concerns that medical marijuana use by probationers may, in fact, cause difficulties with court supervision and treatment. As we have observed previously: ‘The concern that unintended consequences may unfold are prevalent relative to the promulgation of experimental, remedial legislation. . .’”

Williams v. City of Phila

Williams v. City of Phila., 647 Pa. 126, 150, 188 A.3d 421, 436 (2018).

“Nevertheless, ‘[w]here the language of the governing statute is clear (or clear enough), … the solution is legislative — and not judicial — adjustment.’ Along these lines, the Supreme Court of Montana has aptly observed that, “whether or not medical marijuana is ultimately a good idea is not the issue” before the courts. Nelson, 195 P.3d at 833).

State v. Heaston

State v. Heaston, 308 Or. App. 694, 482 P.3d 167 (2021)

Because marijuana is not a controlled substance, probationer did not violate the prohibition against the using controlled substances condition, even though he did not have a medical marijuana card.

People v. Thue

People v. Thue, 336 Mich. App. 35, 969 N.W.2d 346 (2021)

“We conclude that provisions of the Michigan Probation Act that allow a court to prohibit a probationer’s MMMA-compliant use of marijuana impermissibly conflict with MCL 333.26427(a) and (e) of the MMMA and are unenforceable. Further, the revocation of probation upon the MMMA-compliant use of marijuana constitutes a “penalty” in violation of MCL 333.26424(a) of the MMMA.”

Walton v. People

Walton v. People, 2019 CO 95, 451 P.3d 1212 (2019)

The Colorado Supreme Court holds that the statute’s plain language creates a presumption that a defendant who is sentenced to a term of probation may use medical marijuana unless one of the enumerated exceptions applies. The prosecution bears the burden of overcoming the presumption. The relevant exception in this case requires the court to make particularized findings, based on material evidence, that prohibiting this defendant’s otherwise-authorized medical marijuana use is necessary and appropriate to promote statutory sentencing goals.

Matter of K.L.

Matter of K.L., 2019 MT 256, 397 Mont. 446, 451 P.3d 518

In reversing the termination of parental rights, the Court observed that the duties of DSS include: Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) requires when a parent fails to engage satisfactorily with the Department, the Department still must try to engage the parent.[12] The Department must assist in getting the parent engaged in services and document its attempts to do so. While coordinating with services parents receive through other court programs such as drug court is laudatory and should occur to avoid not only duplication of effort but also to avoid overwhelming the parent, the Department must coordinate actively with those court programs, monitor the parent’s programming and progress, and actively assist the parent in utilizing and accessing identified resources to complete treatment plan tasks not provided through the other court program. The Department must also meaningfully communicate with the other entity providing services and accurately advise the court and the parties as to the parent’s progress or lack thereof and actively address with the parent any barriers precluding the Department’s interaction with the other entity on an ongoing basis. Further, to satisfy its obligation to provide active efforts, the Department has an ongoing responsibility to assist the parent with visitation and make sure it occurs progressively throughout the case.

Copeland v. CAAIR, Inc.

Copeland v. C.A.A.I.R., Inc., No. 17-CV-564-TCK-JFJ, 2019 WL 4307125 (N.D. Okla. Sept. 11, 2019)

Class action complaint by drug court participants against residential treatment facility stated claims including involuntary servitude and forced labor.

People v. Lora

People v. Lora, 66 Misc. 3d 241, 115 N.Y.S.3d 870 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2019)

Court has statutory authority pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law § 160.58 to conditionally seal criminal records of defendants who successfully complete a judicial diversion drug treatment program.

Pesce v. Coppinger

Pesce v. Coppinger, 355 F. Supp. 3d 35 (D. Mass. Nov. 26, 2018)

Court grants preliminary injunction mandating that Plaintiff be given his prescribed methadone for the 60 days jail sentence because to not provide him with methadone was a violation of the ADA and constituted cruel and unusual punishment under 8th Amendment.

Smith v. Aroostook

Smith v. Aroostook Cnty., 376 F. Supp. 3d 146 (D. Me.), aff’d, 922 F.3d 41 (1st Cir. 2019)

Court granted a preliminary injunction against a jail using a similar ADA rationale and citing Pesce, where the detention facility refused to provide the defendant MAT (buprenorphine) during the defendant’s 40 days of incarceration).

Bazzle v. State

Bazzle v. State, 434 P. 3d 1090 (Wyo. 2019)

Mr. Bazzle was obligated, under the probation order, to successfully complete the Treatment Court Program. He was aware that he could not participate in the program until he ceased using Suboxone. If he was unable or unwilling to comply with the probation condition, he was required to petition the district court for modification rather than make the unilateral choice not to comply. The district court’s conclusion that Mr. Bazzle willfully violated the term of his probation that required him to successfully complete the Treatment Court Program is supported by the evidence.

People v. Stanton

People v. Stanton, 60 Misc. 3d 1020, 80 N.Y.S.3d 888 (N.Y. Co. Ct. 2018)

In non-drug court case, defendant permitted to use medical marijuana as condition of probation.

Fochtman v. DARP

Fochtman v. Darp, Inc., No. 5:18-CV-5047, 2018 WL 3148113 (W.D. Ark. June 27, 2018)

In putative federal class action lawsuit claiming violations of rights and statutes, arising from Plaintiffs’ drug-court ordered participation in DARP’s substance abuse recovery program, where DARP required Plaintiffs to work in Defendant Hendren’s plastics plant. The federal court ordered that Defendants’ DARP and Hendren’s Motions to Dismiss (are GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART as follows: (1) Defendants’ Motions to Dismiss Counts I (Failure to Pay Minimum Wage) and II (Failure to Pay Overtime) are DENIED; and (2) Defendants Motions to Dismiss Counts III (Slavery/Involuntary Servitude) and IV (Arkansas Human Trafficking Act) are GRANTED.

Beisel v. Espinosa

Beisel v. Espinosa, No. 8:17-CV-51-T-33TBM, 2017 WL 2060673 (M.D. Fla. May 15, 2017)

While Beisel would have preferred a program integrating the use of narcotic medications, Espinosa’s threatening to sanction Beisel if Beisel took narcotics obtained outside of the program does not qualify as deliberate indifference to Beisel’s medical needs.

Fredericks v. Huggins

Fredericks v. Huggins, 711 F.2d 31, 33-34 (4th Cir. 1983)

Holding that requiring pre-trial detainees to stop methadone “cold turkey,” causing them to suffer withdrawal, is not an unconstitutional violation of their civil rights.

State v. Guise

State v. Guise, 919 N.W.2d 635 (Iowa Ct. App.), vacated, 921 N.W.2d 26 (Iowa 2018)

Use of the Iowa Risk Revised assessment tool at sentencing was improper, where court rejected plea agreement solely based on the IRR results. The court observed: “On this record, we only know that the IRR authorized intensive supervision. We do not know what the IRR is, what factors led to the recommendation of intensive supervision, or whether the factors were appropriate for consideration in the sentencing context. It is impossible to determine whether the IRR was relevant to the question of sentencing within the meaning of section 901.2(1). …… To reiterate, our record contains no information on what the IRR was intended to measure, how it was scored, what factors were considered in arriving at a score, or how the PSI evaluator applied the test to Guise. See Klingele, 91 Notre Dame L. Rev. at 576 (“As an initial matter, risk is a squishy concept and its variations (low, medium, and high) are subject to all manner of manipulation.”). The IRR as described in Guise’s PSI report was a black box, devoid of transparency.

State v. Nichols

State v. Nichols, 2017 WI App 30, 375 Wis. 2d 325, 897 N.W.2d 67

To the extent that the sentencing court considered information regarding Nichols’ experiences in drug court, we are satisfied that the court did not improperly rely on information prohibited by the drug court contract. Court finds that information relied upon came from sources other than what occurred in drug court including letters from defendant’s mother.

People v. JIHAN

People v. Jihan QQ., 151 A.D.3d 1245, 55 N.Y.S.3d 536 (2017)

Sealing of drug court participant’s record was warranted although her case predated legislation.

Watson v. Kentucky

Watson v. Kentucky, No. CIV. 15-21-ART, 2015 WL 4080062 (E.D. Ky. July 6, 2015)

At the hearing, Watson requested the state court take her off the conditional release terms or remove the “blanket prohibition on her taking Suboxone, Methadone or any other drugs that she needs” to treat her addiction. The state attorney clarified that there was not a blanket prohibition on MAT drug use, but that “it’s generally the Court’s practice to allow [MAT drug use] if the doctor will show [] medical need.” The court agreed and instructed Watson to produce “medical proof and recommendations from a treating physician” that she needs to use MAT drugs as part of her treatment.. Watson also asked the state court to declare Kentucky’s policy with regards to MAT drugs in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Rehabilitation Act. The state court denied Watson’s request. At the hearing, Watson did not raise any other claims, constitutional or otherwise. Watson filed a complaint in federal court challenging the medication condition. She claims that conditioning her use of narcotics on a court’s review of a doctor’s note violates the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution, and § 2 of the Kentucky Constitution. Watson asks the Court to enjoin the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts from enforcing the medication condition. Held: Younger v. Harris, 401 U.S. 37 (1971) bars Watson’s claims because they can be adequately dealt with in state court.)

Reed-Kaliher v. Hoggatt

Reed-Kaliher v. Hoggatt, 237 Ariz. 119, 347 P.3d 136 (2015)

Holding that § 36-2811(B)(1) prohibits a trial court from conditioning probation on refraining from possessing or using medical marijuana in compliance with Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

Polk v. Hancock

State ex rel. Polk v. Hancock, 237 Ariz. 125, 347 P.3d 142 (2015)

Holding that § 36-2811(B)(1) prohibits a trial court from conditioning probation on refraining from possessing or using medical marijuana in compliance with Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.

State v. Sykes

State v. Sykes, 182 Wash. 2d 168, 339 P.3d 972 (2014)

Adult drug courts are philosophically, functionally, and intentionally different from ordinary criminal courts. Based on their unique characteristics, we hold that adult drug court staff meetings are not subject to the open courts provision of article I, section 10 of the Washington State Constitution. Whether adult drug court staff meetings are presumptively open or closed is left to the discretion of the individual drug courts.

State v. Plouffe

State v. Plouffe, 2014 MT 183, 329 P.3d 1255 (Mont. 2014)

Under statewide drug court protocols, defendant had to be honest and treatment providers could not use drug court disclosed information, such as drug testing with individuals not part of the drug court team. When non-team members obtained statements from the drug court participant under circumstances where he was in a penalty position, the statements were not admissible. Plouffe was impermissibly required to “choose between making incriminating statements and jeopardizing his conditional liberty by remaining silent,” Fuller, 276 Mont. at 166-67, 915 P.2d at 816 (citing Murphy,m465 U.S. at 436, 104 S. Ct. at 1147), because Plouffe believed that he had to answer questions honestly in order to comply with Treatment Court rules.)

Jackson v. Indiana

Jackson v. Indiana, No. 48A05-1403-CR-106.

Court of Appeals of Indiana ( September 16, 2014) Not Selected for Publication (Defendants significant medical condition did not excuse him from complying with drug court conditions, including refraining from lying and continuing his contact with drug court)

State v. Schively

State v. Schively, Arizona Appeals, Division 1 (5/13/14)

Insufficient evidence supported the superior court’s conclusion that Shively “refused” drug treatment within the meaning of § 13-901.01(G). The only evidence offered at the hearing was that Shively used and possessed heroin while in a residential drug treatment program. But we have held that “evidence that one possessed or used drugs is not equivalent to evidence that one refused to participate in drug treatment.”

Coats v. Dish Network

Coats v. Dish Network, 303 P.3d 147 (2013)

Even though Colorado has legalized marijuana, it is not a legal activity and employee can be fired for testing positive for marijuana.

People v. Leal

People v. Leal, 210 Cal. App. 4th 829, 149 Cal. Rptr. 3d 9 (2012)

Analyzes factors to determine when medical marijuana use may be permitted as a condition of probation.

Savage v. Maine Pretrial Services

Savage v. Maine Pretrial Servs., Inc., 2013 ME 9, 58 A.3d 1138

Jody Savage appeals from a judgment dismissing Count I of her complaint alleging that the termination of her employment by Maine Pretrial Services was a violation of the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act (MMUMA or Act), 22 M.R.S. § 2421-2430-B (2012). She argues that her application for a license to operate a medical marijuana dispensary was “authorized conduct” within the meaning of the Act and her subsequent termination was thus a penalty prohibited by the Act. We affirm the trial court’s judgment dismissing Count I of Savage’s complaint.

State v. Lee

State v. Lee, No. M2011-01669-CCA-R3CD, 2012 WL 5947525 (Tenn. Crim. App. Nov. 15, 2012)

Court of Criminal Appeals of Tennessee, at Nashville. (Opinion Filed November 15, 2012) (recognizing in the termination of drug court and probation, the need to treat drug court participant who is engaged but still relapses more lenient than a participant who is not engaged.

In re R.A.

In re R.A., 2012 OK CIV APP 65, 280 P.3d 366

“Based upon our review of the record, this Court finds the three ISPs entered in this case failed to adequately address the actual “condition” Mother needs to correct — her mental illness. Mother’s substance abuse clearly follows and flows directly from her mental health condition. Matter of C.R.T., , 66 P.3d at 1010. Mother’s history of significant trauma leading her to need to self-medicate is a condition that the psychological evaluation and Ms. Wilburn both conceded could not be corrected “solely through the efforts of Mother” without “medical, psychiatric, and psychological intervention.” Id., 66 P.3d at 1009. As such, termination of Mother’s parental rights based upon a failure to correct conditions where Mother’s mental health condition was not correctly identified and/or addressed by DHS constitutes a violation of Mother’s substantive due process rights.[fn9]Id. 34 Additionally, the ISPs failed to effectively offer Mother the “opportunity to ameliorate [her] condition and to effectively defend against termination efforts” by failing to adequately address her mental illness. Matter of C.G. , 637 P.2d at 68. While evidence was presented to show Mother failed to correct the conditions stated in her ISPs, the ISPs failed to properly identify, address or offer services specifically directed to the recognized cause of Mother’s substance abuse — her severe mental health issues. In failing to incorporate the information and recommendations garnered from Mother’s November 2010 court-ordered psychological evaluation into her ISP, Mother was not afforded the full spectrum of procedural safeguards to guard against termination of her parental rights.”

People v. Watkins

People v. Watkins, 282 P.3d 500 (Colo. App. 2012)

Constitutional authorization to use medical marijuana did not trump statutory condition of probation prohibiting commission of crime including federal crime which includes use of marijuana.

Beinor v. ICAO

Beinor v. ICAO, 262 P.3d 970 (Colo. App.2011)

Constitutional authorization to use medical marijuana did not trump employer’s prohibition against drug usage and firing w/o unemployment compensation benefits upheld

Harris v. Lake County Jail

Harris v. Lake Cnty. Jail, No. C 09-3168 SI PR, 2011 WL 1642058 (N.D. Cal. May 2, 2011), aff’d sub nom, Harris v. Howe, 507 F. App’x 674 (9th Cir. 2013)

The Eighth Amendment claim of cruel and unusual punishment relating to medical treatment in an incarcerative setting requires that there be an objectively serious medical need. Harris does not, however, provide sufficient evidence to allow a reasonable jury to find that he suffered degenerative disk disease or any other medical condition making it impossible for him to walk without the use of marijuana. Summary judgment granted.

People v. Webb

People v. Webb, No. D056735, 2011 WL 883780 (Cal. Ct. App. Mar. 15, 2011)

Court of Appeals of California, Fourth District, Division One, March 15, 2011) UNPUBLISHED (defendant not denied due process or other constitutional rights when he was rejected for drug court because he was taking strong narcotic medicines which would interfere with his ability to participate in the drug court program.

U.S. v. Small

United States v. Small, No. CR-10-91-BLG-RFC, 2010 WL 4922510 (D. Mont. Nov. 29, 2010)

Defendant on pre trial release not entitled to use medical marijuana even with a prescription and even though Montana Supreme Court permitted state probationers to do so. The court noted: “The right to use marijuana, however, is not a fundamental right and the authority of the United States to prohibit the use of marijuana has already been decided. Gonzales v. Raich, 545 U.S. 1 (2005); Raich v. Gonzales, 500 F.3d 850 (9th Cir. 2007).”

Use of Marijuana on Probaiton

People v. Beaty

People v. Beaty, 181 Cal.App.4th 644, 105 Cal.Rptr.3d 76 (2010)

The authorized use of medical marijuana does not by itself make a nonviolent drug offender unamenable to the treatment mandated by Prop. 36.

Mellender v. Dane County

Mellender v. Dane Cnty., No. 06-C-298-C, 2006 WL 6000908 (W.D. Wis. Oct. 4, 2006)

Allegations that defendants exhibited deliberate indifference to his serious medical needs by discontinuing his methadone prescription and enforcing a policy that restricts inmates from receiving prescription methadone pass summary judgment standard.

Sharp v. Weston

Sharp v. Weston, 233 F.3d 1166, 1172 (9th Cir. 2000)

Due process clause of Fourteenth Amendment “requires states to provide civilly-committed persons with access to mental health treatment that gives them a realistic opportunity to be cured and released.”

Abdul-Akbar v. Department of Corrections

Abdul-Akbar v. Department of Corrections, 910 F. Supp. 986, 1002 (D. Del. 1995)

Indeed, pretrial detainees and prisoners have no constitutional right to drug treatment or other rehabilitation.

Monmouth County Corr. Institutional Inmates v. Lanzaro

Monmouth County Corr. Institutional Inmates v. Lanzaro, 834 F.2d 326, 346 (3d Cir. 1987)

To establish an Eighth Amendment violation, it must be established that the institution acted with deliberate indifference to the inmates serious medical needs. A medical need is “serious” if it is “one that has been diagnosed by a physician as requiring treatment or one that is so obvious that a lay person would easily recognize the necessity for a doctor’s attention.”

Youngberg v. Romeo

Youngberg v. Romeo, 457 U.S. 307, 317-19 (1982)

Involuntarily committed persons have a constitutional right to minimally adequate treatment and training to ensure safety and freedom from undue restraint.

Norris v. Frame

Norris v. Frame, 585 F.2d 1183, 1188 (3d Cir. 1978)

Pretrial detainees had no constitutional right to receive the drug methadone, unless it was prescribed before their detention.

Estelle v. Gamble

Estelle v. Gamble, 429 U.S. 97, 104 (1976)

The Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment places on prison officials an “obligation to provide medical care for those whom [they are] punishing by incarceration.

Cudnik v. Kreiger

Cudnik v. Kreiger, 392 F. Supp. 305 (N.D. Ohio 1974)

It is a due process violation to prohibit the administration of prescribed methadone to pretrial detainees.