Huntsville, AL asked in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Alabama

Q: Is it possible to sue for violation of 42 U.S.C. 9501?

1 Lawyer Answer
Mitchell G. Lattof Jr
Mitchell G. Lattof Jr
  • Mobile, AL
  • Licensed in Alabama

A: Probably not. If you read this provision (also known as the Bill of Rights for Mental Health Patients), it does not appear to contain any mandatory language. It is merely a RECOMMENDATION from Congress to the states of what the states "SHOULD" do to provide for rights and treatment of mental health patients. In the few federal district court cases in which this has come up, the courts have either refused to address the issue or have ruled that there is NO right to sue. (How can you sue for a violation of a non-mandatory violation?) I'm not aware of any federal appellate courts which have addressed this.

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