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Judge dismisses state's motion

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A recent motion in a case involving a Clay County woman suffering from cerebral palsy was denied.

The State of Indiana filed a motion to dissolve preliminary injunction in a case involving Edna Chadwell and others. However, Clay County Superior Court Judge J. Blaine Akers ruled against the motion.

"All it means is that we will continue as if the state had never filed these motions," American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana (ACLU) attorney Gavin Rose said, "with a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the caps in tact."

The ACLU filed a lawsuit against the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration late last year on behalf of Chadwell and others across the state regarding the Aged and Disabled Waiver Program.

The program, according to Rose, permits Medicaid recipients who "otherwise required institutionalization for their conditions -- whether that be in a nursing home, a hospital or another facility -- to receive services in their homes or a community-based setting."

According to Rose, the waiver program has to be renewed by the FSSA every five years and the renewal then must be approved by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.

However, when the program was renewed this year, Rose said the FSSA included a limitation on the number of "attendant care" hours that enrollees may receive.

On Wednesday, Rose said the state has indicated it may appeal the latest ruling, but he believed a possible appeal would not be timely under the state's appellate rules.

"From here, the next step is for us to move for summary judgment, which is, in essence, requesting a permanent injunction to take the place of the preliminary injunction," Rose said.

Rose said he expects to receive requested material from the state sometime in the next couple of weeks. He will then evaluate the material and decide whether more information is needed before possibly filing for summary judgment.

"With any luck, we'll be able to make that request in the next couple of months," Rose said.

In August 2008, Chadwell informed The Brazil Times of her situation. She is confined to a wheelchair and is physically dependant upon others for assistance with basic needs.

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