The judge in the federal case of Murray Center guardians against the state of Illinois ordered today that the state may not transfer, discharge or send on any overnight transition visit, any resident of the Murray Center without written consent of the resident’s legal guardian, a provision that will remain in place until the court rules on the pending motion for breaking preliminary injunction.
“This lawsuit deals not only with Murray, it deals with a plan to eventually close all SODCs,” explained plaintiff’s attorney Judith Sherwin. “They got away with it at Jacksonville, so we are very pleased with the judge’s order, today.”
Judge Marvin Aspen continues to say nothing in the order will restrict or prohibit the defendants from providing residents with outside medical care when necessary, following Murray’s standard protocols and procedures for obtaining such care for a residents. He also says the state cannot stop a resident from returning to Murray after receiving such medical care.
However, he says the state can continue to conduct pre-transition assessments, evaluations and other plannning activities that do not involve removing a resident from the center without the consent of the resident’s legal guardian.
The hearing on the preliminary injunction is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 23, in the U.S. District Court Northern Division in Chicago.
“We have a lot of work to do and not a lot of time to prepare,” said Sherwin. “But we’re hoping to show that transfers under this plan are very unwise to an extreme and people will get hurt.
She says the order allows the status quo to be maintained, which is very important to the case.
“People need to understand, while there are some very high functioning individuals, but for most Murray residents this is not the show “Life Goes On,” commented Sherwin, noting most residents are Murray will never be able to live life like the lead character in the 1980s TV series about a young man with Down Syndrome.
“The Murray guardians would love it if their loved ones were capable of living that kind of life,” she said. “But that is just not the reality of the situation.”
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423