State appealing mental health ruling to U.S. Fifth Circuit

5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Texas Attorney General's Office photo)
5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. (Texas Attorney General's Office photo)(KWTX)
Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 12:36 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - About a month after a final judgment was handed down, the state has filed a notice of appeal in its mental health case.

Wednesday, attorneys for the State of Mississippi noticed its intention to appeal the decision was handed down by District Court Judge Carlton Reeves in September.

The case will now go to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Recently, the state filed a motion asking Reeves for a stay on several provisions in his ruling pending the outcome of an appeal.

September 7, Reeves ruled that Mississippi must submit a plan to bring its mental health system into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. He gave the state 120 days from the date of his ruling to submit the initial plan and 180 days to submit the final plan.

“As Mississippi undertakes careful and thorough efforts to perform its obligations under the order, it is appropriate to partially stay a few parts... that require immediate action, substantial new funding and a fundamental alteration of Mississippi’s mental health system,” attorneys for the Magnolia State write.

Those provisions include holding off on the requirement that Mississippi implements a plan to provide peer support services at its satellite Community Mental Health Centers, that it funds hundreds of more CHOICE housing vouchers in 2022 and 2023 fiscal years, and that it develops an implementation plan within 120 days.

So far, Reeves has not ruled on that motion.

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