Dave Domina Quoted by Hastings Tribune on Pending Civil Rights Suit Against Nebraska DHHS

Dave Domina Quoted by Hastings Tribune on Pending Civil Rights Suit Against Nebraska DHHS

The Hastings Tribune has profiled a pending civil rights lawsuit filed by Domina Law Group Founder Dave Domina on behalf a client who says the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services has refused to provide treatment to her mentally ill son despite a court order.

As detailed in the Hastings Tribune, Domina represents a Bellevue woman who claims the Nebraska DHHS violated her 21-year-old son’s civil rights by keeping him incarcerated at the Sarpy County Jail without proper mental health care. The woman’s son had been arrested by Bellevue Police in September 2021 on misdemeanor charges for third-degree assault and criminal mischief following a mental health incident at the family’s home two months prior.

A civil complaint filed in February in Lancaster County District Court by Dave Domina states that the woman’s son has remained in jail since his November 5th court appearance on a motion that raised question of his competency. It also notes that a court order issued on January 7th found the son incompetent to stand trial and required the Nebraska DHHS to provide “suitable treatment and care to restore competence.”

As Dave Domina notes, however, the Nebraska DHHS refused to accept the son as a patient, despite their “nondiscretionary duty” to commit him to their care and provide treatment under state law. By statute, judges in Nebraska who find defendants mentally incompetent when they have a substantial probability to become competent in the foreseeable future must order the defendant to be committed to the DHHS for appropriate care, which may include commitment to a state hospital, another state-owned or operated facility, or a contract facility.

According to the lawsuit filed by Domina, detaining the son as an inmate at a jail, rather than as a patient, poses a substantial likelihood of continuing the violation of his civil rights.

"Without any justification, and without any legal authority to do so, one or more of the defendants, acting together and in concert with one another, refused to obey the court’s order committing Mr. Renner to DHHS care,” Domina states in the lawsuit.