Code of the District of Columbia

§ 7–1305.13. Initiation of action to compel rights; civil remedy; sovereign immunity barred; defense to action; payment of expenses.

(a) Any interested party shall have the right to initiate an action in the Court to compel the rights afforded persons with intellectual or developmental disabilities under this chapter.

(b) Any person shall have the right to a civil remedy in an amount not less than $25 per day from the Director or the District of Columbia, separately or jointly, for each day in which said person at a facility is not provided a program adequate for habilitation and normalization pursuant to the person's individual habilitation plan, unless the District is unable to pay the cost of recommended services because available funds appropriated for the purposes of this chapter are insufficient to pay the costs.

(c) Sovereign immunity shall not bar an action under this section.

(d) The good faith belief that an habilitation program was professionally indicated shall be a defense to an action under subsection (b) of this section, despite the program’s apparent ineffectiveness. In such circumstances, the habilitation program shall be modified to one appropriate for the person within 5 days of a Court’s decision that the program is inappropriate.

(e) Reasonable attorneys’ fees and Court costs shall be available for actions brought under this section.