|P&A is pleased to announce a resolution in the P&A vs. DDSN regulations case. In 2007, P&A and a group of individuals sued the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN) for not complying with the state law which requires that government agencies must issue regulations. DDSN does not have regulations for many important matters, including eligibility for their services, hearings and appeals, and standards for day and residential programs. After the Circuit Court ruled for DDSN in 2013, P&A appealed to the Court of Appeals. On February 24, 2016, the Court of Appeals issued an opinion clearly supporting P&A’s right to bring the suit. DDSN asked the SC Supreme Court to review the case and they declined. Late in 2017 the parties agreed to attempt mediation to resolve the case. On September 25, 2018, P&A and DDSN mediated the case and reached an agreement. On October 1, 2018, the DDSN Commission voted to accept the proposed agreement. In that agreement, DDSN agreed to publish a Notice of Drafting in the State Register, along with draft regulations in specific subjects. DDSN agreed to draft regulations in the following areas (based upon the directives referenced below):
- Eligibility (Directive 100-30-DD),
- Appeals (Directive 535-11-DD),
- Research (Directive 535-09-DD), and
- Certification and Licensure of adult community homes (Directive 104-01-DD).
DDSN has 100 days to start this process and post the notice as required by the SC Administrative Procedures Act (APA). Once the notice is posted, the regular requirements of the APA will apply. When the notice is published in the State Register, P&A will formally dismiss its case against DDSN. As part of the regulatory process, P&A and others will then be able to provide comments on each of the proposed regulations. The Notice of Drafting should be published in the State Register in late February, 2019.