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Ball v. Kasich: Information and Updates

Ball v. Kasich
Information and Updates

Last Updated: March 28, 2017

This page contains information, updates, and resources related to Ball v. Kasich, a lawsuit filed by Disability Rights Ohio in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio against the Governor of Ohio and other state officials on behalf of five individuals and one organization for alleged noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Social Security Act. Details of this lawsuit, its purpose, its parties, and its potential effects can be found below. This page will be updated as new developments occur.

March 2017 - Court denies most of state defendants' motions to dismiss Ball v. Kasich

On Thursday, March 23, 2017, Chief Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio issued a ruling denying nearly all of the state defendants’ motions to dismiss the
Ball v. Kasich lawsuit.  

The defendants, which include Gov. John Kasich and three state department directors who were named in their official capacity, had argued that the court could not hear the case because it did not have legal merit in several key areas.  Because the court disagreed with nearly all of the defendants’ motions, the case now moves forward to the next stage of the process: determining whether or not the case can proceed as a “class action” lawsuit on behalf of all people with developmental disabilities in the state.

Click here to download full analysis of the court’s decision by OACB legal counsel, including the reasons why the court declined to grant nearly all of the the state defendants’ motions to dismiss.

To download the court’s full decision, click here.

Updated March 28, 2017



January 2017 - Disability Rights Ohio opposes OACB's motion to intervene in Ball v. Kasich as defendant, OACB files response on behalf of county boards

On December 23, attorneys representing the plaintiffs (led by Disability Rights Ohio) filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio asking the judge to overrule OACB’s request to intervene as a defendant in Ball v. Kasich

The plaintiff’s attorneys make two main arguments against OACBDD’s right to intervention – (1) the DD Boards have the same interests as the state defendants and, in essence, are agents of the state defendants and (2) the state defendants will adequately represents the interests of all DD Boards.  

DRO tells the court that OACB’s major reasons for wanting to intervene – that county boards are largely responsible for funding the current system as well as implementing and monitoring any changes at the local level – do not set them apart enough from the state to be allowed to participate in the case. DRO argues that the interests asserted by OACB are merely economic in nature, comparing the interests to those of private providers in other cases which were seeking to ensure that the providers received adequate funding. DRO argued that OACB can “protect the economic interests of its members through a variety of means, including advocacy, lobbying and contractual negotiations with the state.” 

DRO also believes that county boards are “instrumentalities of the state agency defendants, not autonomous or independent actors.”  This means that DRO thinks OACB/county boards are wholly controlled by the state agencies and therefore the court should not view them as separate entities.  DRO goes on to list the ways that the state controls the activities of county boards, including administrative rules and policies as well as the structure of the state’s Medicaid system. In short, DRO argues that a county board’s role is “merely to act as an agent of the state,” and therefore should not have a separate seat at the table.

As would be expected, OACB does not share any of these views, and filed its formal response to Disability Rights Ohio’s motion reiterating the importance of having county boards of DD represented in the lawsuit on January 17. Click here to download OACB's formal response to the court.

A full analysis of DRO’s arguments, including how OACB has responded and what the next steps are in this case, can be downloaded by clicking here.

Click here to download an FAQ document about OACB's original motion to intervene in the Ball v. Kasich lawsuit

Updated January 26, 2017


November 2016 - OACB files Motion to Intervene as Defendant in Ball v. Kasich

On November 29, 2016, the Ohio Association of County Boards of DD (OACB) filed a Motion to Intervene as Defendant in Ball v. Kasich, a proposed class-action lawsuit currently before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The purpose of this motion is to request that the court permit OACB to formally join the lawsuit as a named party and to act in future proceedings as the single legal representative of Ohio’s 88 county boards of developmental disabilities.

This action was unanimously approved by the OACB Board of Trustees at its regular meeting on October 10, 2016. The board’s action was taken at the recommendation of a special committee the trustees had empaneled for this exclusive purpose. A copy of the filing can be downloaded at For information about this recent development, please read the Frequently Asked Questions linked below to learn more.

Click here to download an FAQ document about OACB's filing in the Ball v. Kasich lawsuit

Updated November 29, 2016



June 2016 - State of Ohio files three motions to dismiss DRO lawsuit

On June 27, 2016, the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) and the Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) jointly filed a motion to dismiss in the Ball v. Kasich lawsuit.  Governor Kasich filed a separate motion to dismiss later the same day. The remaining defendant, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, filed its motion to dismiss on May 9.

The defendants cite several reasons why they believe the lawsuit should not be permitted to continue. The state contends that past lawsuits have already settled the questions posed by Ball v. Kasich. A full summary, including legal definitions, timelines for next steps, and other information, has been assembled in the form of an FAQ document for OACB members and stakeholders. OACB will continue monitoring this lawsuit very closely and will notify members and stakeholders of future developments as they occur. 

Updated June 28, 2016



March 2016 - Disability Rights Ohio files class action lawsuit against state on integrated services

On March 31, 2016, Disability Rights Ohio (DRO) announced that it filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court against the Governor of Ohio and other state officials on behalf of six individuals and one organization for alleged noncompliance of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504, and Medicaid requirements.

This litigation has the potential to touch the lives of thousands of Ohioans with developmental disabilities and their families. As such, the Ohio Association of County Boards of DD (OACB) has prepared this document to explore the potential impacts of this litigation on various individuals and organizations in Ohio’s DD system.

Click here to download a general overview and frequently asked questions (FAQ) regarding the DRO lawsuit

DRO claims that the state government has not done enough to prevent Ohioans with developmental disabilities (DD) from being unnecessarily admitted to care facilities that DRO considers to be institutions – places in which people with disabilities live, work, and receive care while separated from the wider community. Click here to read DRO's fact sheet about the lawsuit.

The suit is primarily concerned with intermediate care facilities (ICFs) that have eight or more residents. ICFs are live-in care centers for people with developmental disabilities. DRO’s stated intention is to give residents of these facilities more choices in when and how to receive state-funded residential, employment, and other day services.

Updated April 12, 2016


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