Judge: Center for those with mental illness needs to comply with court order

FAILING: The Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center, show here in 2017, must explain to the District Court why it failed to comply with the orders to address various issues in monthly and quarterly reports. Post file photo

The government of Guam has until Sept. 4 to explain why it should not be sanctioned for failing to comply with a court order and for failing to comply with the terms of an 18-year-old permanent injunction against the Guam Behavioral Health and Wellness Center.

District Court Judge Consuelo Marshall, in an order issued Tuesday, reminded the defendants of their “continuing obligation to comply with the terms of the permanent injunction and subsequent orders entered in the case, unless and until relief is granted.”

GBHWC and the government were sued in 2001 for failing to meet the minimum requirements of care for individuals with disabilities and mental illnesses.

In April, the defendants were ordered to submit quarterly and monthly status reports addressing various issues at the facility, but the reports were never submitted to the court, according to the judge’s Tuesday order.

The reports were to include the status of the Guam Behavior Health and Wellness Center Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities accreditation, and when the next evaluation will be; and the status of recruitment efforts and the status of residents and consumers residing in facilities in the states.

Although the government moved to dismiss the permanent injunction in December 2018, the judge never granted the motion and reminded the government that it continues to remain under the permanent injunction.

GBHWC Executive Director Therese Arriola said the agency will submit the quarterly status report by the judge's deadline. GBHWC takes its responsibility of providing safe and secure facilities for its clients and its employees seriously and works continuously to ensure compliance with its mandates, Arriola said.