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Recent State Archives Acquisitions: December 2013

Background Information

Records added this month to the State Archives collection will be valuable for a variety of research topics.  Received from a private donor (a former attorney with the Minnesota Disability Law Center) are black and white photographs (dated 1973, 1980) compiled by the Minnesota Disability Law Center as attorney for the plaintiff in the cases Welsch v. Likins, and Welsch v. Noot.  The records complement records of the Attorney General/Public Welfare Division, as well as other record series preserved in the State Archives. The Welsch Case began in 1972 when six mentally retarded residents of Minnesota state hospitals charged the commissioner of the Public Welfare Department and the administrators of six state hospitals with violating the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. (Patricia Welsch, by her father Richard Welsch, was one of the plaintiffs.) The plaintiffs claimed that their rights were abridged because they were not receiving a minimal level of habilitation and because they were committed to state institutions rather than being provided care and treatment in less restrictive community settings. In Sept. 1980, after lengthy litigation proceedings, the U.S. District Court issued the Welsch Consent Decree in favor of the plaintiffs. The consent decree applied to all eight Minnesota state hospitals and provided for a reduction in state hospital populations, for improved staffing ratios, for procedures governing the use of major tranquilizers and certain behavior management practices, and for discharge planning and evaluation. It also called for the appointment of a court monitor to review compliance with the consent decree, to report to the court with respect to compliance, and to resolve complaints about noncompliance. The court's jurisdiction was to end July 1, 1987, if the defendants substantially complied with the terms of the consent decree. The consent decree was amended to extend the court's jurisdiction to September 30, 1987, at which time a negotiated settlement was signed. The negotiated settlement was based on pending legislation which was to provide for review of case management services provided for persons with mental retardation. The legislation called for in the negotiated settlement took effect in May 1987. The court monitor's position was terminated in July 1988, and the duties were turned over to the office of the Ombudsman for Mental Health and Mental Retardation. The Welsch case was formally dismissed in August 1989.

The Kittson County District Court transferred records that continue and enhance access to existing records preserved in the State Archives, including civil case files (dated 1893-1938), civil and criminal case file transcripts (dated 1905-1952), and civil and criminal registers of action (dated 1883-1934) of the District Court;  minutes (dated 1973-1977) of the County Court;  and registers of action (dated 1882-1982) of the Probate Court. 

Received from the Public Safety Department/Commissioner’s Office is correspondence (dated 2005-2006) of Commissioner Michael Campion and subject files (dated 1999-2007) concerning a variety of topics such as performance measurements, budget issues, and driver and vehicle services.  The records continue existing files preserved in the State Archives collection.  The State Law Library transferred master negative microfiche of Supreme Court/Court of Appeals briefs (dated 2011-2012) that continue a set preserved in the State Archives.




1. Attorney General.  Public Welfare Division.  Black and white photographs (dated 1973, 1980). Submitted as exhibits to the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota.  2 boxes.

2. Kittson County.  District Court.  Records, dated 1882-1982).  25 boxes.

3. Public Safety Department.  Commissioner.  Correspondence (dated 2005-2006) of Commissioner Michael Campion, and subject files (dated 1999-2007) concerning a variety of topics.  1 box.

4. Supreme Court/Court of Appeals.  Briefs: closed master negatives, dated 2011-2012.  1,250 microfiche in one box.




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January 6, 2014