American Disability Act Accommodation

       
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Contra Costa County Superior Court
ADA Site Coordinator:

Teri Branco
Phone 925-646-4099
Fax 925-957-5626


 

 

 

Requests for Accommodations by Persons with Disabilities

It is the intent of this Court to assure that qualified individuals with disabilities have equal and full access to the judicial system including court proceedings, services, programs, and activities. Nothing in this document shall be construed to impose limitations or to invalidate the remedies, rights, and procedures accorded to any qualified individuals with disabilities under state or federal law.


Requests for Accommodation in Court Proceedings

A.  Definitions:

The following definitions shall apply under this section

  1. “Qualified individuals with disabilities” means persons covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.); Civil Code section 51 et seq.; and other related state and federal laws; and includes individuals who have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities; have a record of such an impairment; or are regarded as having
    such an impairment.
  2. “Applicant” means any lawyer, party, witness, juror, or any other individual with an interest in attending any proceeding before any court of this state.
  3. “Accommodation(s)” may include, but are not limited to, making reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures; furnishing, at no charge, to the qualified individuals with disabilities, auxiliary aids and services, which are not limited to equipment, devices, materials in alternative formats, and qualified interpreters or readers; and making each service, program, or activity, when viewed in its entirety, readily accessible to and usable by qualified individuals with disabilities requesting accommodations. While not requiring that each existing facility be accessible, this standard, known as “program accessibility,: must be provided by methods including alteration of existing facilities, acquisition or construction of additional facilities, relocation of a service or program to an accessible facility, or provision of services at alternate sites.
  4. The “section” means this section regarding requests for accommodations in state courts by qualified individuals with disabilities.
  5. “Confidentiality” applies to the identity of the applicant in all oral or written communications, including all files and documents submitted by an applicant as part of the application process.

B.  Process:

The following is the process for requesting accommodations in court proceedings

  1. Applicants requesting accommodation(s) pursuant to this rule may be presented ex parte (i.e., without an appointment, done on behalf of one party only and without notice to an opposing party) in writing, on form MC-410, which can be obtained by contacting the clerk at any branch location or the ADA site coordinator. Applications should be submitted to the ADA site coordinator for review.
  2. All applications for accommodations shall include a description of the accommodation sought, along with a statement of the impairment that necessitates such accommodation. The court, in its discretion, may require the applicant to provide additional information about the qualifying impairment.
  3. Applications should be made as far in advance of the requested implementation date as possible, and in any event should be made no less than five days prior to the requested implementation date. The court may, in its discretion,
    waive this requirement.
  4. Upon request, the court shall place under seal the identity of the applicant as designated on the application form and all other identifying information provided to the court pursuant to the application.

C.  Permitted Communication:

An applicant may make ex parte communications with the court

Such communications shall deal only with the accommodation(s) the applicant’s disability requires and shall not deal in any manner with the subject matter or merits of the proceedings before the court.

D.  Grant of Accommodation:

The court shall grant an accommodation as follows

  1. In determining whether to grant an accommodation and what accommodation to grant, the court shall consider, but is not limited by, the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and related state and federal laws.
  2. The applicant will be informed in writing for findings of fact and orders, as may be appropriate, that the request for accommodations is granted or denied, in whole or in part, and the nature of the accommodation(s) to be provided, if any.

E.  Denial of Accommodation: 

An application may be denied only if the court finds that

  1. The applicant has failed to satisfy the requirements of this rule; or
  2. The requested accommodation(s) would create an undue financial or administrative burden on the court; or
  3. The requested accommodation(s) would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.

F.  Review Procedure

  1. An applicant or any participant in the proceeding in which an accommodation has been denied or granted my seek review of a determination made by nonjudicial court personnel within 10 days or the date of the notice of denial or grant by submitting a request for review of the court.
  2. An applicant or any participant in the proceeding in which an accommodation has been denied or granted may seek review of a determination made by a presiding judge or any other judicial officer of a court within 10 days of the date of the notice of denial or grant by filing a petition with the appropriate court of superior jurisdiction.

G.  Duration of Accommodations 

The accommodations by the court shall commence on the date indicated in the notice of accommodation and shall remain in effect for the period specified in the notice of accommodation. The court may grant accommodations for indefinite periods of time or for a particular matter or appearance.

H.   Contacting the Court

If you have business with the Court and require accommodations because of a disability, please contact the ADA Site Coordinator listed above. The Court requires notification in advance in order to provide certain accommodations, such as a sign language interpreter. Please contact the Court as soon as possible to ensure the availability of the accommodation you need.

 


 

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