|01-29-2012, 02:47 AM||#1 (permalink)|
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Lawsuit against Adams County sheriff over alleged ADA violations gains three more pla
Lawsuit against Adams County sheriff over alleged ADA violations gains three more plaintiffs - The Denver Post
Three more plaintiffs — including a deaf man — have joined a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court against Adams County Sheriff Doug Darr over alleged violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
Michaelee Owen, who is deaf, and his guardian, Jeanine Roybal, are joining the Colorado Association of the Deaf in the suit, which was filed in November.
The original plaintiffs are Timothy Siaki and his fiancée, Kimberlee Moore, along with the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, an advocacy group.
The suit claims that Siaki was held in the Adams County jail for 25 days without access to a sign-language interpreter and other devices for the deaf to communicate.
Kevin Williams, legal program director for the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, said the circumstances of Owen's arrest were.
Owen was picked up for a traffic violation and put in the Adams County jail, Williams said. But he was also denied any access to communication devices and was not able to call Roybal — his aunt and legal guardian, Williams said.
An Adams County Sheriff's spokesman said today that Owen was arrested Nov. 2 for refusing to leave a "gentleman's club." He also had a variety of outstanding warrants on his record.
Documents show Owen was able to communicate by writing with the jail staff and he also used a telephone equipped for the hearing impaired. Owen was in the Adams County Jail for six days, the spokesman said.
The Adams County Sheriff's Office denied the allegations in the original suit. In a statement released in November, the Sheriff's Office said Siaki communicated in written English with the jail staff after his arrest.
Also, the next business day after his arrest, Siaki was advised of the charges against him through a sign-language interpreter supplied through the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing — a state agency that provides interpreters.
A spokesman for the Sheriff's Office couldn't be reached for comment late Thursday afternoon regarding Owen's claims.
The Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition said it recently settled a similar case against the Lakewood Police Department and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
"Throughout Colorado, sheriffs are breaking the law," said Williams. "More than 20 years after the passage of the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), sheriffs and police have no policies or procedures for providing sign-language interpreters for deaf persons."
"Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light."
- Helen Keller