No Interpreter Provided - How to Proceed?

kambric

New Member
My dad has been in prison in Texas for almost 10 years now. He's eligible for parole next June, so I explained his odds of getting it and how he can improve those odds.

One way to improve his odds is to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and/or some anger management classes or get counseling of some sort. You know, take advantage of what the prison is offering to help him improve himself and be better member of society.

He said the prison doesn't provide an interpreter for those services.

Umm...WHAT? That would be a direct violation of ADA laws. If this is indeed the case, what would you suggest my first step be? I don't want to spend money on an attorney if there is a better alternative.

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 

Anij

Well-Known Member
I'd contact the prison he's in and talk to someone there dealing with inmate services etc directly about it. It could be that he's mis-understanding or making an assumption based on another situation.

If the people you speak to there say they do not offer any services, ask them who you can contact about getting more information about appealing the policy/getting information about the whole situation.

If you still don't get anywhere, I'd ask to be put in touch with the parole board (or whatever department etc that would be) and then arrange a meeting with them and yourself to discuss their accessibility policy and if they have additional ways to help get interpreters if your dad wants to attend what would be considered "rehabilitation programs".

One thing to keep in mind, that in many ways prisoners do NOT have the same legal rights (once convicted and serving time) as people on the "outside", so just because ADA functions for us, does not necessarily mean that they will be the same inside for inmates serving time inside prison walls.
 

kambric

New Member
Thanks for the thoughtful reply, Anij. I didn't even think of ADA laws not applying to those behind bars. I will do some snooping this week and see where it leads us.
 

kellycat

New Member
Another thought, is if the "right" to an interpreter doesn't apply, it could mean the prison doesn't want/need to pay for it, but they may be willing to allow an interpreter if someone else foots the bill. I work in Public Education, another bureaucracy, and often times available funds dictate policy more than rational thoughts do.
 

jpcwa

New Member
My dad has been in prison in Texas for almost 10 years now. He's eligible for parole next June, so I explained his odds of getting it and how he can improve those odds.

One way to improve his odds is to attend Alcoholics Anonymous and/or some anger management classes or get counseling of some sort. You know, take advantage of what the prison is offering to help him improve himself and be better member of society.

He said the prison doesn't provide an interpreter for those services.

Umm...WHAT? That would be a direct violation of ADA laws. If this is indeed the case, what would you suggest my first step be? I don't want to spend money on an attorney if there is a better alternative.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

For ADA cases. You need to draft a complaint. The complaint needs filed in a US district court. With the complaint you need to pay a filing fee. I believe its $300.

You CAN NOT file the complaint in any US district court. The complaint needs filed in the US district court that is the closest to the prison your father is in. If you cannot physically drive to that US court then you can always mail it in certified.

There are specific requirements for drafting a complaint. YOu better learn what they are before filing one.

With the complaint you need to file a JS44 information sheet too.

The plaintiff in this case will be your father. The defendant will be the state and the prison and the individual who did not provide him with the accommodation he requested.

You should read the pro se handbook, its on the district courts website, thoroughly before proceeding.

If you do not draft your pleadings factually and specifically your father's case will be dismissed.

The claims in the complaint need to have date, time, place, names, etc. NOT legal citations and laws. You cannot for example, say, father was discriminated against based upon the ADA 42 USC. You need to say, like, father was not provided a sign language interpreter on, date and time here. Your case may be dismissed anyways as you do not know you are doing.

There should also be a page with relief, whatever is being asked for; injunctive, monetary, etc. There are specific requirements for drafting that portion of the complaint.

Disclosure: This is NOT legal advice it is General advice on drafting a complaint and filing one. For legal advice consult a bar certified attorney in your state.
 

jpcwa

New Member
Another thought, is if the "right" to an interpreter doesn't apply, it could mean the prison doesn't want/need to pay for it, but they may be willing to allow an interpreter if someone else foots the bill. I work in Public Education, another bureaucracy, and often times available funds dictate policy more than rational thoughts do.

I believe officers in a prison are state employees so they have immunity, they have qualified immunity. So even if she does sue the case most likely wont go anywhere.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualified_immunity
 

ohmylight

New Member
Also pursue mental health groups and organizations for the Deaf/HOH.... I used to work in a hospital for an art therapy internship and I know that there are some wards and organizations for substance abuse and dependency for the Deaf/HOH with interpreters. Even if it's not a city close to you they may know of more information and resources.

A quick google search got me started here: Alcohol & Drug Treatment

I know a private rehab center is going to differ from AA in a prison but because alcohol/drug dependency has a strong correlation to prison/deviancy (a majority of my former patients were parolees) you might be able to contact or email a counselor at that center to get some more ideas?

I hope that helps!
 

misdirectionx

New Member
For ADA cases. You need to draft a complaint. The complaint needs filed in a US district court. With the complaint you need to pay a filing fee. I believe its $300.

You CAN NOT file the complaint in any US district court. The complaint needs filed in the US district court that is the closest to the prison your father is in. If you cannot physically drive to that US court then you can always mail it in certified.

There are specific requirements for drafting a complaint. YOu better learn what they are before filing one.

With the complaint you need to file a JS44 information sheet too.

The plaintiff in this case will be your father. The defendant will be the state and the prison and the individual who did not provide him with the accommodation he requested.

You should read the pro se handbook, its on the district courts website, thoroughly before proceeding.

If you do not draft your pleadings factually and specifically your father's case will be dismissed.

The claims in the complaint need to have date, time, place, names, etc. NOT legal citations and laws. You cannot for example, say, father was discriminated against based upon the ADA 42 USC. You need to say, like, father was not provided a sign language interpreter on, date and time here. Your case may be dismissed anyways as you do not know you are doing.

There should also be a page with relief, whatever is being asked for; injunctive, monetary, etc. There are specific requirements for drafting that portion of the complaint.

Disclosure: This is NOT legal advice it is General advice on drafting a complaint and filing one. For legal advice consult a bar certified attorney in your state.

No wonder why I constantly emailing ADA including all of the "un-certified" letters in the freaking mail! Sigh! I was discrminated on the road test for 12 fking years! 4 times for the last 12 years! ****ing hell! I never knew the formal proceeding to file a complaint with ADA - now I do.

Fortunately for me, ADA lawyer just moved in town! WHOO-HOO! But he said the discrimination incident needs to be within 180 days or it will be invalid. So he advised me to take one more road test and if the problem persist, then he will take my case and sue DMV for $12.6 million dolla. You see that DMV?! 12 milla dolla MOFO! :does .50 cents bling-bling dance:
 

Reba

Retired Terp
Premium Member
No wonder why I constantly emailing ADA including all of the "un-certified" letters in the freaking mail! Sigh! I was discrminated on the road test for 12 fking years! 4 times for the last 12 years! ****ing hell! I never knew the formal proceeding to file a complaint with ADA - now I do.

Fortunately for me, ADA lawyer just moved in town! WHOO-HOO! But he said the discrimination incident needs to be within 180 days or it will be invalid. So he advised me to take one more road test and if the problem persist, then he will take my case and sue DMV for $12.6 million dolla. You see that DMV?! 12 milla dolla MOFO! :does .50 cents bling-bling dance:
First of all, the ADA is an act, not a place. The Justice Department handles complaints about non-compliance. I don't know what address you've been emailing your complaints to.

Secondly, I would be leery of a lawyer who right off the bat promises to sue for some huge, exact dollar amount.
 

kambric

New Member
Update in TX

I'm not a member of this law.com site so am not sure how much more there is to read of the decision. That said, here is what I was able to copy and paste re: the deaf Texas inmates who filed suit:


Texas Lawyer - Livingston v. Beeman

Livingston v. Beeman

Bob Pemberton, Justice.Other Decisions

Tex. App. Dist. 3

July 31, 2013

The appellees, inmates in a TDCJ prison facility who are deaf, brought suit alleging TDCJ had failed to provide assistive devices necessary for them to use a new phone system at their prison, or competent sign-language interpreters to assist them during various prison procedures and activities. The appellant, TDCJ's executive director, challenges the district court's final judgment. Prison facilities operated by the TDCJ are not among the "public facilities" to which Texas Human Resources Code Chapter 121's requirements apply. The district court's judgment is reversed and a dismissal is rendered.
 

KikLove

Member
Reba's right. Any lawyer that promised that (especially one practicing in Texas) needs their license questioned...

This may have have more information on the outcome of the case since the page you linked requires you to be a member of the website to read it all.


For those who want to read what the letter is located here.
 

WillsMom08

New Member
You need to start with the ADA. They will tell you if he does have the right. If he does they will also clearly tell you how to proceed to get help.
 

MarcoA

New Member
Reasonable Accommodations and Effective Communications

The ADA is specific to the provisioning of "Reasonable Accommodations" and providing the methods and means to affect "Effective Communications" for Deaf inmates. The bottom line is that if they provide a specific service to the hearing inmate population, they need to provide the same service for inmates that are disabled and subject to the provisions of the ADA.

Marco
 

MarcoA

New Member
Kambric,
I am not an attorney......thank God!!!!!!!, but I do believe that the ADA trumps a Texas Human Resources Code Chapter 121. I would think that this decision will be overturned at the Superior level. Also, Texas uses a company named Securus Technologies to provide inmate telecommunications services to the hearing inmates....and they also have the ability to provision their system to provide TTY services for Deaf inmates.

I assume the defense was that the TDOJ is a "public" entity and not subject to the ADA? The ADA applies to governmental entities as well. Good luck.....
Marco
 
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