University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Shorter v. DC PN-DC-0003
Docket / Court 1:98-cv-02423-HHK ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Policing
Attorney Organization Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
On October 13, 1998, an individual and non-profit filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the District of Columbia (the District) seeking better accommodation for deaf people who need to communicate with police. The plaintiff was ... read more >
On October 13, 1998, an individual and non-profit filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the District of Columbia (the District) seeking better accommodation for deaf people who need to communicate with police. The plaintiff was represented by The Disability Rights Council of Greater Washington and private counsel.

In mid-November, 2000, the parties reached a settlement agreement that provided auxiliary aids and services, including qualified interpreting services, whenever necessary to ensure that individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired have the opportunity for effective communication with officers. The settlement agreement included the adoption of "Policy Guidelines", standards regarding the availability of contracted interpreters on-call for the District, provision of Telecommunication Devices for the Deaf, methods for notifying deaf individuals and public education programs regarding the provision of auxiliary aids for the deaf, and compliance monitoring. The defendants also agreed to pay undisclosed compensatory monetary damages to the plaintiff.

On May 8, 2001, the court re-opened the case to enter an order dismissing the case while retaining jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement.

Louisa Eberle - 11/03/2013
Andrew Steiger - 02/11/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Disability
Hearing impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) District of Columbia
Plaintiff Description Vernon Shorter (an individual) and the Disability Rights Counsel of Greater Washington (a nonprofit corporation)
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2001
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Federal Enforcement of Police Reform
By: Stephen Rushin (University of Illinois College of Law, University of California, Berkeley - Jurisprudence and Social Policy Program )
Citation: 82 Fordham Law Review 3189 (2014)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Panopticism for Police: Structural Reform Bargaining and Police Regulation by Data-Driven Surveillance
By: Mary D. Fan (University of Washington)
Citation: Forthcoming, 87 Washington L. Rev. __ (2012).
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  What Happens When Police Are Forced to Reform?
Written: Nov. 13, 2015
By: Kimbriell Kelly, Sarah Childress and Steven Rich (Frontline/Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Nov. 13, 2015)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:98-cv-02423-HHK (D.D.C.) 05/08/2001
PN-DC-0003-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Attachment A: Policy Guidelines 02/08/2000
PN-DC-0003-0003 PDF | Detail
Agreement 11/22/2000
PN-DC-0003-0002 PDF | Detail
Order 05/08/2001 (D.D.C.)
PN-DC-0003-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Kennedy, Henry Harold Jr. (D.D.C.) [Magistrate]
PN-DC-0003-0001 | PN-DC-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bishop, Bruce Charles (District of Columbia)
PN-DC-0003-9000
Fennell, Stephen A. (District of Columbia)
PN-DC-0003-9000
Gardner, Elizabeth Elaine (District of Columbia)
PN-DC-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Beyer, Wayne C. (District of Columbia)
PN-DC-0003-9000
Dix, Mark D. (Virginia)
PN-DC-0003-9000
Koger, Thomas Louis (District of Columbia)
PN-DC-0003-9000
Rayner, Judith K. (Virginia)
PN-DC-0003-9000
Utiger, Robert C. (District of Columbia)
PN-DC-0003-0002 | PN-DC-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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