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Case Name Padilla v. Ryan JC-CA-0096
Docket / Court 5:98-cv-20309 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Jail Conditions
Case Summary
On April 7, 1998, several past and present prisoners at and visitors to Santa Clara County jail facilities who are deaf and rely on sign language for effective communication filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, against ... read more >
On April 7, 1998, several past and present prisoners at and visitors to Santa Clara County jail facilities who are deaf and rely on sign language for effective communication filed a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division, against the Santa Clara Department of Corrections. The plaintiffs, represented by the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund, the California Center for Law and the Deaf, AIDS Legal Services and private counsel, filed suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-34; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794, claiming that they were being excluded from a wide range of correctional programs and services on the basis of their disabilities. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant had discriminated against deaf and hard of hearing prisoners by failing to provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary for effective communication, failing to provide notice to deaf and hard of hearing inmates of their rights under the ADA, and failing to make available, to deaf and hard of hearing inmates, information about the existence and location of accessible services. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief.

On April 21, 1998, the plaintiffs moved the court to certify the class action and to grant a preliminary injunction. On April 29, the defendants moved to dismiss the case for failure to state a claim. On June 29, 1998, the United States filed a motion to participate as amicus curiae and a memorandum in support of plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction.

The District Court (Judge Ronald M. Whyte) set hearings for all motions in the August and September, but these hearings were postponed as the parties attempted to settle the case. They reached an agreement in the first few months of 1999. Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants agreed to provide disability training for all staff, to consider disabilities during classification to determine whether a prisoners requires special placement, to provide a cell with a telecommunications device for the deaf ("TDD") machine, to have arresting officers note any arrestee disabilities on their forms, to individually relay public announcements to deaf and hard of hearing prisoners, and to complete an assessment interview of prisoners with disabilities within 72 hours of intake to ensure equal access to correctional programs.

The Court (Judge Whyte) certified a settlement class action on March 8, 1999, approved plaintiffs' attorneys' fees in the amount of $196,454.86, with an additional $9,841 for disbursements, on April 28, and granted final approval of the settlement agreement on June 14.

The docket indicates that on September 1, 1999, one of the plaintiffs moved the court to set aside the judgment and decertify the class, but there are no further entries, and as of the date of this summary, we have no further information on this case.

Christopher Schad - 08/20/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
disability, unspecified
Hearing impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) County of Santa Clara
Plaintiff Description several past and present prisoners at and visitors to Santa Clara County jail facilities who are deaf and rely on sign language for effective communication, filing on behalf of themselves and similarly situated individuals
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1999 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1999
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies After Decision: Implementation of Judicial Decrees in Correctional Settings
Written: Oct. 01, 1977
By: M. Kay Harris & Dudley P. Spiller (Temple University)
Citation: (1977)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

Docket(s)
5:98-cv-20309-RMW (N.D. Cal.) 09/10/1999
JC-CA-0096-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum of Amicus Curiae United States in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction 06/29/1998
JC-CA-0096-0001.pdf | Detail
Judges Infante, Edward A. (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
JC-CA-0096-9000
Whyte, Ronald M. (N.D. Cal.)
JC-CA-0096-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cheng, Michelle Lee (California)
JC-CA-0096-9000
Fowler, John W. (California)
JC-CA-0096-9000
Kilb, Linda D. (California)
JC-CA-0096-9000
Kresse, John Kendrick (California)
JC-CA-0096-9000
Mayerson, Arlene Brynne (California)
JC-CA-0096-9000
West, Katharine Laura (California)
JC-CA-0096-9000
Wilson, Amanda K. (California)
JC-CA-0096-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Ravel, Ann Miller (California)
JC-CA-0096-9000
Other Lawyers Lee, Bill Lann (District of Columbia)
JC-CA-0096-0001
Nicholson, Kate M. (District of Columbia)
JC-CA-0096-0001
Uitti, Mary Beth (California)
JC-CA-0096-0001
Wodatch, John L. (District of Columbia)
JC-CA-0096-0001
Wohlenhaus, Renee M. (District of Columbia)
JC-CA-0096-0001
Yamaguchi, Michael J. (California)
JC-CA-0096-0001

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