University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name VanValkenburg v. Oregon Department of Corrections PC-OR-0011
Docket / Court 3:14-cv-00916-BR ( D. Or. )
State/Territory Oregon
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On June 6, 2014, a deaf prison inmate who primarily communicates in American Sign Language filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Oregon under the Americans with Disabilities Act against the Oregon Department of Corrections. The plaintiff, represented by private attorneys, asked the court for $460 ... read more >
On June 6, 2014, a deaf prison inmate who primarily communicates in American Sign Language filed a lawsuit in the District Court of Oregon under the Americans with Disabilities Act against the Oregon Department of Corrections. The plaintiff, represented by private attorneys, asked the court for $460,000 in damages claiming that there was a failure by the prison system to communicate with him since the beginning of his sentence in late 2000 (14 years).

The lawsuit claimed that, instead of providing interpreters, the prison made him train other inmates as his interpreters and that they were not qualified to help him. These interpreters were also privy to confidential information since they were his method of communication for medical, religious, and counseling services.

As of September 17, 2014, a motion to dismiss has been filed but the court has not ruled on it.

Deeva Shah - 09/25/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Hearing impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Language discrimination
General
Classification / placement
Conditions of confinement
Unconstitutional conditions of confinement
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Oregon Department fo Corrections
Plaintiff Description a deaf inmate
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University)
Citation: 81 N.Y.U. L. Rev. 550 (2006)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

  Judicial Policy Making and the Modern State: How the Courts Reformed America's Prisons
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
3:14-cv-00916-BR (D. Or.) 08/27/2014
PC-OR-0011-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [PACER] 05/05/2014
PC-OR-0011-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant Oregon Department of Corrections Partial Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint 06/13/2014
PC-OR-0011-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Brown, Anna J. (D. Or.)
PC-OR-0011-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ellis, Matthew C (Oregon)
PC-OR-0011-0001 | PC-OR-0011-9000
Payne, Shenoa L. (Oregon)
PC-OR-0011-0001 | PC-OR-0011-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Van Meter, Heather J. (Oregon)
PC-OR-0011-9000
Vincent, Shannon M. (Oregon)
PC-OR-0011-0002 | PC-OR-0011-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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