University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Pyles v. Kamka PC-MD-0011
Docket / Court 79-1864 ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On October 4, 1979, deaf Maryland prisoners filed a civil rights class action suit, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland against officials of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Plaintiffs, who were represented by the ... read more >
On October 4, 1979, deaf Maryland prisoners filed a civil rights class action suit, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland against officials of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Plaintiffs, who were represented by the National Association of the Deaf Legal Defense Fund, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the defendants failed to provide sign language interpreters to prisoners.

On February 27, 1980, the District Court (Judge Frank A. Kaufman) approved a consent decree under which defendants agreed to provide sign language interpreters to deaf prisoners under a variety of circumstances. The decree established certain hiring criteria for establishing that the sign language interpreter was qualified. The defendants were also ordered to pay the plaintiffs $3,000 plus fees. Finally, the decree constituted a full settlement of the lawsuit and the plaintiff waived any past, present or future claim related to this action.

Eoghan Keenan - 05/25/2005
Priyah Kaul - 11/25/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Hire
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Reporting
Defendant-type
Corrections
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Hearing impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Disparate Impact
Language/ethnic/minority needs
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services
Plaintiff Description Deaf inmates of Maryland prisons
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 1980 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1980
Case Ongoing Unknown
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)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Consent Decree 02/27/1980 (491 F.Supp. 204) (D. Md.)
PC-MD-0011-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Kaufman, Frank Albert (D. Md.)
PC-MD-0011-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Charmatz, Marc P. (Maryland)
PC-MD-0011-0001
DuBow, Seymour (District of Columbia)
PC-MD-0011-0001
Niman, Kenneth F. (Maryland)
PC-MD-0011-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Caplis, Stephen B. (Maryland)
PC-MD-0011-0001
Sachs, Stephen H. (Maryland)
PC-MD-0011-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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