University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Rogers v. Colorado Department of Corrections PC-CO-0028
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-02733-STV ( D. Colo. )
State/Territory Colorado
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Case Summary
On November 3, 2016, a deaf female prisoner of the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility filed this pro se lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The plaintiff sued the State of Colorado, the Colorado Department of Corrections, the Executive Director of the Colorado ... read more >
On November 3, 2016, a deaf female prisoner of the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility filed this pro se lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The plaintiff sued the State of Colorado, the Colorado Department of Corrections, the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Corrections, and the Warden of the Denver Women’s Correctional Facility under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She also brought claims under § 1983 of constitutional violations of the Eight Amendment's prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment and Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process. The plaintiff sought damages, and the case was assigned to Magistrate Judge Gordon P. Gallagher and then later reassigned to Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak.

The plaintiff alleged she was denied a Sorenson Video Phone (SVP) after many requests. The SVP offers a service for the deaf community paid for by the government for those who qualify under the ADA. Unable to obtain counsel, the plaintiff had to file and refile amended complaints to meet the court’s standards. After the plaintiff obtained counsel from the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center on March 31, 2017, she filed a third amended complaint on June 15, 2017, and added three new plaintiffs. The plaintiff sued the defendants under § 1983 and Title II of the ADA, and added claims of violations of the Rehabilitation Act. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendants violated their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights by refusing to allow them to use the SVP service even though they qualified.

On June 30, 2017, the defendants filed a motion to dismiss the third amended complaint, claiming that the plaintiff lacked standing to assert her claims under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act and that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.

The court disagreed with the defendants’ arguments and on September 29, 2017, denied the motion to dismiss. The court found that the plaintiff had standing to assert her ADA and Rehabilitation Act claims, that the plaintiff pleaded plausible claims for relief and that her First Amendment claim was sufficient. On January 10, 2018, the plaintiffs filed a stipulation dismissing one of the plaintiffs added by the third amended complaint. The court approved this dismissal.

On January 22, 2018, the plaintiffs filed a fourth amended complaint, adding two plaintiffs and removing the Fourteenth Amendment claim. The defendants filed an answer to this complaint on February 5, 2018. The case is ongoing.

Jake Parker - 06/15/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Cruel and Unusual Punishment
Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Hearing impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Communication skills
Conditions of confinement
Phone
Screen readers and similar accessibility devices
TTY/Close Captioning/etc.
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) The State of Colorado
Plaintiff Description A deaf female prisoner who was denied Sorenson Video Phone service.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Civil Rights Injunctions Over Time: A Case Study of Jail and Prison Court Orders
N.Y.U. Law Review
Date: May 2006
By: Margo Schlanger (Washington University Faculty)
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
Book
Date: Jan. 1, 1998
By: Malcolm M. Feeley & Edward Rubin (UC Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law & Vanderbilt School of Law Faculty Faculty)
Citation: (1998)
[ Detail ]

Docket(s)
1:16-cv-2733 (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0028-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/24/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Notice and Claims for acts and omissions [ECF# 1]
PC-CO-0028-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/03/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Prisoner Complaint [ECF# 4]
PC-CO-0028-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/08/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Prisoner Complaint [ECF# 11]
PC-CO-0028-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/21/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 52] (D. Colo.)
PC-CO-0028-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/29/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fourth Amended Complaint [ECF# 66]
PC-CO-0028-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/22/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Varholak, Scott T. Court not on record [Magistrate]
PC-CO-0028-0005 | PC-CO-0028-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Robertson, Amy Farr (Colorado)
PC-CO-0028-0001 | PC-CO-0028-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Alber, Christopher Wayne (Colorado)
PC-CO-0028-9000

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