University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Baldridge v. Oregon Department of Corrections PC-OR-0015
Docket / Court 120404976 ( State Court )
State/Territory Oregon
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Case Summary
On April 20, 2012, a deaf prisoner incarcerated at a facility managed by the Oregon Department of Corrections filed this lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Oregon. The plaintiff sued the Oregon Department of Corrections under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The plaintiff, represented by private ... read more >
On April 20, 2012, a deaf prisoner incarcerated at a facility managed by the Oregon Department of Corrections filed this lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Oregon. The plaintiff sued the Oregon Department of Corrections under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, sought declaratory judgement, $900,000 in damages, and injunctive relief requiring the Department of Corrections to provide future assistance. The plaintiff claimed that the Department of Corrections discriminated against him because of his disability, denied him employment opportunities, retaliated against the plaintiff for initiating litigation, negligently breached its duty to plaintiff, and violated the plaintiff’s constitutional right to present and file grievances as provided by Article 1, Section 8 of the Oregon Constitution. Judge David Rees supervised the proceedings.

Plaintiff based his claims on a number of incidents that occurred at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility and the Columbia River Correctional Institution. Plaintiff alleged that he was never provided a qualified interpreter. This resulted in his inability to fully communicate or ask questions during orientation, medical examinations, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, religious services, and educational classes. Plaintiff also alleged that he was denied employment opportunities resulting in a decreased opportunity to earn points for use at the prison store. Instead of working at the recycling plant as he desired, plaintiff was assigned to clean toilets. Plaintiff filed a Grievance Form as a result of this denial, but that form was also denied. The plaintiff alleged that the Grievance Form was denied due to pending litigation.

On July 13, 2013, Judge Rees granted the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment regarding the defendant's compliance with Oregon discrimination law for all activities provided by the defendant or any third-party. The parties eventually settled. The Oregon Department of Corrections paid $150,000 in damages to the plaintiff, implemented policies to ensure compliance with the American with Disabilities Act and Oregon law, and transferred another deaf prisoner to the plaintiff’s facility to provide additional social interaction. The case was dismissed with prejudice on February 11, 2014; the case is now closed.

Justin Hill - 02/18/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
Hearing impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Language access/needs
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Oregon Department of Corrections
Plaintiff Description A deaf prisoner held at Oregon correctional facilities.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2014 - n/a
Filed 04/20/2012
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Complaint (2012 WL 1555186)
PC-OR-0015-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/20/2012
Source: Westlaw
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Plaintiff's Lawyers Ellis, Matthew C (Oregon) show/hide docs
PC-OR-0015-0001
Steinman, Dennis (Oregon) show/hide docs
PC-OR-0015-0001

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