University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Wolfe v. Portland PN-OR-0010
Docket / Court 3:20-cv-01882-BR ( D. Or. )
State/Territory Oregon
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Special Collection Litigation Against Federal Police (2020)
Police Violence Protests (Spring/Summer 2020)
Attorney Organization Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Case Summary
This case is about the failure of local, state, and federal law enforcement officials to establish policies that afford people with disabilities the same opportunities to avoid law enforcement harm as those without disabilities. Four Portland, Oregon residents with disabilities, along with the ... read more >
This case is about the failure of local, state, and federal law enforcement officials to establish policies that afford people with disabilities the same opportunities to avoid law enforcement harm as those without disabilities. Four Portland, Oregon residents with disabilities, along with the advocacy organization Disability Rights Oregon, brought this lawsuit on November 1, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon against officials representing the city of Portland, Multnomah County, the state of Oregon, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Marshals Service. The plaintiffs sued under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Represented by private counsel, the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, and the Disability Rights Legal Center, the plaintiffs sought preliminary and permanent injunctive relief requiring defendants to cease discrimination against individuals with disabilities at protests and to provide reasonable modifications to police policies. Plaintiffs also sought compensatory and punitive damages for physical and mental injuries sustained during conflicts between protestors and law enforcement in the midst of the large-scale protests that took place in Portland in the summer of 2020.

Plaintiffs alleged that the Portland Police Bureau, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, the Oregon State Police, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the U.S. Marshals Service targeted people with disabilities for harassment and violence in retaliation for exercising their constitutional rights. They further alleged that the same law enforcement agencies failed to make reasonable modifications to crowd dispersal and use of force policies that would allow individuals with hearing impairments, vision impairments, or limited mobility a sufficient opportunity to comply with law enforcement orders before being subject to force. In addition, the complaint accused law enforcement of discriminating against gender-nonconforming protestors, including misgendering individuals and refusing to house protestors in law enforcement custody according to their gender identity.

The case was initially assigned to Judge Anna Brown on November 2, 2020, but was reassigned to Judge Michael Simon the following day. On February 8, 2021, plaintiffs filed a motion for a preliminary injunction.

As of February 19, 2021, the case remains pending in the District Court and defendants’ answer or other responsive pleading is due by Monday, March 15, 2021.

Rachel Harrington - 02/19/2021

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Due Process: Procedural Due Process
Equal Protection
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
disability, unspecified
Hearing impairment
Mental impairment
Mobility impairment
Visual impairment
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Gender identity
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Effective Communication (ADA)
Excessive force
Pepper/OC spray
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Mental Disability
Mental Illness, Unspecified
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Ex Parte Young (Federal) or Bivens
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) City of Portland
Department of Homeland Security
Multnomah County
State of Oregon
United States
Plaintiff Description Four Portland, Oregon residents with disabilities who alleged they were subjected to discrimination and harm by Portland law enforcement during racial justice protests, as well as Disability Rights Oregon, in its capacity as the federally mandated protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities in the state of Oregon.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 11/01/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Lawsuit: Law enforcement fails to provide Oregonians with disabilities equal access to Portland demonstrations
Date: Nov. 2, 2020
By: Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
D. Or.
PN-OR-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D. Or.
Complaint for Declaratory, Injunctive Relief, and Damages [ECF# 1]
PN-OR-0010-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Simon, Michael Howard (D. Or.) show/hide docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers Campbell, Bruce L. (Oregon) show/hide docs
PN-OR-0010-0001 | PN-OR-0010-9000
Clarke, John C. (Oregon) show/hide docs
PN-OR-0010-0001 | PN-OR-0010-9000
Fox, Timothy Patrick (Colorado) show/hide docs
PN-OR-0010-0001 | PN-OR-0010-9000
Gonzales Morales, Pilar (Colorado) show/hide docs
Gonzalez Morales, Maria Del Pilar (California) show/hide docs
Hamme, Brendan (California) show/hide docs
PN-OR-0010-0001 | PN-OR-0010-9000
Knauf, Christopher (California) show/hide docs
PN-OR-0010-0001 | PN-OR-0010-9000
Pinggera, Anthony C (California) show/hide docs
PN-OR-0010-0001 | PN-OR-0010-9000
Robertson, Amy Farr (Colorado) show/hide docs
Runkles-Pearson, P.K. (Oregon) show/hide docs
PN-OR-0010-0001 | PN-OR-0010-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Baumchen, Drew K (Oregon) show/hide docs
Clendenen, Michael Patrick (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
Gilmore, Christopher A (Oregon) show/hide docs
Law, Linda S (Oregon) show/hide docs
Simon, Daniel A (Oregon) show/hide docs
Vu, Linh T (Oregon) show/hide docs
Woodard, Elizabeth C (Oregon) show/hide docs

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