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3/9/94 SBO:LMS:ca

MAR 14 1994 (STAMPED) XXX XXX XXX Re: Complaints XX Dear Ms. X : This letter constitutes the Department of Justice's Letter of Findings with respect to your complaint filed with our office under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA], against the Superior Court of the State of California for Kings County (the court). Specifically you are an individual with a hearing impairment and allege that the court has not taken steps to ensure that communications with individuals who are hard of hearing are as effective as communications with others who attend court sessions. You contended that those persons who attend court proceedings and need assistive listening devices to hear the business being conducted before the court are not provided such devices. Title II prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of their disability in the services, programs, or activities of a State or local government such as the court. Our office enforces the requirements of title II of the ADA for certain public entities, through investigation, negotiation, and if necessary, referral for possible litigation. We have completed our investigation of your complaint. As discussed below, we conclude that subsequent to your complaint, the court corrected the areas you alleged were in noncompliance with title II of the ADA. Therefore, we conclude that the court is now in compliance with the ADA with respect to the allegation you raised.

cc: Records CRS Chrono MAF Stewart. XX

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01-00173 -2Court proceedings are conducted in three1 courtrooms by the court. At the time of your complaint, the court only had one large area assistive listening system available for use in its three courtrooms. This system is an infra red system that works off the courtroom's public address system and includes three different types of receivers (regular earphones, induction coil, and neck induction loop) for different needs of classes of individuals who are hard of hearing. After we notified the court of your complaint, Kings County purchased four more large area systems. In addition, the county purchased twelve regular earphone receivers, four induction coil receivers, and two neck induction loop receivers. Based on these actions, we conclude that the court will have implemented adequate system for providing effective communications to those individuals attending court proceedings who are hard of hearing once the systems are operational. This letter constitutes our Letter of Findings with respect to your allegations of discrimination in your administrative complaint. It does not address, however, any other areas of the court's compliance with the ADA. If you are dissatisfied with our determination, you may file a complaint presenting your allegations of discrimination in an appropriate United States District Court under title II of the ADA. Under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, we may

be required to release this letter and other correspondence and records related to this complaint in response to a request from a third party. Should we receive such a request, we will safeguard, to the extent permitted by the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the release of information which could constitute an unwarranted invasion of your or other's privacy. Sincerely,

Stewart B. Oneglia Chief Coordination and Review Section Civil Rights Division

1 Subsequent to your complaint, the court added another courtroom. 01-00174 T.3/9/94 SBO:LMS:ca MAR 14 1994 (STAMPED) The Honorable Louis Bissig Presiding Judge Superior Court for the State of California for Kings County 1400 West Lacey Boulevard Hanford, California 93230 Re: Department of Justice Complaint Number X Dear Judge Bissig:

This letter constitutes the Department of Justice's Letter of Findings with respect to above-referenced complaint filed with our office under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), against the Superior Court of the State of California for Kings County (the court). Specifically, the complainant, an individual with a hearing impairment, alleged that the court has not taken steps to ensure that communications with individuals who are hard of hearing are as effective as communications with others who attend court sessions. She contended that those persons who attend court proceedings and need assistive listening devices to hear the business being conducted before the court are not provided such devices. Title II prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of their disability in the services; programs, or activities of a State or local government such as the court. Under title II, a public entity must effectively communicate with individuals who are hard of hearing. The provision of effective communications may require that assistive listening systems be used to communicate with individuals who are hard of hearing. Our office enforces the requirements of title II of the ADA for certain public entities, through investigation, negotiation, and if necessary, referral for possible litigation. We have completed our investigation of the complaint. As discussed below, we conclude that subsequent to the filing of the complaint, the court corrected the area allegedly in noncompliance with title II of the ADA. Therefore, we conclude that the court is now in compliance with the ADA with respect to the allegation you raised. cc: Records CRS Chrono MAF Stewart.bissig.lof

01-00175 -2Court proceedings are conducted in three 1 courtrooms. At the time the complaint was filed, the court only had one large area assistive listening system available for use in its three

courtrooms. This system is an infra red system that works off the courtroom's public address system and includes three different types of receivers (regular earphones, induction coil, and neck induction loop) for different needs of classes of individuals who are hard of hearing. After we commenced our investigation, Kings County purchased four more large area systems. In addition, the county purchased twelve regular earphone receivers, four induction coil receivers, and two neck induction loop receivers. Based on these actions, we conclude that once these systems are operational, the court. will have implemented an adequate system for providing effective communications to those individuals attending court proceedings who are hard of hearing. Please provide this office with notice when the systems are installed. This letter constitutes our Letter of Findings with respect to the allegation of discrimination in the administrative complaint. It does not address, however, any other areas of the court's compliance with the ADA. Under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552, we may be required to release this letter and other correspondence and records related to this complaint in response to a request from a third party. Should we receive such a request, we will safeguard, to the extent permitted by the Freedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the release of information that could constitute an unwarranted invasion of an individuals privacy. Sincerely,

Stewart B. Oneglia Chief Coordination and Review Section Civil Rights Division

1 Subsequent to the filing of the complaint, the court added another courtroom.

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