U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division Disability Rights Section P.O.

Box 66738 Washington, DC 20035-6738 SEP - 4 1996 The Honorable Linda L. Vitale Circuit Judge Seventeenth Judicial Circuit of Florida Broward County Courthouse 201 S.E. 6th Street, Room 998 Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301 Re: DOJ Complaint Dear Judge Vitale: This letter constitutes our Letter of Findings with respect to the allegations received by this office concerning a violation of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) by the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida (Court). Title II prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the programs, services and activities of State and local governments. The complainant alleges that the Court failed to modify its procedures in order to provide him with an equal opportunity to participate in a proceeding held on February 22, 1995, and thereby discriminated against him on the basis of his disability. Specifically, it is alleged that although the complainant had made a prior request to participate by telephone at that court proceeding as an accommodation for his physical disability, the court, without responding directly to his request, ordered him to appear at the Broward County Courthouse as scheduled. The Civil Rights Division has completed its investigation of this complaint. We have reviewed material submitted by both the Court and the complainant, and we have found that the two (2) written orders of the Court, issued in connection with the February 22, 1995, hearing, state explicitly that the complainant appeared by telephone for this hearing. Accordingly, the

official court records indicate that the Court did provide the complainant with the requested accommodation on the date at issue. Based on the information given above, we find that the Court did not violate the ADA with respect to the allegations of the complaint. As a result of our determination, we have closed our 01-00438 2 investigation of this complaint. If the complainant is dissatisfied with these findings, he may file a private suit in the appropriate United States District Court under title II. Our findings are limited to the allegations raised in the complaint and do not address other potential claims of discrimination on the basis of disability that may arise from the activities of the Court. We appreciate the Court's cooperation during the course of this investigation. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Bill Shiraki at (202) 305-1118. Sincerely Bruce Friedman Supervisory Attorney Disability Rights Section Civil Rights Division CC: Mr.