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

Box 66738 Washington DC 20035-6738 NOV 15 1996 (STAMPED) Mr. Morgan Ransdell Assistant Attorney General Commonwealth of Kentucky Office of the Attorney General P.O. Box 2000 Frankfort, Kentucky 40602-2000 Re: DOJ Complaint # XX Dear Mr. Ransdell: This letter is in reference to a complaint that was received by this office alleging a violation of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) by the District Court of Jefferson County, Kentucky (Court). Title II prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in the programs, services and activities of State and local governments on the basis of disability. The complainant alleges that the policy and procedures of the Jefferson District Court do not provide equal communication with individuals who have hearing disabilities as required by 28 C.F.R. 35.160. Specifically, it has been alleged that, although the complainant requested the services of a sign language interpreter prior to proceedings that were held on December 3, 1993 and December 20, 1993, he was not provided with an interpreter at either of these proceedings. The Civil Rights Division has completed its investigation of this complaint. We have reviewed the material submitted by both the complainant and the Office of the Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Although the complainant made a request to the court administrator on December 2, 1993 for a sign language interpreter for a proceeding that was to be held the following day, an interpreter was not present for this proceeding. However, because a witness did not appear to testify at this proceeding, a motion for a continuance was granted and a note was made on the docket to provide the services of an

interpreter at the next proceeding to be held December 20, 1993. At the proceeding held December 20, 1993, the complainant's attorney made it known to the court that they wished to postpone cc: Records, Chrono, Shiraki, Morrow, Magagna, Wodatch N:\UDD\ASHIRAK\JEFFERCT.CLS 01-00462

2 proceedings as they had been in negotiations with the District Attorney's office in order to waive trial and to have his client entered into the diversion program. The court granted a motion for a continuance and documented that a sign-language interpreter should be present for the next court proceeding. Although the services of an interpreter were not provided at these two motions hearings, the Court did act affirmatively to determine whether the complainant would need the services of an interpreter and to see that one would be provided for future proceedings. Additionally, subsequent to the proceedings at issue, the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts adopted rules and procedures governing the appointment of qualified interpreters for persons with disabilities who require such services in order to participate in court proceedings. Based on the information given above, we find that the issue that was alleged by the complainant has been resolved by the implementation of procedures by the Kentucky Court System governing the appointment of qualified interpreters prior to our investigation of the issue alleged. Accordingly, we have closed our 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. We appreciate the cooperation of the Attorney General's Office for the Commonwealth of Kentucky during the course of this investigation. If you have any questions about this matter, please contact Bill Shiraki at (202)305-1118.


Bruce Friedman Supervisory Attorney Disability Rights Section Civil Rights Division cc: Mr. XX