Armstrong v. Brown

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Disability Law
  • Date Filed: 10-04-2013
  • Case #: 12-16018
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Reinhardt for the Court; Circuit Judges Tashima and Berzon.
  • Full Text Opinion

Changes to § 3065 of the Cal. Penal Code do not absolve the state of responsibility for prisoners and parolees while they are in county facilities, including adherence to disability accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.

Disabled prisoners and parolees sought disability accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Rehabilitation Act. The accommodation denials prevented disabled class members from being able to obtain basic services, such as meals, mail, showers, and toilets on their own. Defendants failed to communicate the existence of disabilities and failed to assist the counties with the development of appropriate disability-related policies. Defendants contend that some disabled prisoners and parolees are no longer eligible for accommodations because of a change in Cal. Penal Code § 3056. Defendants argue that they cannot be ordered to take any action to avoid or alleviate violations involving parolees housed in county jail pursuant to § 3056. However, although § 3056 alters the balance of control between the state and its counties, the state is not relieved by § 3056 of its ADA obligations to parolees in county jails enforcing state-imposed sentences. The panel affirmed the district court’s conclusion that defendants have a continuing obligation to assist in alleviating the conditions that result in ADA and Rehabilitation Act violations in county jails. State officials must adhere to orders and disseminate and implement a previously negotiated County Jail Plan for disabled prisoners and parolees. The orders do not conflict with § 3056 nor require more than is appropriate to aid in remedying violations for which they are responsible. The panel dismissed as moot an appeal from the district court’s orders requiring renewed negotiations and the eventual dissemination to the counties of a compliance plan providing for, the tracking and monitoring of class members housed in county jails. The panel AFFIRMED the remedial August 28 orders issued by the district court. In No. 12-16018, the appeal was DISMISSED as moot. In No. 12-17198, the orders of the district court were AFFIRMED.

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