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Cdcr Disabled Inmate Legal Assistance Request 2007

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Department of Corrections and Rehabtlitation

Slate of Califomia

Memorandum

WSP.RC Rrnind & I>lalribultd on 1/4107
By Tbomas P. GlllnH. Foutu"'·, .\S.,lstliD'

Date

January 3, 2007

To

Associate Directors, Division of Adult Institutions
Wardens
Americans With Disabilities Act Coordinators
School Principals
litigation Coordinators

Subject:

INMATE REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE FROM THE COURT

This memorandum introduces the ·'etter for an inmate to request assistance from the
court of competent jurisdiction over a case he or she wishes to prosecute. This letter
applies whether an inmate is working on a pending court casei or requesting to file a new
case in court. The range of assistance the inmate may request varies from obtaining
large print materials to assignment of counsel. this letter Is intended only for inmates
who claim to have a disability or impainnent that substantially limits reading, writing or
understanding the legal process or legal material needed to file their specific case.
NOTE: Staff are not required to verify the alleged disability for the purpose of this letter.
This is a letter from the requesting inmate to the clerk of the court; therefore, California
Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (COeR) stationery shall not be used. An
employee, e.g., Library Technical Assistant (LTA), librarian, or Correctional Counselor
shall assist the inmate, as needed, with the preparation of the letter to the court. The
assistance may include reading, scribing, and/or explaining the process or document.
The inmate shouk:l explain in the letter that he or she is claiming to have a disability
covered under the ADA, and the disability makes it difficult for him or her to read, write,
and/or understand the process or legal material regarding the case. The inmate should
be specific about the reasonable accommodation or assistance he or she is requesting.
The inmate should sign the letter and enter his or her COeR number.

At the bottom of the letter (below the portion where the requesting inmate signs hislher
name and COeR number), the employee providing the assistance shall draft a standard
statement using only applicable language from the attached sample letter. The language
shall be verbatim from the paragraph on the attached sample letter (below the inmate's
name and COCR number). Please do not use the attached sample letter as a form
with the blanks fliled-in. The employee shall refrain from providing lega. advice. The
employee shall also ensure the letter includes all necessary return address information,
e.g.: inmate's name, COCR number, housing information, institution name. and mailing
address of the institution.
NOTE: Do not use COCR codes for disability program designations or level of care in the

Mental HeaHh Services Delivery System, as these codes have no meaning to the courts.
I CDC

le17(~

Associate Directors, Division of Adult Institutions
Wardens
Americans With Disabilities Act Coordinators
School Principals
litigation Coordinators

Page 2
The employee providing the assistance' shall forward a copy of the letter to the Inmate's
assigned casewor1cer. The caseworker shaD route the copy of the letter to the Records
Office for placement In the Miscellaneous SeclJon of the Central File. The Inmate shaa
mail the letter pursuant to institution procedures. This letter meets the criteria for
confldenUalcorrespondence.
Wardens shalf ensure all Correctional Counselors, LT As, Librarians, appropriate records
personnel, and other Impacted staff receive training regarding the provisions of this
memorandum. Wardens shall fax written confirmation of compliance wfth the training
requirement to their respectJve Associate Director no later than 45 days from the date of
this memorandum.
.
If you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact either Alberto F. Caton,
Facility Captain, Court Compliance Team at (916) 323-4297, June Sturehlo, Staff
Counsel, Office of Legal Affairs at (916) 445-3179, or Rick Wells, Correctional Counselor
II, Court Compliance Team at (916) 323-4295.

~~

Director
Division of Education, Vocations &
Offender Programs

~~
Chief Deputy General Counsel
Office of Legal Affairs

Attachment
cc:

Chuck O'Arcy
Janet Rodriguez
Donna Seifert
Sherie Lozano

Alberto Caton
June Sturchio
Don Salz
Michael Johnson

Patricia Miller
Raul Romero
Rick Wells

Inmate name. COCR #

Cell and Bed #
Prison
City. State. ZIp Code

Clerk of the Court
Court Name
City, State. Zip Code
Date

I am an inmate currently housed at (name of prison).
'.'

I have a case pending in your court {Case name and

....(i

ritiriibtP.L

I would like to file a case in your court regarding (Fill in

reasoX·~~.cas~F/:":~"

I claim to have a disability covered under the Americans ~;bisabiliUes
disability
makes it hard for me to read, write andior understand m~tenal reg~ttlipg my ease. I ask the
Court to provide me with
{~I can pr~ with my case.
~, •.•..~~:~
::<

Aet/.:This

Respectfully.

Inmate name and COeR

#

This inmate was assisted in wri1tQ9 this ·1~~. l}y·(Staff name and position>. This assistance was
given to satisfy obfigatlons:of th~lifornia"~partmentof Corrections and Rehabilitation and
under the terms of two co~rt or,dared :r~medial plans. Annstrong v. Schwarzenegger and Clark v.
California are federal clv'l'rfgf1ts aetionid>rought pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA). ,U'nder
terms of ttt'~renledial ptans, the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
is obllg8ted to advise-the courtth8t'the above inmate is claiming a disabUity and is requesting a
re~I~,acpotj'l~ uncier the ADA. This letter satisfies the Department's obligation,
The ab6WjiilriiWt"may be:unabIe to effectively communicate with the court or fully prosecute this
action due to their claimed'disabnity.

the

.f

..: ....

INMATE'S Cl..AltVJ~e:-DISABILlTY:

Low cognitive function. Visually impaired
(these are examples)

INMATE'S REQUESTED ACCOMODATION:

Assignment of Counsel, Large Print
(these are examples)

Signature of Staff
Printed Name and TlUe

 

 

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