Intake and admissions.

PositionBrief Article

U.S. Appeals Court


Chisolm v. McManimon, 275 F.3d 315 (3rd Cir. 2001). A hearing-impaired detainee brought a suit against the warden of a pretrial detainment facility and county court system, alleging violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Rehabilitation Act, [section] 1983 and a state discrimination law, for failing to provide an interpreter and other services. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendants and the detainee appealed. The appeals court reversed and remanded, finding that the county court system was not entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity during an ongoing merger with the state court system. The appeals court held that summary judgment was precluded by genuine issues of material fact as to: (1) the effectiveness of alternate aids or services provided to the detainee when the jail failed to provide a sign language interpreter during the intake process, activate closed captioning capabilities on a prison television, (2) provide a text device for transcribing telephone calls; a nd whether pencil and paper were effective auxiliary aids in place of a sign language interpreter; and (3) whether exceptions to institutional rules on telephone calls were an effective alternative to providing special telephones. The court held that extradition was a "program" within the meaning of ADA and the Rehabilitation Act such that the court was required to ensure the ability of the detainee to participate in the hearing. When the detainee arrived at the detention facility on a Saturday, he was locked down in his cell to keep him apart from the general population until Monday when facility classification staff arrived. This practice was applied to all detainees admitted when classification staff members were not working at the facility. Such unclassified detainees consumed meals in their cells and did not have television or telephone privileges. When the detainee was not provided with an interpreter at intake he became upset and was eventually interviewed by a nurse, who concluded that he was a suicid e risk. He was kept in solitary lockup from Saturday until Tuesday. On Monday he was taken to meet with a classification staff member, where he was interviewed and was given a medium security classification. But the staff member had described the detainee as a "vagrant" in spite of the fact that he had worked for the U. S. Postal Service for 13 years and had lived at the same...

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