December 13, 2003
Honorable Judith McConnell
Fourth District Court of Appeals
750 'B' Street, Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92101-8173
Re: Case No. GIN024734
REQUEST FOR DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS
California Rule of Court 989.3
Ex Parte Communication Permitted
Dear Judge McConnell:
Request for Disability Accommodation
Enclosed please find my Request for Accommodations by Persons
with Disabilities and Order Form. (Enclosure No.1) I am totally
disabled by polio and require broad reasonable accommodations
for myself and my care giver in order to be able to access the
Court to submit a Petition for Writ of Mandate. I am requesting
assistance prior to the filing of my Petition to notify the
Court in advance of my needs, promoting the solution of problems
before they occur by engaging in the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA's) "interactive process."
Form MC-410 (CA Rules of Court, rule 989.3) is Not in Compliance
with the ADA
As a former federal investigator, who has enforced anti-discrimination
and equal opportunity laws, I am advising you of discriminatory
deficiencies that adversely affect judges' review and approval
of requests for accommodations.
1. As one can determine by reviewing the form, the Request
Form, itself, does not provide sufficient space to include all
"specific" relevant information demanded in any category,
especially if the person must print rather than type the information
or if the information cannot be summarized or abbreviated. The
form construction itself is a barrier to access for disabled
2. The eight (8) point font-size, used throughout the form,
is a barrier for the sight impaired and elderly. Some form instructions
are less than eight (8) point. The Superior Court's requirement
for litigant filings is a 12 point font-size. The parties who
designed and approved Form MC-410 - Cal. Rules of Court re:
rule 989.3 did not accommodate the needs of a large class of
disabled persons, even in the form's instructions.
3. The spaces (less than 1/2" each), to which disabled
persons are misled to believe that they must conform in providing
information, are insufficient to accommodate the person's written
4. No statement on the form declares that the request for accommodation
may be oral (pursuant to ADA and Rule 989.3) or instructs the
applicant to contact the ADA Coordinator (or other designated
official) to make an oral request.
5. The form discourages use of an addendum, as it is not mentioned
in the instructions.
6. The form itself does not comply with Rule of Court 989.3,
which states that the applicant should "describe,"
not "specify" requested accommodations. Once plaintiffs
have "described" their needs, it is the Court's duty
to make proactive inquiries and to inform litigants of specific
accommodations, programs, services and other resources available
to them by implementing the ADA's "interactive process."
7. The ADA prohibits denial of a request for accommodations
on the basis that the request does not conform to Rule 989.3
instructions or criteria that are vague, unreasonable and otherwise
8. The form's construction and instructions require that disabled
persons accommodate the form, rather than assuring that the
form accommodates the needs of disabled persons. The form produces
procedural and substantive conditions of unconscionability that
violate the rights of disabled persons.
Procedural Compliance Concerns
I notified the Superior Court Judge on October 31, 2003 of my
intent to appeal two of his rulings and requested a transcript
of a hearing. (Enclosure No. 2 - Attachment No. 2) Pursuant
to my Third Request for Transcript/Complaint (Enclosure No.
2 & Attachment No 1), I obtained the transcript on December
3, 2003. This process has caused substantial duress and delay.
Further, this Judge has denied my Request for Accommodation
by a coercive and retaliatory Order. I filed a Peremptory Challenge,
which he has denied and which will also be appealed to your
I am extremely concerned that my disability (identified at
item No. 4 of the Request Form), in tandem with the aforementioned
Superior Court's judge's discrimination may prevent me or has
prevented me from strict compliance with Court procedures and
deadlines through no fault of my own. Non compliance with the
ADA and California Rule of Court 989.3, by judges, Court Executive
Officers and other persons/ entities may result in wrongful
denial of my Petition on strictly procedural grounds without
considering its merits in violation of my rights.
I have reviewed the Appeals Court's website numerous times
and have not found any reference whatsoever to disability or
accommodations for disability, or any reference to the Americans
with Disabilities Act and California Rule of Court 989.3. Your
Court's information regarding original Writ procedures is minimally
informative. A disabled person, especially suffering from my
severe impairments, must be assisted by the Court, or it is
more likely than not, that the person's right to access your
Court may be violated.
As you may know, Tennessee v. Lane is scheduled
to be argued in the U.S. Supreme Court on January 14, 2004,
pursuant to which disabled persons' ADA rights will be reinforced.
The facts of my case document the intentional violation of the
ADA by the San Diego Superior Court and the Judicial Council
of California. If state courts, themselves, discriminate against
disabled persons by denying, frustrating and creating physical,
procedural and substantive barriers to access, it is axiomatic
that the Constitutional rights of all disabled litigants may
I request that a designated representative of the Court contact
me by telephone to assist me, at this time, by providing information
and by obtaining the Court's approval for reasonably modifying
procedures, including extending deadlines. The Court's website
does not disclose its programs and services for which I can
request reasonable accommodation.
The Court does not disclose the ADA Coordinator and telephone,
if the position exists, if it is occupied and if it is funded
sufficiently to perform duties to implement disabled persons'
For these reasons, I believe that good faith cooperation and
communication should occur at this time and request your personal
assurance that the Court will fully comply with the ADA and
California Rule of Court 989.3.
Enclosed is a self-addressed stamped envelope for return of
the Request Form and Order. Your anticipated cooperation and
attention are appreciated.
Plaintiff In Pro Per
Enclosures: 1. Request Form, Rule 989.3 (Original and copy
2. Letter (with 4 Attachments) to D. Yamasaki (11/22/2003)
Cc: William C. Vickrey