A representative copy of the submitted letter

December 13, 2003
Encinitas, CA

Honorable Judith McConnell
Presiding Judge
Fourth District Court of Appeals
Division One
750 'B' Street, Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92101-8173

Re: Case No. GIN024734
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 persons.

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 statements.

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 discriminatory.

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 Court.

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 be violated.

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' civil rights.

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.

Sincerely yours,

Jacquelyn Finney
Plaintiff In Pro Per

Enclosures: 1. Request Form, Rule 989.3 (Original and copy for return)
2. Letter (with 4 Attachments) to D. Yamasaki (11/22/2003)

Cc: William C. Vickrey