COURT-APPOINTED ATTORNEYS VIOLATED ADA, FEDERAL COMPLAINT SAYS
The class-action complaint, filed with the U.S. Department of Justice in Los Angeles on Jun 26, claims that court-appointed attorneys routinely violate the Americans with Disabilities Act during limited-conservatorship proceedings. About 12,000 people have open limited-conservatorship cases in L.A. County, according to the complaint.
A disability-rights group that filed the federal complaint alleges that the Los Angeles County Superior Court has systemically violated the civil rights of intellectually disabled residents who are under limited conservatorships by failing to provide effective legal assistance through its court-appointed attorneys.
The complaint alleges that the court system has failed to provide adequate training to attorneys in how to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, has failed to train the attorneys on how to effectively work with a client who has developmental disabilities, and lacks qualification and performance standards.
The group filed a complaint last year with the U.S. Department of Justice contending that the court has wrongly stripped people under limited conservatorships of the right to vote if they could not fill out a voter registration affidavit. Last month, federal authorities announced that they were investigating the allegations.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, said officials will look into the allegations. “The complaints will be reviewed to determine what, if any, action should follow,” he said.