Doctrines of qualified ("good faith") immunity, interlocutory appeals from the denial of qualified immunity to a defendant, municipal immunity, and Eleventh Amendment immunity all combine to make civil rights actions under 42 U. This article lays out a number of examples in which the ADA can fill the void created by §1983 decisional law in the context of government and law enforcement personnel.
The examples are just that -- not a comprehensive list, but suggestions of possibilities for the practitioner and court to remedy grievous wrongs.
Filed under: Deaf Prisoners, Disabled Prisoners, Blind Prisoners, Medical, HIV/AIDS, Attorney Fee Awards, Attorney Fees (PLRA), Administrative Exhaustion (PLRA), Physical Injury Rule, Injunctions (PLRA), Damages, Injunctions, Costs, Juries, Expert Witnesses, Trials, Americans with Disabilities Act, Rehabilitation Act, Interpreters, Eleventh Amendment Immunity, Qualified Immunity, Municipal Liability, Contractor Liability, Sovereign Immunity, Failure to Train/Supervise, Failure to Treat (Mental Illness), Suicides. A RE-BIRTH FOR CIVIL RIGHTS LITIGATION: USING THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT TO OVERCOME SECTION 1983 HURDLES ANDHOLD GOVERNMENT AND POLICE ACCOUNTABLEA Review of the Past Seventeen Years © James C. Individuals with disabilities face another hurdle in §1983 cases: the United States Supreme Court has refused to accord them any cognizable class status or greater equal protection rights than which attends to people generally.2 Despite the terrible history of maltreatment, segregation, and isolation at the hands of society, discrimination against persons with disabilities does not even rise to middle-tier equal protection constitutional scrutiny.3 However, the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"),4 enacted in 1990, more and more provides an alternative vehicle for vindicating the rights of people with physical, develop-mental, and mental disabilities beyond that accorded by §1983.
The court concluded Title I was unsupported by sufficient evidence of a history of discrimination, and, in any case, was not a proportional remedy. As a practical matter, officials generally secure qualified immunity, either from the trial judge or appellate tribunal.9 Only the most flagrant and shocking conduct will thwart qualified immunity.10 B. Interlocutory Appeal from Denial of Qualified Immunity The U. Supreme Court has created an interlocutory appeal mechanism to review a trial judge's denial of summary judgment to an official claiming qualified immunity; this saves the time and expense of a defense, and allows the official to go about public service without looking over the shoulder, worrying about liability for every action.11 On the other hand, an interlocutory appeal puts the plaintiff in a bind because it delays the litigation by months, if not more, and often requires a plaintiff to overcome an immunity claim without being able to complete any, but perfunctory, discovery.12 C. Y Health Sciences Center of Brooklyn, 280 F.3d 98, 107 (2nd Cir. The article also illustrates how, in some situations, §1983 and the ADA go hand-in-hand to make a stronger lawsuit, and how at times the ADA may inform §1983 standards. The examples here point to the path in which careful and creative civil rights litigation is moving, and where it may lead in the future.