INFORMATION FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES WHO NEED ACCOMMODATIONS TO ACCESS THE COURTS
Who may receive an accommodation?
Anyone with a disability who needs assistance in order to participate in a court proceeding, service, program or activity. This form may be used by anyone. What is a disability is defined by federal and state laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Washington Law Against Discrimination and applicable regulations.
What information does the court need?
Applicants must tell the court why they need an accommodation and what accommodation they would like. This information will allow the court to decide if the request may be granted. Medical records and medical information submitted under form WPF All Cases 01.0300, Sealed Medical and Health Information (Cover Sheet) shall be sealed automatically and will not be available to the public. If the court lacks enough information to decide, it may ask the applicant for more information.
What accommodations may be requested?
Applicants may request accommodations that allow them to fully and meaningfully participate in a court proceeding. Applicants should request the accommodation that will best allow them to do that. A reasonable accommodation could be a sign language interpreter; changes to a courtroom’s layout to improve lighting, hearing, or mobility; large print or high contrast documents and forms; hearings held by teleconference; extended time for hearings and recesses; or assistive listening and seeing devices; personal assistance or someone who can help present the case or claim to the court.
When should the form be filed?
The form should be filed as soon as applicants know they need an accommodation. The court will usually need to receive the request at least five days before the accommodation is needed. Requests coming in later than that will be granted if they are possible.
Who gets this information?
The request should be given to the court. The request is presented ex parte, but may be filed in the public court record file where the public and other participants may see it. Other participants or the public are not entitled to see any medical or health information that is filed under form WPF All Cases 01.0300, Sealed Medical and Health Information (Cover Sheet).
Must all requests be granted?
No. If, however, the applicant qualifies, the court will deny an accommodation request only if it would cause an undue burden, if it would fundamentally alter the court proceeding; or it would threaten someone’s safety or well-being. The court must explain how the requested accommodation meets one of these criteria.