Americans with Disabilities Act

Section 504 Grievance Procedure

       

    The Rhode Island Judiciary has developed a voluntary internal grievance procedure to address complaints alleging any action prohibited by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  The complaint procedure outlined below will provide prompt and equitable resolution of complaints alleging any discrimination against persons on the basis of disability in employment matters and/or in the provision of services by the State court system or its personnel and which complaints allege acts or omissions prohibited by the ADA and/or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

  1. Complaint process

     
    1. Complainants seeking to file a grievance should submit the complaint in writing by completing the Judiciary's Americans with Disabilities Act Complaint Form, which can be found here, or provided upon request. 

       
    2. Complaints shall be submitted to the ADA/504 Program Coordinator within ten (10) business days after the complainant becomes aware of the alleged violation.

       
    3. Complaints should be addressed to:
       
      Julie P. Hamil, Esquire
      General Counsel and ADA Coordinator
      Administrative Office of State Courts
      250 Benefit Street
      Providence, Rhode Island 02903
      (401) 222-3266 or through RI RELAY at 7-1-1
      ada@courts.ri.gov

       
    4. Upon request, alternative means of filing complaints shall be made available for persons seeking such accommodation on the basis of a disability.  Complaints filed by alternative means must include the name, address, telephone number, email address, and brief description of the alleged violation including the date(s) and parties involved.

       
    5. Complaints by court employees and applicants for court positions relating to employment discrimination based on disability, and complaints relating to discrimination based on a disability in the provision of services, may also be filed with the Governor's Commission on Disabilities, and in some cases with the Rhode Island Commission for Human Rights.  In addition, the complainant may have other remedies, including those relating to federal agencies, such as the EEOC and the United States Department of Justice.  Notice of any complaint shall be given to the ADA Coordinator, the State Court Administrator, and to the chief/presiding judge and the court administrator of the applicable court. 

       
  2. Investigation and Report

     
    1. An investigation, as may be appropriate, will follow the filing of a complaint.  The investigation will be conducted by the ADA Coordinator, or his/her designee, in consultation with the Assistant State Court Administrator for Employee Relations, and the Judicial Equal Opportunity Officer, and other court personnel, as warranted. This procedure contemplates an informal but thorough investigation, affording all interested persons and their representatives, if any, an opportunity to submit evidence relevant to a complaint.  Mediation may be offered to the complainant at this level.

       
    2. At the conclusion of the investigation, the ADA Coordinator shall prepare a report that will make a written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if any.  The ADA Coordinator will forward a copy of the report to the complainant within fifteen (15) business days after the complaint was received, unless further time is necessary, or the deadline is extended by all parties in writing.

       
  3. Appeal

     
    1. If the response by the ADA Coordinator does not satisfactorily resolve the issue, the complainant and/or his/her designee may appeal the decision to the State Court Administrator within fifteen (15) business days after receipt of the report. 

       
    2. Within fifteen (15) business days after receipt of the appeal, the State Court Administrator, or his/her designee, will investigate the complaint and respond in writing with a final determination and resolution of the complaint. 

       
    3. Alternative accessible formats shall be made available for persons seeking an alternative means of communication as an accommodation.   

       
  4. Records

     
    The ADA Coordinator will maintain the files and records relating to the complaints filed. Complaints will remain confidential except to the extent necessary to conduct a review of the facts and to the extent authorized by law.