Americans with Disabilities Act

 Request an Accommodation

In compliance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Rhode Island Judiciary (Judiciary) will make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities upon request.

Accommodation Request Process for Court Users​

The Judiciary has appointed an ADA Coordinator who you may contact directly at Requests for accommodations must be submitted in writing on the Request Form for Sign Language Interpreters, Assistive Listening Equipment, or Other ADA Accommodation form. If you are unable to fill out the form, you may ask the ADA Office to assist you in making your request.

Request should be submitted to the ADA Office at or to the court officer listed on the Courthouse Locations and Accessible Routes at the judicial facility where the proceeding, hearing, or meeting will occur. The court officer listed on the Courthouse Locations and Accessible Routes will work with the ADA Coordinator to review and respond to the request for accommodations in a timely manner.

Requests for continuances, alternative formats (i.e. remote hearings), or other relief relating to a pending matter must be submitted to the court directly.

Communication Aids and Services

The Judiciary provides aids and services to communicate effectively with people who have communication disabilities. The Judiciary will provide sign language interpreters, closed captioning, Communication Access Realtime Transcription (CART), and assistive listening systems and devices upon advance request to individuals with disabilities at no cost to the court user.

Contact the court officer listed on the Courthouse Locations and Accessible Routes if you need a communication aid or service. The court officer will work with the ADA Coordinator to secure the appropriate aid or service and will give primary consideration to the choice of aid or service requested by the person who has a communication disability.​

Accommodations That Impact the Nature of the Case

Requests for accommodations that impact the nature of the case cannot be decided by the ADA Coordinator and must be directed to and heard by the judicial officer presiding over your case. The judicial officer will determine whether the accommodation is appropriate in accordance with the ADA. Some examples of requests that must be decided by the court include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • New hearing dates (continuance);
  • Extension of time; and
  • Having the hearing or proceeding held remotely.

Personal Service Items

The Judiciary does not have the obligation to provide personal services and devices, such as wheelchairs, eyeglasses, or hearing aids to access the courts.

Service Animals

The Judiciary permits the use of service animals to accompany a disabled individual in all areas of the building where court users are normally allowed to go. Please be advised that a service animal is a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability. Comfort, therapy, or emotional support animals do not meet the definition of a service animal because they have not been trained to do work or perform a specific task related to a person’s disabilities. Pursuant to G.L. 1956 § 40-9.1-3.1, misrepresentation of a service animal is a violation of Rhode Island law.

All service animals must, at all times, be harnessed, leashed, or tethered unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work or if the individual’s disability prevents use of these devices (in this case the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls).​