Case: Livingston v. Beeman

13-0867 | Texas state trial court

Filed Date: 2010

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Case Summary

Deaf persons incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) sued TDCJ's Executive Director (ED) alleging that he violated the Texas Human Resources Code (THRC) by failing to reasonably accommodate their impairment. Specifically, the inmates alleged that the ED failed to provide them with reasonable access to the telephone system and failed to provide sign language interpreters to allow them to meaningfully participate in educational, religious, and other prison programs. After …

Deaf persons incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) sued TDCJ's Executive Director (ED) alleging that he violated the Texas Human Resources Code (THRC) by failing to reasonably accommodate their impairment. Specifically, the inmates alleged that the ED failed to provide them with reasonable access to the telephone system and failed to provide sign language interpreters to allow them to meaningfully participate in educational, religious, and other prison programs. After a bench trial, the state trial court held for plaintiffs and ordered TDCJ to provide videophone and relay services as well as qualified sign language interpreters under various circumstances and upon request . On July 17, 2013, the state court of appeals determined that THRC was not applicable to prisons because they aren’t public facilities subject to the THRC and that the ED had sovereign immunity. 408 S.W.3d 566.  On June 26, 2015, the Texas Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals, reasoning that the ED had sovereign immunity because the plaintiffs did not plead or claim that the Legislature waived the ED’s sovereign immunity and that no ultra vires exception existed.  468 S.W.3d 534.  

Previously: Arrington v. Livingston, Case No. 03-12-00205-CV, (Court of Appeals of Texas, Austin, Third District)

People


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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

03-12-00205-CV

Opinion

Texas state appellate court

July 17, 2013

July 17, 2013

Order/Opinion

408 S.W.3d 408

13-0867

Opinion

Beeman v. Livingston

Texas state supreme court

June 26, 2015

June 26, 2015

Order/Opinion

468 S.W.3d 468

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 30, 2023, 2:32 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Disability Rights

Special Collection(s):

Deaf or Blind in Jail/Prison

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2010

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Deaf persons incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice.

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: Unknown

Class Action Sought: Unknown

Class Action Outcome: Unknown

Defendants

Texas Department of Criminal Justice (Executive Director), State

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Available Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

None

Issues

General/Misc.:

Communication skills

Disability and Disability Rights:

Hearing impairment

Discrimination Basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)