Case: Department of Corrections v. Human Rights Commission

04-00503 | Vermont state trial court

Filed Date: 2004

Closed Date: 2006

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

The case involves an appeal to the Supreme Court of Vermont on the issue of whether the Vermont Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act, 9 V.S.A. §§ 4500-4507 [the Act], applies to state correctional facilities, thereby giving the Human Rights Commission [the Commission] jurisdiction to investigate complaints filed by state prisoners alleging violations of the Act.In November 2003, the Commission served a subpoena on the Department of Corrections [DOC] in connection with a discrimination cha…

The case involves an appeal to the Supreme Court of Vermont on the issue of whether the Vermont Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Act, 9 V.S.A. §§ 4500-4507 [the Act], applies to state correctional facilities, thereby giving the Human Rights Commission [the Commission] jurisdiction to investigate complaints filed by state prisoners alleging violations of the Act.

In November 2003, the Commission served a subpoena on the Department of Corrections [DOC] in connection with a discrimination charge filed on behalf of a state prisoner who complained that a correctional facility discriminated against him on the basis of his disability. The DOC moved the Commission to quash the subpoena on the theory that the prison was not a "place of public accommodation" under the Act. The Commission denied the request.

The DOC then moved to quash the subpoena in Superior Court. In September 2004, the request was denied following a hearing. The Superior Court issued a stay pending appeal by the DOC.

On appeal, the Vermont Supreme Court affirmed, finding that the Act, viewed in light of its underlying purpose and history, demonstrated that the Legislature intended it to apply to all governmental institutions and that there was no exclusion for prisons.

We have no further information on this matter.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (2/17/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Burgess, Brian L. (Vermont)

Dooley, John A. (Vermont)

Johnson, Denise (Vermont)

Reiber, Paul L. (Vermont)

Skoglund, Marilyn (Vermont)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Appel, Robert (Vermont)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Sorrell, William H. (Vermont)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Expert/Monitor/Master

Boldosser, John IV (Vermont)

Judge(s)

Burgess, Brian L. (Vermont)

Dooley, John A. (Vermont)

Johnson, Denise (Vermont)

Reiber, Paul L. (Vermont)

Skoglund, Marilyn (Vermont)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Appel, Robert (Vermont)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Sorrell, William H. (Vermont)

Other Attorney(s)

Prine, Barbara (Vermont)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Boldosser, John IV (Vermont)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

04-00503

Opinion

Vermont state supreme court

2006 Vt.LEXIS 363

Dec. 29, 2006

Dec. 29, 2006

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Vermont

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2004

Closing Date: 2006

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Department of Corrections for the State of Vermont

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Vermont Human Rights Commission, State

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

Declaratory Judgment

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Issues

General:

Classification / placement

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Type of Facility:

Government-run