Case: Pyles v. Kamka

1:79-01864 | U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

Filed Date: Oct. 4, 1979

Closed Date: Feb. 27, 1980

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 4, 1979, a deaf Maryland prisoner filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, against officials of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Plaintiff, who was represented by the National Association of the Deaf Legal Defense Fund, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the defendants failed to provide sign language interpreters to prisoners. On February 27, 1980, the District Cou…

On October 4, 1979, a deaf Maryland prisoner filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 civil rights lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, against officials of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services. Plaintiff, who was represented by the National Association of the Deaf Legal Defense Fund, sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the defendants failed to provide sign language interpreters to prisoners.

On February 27, 1980, the District Court (Judge Frank A. Kaufman) approved a consent decree under which defendants agreed to provide sign language interpreters to deaf prisoners under a variety of circumstances. The decree established certain hiring criteria for establishing that the sign language interpreter was qualified. The defendants were also ordered to pay the plaintiff $3,000 plus fees. Finally, the decree constituted a full settlement of the lawsuit and the plaintiff waived any other past, present or future claim related to the underlying events. 491 F.Supp. 204 (D. Md. 1980).

The case predates PACER and we do not have any additional information--including on whether there was any enforcement activity.  Because it happened so long ago, we presume the case is closed, but the terms of the injunction have no end-date. It does not seem that a class action was certified, so likely, the case was mooted by the plaintiff's release, at some point. 

 

Summary Authors

Eoghan Keenan (5/25/2005)

Priyah Kaul (11/25/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Kaufman, Frank Albert (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Charmatz, Marc P. (Maryland)

DuBow, Seymour (District of Columbia)

Niman, Kenneth F. (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Caplis, Stephen B. (Maryland)

Sachs, Stephen H. (Maryland)

Judge(s)

Kaufman, Frank Albert (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Charmatz, Marc P. (Maryland)

DuBow, Seymour (District of Columbia)

Niman, Kenneth F. (Maryland)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Caplis, Stephen B. (Maryland)

Sachs, Stephen H. (Maryland)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Consent Decree

491 F.Supp. 204, 1980 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 13469

Feb. 27, 1980 Order/Opinion

Docket

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

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Maryland

Case Type(s):

Prison Conditions

Disability Rights/Public Accommodations

Special Collection(s):

Deaf or Blind in Jail/Prison

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 4, 1979

Closing Date: Feb. 27, 1980

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Deaf inmate of Maryland prison

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Unknown

Class Action Outcome: Unknown

Defendants

Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

Constitutional Clause(s):

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Availably Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 3,169.00

Order Duration: 1980 - None

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols

Hire

Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention

Reporting

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Language access/needs

Discrimination-basis:

Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)

Disability:

Hearing impairment

Type of Facility:

Government-run