Court ADA Policy and Procedure
In accordance with California Rule of Court 1.100, it is the policy of the Superior Court of California, County of Sonoma to assure that qualified individuals with disabilities have equal and full access to the judicial system.
To ensure effective communication, applicants, participants and members of the public with disabilities may make requests to the court as outlined in this policy. Court Administration and designated staff will make reasonable arrangements for auxiliary aids and/or services as necessary.
The Court, however, is not required to make any modifications nor take any action that would fundamentally alter the service, activity or program, or result in undue financial and administrative burdens.
Process for Requesting Accommodations:
Applicants may request accommodations in writing, by telephone, by email or in person at the Hall of Justice or at the trial court facility where the accommodation is required. Whenever possible, a Disability Accommodation Request (MC-410) should be completed and submitted to the Court.
Requests for accommodation should include a description of the accommodation sought, along with a statement of the impairment that necessitates such accommodation. The Court, in its discretion, may require the applicant to provide additional information about the qualifying impairment.
Requests for accommodation should be made as far in advance of the date needed as possible, and, in any event, should be made no less than five court days prior to the date needed. The Court may, in its discretion, waive this requirement.
The Superior Court of California, County of Sonoma, in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, allows service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the Court where the public is allowed to go. Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. A service animal must be under the control of its handler. Under the ADA, service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless the individual’s disability prevents using these devices or these devices interfere with the service animal's safe, effective performance of tasks. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective controls.
Please note: Emotional Support animals are not considered "Service Animals" per the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Review and Grievance Procedures:
Requesting a Review (or "Appeal") of a Denied Accommodation Request
If a request for accommodation is denied or granted by non-judicial court personnel, the applicant, or any participant in the proceeding in which a request for accommodation has been made, may seek review of the determination within 10 days of the date of the notice of denial. A written request for review must be submitted to the judicial officer who will preside over the proceeding or to the Presiding Judge if the matter has not been assigned.
If the determination to grant or deny a request for accommodation is made by a presiding judge or another judicial officer, an applicant or any participant in the proceeding may file a petition for a writ of mandate under rules 8.485-8.493 or 8.930-8.936 in the appropriate reviewing court.
Reporting Discrimination on the Basis of Disability
The Sonoma County Superior Court grievance procedure may be used by anyone who wishes to file a complaint alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in the provision of services, activities or programs at the Court.