ADA - Requesting an Accommodation

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Eighth Judicial Circuit
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
Requesting an Accommodation

If you are an individual with a disability who needs an accommodation in order to participate in a court proceeding or other court service, program, or activity, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance.  Requests for accommodations may be presented on this form, in another written format, or orally. 

Requests may be submitted by using the form available; via email to ada@circuit8.org; by mail to ADA Coordinator, Alachua County Courthouse, 201 East University Avenue, Room 410, Gainesville, Florida 32601; or orally by phone at 352-337-6237.  Please make request as far in advance as possible, but preferably at least seven (7) days before your scheduled court appearance or other court activity.  If you are hearing or voice impaired please call 711.

ADA Accommodations Provided by Florida Courts

Pursuant to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Florida State Courts System will make reasonable modifications in aids and services as appropriate and necessary. Examples of auxiliary aids or services that the State Courts System may provide for qualified individuals with disabilities include:

  • Assistive listening devices
  • Qualified American Sign Language (ASL) or other types of interpreters for persons with hearing loss
  • Communication access real-time translation / real-time transcription services
  • Qualified readers 
ADA Accommodations Not Provided by Florida Courts

Examples of aids or services the Florida State Courts System cannot provide include:

  • Transportation to and from the courthouse
  • Legal counsel or advice
  • An official transcript of a court proceeding
  • Personal devices such as wheelchairs, hearing aids, or prescription eyeglasses
  • Personal services such as medical or attendant care
  • Readers for personal use or study

Additionally, the courts cannot administratively grant, as an ADA accommodation, requests that impact court procedures within a specific case. Requests for an extension of time, a change of venue, or participation in court proceedings by telephone or videoconferencing must be submitted by written motion to the presiding judge as part of the case. The judge may consider an individual’s disability, along with other relevant factors, in granting or denying the motion.

Furthermore, the court cannot exceed the law in granting a request for an accommodation. For example, the court cannot extend the statute of limitations for filing an action because someone claims that he or she could not make it to the court on time due to a disability, nor can the court modify the terms of agreements among parties as an ADA accommodation.  The ADA does not require the court system to take any action that would fundamentally alter the nature of court programs, services, or activities, or that would impose an undue financial or administrative burden on the courts.

Documentation of the Need for Auxiliary Aids and Services

If an individual has a disability that is not obvious, or when it is not readily apparent how a requested accommodation relates to an individual’s impairment, it may be necessary for the court to require the individual to provide documentation from a qualified health care provider in order for the court to fully and fairly evaluate the accommodation request. These information requests will be limited to documentation that (a) establishes the existence of a disability; (b) identifies the individual’s functional limitations; and (c) describes how the requested accommodation addresses those limitations. Any cost to obtain such documentation is the obligation of the person requesting the accommodation.