Friday, August 19, 2016

DOJ helps resolve issue with Laurel County Clerk

The Department of Justice released a letter of resolution with the Laurel County Clerk about the request of a disabled customer, Larry Bailey, that resolves Bailey’s complaint against the office, without saying the office is either in full compliance or at fault.

Bailey argued the clerk’s office was in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 when it denied him the accommodation of using a hand scanner to copy records the office holds pertaining to personal genealogy research. Bailey has severe carpal tunnel syndrome, which impairs his ability to write by hand, and a stroke impaired his ability to process information. 

The accommodation was that staff would access the records and copy the pages for the standard 50 cents per page. The disabilities act provides that public entities must make reasonable modifications when necessary to avoid discrimination based on disability. 

KRS § 64.019 states that the clerk’s office can prohibit scanner use but cannot stop a person from making handwritten notes. The letter states that because Bailey is unable to take handwritten notes, the disabilities act would require the office to make a reasonable accommodation. 

The Laurel County clerk’s reason for disallowing hand scanners was the possibility that a person would scan a large amount of data and then sell it commercially.

The letter note that the agreement does not change the office's policy and does not apply to anyone other than Bailey.

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