Monday, July 31, 2017
Judge Gee Approves Settlement of Class Action Over Special Education Services in Jails
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Final approval was given Friday to the settlement of a class action to force the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office to provide special education in the jails.
U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M. Gee of the Central District of California had given tentative approval April 7 but put off final action until affected inmates could comment on the proposed settlement.
The named plaintiff, Michael Garcia, has a learning disability. He had received special education in Juvenile Hall but found it was not available when he was transferred to county jail upon reaching the age of 18.
The Disability Rights Legal Center and Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy filed the class action lawsuit in 2009, asserting noncompliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and other federal laws.
The settlement agreement requires the Sheriff’s Department identify of eligible inmates, provide space for classes, train deputies in connection with special education rights, and monitor progress for two years in tandem with the lawyers for the class.
The department will display signs and provide a pamphlet advising of special education and related services.
The department will pay $200,000 for attorneys’ fees and costs and damages of up to $10,000 if it does not live up to the agreement and further relief is sought from the court.
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