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Hall of Justice


Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: General Information: ADA Compliance: ADA FAQ


Americans with Disabilities (ADA) Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who may request an accommodation?
  2. What kinds of accommodations does the court provide?
  3. Are the court’s accommodations free?
  4. How do I ask for an accommodation?
  5. Where can I get the Request for Accommodations by Persons with Disabilities and Response (JC Form #MC-410)?
  6. When should I ask for an accommodation?
  7. What if I cannot ask for the accommodation in advance?
  8. What happens after I submit my request for accommodation?
  9. What information is required to ask for an accommodation?
10. Will the court give me the accommodation I ask for?
11. If I am involved in a court case, do I have to tell the other people in my case about my disability?
12. Is my request for an accommodation kept private?
13. Do I have to accept alternative accommodations?
14. Does the court ever turn down a request for accommodation?
15. Does the court have to pay for or provide medical equipment or services I may need in court?
16. What if I disagree with the decision to deny my request?


  1. Who may request an accommodation?

Any court user with a physical or mental medical condition can ask for an accommodation. The condition must limit at least one major life activity such as:

  • Walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, or breathing; or
  • Caring for oneself
The accommodation must be for a court service, program, or activity, such as going to court to:
  • Testify,
  • Appear in a case, or
  • Serve on jury duty.


  2. What kinds of accommodations does the court provide?

There are many different kinds of accommodations. However, the court must provide a “reasonable” accommodation under the circumstances. The kind of accommodation depends on the needs of the person with the physical or mental medical condition.

The court may…

  • Make changes to procedures, such as:
    • Reassign a hearing to an accessible site, or
    • Adjust hearing times or schedules.

  • Provide assistive listening devices

  • Assign assistive services, such as:
    • Sign language interpreter for someone with hearing loss.


  3. Are the court’s accommodations free?

Yes. The court does not charge for the accommodations it provides.


  4. How do I ask for an accommodation?

You may…

Note: The MC-410 form is the easiest method of requesting an accommodation, because it guides you to provide information the court needs to consider your request.

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  5. Where can I get the Request for Accommodations by Persons with Disabilities and Response (JC Form #MC-410)?

The form may be obtained at:

  • Any San Diego Superior Court location,
  • A law library, or
  • Clicking here.


  6. When should I ask for an accommodation?

Requests for accommodation must be made as far in advance as possible and in any event must be received by the court no fewer than 5 court days before the requested accommodation date.

Advance requests provide the court time to review and respond to your particular needs. In addition, sometimes the court may need more information, such as letter from a healthcare provider.


  7. What if I cannot ask for the accommodation in advance?

You may still ask. Depending on the circumstances, there still may be things the court can do to accommodate your needs.

You may…

  • Call or email the ADA Coordinator’s office, or
  • At the hearing inform the judicial officer that you need an accommodation because of a disability.
Caution! When you are with the judicial officer, you must not talk about the facts of your case.


  8. What happens after I submit my request for accommodation?

Some accommodations, such as assistive listening devices or wheelchair access in the courtroom, can be arranged easily. Others may take more time to prepare. The court will provide you with a written decision in response to your request.

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  9. What information is required to ask for an accommodation?

  • Your name, address, phone number
  • Indicate if you are a witness, juror, attorney, party or other
  • Your case number, if applicable
  • The date of your hearing or other proceeding,
  • The type of court case (e.g. Civil, Family, etc.),
  • A description of the accommodation you are requesting,
  • A description of the medical condition necessitating accommodation, and
  • Any other important information about the accommodation you need.
Note: If you use form MC-410, it will help you provide the information the court needs. Also, pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 1.100(d), “Communications under this rule must address only the accommodation requested by the applicant and must not address, in any manner, the subject matter or merits of the proceedings before the court.” Accordingly, please do not include any information concerning the facts of your case with your request, otherwise it will be returned to you unprocessed.


10. Will the court give me the accommodation I ask for?

The court will provide a reasonable accommodation, provided the request satisfies the requirements of California Rules of Court, rule 1.100, that lets you participate effectively in court programs, activities, and services. But it may not be exactly what you asked for.


11. If I am involved in a court case, do I have to tell the other people in my case about my disability?

No, unless you request a continuance of your case or another accommodation, which if granted would cause prejudice to the other parties. For such requests, you must give notice and share the request and supporting information with the opposing party. See question #12 below.


12. Is my request for an accommodation kept private?

Yes, the court will keep your information private unless you waive confidentiality or, in order for the court to rule on your request, the information must be disclosed to other parties (e.g., you request a continuance in your case). (See Vesco v. Superior Court 221 Cal. App. 4th 275 (2013)). See question # 11 above.

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13. Do I have to accept alternative accommodations?

The court is authorized to provide reasonable alternatives. If you are not able to use the alternative offered, let the court know. For example, if assistive listening devices do not help because of severe hearing loss, other accommodations may be available.


14. Does the court ever turn down a request for accommodation?

Yes. The court can deny your request for any of the following reasons:

  • Fails to satisfy the requirements of rule 1.100,
  • Creates an undue burden on the court,
  • Fundamentally alters the nature of the service, program, or activity.
The court will specify the reason for denying your request.


15. Does the court have to pay for or provide medical equipment or services I may need in court?

No. The court does not have to provide or pay for personal needs, including:

  • A personal care assistant to help someone eat or use the bathroom.
  • Personal hearing aids, prescription eyeglasses, wheelchairs, or walkers
  • A free lawyer, paralegal, or assistant.


16. What if I disagree with the decision to deny my request?

You are allowed to ask for another review of your request. If your request was denied by court staff (not a judge or judicial officer), you must submit a letter objecting to the denial to the Presiding Judge’s department within 10 days of the date the denial was personally delivered or sent. Give or mail your request for another review to the same court.

If your request was denied by a judge or judicial officer, you must file a petition for writ of mandate in the appellate division of the court or with the Court of Appeal within 10 days of the date the denial was personally delivered or sent. Refer to rule 1.100 to determine the appropriate reviewing court.

Warning! Even if you received the denial by mail, you do not get any extra time to file for review or petition.

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Request for Accommodation Instruction Sheet
Non Fillable Form and Rule of Court 1.100 (PKT-024 Rev: 1/18)
Request for Accommodation Form
Fillable Version (MC-410)

Q&A on Rule of Court 1.100

ADA Frequently Asked Questions

For Additional Information about Accessibility at the California Courts:

Accessibility at the Courthouse

 
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