ADA Frequently Asked Questions

Any court user with a physical or mental medical condition can request an accommodation. The condition must limit at least one major life activity such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, 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.

There are many different kinds of accommodations. 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 moving a hearing to a more accessible courtroom.
  • Provide an assistive listening device.
  • Assign an American Sign Language interpreter for someone with hearing loss.

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

You may:

  • Fill out a Disability Accommodation Request form (SDSC Form #ADM-410) and submit it to the business office during normal business hours.
  • Send the completed request form by email, or fax to the ADA Coordinator’s Office.

The form is available online (SDSC Form #ADM-410) and at any San Diego Superior Court location.

Requests for accommodation should be made as far in advance as possible and in any event no fewer than five court days before the requested accommodation date.

Advance requests provide the court time to review and respond to the request or to seek clarification, if needed. In addition, sometimes the court may need more information, such as letter from a healthcare provider.

The court will review the request, issue a response, and notify the applicant. In some instances, the court may require additional information from the applicant to make a decision.

All information that is requested on the form is needed, including:

  • Name, address, and phone number.
  • Reason for being at the court (e.g. if you are a witness, juror, attorney, party, or other).
  • Case number, if applicable.
  • The location and date that the accommodation is needed.
  • The type of court case (e.g. civil, family, etc.).
  • A description of the accommodation being requested.
  • A description of the medical condition necessitating the accommodation.
  • Any other important information about the accommodation.
Note: Do not include any information concerning the facts of your case with your request, otherwise it will be returned to you unprocessed.

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.

Generally, requests for accommodation are confidential. There are, however, some instances in which you or the court must give notice and share the request with the opposing party. See question #11 below.

An applicant’s request will be kept confidential unless confidentiality has been waived or if, in order for the court to rule on the request, the information must be disclosed to other parties (e.g., requesting a continuance in the case). (See Vesco v. Superior Court 221 Cal. App. 4th 275 (2013)).

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 an assistive listening device does not help because of severe hearing loss, other accommodations may be available.

Yes. In accordance with California Rules of Court, rule 1.100, the court may deny a 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 the request.

No. The court is not required to provide or pay for accommodations related to personal needs, including:

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

In accordance with California Rules of Court, rule 1.100, you may request review of the determination. If your request was denied by court staff (not a judicial officer), you may submit a written request for review of the determination to the Presiding Judge within 10 days of the date the response was personally delivered or sent.

If your request was denied by a judicial officer, you may 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 response was personally delivered or sent. Refer to rule 1.100 to determine the appropriate reviewing court.

For accessibility information regarding this website, please refer to the Court’s Website Accessibility Statement.