The 13th Judicial Circuit of Florida is in full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which requires that all public services and facilities be as reasonably accessible to persons with disabilities as those without disabilities.
If you are a person with a disability who needs an accommodation in order to access court facilities or participate in a court proceeding, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance.
To request such an accommodation, please contact the Administrative Office of the Court as far in advance as possible, but preferably at least (7) days before your scheduled court appearance or other court activity of the date the service is needed: Complete the Request for Accommodations Form and submit to 800 E. Twiggs Street, Room 604 Tampa, FL 33602. Please review FAQ's for answers to many questions.
You may contact the Administrative Office of the Courts ADA Coordinator by letter, telephone or e-mail.
Administrative Office of the Courts
Attention: ADA Coordinator
800 E. Twiggs Street
Tampa, FL 33602
Hearing Impaired: 1-800-955-8771
Voice impaired: 1-800-955-8770
RIGHT TO 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. Please complete the attached form and mail it to the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Attention: ADA Coordinator, 800 E. Twiggs Street, Room 604, Tampa, FL 33602 or e‐mail it to ADA@fljud13.org as far in advance as possible, but preferably at least seven (7) days before your scheduled court appearance or other court activity.
Upon request by a qualified individual with a disability, this document will be made available in an alternate format. If you need assistance in completing this form due to your disability, or to request this document in an alternate format, please contact the ADA Coordinator at (813) 272‐7040 or 711 (Hearing or Voice Impaired Line) or ADA@fljud13.org.
ADA ACCOMMODATIONS PROVIDED BY FLORIDA COURTS
Pursuant to Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act the Florida State Courts System will make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, and procedures; furnish auxiliary aids and services; and afford program accessibility through the provision of accessible facilities, the relocation of services or programs, or the provision of services at alternative sites, 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 ASL or other types of interpreters for persons with hearing loss
Communication access real‐time translation / Real‐time transcription services
Accessible formats such as large print, Braille, electronic document, or audio tapes
This form was developed for use by individuals with disabilities who may require a modification in a policy, provision of an auxiliary aid or service, or assignment to an accessible location in order to participate in a court proceeding or other court service, program, or activity that is covered by Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Court employees with disabilities who need a reasonable accommodation to be able to perform the essential functions of their jobs should contact their immediate supervisor, the ADA coordinator for their court, the OSCA Office of Personnel Services, or the State Courts ADA Coordinator.
Accommodations that are granted by the state courts are made at no cost to qualified individuals with disabilities.
AIDS/SERVICES COURTS CANNOT ADMINISTRATIVELY GRANT AS ADA ACCOMMODATIONS
Examples of aids or services the Florida State Courts System cannot provide as an accommodation under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act 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.
Finally, the Americans with Disabilities Act (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.
Please note that providing accommodations for some individuals with disabilities who appear in the courtroom as part of their employment duties or professional practice is a responsibility that appropriately may be shared by the individual’s employer and the courts. Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers of 15 or more employees and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act requires all state and local government employers to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities. In addition, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, covers recipients of federal funding, and requires all covered organizations to provide accommodations for their employees. These responsibilities are concomitant with the courts’ responsibility under Title II of the ADA. It is to everyone’s benefit when employers and the court system work together to ensure that reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities are provided in the most efficient and cost effective manner.
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.