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Cases and Reports


Bone, et al. v. UNC Health Care System and Nash Hospitals, Inc., No. 1:18-CV-994 (MDNC). This case challenges the failure of UNC Health Care and Nash Hospitals to provide accessible information to individuals who are blind or low vision. Disability Rights NC is partnering with the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) on this case.

NAACP v. Cooper, 20 CVS 500110 (Wake Co. Superior Court). DRNC has joined with the ACLU of North Carolina, NAACP-NC, and other advocacy organizations to attempt to address the exposure of incarcerated individuals with disabilities to COVID-19.

Samantha R. v. State of North Carolina, No. 17-CVS-06357 (Wake Co. Superior Court). This is an “Olmstead” case, meaning that it is about the violation of the integration mandate and the Olmstead v. L.C. decision, which states that people with disabilities must receive services in the least restrictive environment appropriate to their needs. The judge hearing the case has issued a declaratory judgment finding that the state is in violation of the integration mandate with regarding to people with I/DD.

Reeves v. Alliance Behavioral Health, No. 19-CVS-4812 (Cumberland Co. Superior Court). We represent the Petitioner, an Innovations Waiver participant who was denied medically necessary services because of the cap on services.

Umazar v. UMAR Services, Inc. (Mecklenburg County District Court). This is a housing case in which we challenged the eviction of an individual with I/DD from an apartment due to her need for supports provided by a third party.

DRNC v. DPI. DRNC has filed a systemic administrative complaint against the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) regarding the agency’s failure to have and use effective monitoring procedures, resulting in the failure to carry out the state’s obligations to ensure that students with disabilities are receiving a free, appropriate public education (FAPE).

What the release of the Leandro report means for all students in NC schools

Amicus Work:

Armento v. Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry, Inc. (4th Cir.). This is an appeal from the Western District of North Carolina regarding the defendant’s refusal to pay the plaintiff for his work. The trial judge’s opinion in favor of the employer relied on the idea that working was for the plaintiff’s own good, or “rehabilitative.” Our amicus brief addresses the history of exploitation of individuals with disabilities based on erroneous ideas of rehabilitation, and the importance of rejecting the idea that the work of people with disabilities lacks value.

State v. Sides, No. 400A19 (NC Supreme Court). In this criminal case, the defendant was on trial for embezzlement when she attempted suicide during the evening between trial dates. As a result, she was involuntarily committed. The judge continued the trial without the defendant present based on his conclusion that she had ingested a large quantity of pills “voluntarily,” and therefore waived her right to be present. We filed an amicus brief in the NC Supreme Court, which was joined by the NC Psychiatric Association and NAMI-NC. Our argument centered on the failure of the courts below to understand the role that mental illness may play in suicidal ideation – and the misunderstanding of the involuntariness of mental illness.

Elledge v. Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC, No. 19-1069 (4th Cir.). DRNC filed an amicus brief in the Fourth Circuit in support of the plaintiff in this ADA employment discrimination case. The plaintiff was denied reasonable accommodations, including reassignment, after knee replacement surgery. Our amicus brief, which was joined in by NDRN and all the other P&As in the Fourth Circuit (SC, VA, Md, WV), argued that the ADA requires that an employee be offered an open position for which they are qualified if needed as an accommodation.

Winston Affordable Housing, LLC v. Roberts, No. 267P19, NC Supreme Court. DRNC signed on to an amicus brief filed in the North Carolina Supreme Court requesting that the Court overturn an eviction of a tenant with disabilities. The tenant lived in a subsidized apartment for twenty years until her landlord terminated her subsidy without following proper HUD process, and then evicted her for nonpayment of rent when she did not pay the full, unsubsidized rent amount. The brief argued that failure to enforce HUD procedures creates a dangerous loophole for landlords to evict tenants from their subsidized apartments. The Supreme Court recently ruled for the tenant and affirmed the application of federal protections.