Johnson v. LASD is a lawsuit on behalf of inmates with mobility impairments. The plaintiffs argue that the jails are not wheelchair accessible, and that inmates are denied mobility devices such as wheelchairs, crutches, walkers or canes, even though they need them. Inmates with mobility impairments also suffer discrimination because they are denied access to jail programs and services, including those that may reduce time served. The inmates are also placed in cells that are not wheelchair accessible, which means that men have fallen because there are no grab bars to help transfer them to the toilet, and some of them are denied equal access to shower facilities. This is a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, California and federal statutes, and the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution.

Case Developments

March 23, 2015
A federal judge approved the class action settlement. Read the settlement.

November 24, 2014
A federal judge granted preliminary approval to the class action settlement. Read the settlement.

October 16, 2012
All prisoners who need accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) who are in the L.A. County Jail were granted class action status. Read more about the ruling.

May 11, 2011
The Plaintiffs sought a Temporary Restraining Order to stop the jail from forcing two men, Terry Alexander and Derrick White, out of their wheelchairs without an appropriate medical exam. Mr. Alexander had been identified as totally and permanently disabled by a doctor before he arrived in L.A. County Jail. Read the filing.

January 2011
The district court indicated that it would grant our request to certify a class of inmates with mobility impairments. The court also instructed the parties to select a special master to facilitate negotiations.

November 12, 2010
The ACLU filed a motion for class certification. Read declarations from members of the class.

May 29, 2008
The ACLU of Southern California filed suit on behalf of people with mobility impairments incarcerated in the L.A. County jail system.

Pro Bono Law Firm(s)

Disability Rights Legal Center; Hadsell, Stormer, Keeny, Richardson & Renick, LLP; Heller Ehrman LLP

Date filed

June 9, 2010


United States District Court for the Central District of California


Hon. Dean D. Pregerson

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