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ACLU Sues North Kingstown Town Council Over Lack of Public Comment Period

Posted: May 02, 2016 |Category: Open Government

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island today filed a lawsuit against the North Kingstown Town Council for violating a Town Charter provision that gives members of the public “a reasonable opportunity to be heard” at Council meetings. The lawsuit, filed in Washington County Superior Court by ACLU volunteer attorney H. Jefferson Melish, is on behalf of North Kingstown resident and past Town Council candidate Richard Welch.

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Woonsocket Police Sued for Unlawful Arrest and Detention of Deaf Person

Posted: Apr 27, 2016 |Category: Discrimination Rights of the Disabled Due Process

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island and the R.I. Disability Law Center have today filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on behalf of a profoundly deaf person who was arrested and detained overnight in jail by Woonsocket police for allegedly making an obscene gesture, and who was never provided an interpreter to allow him to communicate with the police during his detention. The case raises important issues regarding municipal agency obligations to accommodate residents who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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U.S. Department of Justice Settles 12-Year-Old ACLU Complaint Over Lack of Court Interpreters

Posted: Apr 21, 2016 |Category: Civil Rights Fair Administration of Justice

Twelve years after the ACLU of Rhode Island first filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice about the problem, and two years after the R.I. Judiciary adopted a detailed plan to address the issue, the DOJ announced today it was formally closing its case against the state judiciary for failing to adequately provide language assistance to persons with limited English proficiency (LEP).

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Complaint Filed Against Providence School District for Treatment of ELL Students

Posted: Apr 14, 2016 |Category: Students' Rights

RI Legal Services and the ACLU of Rhode Island have filed a formal complaint with the state Department of Education, charging the Providence School District with violating various laws and regulations designed to provide appropriate educational services to students who are also English Language Learners (ELL).

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ACLU Settles Suit Over Cranston Ordinance Barring Roadside Solicitations

Posted: Apr 13, 2016 |Category: Civil Rights Criminal Justice Discrimination Rights of the Poor Free Speech

In an important victory against the criminalization of poverty, the ACLU of Rhode Island today announced the favorable settlement of a lawsuit filed last year against the City of Cranston, challenging a city ordinance barring the solicitation of donations from motorists. In a consent judgment entered in federal court today, the City acknowledged that the ordinance violated the free speech rights of Michael Monteiro, who is disabled and supplements his disability payments by soliciting charitable donations.

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Medical and Privacy Groups Decry Legislation Granting Police Access to Prescription Records

Posted: Apr 13, 2016 |Category: Criminal Justice Police Practices Privacy The "War on Drugs"

Following the bill's approval by the House Committee on Health, Education and Welfare today, Rhode Island Medical Society, Rhode Island Health Center Association, Rhode Island Academy of Physician Assistants, Rhode Island Dental Association, Rhode Island Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island criticized legislation to permit law enforcement access to Rhode Islanders' prescription drug history without a warrant.

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ACLU Statement on RI Supreme Court Ruling in Caleb Chafee Case

Posted: Apr 11, 2016 |Category: Free Speech Open Government Police Practices

The ACLU of Rhode Island today issued the following statement in regard to the Supreme Court’s ruling in The Providence Journal Company et al. v. The RI Dept. of Public Safety:

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