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Wimer v. Greene County General Circuit Court

United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Charlottesville Division

October 29, 2019

CHARLES WIMER, Plaintiff,
v.
GREENE COUNTY GENERAL CIRCUIT COURT, ET AL., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          Hon. Glen E. Conrad Senior United States District Judge

         This matter is before the court on the Defendants' motions to dismiss the Plaintiff's pro se complaint. ECF Nos. 8, 12, & 14. For the reasons stated below, the court grants the Defendants' motions. Plaintiff has also filed a motion for discovery, (ECF No. 24), and a motion for injunctive relief, (ECF No. 25). The court previously stayed these motions while it ruled on the Defendants' motions to dismiss. ECF No. 34. Because the court dismisses Plaintiff's claims, it will also deny his motions for discovery and for injunctive relief.

         Background

         Pro se plaintiff Charles Wimer brought suit against numerous Greene County Virginia government entities, the Central Virginia Regional Jail, and employees of those entities. Compl. at 1. Wimer asserts claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., (the “ADA”) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 701, (“Section 504”).

         Wimer is a defendant in a criminal case pending in Greene County Circuit Court, at least originally before Judge Dale Durrer.[1] Compl. at 2-3; Commonwealth v. Wimer, No. CR18000219-00 (Greene Cnty. Cir. Ct. Aug. 7, 2018). Wimer alleges that he has been diagnosed with certain “learning disabilities” and “emotional disorders” as a child and as an adult. Id. at 1. Wimer also attaches a psychological evaluation report to his complaint, which conveyed test results that “clearly indicate[d]” that Wimer “has learning disabilities.” Id. 15-17. The report also notes that Wimer has “functional” reading skills, but his “spelling and writing skills remain problematic.” Id. Wimer alleges that he requested “accommodations” in his criminal case to accommodate his disabilities: a “qualif[ied] reader [and] writer.” Id. at 2. Judge Durrer, after hearing Wimer's request, appears to have found that Wimer's court-appointed attorney could sufficiently accommodate his needs. Id. at 2-3.

         Wimer also alleges that the Defendants “creat[ed] communication barriers to prevent [him] from fil[ing] claim[s]” and that they “failed [t]o develop policies and procedures that protect individuals with disabilities.” Id. at 1-2. Wimer does not explain what “claim[s]” he has been unable to bring, other than to reference paperwork he attempted to file on “January 7th.” Id. at 3. Wimer has also retained an attorney and pursued FOIA requests.[2]

         Wimer alleges several interactions with Greene County court staff. When he asked for “assistance in filling out” paperwork, court staff recommended he go to legal aid for help at one point. Id. At other times, staff members have “helped to do some writing in the past and reading, ” helped him with document requests, and “assisted” Wimer in “filling out the paperwork for [a] court-appointed attorney, ” as well as “addresses [and] some names” in civil filings. ECF No. 18.

         Wimer alleges that the Central Virginia Regional Jail failed to accommodate his leaning disability. Compl. & ECF No. 18. However, Wimer also attaches to his complaint a July 20, 2018 “Synopsis” from Major R. Davis signed by Wimer, explaining that Wimer specifically declined to request any accommodations when presented the option in jail, but that Davis informed court staff that Wimer might request accommodations.

         Wimer further alleges that the Central Virginia Regional Jail failed to “provide adequate medical accommodations” related to a digestive disorder. Wimer clarifies in his opposition to the Defendants' motions to dismiss that he suffers from irritable bowel syndrome, and that he was “only given Pepto” to treat it. ECF No. 18.

         Finally, Wimer alleges vague failures by unspecified Defendants to train various parties, including court staff, a Sherriff's department, Judge Durrer, and the “release desk for the jail.” Compl. at 2; ECF No. 18.

         Procedural History

         Wimer filed his complaint on March 19, 2019 in the Circuit Court of Greene County. See Compl. Wimer seeks a “consent decree [w]ith the state of Virginia, ” and unspecified damages for “mental anguish [and] injuries.” Id. at 3-4. Defendants removed this case from state court on April 9, 2019. The Defendants have moved to dismiss Wimer's complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and for failure to state a claim under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

         Discussion

         Wimer's complaint seeks relief under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the ADA. These statutes prohibit discrimination against an individual because of his or her disability. 29 U.S.C. § 794(a) (prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability against an “otherwise qualified individual with a disability” in the administration of federal programs); 42 U.S.C. § 12132 (“[N]o qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in ...


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