Tuesday, March 01, 2011

On being in jail as a disability

In Lyslord-Duncan v. Bank of America, Judge Wilson of the W.D. Va. dismissed the plaintiff inmate's claim that the bank had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by refusing to open a bank account because of his incarceration.

Judge Wilson concluded: "Though the court is sure that incarceration is limiting a number of Lyslord-Duncan’s activities, the court is also quite sure that Congress did not have incarceration in mind as a disability when it enacted the ADA."

Perhaps the plaintiff had confused the concept of disabled under the ADA with the notion of a "person under a disability" under the civil procedure title of the Virginia Code, which includes convicted felons during their incarceration, but only in the context of how they can sue and be sued in state court.