Court sets Clark case for oral arguments

On January 2, 2018, the Tenth Circuit set Clark v. Colbert for oral argument on February 15 in the ceremonial Bell courtroom at the University of Oklahoma law school.

The case raises several important questions regarding the intersection of the Fourth Amendment and the ADA.

The issues under consideration by the Tenth Circuit arise from a 2014 standoff in Wagoner County, Oklahoma between law enforcement and Mr. Clark, who was experiencing a mental health crisis after decompensating off his medications.

When law enforcement arrived at Mr. Clark’s residence, they ignored the mental health issues confronting them and treated Mr. Clark as if he had no disability at all.

As one supervising deputy testified, he didn’t care if Mr. Clark was “mental health or not.”

After a short stand-off, and despite any apparent safety need, law enforcement escalated the situation and shot Mr. Clark numerous times in the body and face with a high-powered pepperball gun which initiated a series of events that caused even greater injury to Mr. Clark.

Among the issues for resolution by the Tenth Circuit is whether the ADA includes an exigency exception, meaning that officers are not required to provide accommodation under the ADA to persons with a disability anytime there’s an emergency situation.

If you have questions about mental health issues or confrontations with law enforcement, contact the Tulsa injury attorneys at Bryan & Terrill, 918-935-2777