Gorrell v. Community Legal Aid Society, Inc. of Delaware (CLASI) (


Filed 12/29/97   

Closed 03/01/02




Gorrell received complaints from other deaf persons that CLASI did not accept intakes from them so Gorrell requested CLASI for his court problem, but CLASI denied his request.


Gorrell filed his first pro se ADA complaint with the US District Court for the District of Delaware to “force” CLASI to accept a request from a deaf person.


Court Processing:


CLASI filed a motion to dismiss Gorrell’s complaint because Gorrell must be REQUIRED to contact the Delaware Human Relations Commission first before filing the ADA complaint with a federal court. (see


Gorrell got helpless, but he put the question in the Yahoogroup listserv: ADA-L.  He received an assistance from a Denver attorney with mobility disability and asked Gorrell to copy from his legal argument.


Gorrell won after the Delaware Court ruled that Gorrell was not required to file complaint with a state human relations commission in the Third Circuit (Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Puerto Rico).


(Warning: The US Supreme Court has not addressed a ADA issue on “requiring exhaustion of administrative remedies” so please check any caselaw in your home state)


On July 27, 1998, CLASI filed Answer to Complaint.


Since then, there was no action.  On July 19, 2001, Gorrell filed a motion of appointment of counsel and the motion was granted on August 28, 2001.


The case was settled on February 2, 2002. Gorrell had not met an appointed attorney but they exchanged email messages.


So then CLASI opened its door for deaf applicants.