University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Brown v. Community Partnership for the Prevention of Homelessness DR-DC-0003
Docket / Court 1:08-cv-01166-ESH ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Attorney Organization Legal Services/Legal Aid
Case Summary
The plaintiff in this case lived with her two minor sons for a time in shelters run by the District of Columbia. Homeless since 2004, she relies on a wheelchair for mobility and claimed that the shelter system was administered in such a way as to discriminate against against persons with ... read more >
The plaintiff in this case lived with her two minor sons for a time in shelters run by the District of Columbia. Homeless since 2004, she relies on a wheelchair for mobility and claimed that the shelter system was administered in such a way as to discriminate against against persons with disabilities. Her suit, filed on July 3, 2008 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, claims violations of Titles II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, and the Fair Housing Act. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that she was housed in an inaccessible unit on the fourth floor. It took forty-five minutes for her to painfully climb the stairs. The hallways were not wide enough for her wheelchair, and she was often trapped in her unit, rather than risk the climb downstairs. Though there was a working elevator to the fourth floor, her site manager told her she was not permitted to use it, and her requests for a first floor unit were denied.

The plaintiff claimed that the shelters were generally inaccesssible to persons with mobility impairments, and that the refusal by staff to make reasonable accommodations to their placement policies violated the law.

At the time she filed her suit, there was a settlement in place between the United State Department of Justice and the District of Columbia. DJ#204-16-96. This settlement contemplated future implementation of physical access plam for the shelter program, changes to the process by which reasonable modification requests are made and decided, direction to and oversight of contractors and subcontractors that provide services for the shelter program, and enhancements to the training of shelter staff; provisions that would apply to the plaintiff.

On February 24, 2009, the plaintiff entered a settlement agreement that in addition to requiring payment of monetary damages to her and to a Special Needs Trust Fund, required defendant to modify all its reasonable modification forms, to keep records of requests for reasonable modifications and the steps taken pursuant to such requests, provide training for its staff, to increase annual expenditures for repairs and modifications that enhance the accessibility and safety or units or common areas used by residents with disabilities.

The case was closed the same day.

Denise Heberle - 08/30/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Goals and Timekeeping
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reasonable Accommodation
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Barrier Removal
Buildings
Emergency shelter
Funding
Government Services (specify)
Housing
Housing assistance
Placement in shelters
Poverty/homelessness
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) District of Columbia
Plaintiff Description Homeless woman who uses a wheelchair residing in D.C. shelter system.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Legal Services/Legal Aid
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2009 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Insurer Must Pay $100.5 Million in Redlining Case
The New York Times
Written: Oct. 27, 1998
By: Joseph B. Treaster
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Nationwide Settles Virginia Redlining Suit
Property Casualty 360
Written: May. 06, 2000
By: Amanda Levin
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:08-cv-01166-ESH (D.D.C.) 02/24/2009
DR-DC-0003-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 07/03/2008
DR-DC-0003-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement Agreement Between the United States of America and the District of Columbia Under the Americans With Disabilites Act 12/10/2008
DR-DC-0003-0002.pdf | Detail
Attachment 1 to Settlement Agreement Between the United States and the District of Columbia 02/20/2009
DR-DC-0003-0005.pdf | Detail
Settlement Agreement and Release 02/24/2009
DR-DC-0003-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal and Order of Dismissal 02/24/2009 (D.D.C.)
DR-DC-0003-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Huvelle, Ellen Segal (D.D.C.)
DR-DC-0003-0001 | DR-DC-0003-0004 | DR-DC-0003-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fugere, Patricia Mullahy (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0003-0003
Gutman, Jeffrey S. (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0003-0003 | DR-DC-0003-0004 | DR-DC-0003-9001
Harding, Amber W. (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0003-0003 | DR-DC-0003-0004 | DR-DC-0003-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Johnson, Marlene L. (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0003-0004 | DR-DC-0003-9001
Rome, Eric Michael (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0003-0004 | DR-DC-0003-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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