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Case Name Frame v. City of Arlington DR-TX-0001
Docket / Court 4:05-cv-00470-Y ( N.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
On July 22, 2005, a group of Arlington residents who have mobility impairments that require that they use motorized wheelchairs filed a lawsuit under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131 et seq., and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794. ... read more >
On July 22, 2005, a group of Arlington residents who have mobility impairments that require that they use motorized wheelchairs filed a lawsuit under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131 et seq., and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas for an injunction requiring the City to bring its curbs, sidewalks, and parking lots into ADA compliance. In their complaint, plaintiffs point to more than one hundred curbs and poorly maintained sidewalks in Arlington that they allege make their travel impossible or unsafe. They also point to at least three public facilities lacking adequate handicap parking.

In response to plaintiffs' Fourth Amended Complaint, defendant filed a motion to dismiss on April 30, 2007, arguing that the claim was out of time; that the plaintiffs lacked standing to invoke Title II or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; and that the alleged facts did not state a legal claim of discrimination (that an enforceable duty only arose when new construction or alteration triggered the duty). On March 31, 2008, Judge Terry R. Means granted defendants motion and dismissed plaintiffs' complaint on the basis that their claims were barred by the applicable two-year statute of limitations. Plaintiffs appealed.

On July 7, 2009, the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion finding that the ADA authorizes plaintiffs' claims because the City's curbs, sidewalks, and parking lots are a service, program, or activity within the meaning of Title II. The Court also held that, although the district court correctly held both that the plaintiffs' claims were subject to a two-year statute of limitations, and that they accrued on the date the City completed any noncompliant construction or alteration, it improperly burdened the plaintiffs with proving accrual within the two years preceding the filing of their complaint. The Court therefore vacated the district court's judgment of dismissal and remanded for further proceedings. Circuit Judge Prado dissented, arguing that the statute of limitations was triggered by the plaintiffs' encounters with, not the City's completion of, noncompliant sidewalks, curbs, or parking lots.

On August 23, 2010, the Fifth Circuit granted a petition for rehearing and withdrew its July 7, 2009 Opinion. On rehearing, the Court held that sidewalks, curbs, and parking lots are not Title II services, programs, or activities, and thus, plaintiffs lack a private right of action to enforce the regulations unless noncompliance has denied access to a service, program, or activity. Where a cause of action is established, the statute of limitations is triggered when the plaintiff knew or should have known that he or she was excluded from a city service, program, or activity. Again, the Court vacated the district court's judgment for improperly burdening plaintiffs with proving accrual within the two years preceding the filing of their complaint and remanded for further proceedings.

On January 26, 2011, the Fifth Circuit ordered that the case be reheard by the Court. On October 11, 2011, the Fifth Circuit issued its en banc decision, finding that the District Court had erred in granting the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss. The Court held that all public sidewalks that were built or modified after the passage of the ADA are covered by Title II, and that the plaintiffs here had a valid private right of action to challenge the inaccessible sidewalks. The court also held that the statute of limitations did not bar this claim because it begins to run only when plaintiffs knew or should have known about the violation (regardless of when the sidewalks were actually constructed).

Following this decision, the City petitioned the United States Supreme Court to hear the case, but the Supreme Court denied certiorari review in February 2012.

In October 2012, the City Council approved a Settlement Agreement to resolve the plaintiffs' claims rather than proceed to trial. Through this agreement, the City has promised to remedy specific sidewalk violations over a period of 25 months. The City will also engage in efforts to proactively comply with ADA requirements going forward, and will hire an ADA coordinator. The City also agreed to pay the plaintiffs' attorney's fees.

- 11/27/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Reasonable Accommodation
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Barrier Removal
Government Services (specify)
Sidewalks
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) City of Arlington
Plaintiff Description Persons with disabilities who depend on motorized wheelchairs for mobility.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
08-10630 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 03/18/2011
DR-TX-0001-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
4:05-cv-00470-Y (N.D. Tex.) 06/22/2012
DR-TX-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Defendant City of Arlington's Third Renewed Rule 12(b)(6) Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Claims 04/30/2007
DR-TX-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Fourth Amended Complaint 08/09/2007
DR-TX-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Brief in Response to Defendant's Third Renewed Motion to Dismiss 09/04/2007
DR-TX-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Reply to Plaintiffs' Brief in Response to Defendant's Third Renewed Motion to Dismiss 09/19/2007
DR-TX-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Third Renewed Motion to Dismiss 03/31/2008 (N.D. Tex.)
DR-TX-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter and/or Amend the Judgment of Dismissal and Memorandum of Law in Support Thereof 04/14/2008
DR-TX-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Response to Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter and/or Amend Judgment 04/29/2008
DR-TX-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Reply to the Defendant's Response to Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter and/or Amend Judgment 05/12/2008
DR-TX-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion to Alter or Amend the Judgment 05/20/2008 (N.D. Tex.)
DR-TX-0001-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (vacating district court's judgment of dismissal) 07/07/2009 (575 F.3d 432)
DR-TX-0001-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (granting petition for rehearing and vacating district court's judgment of dismissal) 08/23/2010 (616 F.3d 476)
DR-TX-0001-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Petition for Rehearing En Banc 01/26/2011 (632 F.3d 177)
DR-TX-0001-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion - Fifth Circuit En Banc 09/15/2011 (657 F.3d 215)
DR-TX-0001-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Court of Appeals website
Settlement Agreement 10/16/2012
DR-TX-0001-0015.pdf | Detail
Judges Benavides, Fortunato Pedro (Fifth Circuit)
DR-TX-0001-0014 | DR-TX-0001-0016
Bleil, Charles (N.D. Tex.) [Magistrate]
DR-TX-0001-9000
Clement, Edith Brown (Fifth Circuit, E.D. La.)
DR-TX-0001-0016
Davis, W. Eugene (Fifth Circuit, W.D. La.)
DR-TX-0001-0016
Dennis, James L. (Fifth Circuit)
DR-TX-0001-0016
Elrod, Jennifer Walker (Fifth Circuit)
DR-TX-0001-0016
Garza, Emilio M. (Fifth Circuit, W.D. Tex.)
DR-TX-0001-0016
Haynes, Catharina (Fifth Circuit)
DR-TX-0001-0016
Jolly, E. Grady (Fifth Circuit)
DR-TX-0001-0010 | DR-TX-0001-0011 | DR-TX-0001-0016 | DR-TX-0001-9001
Jones, Edith Hollan (Fifth Circuit)
DR-TX-0001-0016
King, Carolyn Dineen (Fifth Circuit)
DR-TX-0001-0016
Means, Terry R. (N.D. Tex.)
DR-TX-0001-0005 | DR-TX-0001-0009 | DR-TX-0001-9000
Owen, Priscilla Richman (Fifth Circuit)
DR-TX-0001-0016
Prado, Edward Charles (Fifth Circuit, W.D. Tex.)
DR-TX-0001-0010 | DR-TX-0001-0014 | DR-TX-0001-0016 | DR-TX-0001-9001
Smith, Jerry Edwin (Fifth Circuit)
DR-TX-0001-0016
Southwick, Leslie (Fifth Circuit)
DR-TX-0001-0010 | DR-TX-0001-0016 | DR-TX-0001-9001
Stewart, Carl E. (Fifth Circuit)
DR-TX-0001-0016
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers de la O, Miguel Manuel (Florida)
DR-TX-0001-0002 | DR-TX-0001-0003 | DR-TX-0001-0006 | DR-TX-0001-0008 | DR-TX-0001-9000 | DR-TX-0001-9001
Ferguson, Charles Duke (Florida)
DR-TX-0001-0002 | DR-TX-0001-0003 | DR-TX-0001-0006 | DR-TX-0001-0008 | DR-TX-0001-9000
Ferleger, David (Pennsylvania)
DR-TX-0001-0015 | DR-TX-0001-9001
Freeman, John L. (Texas)
DR-TX-0001-0002 | DR-TX-0001-0003 | DR-TX-0001-0006 | DR-TX-0001-0008 | DR-TX-0001-9000
Nevins, John Mitchell (Texas)
DR-TX-0001-0002 | DR-TX-0001-0003 | DR-TX-0001-0006 | DR-TX-0001-0008 | DR-TX-0001-0015 | DR-TX-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Barlow, Melinda H. (Texas)
DR-TX-0001-0015
Hofmeister, Kent S. (Texas)
DR-TX-0001-0001 | DR-TX-0001-0004 | DR-TX-0001-0007 | DR-TX-0001-9000
Voss, Edwin P. Jr. (Texas)
DR-TX-0001-0001 | DR-TX-0001-0004 | DR-TX-0001-0007 | DR-TX-0001-0015 | DR-TX-0001-9000 | DR-TX-0001-9001
Wilkerson, Denise V. (Texas)
DR-TX-0001-0001 | DR-TX-0001-0004 | DR-TX-0001-0007 | DR-TX-0001-9000 | DR-TX-0001-9001
Other Lawyers Canupp, David Jonathon (Alabama)
DR-TX-0001-9001
Caso, Christopher John (Texas)
DR-TX-0001-9001
Houston, Scott N. (Texas)
DR-TX-0001-9001
Janardan, Devala (Maryland)
DR-TX-0001-9001
Rosenberg, Barbara Elaine (Texas)
DR-TX-0001-9001
Royer, George W. Jr. (Alabama)
DR-TX-0001-9001
Samberg-Champion, Sasha M. (District of Columbia)
DR-TX-0001-9001
Signorille, Mary E. (District of Columbia)
DR-TX-0001-9001
Silver, Jessica Dunsay (District of Columbia)
DR-TX-0001-9001

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