University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United Spinal Association v. Board of Elections in the City of New York VR-NY-0357
Docket / Court 1:10-cv-05653-DAB ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Election/Voting Rights
Case Summary
On July 26, 2010, the United Spinal Association and Disabled in Action filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, against the Board of Elections in the City of New York, under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. They sought declaratory ... read more >
On July 26, 2010, the United Spinal Association and Disabled in Action filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, against the Board of Elections in the City of New York, under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act. They sought declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that the defendants knowingly failed to fix deficiencies in accessibility at polling places throughout New York City.

The parties each sought summary judgment. On August 8, 2012, the District Court (Judge Deborah Batts) granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, holding that the Board of Elections' failure to remedy the accessibility issues at various polling places across the city denied disabled voters a meaningful opportunity to participate in or benefit from the city's voting program. 882 F. Supp. 2d 615. Accordingly, the judge ordered the Board of Elections to implement a program to allow disabled voters the ability to vote. Following an appearance by the Department of Justice, the two sides and the DOJ came to an agreement regulating the new procedure that the Board of Elections would follow to ensure that disabled voters had fair access to the polls. The court ruled that it would jurisdiction over compliance until December 2016.

In the meantime, the City appealed to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. As of the date of this summary, June 25, 2013, that appeal (12-4412) is being briefed.

Jonathan Forman - 06/30/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reasonable Accommodation
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Reasonable Accommodations
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Voting access
Type of Facility
Government-run
Voting
Election administration
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Board of Elections in the City of New York
Plaintiff Description Disabled plaintiffs denied meaningful access to the ballot
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Declaratory Judgment
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2012 - 2016
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
1:10−cv−05653 (S.D.N.Y.) 05/13/2013
VR-NY-0357-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Injunctive and Declaratory Relief 07/26/2010
VR-NY-0357-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Motion for a Preliminary Injunction] 10/28/2010 (S.D.N.Y.)
VR-NY-0357-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Denying Motion to Dismiss Complaint] 01/28/2011 (S.D.N.Y.)
VR-NY-0357-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum & Order [Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment and Denying Defendant's for Summary Judgment] 08/08/2012 (882 F.Supp.2d 615) (S.D.N.Y.)
VR-NY-0357-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum & Order [Withdrawing Reference to Magistrate Judge Pitman] 08/08/2012 (S.D.N.Y.)
VR-NY-0357-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 10/08/2012 (S.D.N.Y.)
VR-NY-0357-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Appeal 10/26/2012
VR-NY-0357-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 01/28/2013 (S.D.N.Y.)
VR-NY-0357-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Modified Order 05/13/2013 (S.D.N.Y.)
VR-NY-0357-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Batts, Deborah A. (S.D.N.Y.)
VR-NY-0357-0002 | VR-NY-0357-0003 | VR-NY-0357-0004 | VR-NY-0357-0005 | VR-NY-0357-0006 | VR-NY-0357-0009 | VR-NY-0357-9000
Pitman, Henry B. (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
VR-NY-0357-0008
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chuang, Christine (California)
VR-NY-0357-9000
Elsberry, Ronald (California)
VR-NY-0357-0001 | VR-NY-0357-9000
Mintzer, Kevin Todd (New York)
VR-NY-0357-9000
Pinover, Julia (New York)
VR-NY-0357-0001 | VR-NY-0357-9000
Seaborn, Stuart (California)
VR-NY-0357-9000
Wang, Mariann Meier (New York)
VR-NY-0357-9000
Wolinsky, Sidney M. (California)
VR-NY-0357-0001 | VR-NY-0357-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Kitzinger, Stephen Edward (New York)
VR-NY-0357-9000
Koerner, Leonard J. (New York)
VR-NY-0357-0007
Other Lawyers None on record

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