University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name American Council of the Blind v. O'Neill DR-DC-0001
Docket / Court 1:02-cv-00864-JR ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
This case was filed in 2002 by the American Council of the Blind, challenging the U.S. Treasury Department's failure to make paper money that is independently usable by persons who are blind or visually impaired. On December 1, 2006, the District Court for the District of Columbia (James Robertson, ... read more >
This case was filed in 2002 by the American Council of the Blind, challenging the U.S. Treasury Department's failure to make paper money that is independently usable by persons who are blind or visually impaired. On December 1, 2006, the District Court for the District of Columbia (James Robertson, J.) held that the U.S. Treasury Department had failed to design, produce and issue paper currency that is readily distinguishable to blind and visually impaired people, violating §504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

The government appealed, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed Judge Robertson's decision and sent the case back to him for a ruling on the request for an injunction.

On October 3, 2008, Judge Robertson ordered the government to come up with a plan to make paper money readily accessible. The judge did not give any specific instructions how to accomplish this, but ordered that appropriate changes in each type of paper bill (except the $1 bill which is specially protected) must be made before any redesign of that denomination is approved by the Secretary of the Treasury.

The case is ongoing with six-month status reports due to the court from the government. So far seven such reports have been filed, with some fussing about the continuing obligation.

Denise Heberle - 01/11/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. § 701
Defendant(s) U.S. Treasury Department
Plaintiff Description A national membership organization of blind and visually impaired people and several individuals who are blind or have vision impairment.
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 Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2008 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
1:02-cv-00864-JR (D.D.C.) 03/18/2013
DR-DC-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 05/03/2002
DR-DC-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment 08/30/2002
DR-DC-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply Memorandum In Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment 10/30/2002
DR-DC-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply Memorandum in Support of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment 11/12/2002
DR-DC-0001-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order 03/31/2003 (D.D.C.)
DR-DC-0001-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss 05/28/2003
DR-DC-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Motion To Dismiss 08/12/2003
DR-DC-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Reply Memorandum in Support of Defendant's Motion to Dismiss 09/10/2003
DR-DC-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order 03/31/2004 (311 F.Supp.2d 86) (D.D.C.)
DR-DC-0001-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment 08/31/2005
DR-DC-0001-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Renewed Motion to Dismiss or for Summary Judgment 08/31/2005
DR-DC-0001-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief 11/23/2005
DR-DC-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Supplemental Memorandum 05/09/2006
DR-DC-0001-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Response to Plaintiff's Supplemental Memorandum 05/15/2006
DR-DC-0001-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order 11/28/2006 (D.D.C.)
DR-DC-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Order (Amended) 12/01/2006 (463 F.Supp.2d 51) (D.D.C.)
DR-DC-0001-0019.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 02/27/2007 (2007 U.S.App.LEXIS 6680)
DR-DC-0001-0023.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
[Appellate Opinion] 05/20/2008 (525 F.3d 1256)
DR-DC-0001-0017.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Court of Appeals website
Defendant's Memorandum of Points and Authorities Regarding Final Order and Judgment 09/15/2008
DR-DC-0001-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs Response to Defendant's Memorandum of Points and Authorities Regarding Final Judgment 09/21/2008
DR-DC-0001-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Judgment 10/03/2008 (D.D.C.)
DR-DC-0001-0021.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum 10/03/2008 (581 F.Supp.2d 1) (D.D.C.)
DR-DC-0001-0022.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Compromise and Settlement of Plaintiffs' Claim for Attorney Fees and Costs and Proposed Order Thereon (signed) 12/11/2008
DR-DC-0001-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Garland, Merrick B. (D.C. Circuit)
DR-DC-0001-0023
Howell, Beryl Alaine (D.D.C.)
DR-DC-0001-9000
Robertson, James (D.D.C.)
DR-DC-0001-0005 | DR-DC-0001-0007 | DR-DC-0001-0009 | DR-DC-0001-0018 | DR-DC-0001-0019 | DR-DC-0001-0021 | DR-DC-0001-0022 | DR-DC-0001-9000
Rogers, Judith Ann Wilson (D.C. Circuit)
DR-DC-0001-0017 | DR-DC-0001-0023
Sentelle, David Bryan (W.D.N.C., D.C. Circuit)
DR-DC-0001-0023
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Lovitky, Jeffrey A. (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0001-0001 | DR-DC-0001-0002 | DR-DC-0001-0004 | DR-DC-0001-0010 | DR-DC-0001-0011 | DR-DC-0001-0012 | DR-DC-0001-0015 | DR-DC-0001-0017 | DR-DC-0001-0018 | DR-DC-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Azar, Henry A. Jr. (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0001-0006
Cohn, Jonathan F. (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0001-0017
Katsas, Gregory G. (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0001-0018
Lobue, Joseph W. (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0001-0018
Simpson, W. Scott (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0001-0003 | DR-DC-0001-0006 | DR-DC-0001-0008 | DR-DC-0001-0013 | DR-DC-0001-0014 | DR-DC-0001-0016 | DR-DC-0001-0018 | DR-DC-0001-0020 | DR-DC-0001-9000
Taylor, Jeff (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0001-0018
Other Lawyers Deese, Charles Michael (District of Columbia)
DR-DC-0001-9000

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