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Case Name United States of America v. Humboldt County DR-CA-0060
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-05139 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Jail Conditions
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On September 7, 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The DOJ sued Humboldt County under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) alleging that Humboldt County discriminated against individuals with disabilities ... read more >
On September 7, 2016, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The DOJ sued Humboldt County under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) alleging that Humboldt County discriminated against individuals with disabilities by failing to make County facilities, programs, services, and activities accessible. Previously in 2005, the DOJ reviewed Humboldt County’s with Title II of the ADA in 2005 and identified over 200 violations of ADA standards in newly constructed or altered facilities and over 900 barriers to access in County programs, services, and activities.

Following the review, the DOJ and the County entered a Project Civic Access agreement requiring the County to take specific actions to become compliant with the ADA. The DOJ alleged that Humboldt County failed to take the required actions and, in response, filed this lawsuit. The DOJ sought declaratory relief, an injunction preventing Humboldt County from failing to comply with the ADA and requiring employee training on the requirements of the ADA, and compensatory damages.

Immediately, the DOJ filed a proposed consent decree. On September 13, 2016, Judge Nandor J. Vadas approved and entered the consent decree. Under the consent decree, Humboldt County agreed to bring its facilities, programs, services, and activities into compliance with the ADA and make the county more accessible to individuals with disabilities within three and a half years. Humboldt County agreed to take a wide array of steps to reach compliance, including:
  • Provide curb ramps at all intersections
  • Implement effective communication training programs for all employees who communicate with the public
  • Make emergency shelters accessible to individuals with disabilities
  • Ensure that the County’s websites are compliant with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA Success Criteria
  • Hire an ADA Coordinator approved by the United States to coordinate the County’s effort to comply with the consent decree and the ADA within 180 days
  • Hire an architect approved by the United States to certify alterations, additions, or modifications made by the County within 180 days
  • Hire a web accessibility consultant approved by the United States to maintain website accessibility
The county agreed to pay $275,000 in compensatory damages. The Court retained jurisdiction for the duration of the consent decree, three and a half years. The United States may apply for extension of the consent decree if the County fails to comply. As of June 8, 2019, there has been no additional activity on this case.

Emily Kempa - 06/08/2019


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Hire
Reporting
Training
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Access to public accommodations - governmental
Barrier Removal
Effective Communication (ADA)
Parking
Reasonable Accommodations
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) Humboldt County
Plaintiff Description U.S. Department of Justice.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se 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 2016 - 2020
Filing Year 2016
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  Project Civic Access Settlement Agreement
ADA
Date: July 2008
By: Department of Justice
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:16-cv-05139 (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0060-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/27/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Settlement Agreement Between United States of America and Humboldt County Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, DJ 204-11-275
DR-CA-0060-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/23/2008
Source: U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section
Complaint [ECF# 1]
DR-CA-0060-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/07/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree [ECF# 13] (N.D. Cal.)
DR-CA-0060-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/13/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Vadas, Nandor J. (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0060-0002 | DR-CA-0060-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bond, Rebecca B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0060-0001
Gupta, Vanita (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0060-0001
Hill, Eve L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0060-0001
Kijewski, Kevin J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0060-0001
Lutzker, Dov (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0060-0001 | DR-CA-0060-0002 | DR-CA-0060-9000
Proctor, Melanie L. (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0060-0001 | DR-CA-0060-0002 | DR-CA-0060-9000
Stretch, Brian (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0060-0001
Winslow, Sara (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0060-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Angus, Mary Blair (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0060-9000

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