FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
TUESDAY, MARCH 9, 2004
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT IN CONCAN, TEXAS
PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION CASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Justice Department today announced the settlement of a public accommodation discrimination lawsuit against the owners of a campground located in Concan, Texas. Under the terms of the settlement, the defendants, Camp Riverview, Inc., and its owners, will implement customer policies and procedures to ensure that all Camp Riverview visitors, campers, and prospective campers receive equal treatment.
The lawsuit, filed in October 2002, alleged that the campground and its owners violated Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by denying lodging to Hispanic individuals, harassing Hispanic campground guests, and evicting Hispanic guests from the campground because of their national origin or color. This matter was referred to the Department of Justice by the Corpus Christi Department of Human Relations (CCDHR) after several evicted campers filed complaints with CCDHR.
After the Department filed its lawsuit, thirteen private individuals intervened in the case. The private plaintiffs have also settled their lawsuit against the defendants.
“This settlement sends the simple but important message that all Americans are entitled to equal access to public accommodations, without regard to their national origin or the color of their skin,” said R. Alexander Acosta, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The discrimination that occurred in this case was both wrong and unlawful, and this settlement ensures that it will end.”
Under the agreement, the defendants will revise their customer policies and procedures relating to admissions, reservations, campground rules and eviction procedures. The defendants will also post signs, in both Spanish and English, stating that Camp Riverview campgrounds are open to all members of the public without regard to race, color, national origin, or religion. The settlement remains subject to court approval.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion and national origin in places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, and campgrounds. Since January 2001, the Justice Departments Civil Rights Division has filed five such cases, four of which have now settled. It has also have entered six out-of-court settlements to resolve investigations into discrimination in public accommodations.
Individuals who believe that they have been victims of discrimination in public accommodations should call the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section at 1-800-896-7743. More information about the Civil Rights Division is available at <http://www.usdoj.gov/crt>.