Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And Beauregard Parish Police Jury, Louisiana

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 204-33-24

This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12131-12134, with the United States Department of Justice ("Department") against Beauregard Parish. The complaint was received by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, under the authority of 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F. The complainant alleges that Beauregard Parish has not completed either a self-evaluation or a transition plan, in violation of section 35.105 of the Department's title II regulation. 28 C.F.R. ァ35.105.

The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate fully the allegations of the complainant in this matter to determine the compliance of Beauregard Parish with title II of the ADA and the Department's implementing title II regulation, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 42 U.S.C. ァ 12133, to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart F. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement as set forth below, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing civil suit in this matter.

The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and Beauregard Parish. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of an investigation and possible litigation, the parties hereby agree as follows:

  1. Beauregard Parish is a public entity as defined in the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II of the ADA. 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.104.
  2. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability, in the services, programs, or activities of a public entity such as Beauregard Parish.
  3. Under the ADA, the services, programs, or activities provided by Beauregard Parish, when viewed in their entirety, must be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
  4. The subject of this Agreement is the completion of the self-evaluation and transition plan for Beauregard Parish.
  5. Within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this agreement, Beauregard Parish will complete the self-evaluation and the transition plan and submit copies to the Department.
  6. Beauregard Parish will submit a report to the Department on its implementation of the matters set forth in paragraph 5 within ninety (90) days of the effective date of this Agreement.
  7. The self-evaluation will, at a minimum, address the issues set out below. Except for the District Attorney's Office, which is new construction and therefore must be brought into compliance with the ADA through structural changes, Beauregard Parish may resolve these issues either through structural changes, which will be set out in a transition plan, or by developing a plan to otherwise provide its services, programs, and activities in such a way as to make them accessible to persons with disabilities. The ADA Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36, app. A ("Standards") are cited below as guidance for assessing whether building features present barriers to person with disabilities and for what changes will be necessary if alterations are made.

    Police Jury Building

    1. Restrooms - Men's and Women's

      Although the Standards require that the dimensions of a standard toilet stall be 56 inches deep and 60 inches wide, ァ4.17.3, figure 30(a), the toilet stalls are 58" deep by 32" wide.

      Although the Standards require that doors have a minimum clear opening of 32 inches, with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop, ァ4.13.5, the entry doors have a clear width of only 21".

    Courthouse

    1. Restrooms

      Although the Standards require that the hot water pipes exposed under sinks in an accessible restroom be insulated so as to protect against contact, ァ4.24.6, the pipes in the accessible restroom in the judge's chambers on the second floor are not insulated.

      Although the Department's title II regulations ("Regulation"), 28 C.F.R. pt.35 ァ35.163(a) requires that an entity must provide information regarding the accessible facilities available to the public, there are no signs on the non-accessible restrooms on the second floor indicating the location of the accessible restroom, nor is there a sign on the accessible restroom indicating that it is accessible.

    2. Signage

      Although ァ35.163(a) of the Regulation requires that an entity must provide information regarding the accessible facilities available to the public, the entrances to the courthouse do not have signs compliant with ァ4.30 of the Standards to direct individuals to the accessible entrance.

    District Attorney's Office

    1. Lobby

      Although the Standards require that a portion of a service counter, a minimum of 36 inches in length, be at a maximum height of 36 inches, ァ7.2(2), the counter in the lobby is 42 inches high with no lowered section for wheelchair use.

    Health Unit

    1. Service Counter

      Although the Standards require that a portion of a service counter, a minimum of 36 inches in length, be at a maximum height of 36 inches, ァ7.2(2), the counters are 41 ス inches high with no lowered section for wheelchair use.

    2. Restrooms

      Although ァ35.163(a) of the Regulation requires that an entity must provide information regarding the accessible facilities available to the public, there is no sign compliant with the Standards, ァ4.30, on the accessible restroom in waiting room #1 to indicate that it is accessible, nor are there signs compliant with ァ4.30 on the non-accessible restrooms in waiting rooms #1 and #2 to indicate the location of the accessible restroom. In addition, there are accessibility symbols on the non-accessible men's and women's restrooms.

    Jail

    1. Housing

      Although ァ35.150 of the Regulation requires that a public entity's services, programs, or activities be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the housing on the first floor of the jail is not accessible to persons who use wheelchairs, and there is no accessible route to the accessible housing areas on the second floor where all of the jail's programs are available.

    2. Visiting area

      Although ァ35.150 of the Regulation requires that a public entity's services, programs, or activities be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the visiting area is not accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs because the visiting area has fixed seats and no accessible visitor restrooms.

    Civic Center

    1. Front entrance

      Although the Standards require that a ramp have a maximum slope of 1:12, ァ4.8.2, the slope of the entrance ramp exceeds that slope.

      Although the Standards require that a ramp shall have a level landing at the top, at least as wide as the ramp run and a minimum of 60 inches in length, ァァ4.8.4(1)-(2), there is no landing at the top of the ramp.

      Although the Standards require that a ramp with a drop off have curbs or projecting surfaces, a minimum of 2 inches high, that prevent people from slipping off the ramp,ァ4.8.7, figure 17, there are no curbs on this ramp.

      Although the Standards require that a door have a minimum clear opening of 32 inches with the door opened 90 degrees measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop, ァ4.13.5, the clear opening between the ramp rail and the door is only 29 inches.

      Although ァ35.163(a)of the Regulation requires that an entity must provide information regarding the accessible facilities available to the public, there is no sign compliant with the Standards, ァ4.30, at the front entrance directing the public to the accessible side entrance.

    2. Ramp at side entrance

      Although the Standards require that a ramp shall have a level landing at the top, at least as wide as the ramp run and a minimum of 60 inches in length, ァァ4.8.4(1)-(2), there is no landing at the top of the ramp.

      Although the Standards require that a ramp with a drop off have curbs or projecting surfaces, a minimum of 2 inches high, that prevent people from slipping off the ramp, ァ4.8.7 figure 17, there are no curbs on this ramp.

    3. Door at accessible side entrance

      Although the Standards require that thresholds shall not exceed ス inch, and that they should be beveled with a slope of no greater than 1:2, ァ4.13.8, the threshold is 3/4 inch high and not beveled.

    4. Restrooms

      Although the Standards require that the dimensions of a standard toilet stall be 56 inches deep and 60 inches wide, ァ4.17.3, figure 30(a), the stalls are not this large.

      Although the Standards require that doors have a minimum clear opening of 32 inches, with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop, ァ4.13.5, the entry doors to the restrooms have a clearance of 25 ス".

    Public Works Building
    1. Entrance

      Although ァ35.150 of the Regulation requires that a public entity's programs, services or activities be readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, there is no accessible entrance to the building.

    2. Restroom

      Although the Standards require that doors have a minimum clear opening of 32 inches, with the door open 90 degrees, measured between the face of the door and the opposite stop,ァ4.13.5, the door opening is 29 inches wide.

    Tourist Center

    1. Restrooms

      There is no accessible restroom in the Tourist Center.

    Old Post Office

    1. Entrance

      Although ァ35.163(a) of the Regulation requires that an entity must provide information regarding the accessible facilities available to the public, the sign on the accessible back entrance indicates that it is an entrance for employees only, and does not indicate that it is the accessible entrance, even though the signage on the inaccessible front entrance directs disabled individuals to use the back entrance.

  8. If at any time Beauregard Parish desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical or for any other reason, it shall promptly notify the Department in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify modification and the substance of the proposed modification. Until there is written Agreement by the Department to the proposed modification, the proposed modification shall not take effect.
  9. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If it determines that this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated, it may institute a civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement in an appropriate Federal court.
  10. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with regard to any deadline or any other provision herein shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
  11. In the event that Beauregard Parish fails to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department as a temporary modification of the relevant terms of this Agreement, all terms of this Agreement shall become enforceable in an appropriate Federal court.
  12. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person by Beauregard Parish or the Department on request.
  13. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  14. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, shall be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law. This Agreement does not affect Beauregard Parish's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.

    For Beauregard Parish Police Jury:

    ___________________________________      Date:____________

    For the United States:

    BILL LANN LEE
    Acting Assistant Attorney General
    for Civil Rights

    By:___________________________________      Date:____________
       JOHN WODATCH, Chief
       ALLISON NICHOL, Deputy Chief
       SUSAN B. REILLY, ATTORNEY
       Disability Rights Section
       Civil Rights Division
       U.S. Department of Justice
       P.O. Box 66118
       Washington, D.C. 20035-6118

    >
Updated August 6, 2015

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