Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And The City Of Conway, South Carolina

Department of Justice Complaint No. 204-67-27

This Settlement Agreement (the "Agreement") is entered into by the City of Conway, South Carolina ("the City") and the United States of America, through the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section ("the Department").

This matter was initiated by a complaint filed with the Department under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12131-12134. Department of Justice Complaint No. 204-67-27 alleges that several programs operated by, and facilities owned by, the City are inaccessible to individuals with mobility or vision impairments.

The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35 to investigate this complaint to determine whether the City has complied with title II of the ADA. The Department is authorized to investigate the facts, issue findings, and, where appropriate, negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Department is authorized to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA should it fail to secure a voluntary compliance agreement.

Because the City and the United States desire to settle this matter without resort to litigation, the parties agree to the following voluntary compliance agreement:

  1. In consideration for the City's performance of its obligations under this Agreement, the Department agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation of Department of Justice Complaint No. 204-67-27 or from filing a civil suit arising from Department of Justice Complaint No. 204-67-27
  2. The City agrees to install braille signs to indicate the location of bathrooms in City Hall, in compliance with Section 4.30 of the ADA Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities ("ADAAG").
  3. The City agrees to purchase text telephone machine(s) (or, telecommunication display devices, TDDs) for its police station(s) which do not have currently have such a machine.
  4. The City agrees to prepare a self-evaluation report, as required by 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.105. The City agrees to:
    1. evaluate each of its services, programs and activities, and
    2. determine whether any are not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, as required by 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.150.

    If the City determines that any service, program or activity is not accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, it shall identify both an interim and a permanent modification to make the service, program or activity accessible.

  5. The City agrees to prepare a transition plan, as required by 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.150(d), if it determines that structural renovations to any of its buildings are necessary to achieve program accessibility. The City agrees that its transition plan shall, at a minimum:
    1. identify physical obstacles in its buildings which limit the accessibility of the services, programs and activities that take place within the buildings;
    2. describe in detail the methods that will be used to make the facilities accessible;
    3. specify the schedule for taking the steps necessary to achieve compliance with the ADA, both on an interim and a permanent basis; and,
    4. indicate the official responsible for implementing the transition plan.
  6. In preparing the self-evaluation report and the transition plan, the City shall provide an opportunity to interested persons, including individuals with disabilities or organizations representing individuals with disabilities, to participate by submitting comments.
  7. The City agrees to submit the self-evaluation report and transition plan to the Department within 90 days of the date the Department signs this Agreement. The Department agrees to either accept or reject the self-evaluation report and the transition plan. If the Department rejects the self-evaluation report or the transition plan, it shall identify revisions which would make the report or plan acceptable.
  8. The City agrees that all interim modifications or renovations proposed in the self-evaluation report and the transition plan will be implemented within thirty days of receiving the Department's acceptance of the self-evaluation report and the transition plan. The City agrees that all permanent modifications or renovations proposed in the self-evaluation report and the transition plan will be implemented within 180 days of receiving the Department's acceptance of the self-evaluation report and transition plan. No later than the 180th day, the City agrees to submit to the Department a final report on compliance with the ADA.
  9. If the City desires to modify any portion of the self-evaluation report or the transition plan because changed conditions make performance impossible or impractical, it shall promptly notify the Department in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify the modification. The City must also provide a proposed alternative provision. The proposed modification is not effective until the Department approves it in writing.
  10. The City agrees to adopt Attachment A as a formal policy of its police department. Attachment A shall be included in the police department's manual for officers. Attachment A shall also be distributed to every officer and employee of the police department within 30 days of the date Department signs this Agreement.
  11. The City agrees to adopt Attachment B as a formal policy. Attachment B shall be included in the City's operations manual [?insert instead the specific title of the book?]. Attachment B shall also be distributed to every City employee within 30 days of the date the Department signs this Agreement.
  12. In the event that the City fails to comply in a timely manner with any provision of this Agreement, or with any provision of the self-evaluation report, without obtaining the Department's advance approval (as provided for in Paragraph 6), or fails to implement any provision of Attachment A, the Department may institute a civil action, alleging a violation of the ADA and/or a violation of this Agreement, seeking to have the terms of this Agreement, the self-evaluation report and/or Attachment A enforced in the appropriate federal court.
  13. The City agrees that the Department may review compliance with this Agreement and/or the self-evaluation report at any time.
  14. The parties agree that this Agreement is neither an admission by the City of any violation of the ADA, nor an admission by the Department of the merits of any of the City's potential defenses.
  15. The City agrees that it will not discriminate or retaliate against any person because of his/her participation in this matter.
  16. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this Agreement, along with the self-evaluation report and Attachment A, shall be made available to any person on request.
  17. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other law. This Agreement does not affect the City's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
  18. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties relating to Department of Justice Complaint No. 204-67-27, 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 Agreement, shall be enforceable.

For the City of Conway:

_______________________       Date _________________
MARTY K. LAWING
City Administrator
The City of Conway
P.O. Drawer 1075
Conway, South
Carolina 29526-1075

For the United States:

_______________________       Date ___________________
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
L. IRENE BOWEN, Deputy Chief
DANIEL W. SUTHERLAND, Attorney
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66118
Washington, D.C. 20035-6118

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Updated August 6, 2015

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