Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And The County Of Boone, Indiana Department Of Justice Complaint Number 204-26s-99

Background

  1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12131-12134 (the ADA), with the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (Department) against Boone County, Indiana (County). The complainant alleges that the County has violated title II of the ADA and the Department of Justice's implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35, by failing to provide assistive listening devices in the Boone County Courthouse. Pursuant to the provision of the ADA entitled "Alternative Means of Dispute Resolution," 42 U.S.C. 12212, the parties have entered into this Agreement.
  2. The Department of Justice is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate fully the allegations of the complaint in this matter to determine the compliance of the County with title II of the ADA and the Department's implementing title II regulation, issue findings, and, where appropriate, 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 of Justice fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart F. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing civil suit in this matter.
  3. The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and Boone County. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of an investigation and possible litigation, the parties hereby agree as follows:

Jurisdiction

  1. The ADA applies to the County because it is a public entity as defined in the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II. 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.104.
  2. The County is responsible for the operation of the Boone County Courthouse, located in Lebanon, Indiana.
  3. 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 the County.
  4. Under the ADA, the Boone County Courthouse is required to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, including jury members, witnesses, and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others.

Remedial Action

  1. The Boone County Courthouse contains three courtrooms, capable of seating approximately 200 participants (including jurors, witnesses, judges, clerks, counsel, parties, and members of the public).
  2. In order to ensure effective communication with any participant with a hearing impairment in the services, programs, or activities of the Boone County Courthouse, the County agrees:
    1. To purchase and make available a portable assistive listening system at the Courthouse;
    2. To have available at least eight (8) receivers (4% of the total seating capacity of the courtrooms) for the use of persons with hearing impairments at the Courthouse;
    3. To train appropriate court personnel in the set-up, use, and maintenance of the assistive listening system and its receivers; and
    4. To post a notice in the Court Clerk's office and in other conspicuous areas of the Courthouse lobby notifying patrons of the availability of the listening system, and to distribute the notice to all judges and staff of the Courthouse. The notice will include the following:

      i) Name, address, and telephone number of the person responsible for providing assistive listening devices,

      ii) Procedures for requesting assistive listening devices, and

      iii) Procedures regarding maintenance of the assistive listening system.

  3. The County agrees to complete the actions outlined above within 60 days of the effective date of this Agreement.
  4. Within 10 days of completing the actions outlined above, the County will send written confirmation of completion to the Department. The confirmation will include a description of the assistive listening equipment, a copy of the notice, and a list of the individuals trained in the use and maintenance of the equipment.

Implementation and Enforcement of the Agreement

  1. 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 the County or the Department upon request. The County shall provide a copy of this Agreement to any person upon request.
  2. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department of Justice believes that this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated, it may institute a civil action in Federal district court following written notice to the County of the possible violation and a period of ten (10) days in which the County has the opportunity to cure the alleged violation.
  3. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with respect to any deadline or any other provision herein shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department of Justice's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
  4. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  5. 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, will be enforceable under its provisions.
  6. This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth herein and does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act or any other Federal law. This Agreement does not affect the County's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of title II of the ADA.
  7. The signer of this document for the County represents that he or she is authorized to bind the County to this Agreement.

    For Boone County:

    ________________________________      Date:_______

    For the United States:

    Isabelle Katz Pinzler
    Acting Assistant Attorney General
    for Civil Rights

    ________________________________      Date:_______

    John L. Wodatch
    Allison Nichol
    Naomi Milton
    Disability Rights Section
    Civil Rights Division
    U.S. Department of Justice
    P.O. Box 66738 Washington, D.C. 20035-6738
    (202) 514-9807 >
Updated August 6, 2015

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