Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And Durst Investments Keystone House Family Restaurant, Keystone, South Dakota

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLIANT NUMBER 202-69-11

Background and Jurisdiction

This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title III of the American with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12181-12189, and the title III regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 36 with the United States Department of Justice (Department of Justice) against the Durst Investment d/b/a Keystone House Family Restaurant (Keystone House), Keystone, South Dakota. 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 complaint alleges that Keystone House discriminates against individuals who use service animals by refusing to admit the animals to the premises. Specifically, the complainant alleges that Keystone House refused to allow him and his service dog to enter the establishment.

Keystone House states that the person who denied the complainant access to the restaurant is no longer employed by them and that Keystone House does not allow discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

The Department of Justice is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 36, to investigate fully the allegations of violations of title III. 42 U.S.C. ァ 12188 (b) (1) (A) (i).

The parties to this Settlement Agreement ("Agreement") are the United States of America and Durst Investments Keystone House Family Restaurant in Keystone, South Dakota. This Agreement does not constitute an admission of liability and/or fault on the part of Keystone House.

Title III Coverage

In the interest of securing compliance by voluntary means, the parties hereby agree as follow:

  1. Title III of the ADA and its implementing regulation prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability by places of public accommodation. 42 U.S.C. ァ 12182 ; 28 C.F.R. ァ 36.201.
  2. Keystone House is an establishment serving food or drink and is, therefore, a place of public accommodation as defined in section 301(7) (B) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ァ 12181, and its implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. ァ 36.104.
  3. The ADA requires that places of public accommodation make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of service animals by people with disabilities. 28 C.F.R. ァ 36.302(c). Although some States have programs to certify service animals, places of public accommodation may not insist on proof of State certification before permitting the entry of a service animal to a place of public accommodation. U.S. Department of Justice, Title III Technical Assistance Manual, ァ III-4. 2300.

    Actions to be Taken by Keystone House

  4. Keystone House agrees to take the following actions within 45 days of the date of this Agreement:
    1. Keystone House will develop and post in a prominent location of its public areas a written policy statement indicating that all persons with disabilities, including those accompanied by service animals, are welcome in the restaurant, and that no proof that an animal is a service animal is required. However, Keystone House may inquire of any person bringing an animal into the restaurant, whether that animal is a service animal as contemplated by the ADA.
    2. Keystone House will train all present and future staff to ensure that all people with disabilities, including those with service animals, are treated in a nondiscriminatory manner and are afforded the same service and courtesy as that afforded any customer of the restaurant.
  5. Upon completion of the actions required in paragraph 4, Keystone House will notify the Department of Justice that it has fulfilled its obligations and will provide the Department of Justice with a copy of Keystone House's policy statement.

    Implementation

  6. Under section 308(b) (1) (B) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ァ 12188(b)(1) (B), the Attorney General is authorized to bring a civil action under title III in any situation where a pattern or practice of discrimination is believed to exist or where a matter of general public importance is raised. In consideration of the Agreement as set forth above, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing a civil suit under title III in this matter.
  7. Within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement, Keystone House will submit a report to the Department of Justice detailing the actions it has taken to comply with the preceding provisions.
  8. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this Agreement or any information contained herein may be made available to any person. Keystone House shall provide a copy of this Agreement to any person upon request.
  9. 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 civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement in an appropriate Federal court.
  10. 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 will not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
  11. This Agreement shall become effective as of the date of the last signature below.
  12. 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. This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth in the first paragraph, and it 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 Keystone House's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of title II of the ADA.

For Durst Investments:

Keystone House Family Restaurant

By: __________________      Date: ___________________
   William J. Durst,
   Owner, Durst Investments
   Keystone House
   Family Restaurant
   217 Winter Street
   Keystone, S.D. 57751

For the United States:

Bill Lann Lee,
Acting Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights

By:_______________________      Date:________________________
   JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
   Irene Bowen, Deputy Chief
   Disability Rights Section
   Civil Rights Division
   U.S. Department of Justice
   P.O. Box 66738
   Washington, D.C. 20035-6738

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Updated August 6, 2015

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