Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And Johnson County, Tennessee

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 204-70-10

BACKGROUND

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 of Justice") againstJohnson County, Tennessee ("County"). 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 alleged that certain services, programs, and activities of the County, which are located in the Johnson County Courthouse ("Courthouse"), are not accessible to persons with mobility impairments.
The Department 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, 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 andthe County. 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 owns and operates the Courthouse.
  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. The County may not deny the benefits of, or participation in, its programs, services, and activities located in the Courthouse to individuals with mobility impairments because the Courthouse is inaccessible to them.
  4. Under the ADA, the services, programs, or activities provided in the Courthouse, when viewed in their entirety, must be readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities.
  5. Because of architectural barriers, the services, programs, and activities provided in the Courthouse are inaccessible to, and unusable by, individuals with mobility impairments.
  6. The subject of this settlement agreement is the development and implementation of a plan to ensure that services, programs, and activities normally provided in the Courthouse are accessible to persons with disabilities.

ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN BY THE COUNTY

  1. The County agrees that all of the various services, programs, and activities that it provides to the public shall be made accessible to all qualified individuals.
  2. The County agrees that the Courthouse shall be renovated in such a manner that the facility is readily accessible to and usable by all qualified individuals with disabilities, in conformance with the American with Disabilities Act Standards for Accessible Design, ("Standards") 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A .
  3. Within thirty (30) days of the execution of this Agreement, the County agrees to provide the Department of Justice with construction plans for alterations to the Courthouse, including a timetable for completion of construction. The Department of Justice shall have sixty (60) days to review and approve the plans prior to commencement of construction. In the event the Department disapproves any elements of the plans, the County agrees to correct such element, bringing it into compliance with ADA requirements, as set forth in the Standards, before construction proceeds.
  4. The County further agrees to provide the Department of Justice with quarterly status reports beginning on the date this Agreement becomes effective and continuing throughout the duration of the alterations to the Courthouse, informing the Department of the status of construction and any actual and/or anticipated delays in construction.
  5. For County services, programs, and activities not available in accessible buildings, the County agrees that the following notice, or a similar such notice, shall be posted at all entrances to all buildings in which the County offers services, programs, and activities:
    In accordance with the requirements of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the County operates each service, program, or activity, so that each service, program, or activity, when viewed in its entirety, is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. Any individual with a disability requiring information, or needing assistance, should contact [name and telephone number], for additional information.
  1. For County services, programs, and activities not available in accessible buildings, the County agrees that County personnel shall meet qualified individuals with disabilities at accessible locations to assist in providing access to the County services, programs, and activities.

ENFORCEMENT

  1. The Department may review compliance with this agreement at any time.
  2. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire agreement, or any provision thereof, with regard to any deadline, or any other provision herein, will not be construed as a waiver of its right to do so with regard to other deadlines and provisions of this agreement.
  3. This document is a public agreement. A copy of this document, or any information contained in it, may be made available to any person, by the County or the Department, on request.
  4. The effective date of this agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  5. The Department of Justice 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.
  6. Any violation of this agreement will be considered a violation of title II of the ADA.
  7. In the event that the County fails to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this agreement, without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department of Justice as a temporary modification of the relevant terms of this agreement, all terms of this agreement will become enforceable in an appropriate Federal court.
  8. 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. This agreement 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 the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For Johnson County:

______________________________      Date: _______________



For the United States:

______________________________      Date: _______________
JOHN WODATCH
Chief

______________________________      Date: _______________
RENEE WOHLENHAUS
Acting Deputy Chief

______________________________      Date: ______________
NAOMI MILTON
Attorney
Disability Rights Section
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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