SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT BETWEEN

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

AND
 
THE CITY OF EASTPOINTE, MICHIGAN AND THE EASTPOINTE BUILDING AUTHORITY

UNDER THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT



SCOPE OF THE INVESTIGATION

  1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181 et. seq. with the United States Department of Justice (“Department”) against the City of Eastpointe/Eastpointe Building Authority (“City”) regarding accessibility at the Thirty-Eighth District Court in Eastpointe, Michigan.  The complaint was received by the United States Department of Justice, Disability Rights Section, and investigated by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan pursuant to the authority granted by 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F and Part 36.  
  2. A survey conducted by the Department on March 14, 2006 found one hundred and twelve separate violations of the ADA that limited access to the Thirty-Eighth District Court.  The government’s findings are outlined in a letter dated April 4, 2006, a copy of which is attached to this Agreement.

JURISDICTION

  1. The ADA applies to the City in this matter because the Thirty-Eighth District Court is a public entity built and run by the City as defined by Title II.   42 U.S.C. § 12131(1), 28 C.F.R. § 35.104.  The Thirty-Eighth District Court was built in 1995, and is therefore subject to 28 CFR § 35.151, as a newly constructed facility that must be readily accessible and usable by individuals with disabilities.
  2. The Department was authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate the complaint in this matter to determine the City’s compliance with Title II of the ADA, and pursuant to the Department's implementing Title II regulation, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure a voluntary compliance agreement.  Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 42 U.S.C. § 12133, to bring a civil action to enforce Title II of the ADA should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart F. 
  3. The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the City of Eastpointe, Michigan/Eastpointe Building Authority. 
  4. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of possible litigation, the parties enter into this Agreement.
  5. In consideration of, and consistent with, the terms of this Agreement, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from filing a civil suit in this matter against the City regarding all matters contained within this Agreement, except as provided in the section entitled “Implementation and Enforcement.”

PHYSICAL CHANGES TO BE UNDERTAKEN BY THE CITY

  1. The Parties agree that the technical requirements and, where appropriate, the scoping requirements of the ADA Standards for Accessible Design (“Standards”) will be used for determining whether the Thirty-Eighth District Court is readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, and for determining what changes are necessary to make the Thirty-Eighth District Court (“Court”) accessible.  See 28 C.F.R. §§ 35.150(b)(1), 35.151. 
  2. In response to the United States’ investigation and subsequent findings, the City has agreed to undertake the following remedial steps within two (2) months of the effective date of this Agreement to ensure that the Court is readily accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities. 
    1. Converting the north entrance to the courthouse to an accessible entrance with at least one accessible parking space as required by the Standards §§ 4.1.5 , 4.1.2(5)(a) and (b), 4.1.3(8)(a)(ii) and 4.6.2.  Correcting the landing in front of the north entrance door that was 38 inches deep, so that it provides maneuvering clearance of at least 60 inches deep as required for a forward pull approach.  Correcting the threshold at the north entrance door to no more than the maximum allowable threshold height of ½ inch.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(7)(a), 4.13.8, 4.13.6 and Figure 25(a). 
    2. Extending the access aisle of the designated van accessible space at the front entrance to the building to a minimum of 96 inches wide as required.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5 and 4.1.2(5)(b).
    3. Correcting the running slope of the curb ramp from each designated accessible parking space access aisle to the sidewalk leading to the main entrance so that each of the curb ramps do not exceed the maximum allowable slope of 1:12. See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.2(1), 4.3.8, 4.7.2 and 4.8.2.
    4. Correcting the curb ramps located within the sidewalk from the accessible parking space access aisles to the main entrance so that an accessible route a minimum of 36 inches wide with a cross slope no greater than 1:50 is created.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.2(1) and 4.3.7.
    5. Correcting the concrete work on the sidewalk from the bus stop to the main entrance so that the change in level where the brick pavers meet the concrete sidewalk from the bus stop to the main entrance does not exceed the maximum allowable change in level of ½ inch.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.2(1), 4.3.8 and 4.5.2.
  3. In addition to the above, the City will take the following actions within five (5) months of the effective date of this Agreement:
    1. A minimum of 18 inches of maneuvering clearance at the interior vestibule entrance door on the latch side of the door shall be provided as required for a forward pull approach due.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(7)(c), 4.13.6 and Figure 25(a).
    2. All doors that require more than the maximum allowable door opening force of 5 lbf shall be corrected.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(7)(c) and 4.13.11(2)(b) and the attached letter identifying each door that exceeded 5lbf at the time of the Department’s inspection.
    3. Permanent exit signs in raised characters and Braille shall be installed at all exits to designate the exit on the latch side of the door mounted 60 inches above the finish floor to the centerline of the sign as required.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(16)(a), 4.30.1, 4.30.4, 4.30.5 and 4.30.6.  Braille signs with room numbers shall also be installed in a like manner outside the hearing room, the jury deliberation room and conference rooms.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(16)(a), 4.30.1, 4.30.4, 4.30.5 and 4.30.6.
    4. Visual fire alarms shall be provided in the courtroom, hearing room, conference rooms, rear corridor, jury deliberation room and toilet rooms as required. See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(14), 4.28.1 and 4.28.3.
    5. A drinking fountain accessible to individuals who use wheelchairs and a drinking fountain at a standard height for individuals who have difficulty bending or stooping shall be provided in the waiting area on the main floor.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(10)(a) and 4.15.1.  The drinking fountain knee clearance on the current drinking fountain between the bottom of the apron and the floor that is currently 23 inches, shall be corrected to a minimum of 27 inches as required.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.13(10)(a), 4.15.5(1) and Figure 27(a).
    6. The attorney’s door from the rear corridor to the courtroom, and the judge’s door from the rear corridor to the courtroom shall be corrected so that the twist lock does not require tight pinching and twisting of the wrist to operate.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(7)(b) and 4.13.9.
    7. A minimum of 18 inches of maneuvering clearance on the latch side of the judge’s door from the rear corridor to the courtroom as required for a forward pull approach shall be provided.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(7)(b), 4.13.6 and Figure 25(a).
    8. An accessible route to the witness stand in the courtroom shall be provided.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(1), 4.3.8 and 4.8.1. See Photo 16.
    9. Two wheelchair seating areas shall be provided in the spectator seating area of the courtroom.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(19)(a), 4.33.2, 4.33.3 and 4.33.4.  At least one of the benches in the spectator seating area shall provide an aisle seat with either no armrest or a removable or folding armrest. See the Standards §§ 4.1.5 and 4.1.3(19)(a).   A permanently installed assistive listening system and receivers equal to 4 percent of the total number of seats shall be provided. See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(19)(b), 4.33.6, 4.33.7 and 4.30.7(4).
    10. An accessible route to and onto the judge’s bench in the courtroom and the hearing room shall be built. See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(1), 4.3.8 and 4.8.1.
    11. The witness stand in the hearing room shall be moved to provide a 60 inch deep minimum maneuvering clearance for a forward pull from the rear corridor into the hearing room.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(7)(b), 4.13.6 and Figure 25(a).
    12. The shelf adjacent to the door from the rear corridor to the waiting area shall be moved so that it is not a protruding object which is mounted more than 27 inches above the finish floor to the leading edge and projects more than 4 inches into the circulation path.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(2) and 4.4.1.
    13. Correcting the threshold at the main entrance door so that it does not exceed the maximum allowable threshold height of ½ inch.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(7)(a) and 4.13.8.
  4. The City will take the following actions within six (6) months of the effective date of this Agreement:
    1. The upper level women’s toilet room shall be modified to correct the deviations from the Standards identified in the attached letter, items 43 through 49.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(2) and (11), 4.16.5, 4.22.4, 4.17.2, 4.17.3, 4.17.6, 4.19.4 and  4.4.1.
    2. The upper level men’s toilet room shall be modified to correct deviations from the Standards identified in the attached letter, items 50-56.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(2) and (11), 4.16.5, 4.22.4, 4.17.2, 4.17.3, 4.17.6, 4.19.4 and  4.4.1.
    3. The upper level employee toilet room shall be modified to correct deviations from the Standards identified in the attached letter, items 61-69.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(2) and (11), 4.16.5, 4.22.4, 4.17.2, 4.17.3, 4.17.6, 4.19.4 and  4.4.1.
    4. The judge’s toilet room shall be modified to correct deviations from the Standards identified in the attached letter, items 87-91.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(2) and (11), 4.16.5, 4.22.4, 4.17.2, 4.17.3, 4.17.6, 4.19.4 and  4.4.1.
    5. The jury toilet room shall be modified to correct deviations from the Standards identified in the attached letter, items 79-86.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(2) and (11), 4.16.5, 4.22.4, 4.17.2, 4.17.3, 4.17.6, 4.19.4 and  4.4.1. 
    6. The kitchenette counter shall be lowered so that it does not exceed the maximum allowable height of 34 inches.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(18) and 4.32.4.
    7. One of the two holding cells shall be modified so that it is accessible, including a 60" diameter turning circle or T-shaped space in the cell and correcting the toilet/lavatory fixture so that it conforms to the Standards.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(11),  4.22.4, 4.22.6, 4.19.3, 4.22.3, 4.2.3 and Figure 3(a) and (b).
    8. The men’s and women’s toilet rooms on the lower level of the building shall be modified to correct deviations from the Standards identified in the attached letter, items 92-107.  See the Standards §§ 4.1.5, 4.1.3(2) and (11), 4.16.5, 4.22.4, 4.17.2, 4.17.3, 4.17.6, 4.19.4 and  4.4.1. 

IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT

  1. For three years after the effective date of this Agreement, or until fully completed, the City will submit a written annual report to the Department summarizing the actions the City has taken during the past year to comply with this Agreement.  Reports will include photographs that clearly show conformance to the requirements outlined in this Agreement.
  2. If, at any time, the City desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because changed conditions make performance impossible or impractical or for any other reason, it will 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 will not take effect.  These actions must receive the prior written approval of the Department, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.
  3. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time.  If the Department believes that this Agreement or any portion of it has been violated, it will so notify the City in writing and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith.  If the Department is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within 30 days of the date it provides notice to the City, it may institute a civil action in federal district court directly to enforce Title II or to enforce the terms of this Agreement, or it may initiate appropriate administrative or legal steps to enforce section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. 
  4. 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.
  5. In the event that the City fails to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the Department for a temporary modification of the relevant terms of this Agreement, the Department may file suit in an appropriate federal court to enforce the terms of the Agreement, may declare the Agreement null and void, or may initiate appropriate steps to enforce section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
  6. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  7. 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 the City’s continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
  8. This Agreement will remain in effect for three years from the effective date of this Agreement, or until the parties agree that full compliance with this Agreement has been achieved.
  9. The Agreement resolves the alleged violations of Title II of the ADA and the Department of Justice’s implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 36 for the buildings and structures addressed in this Agreement and does not purport to remedy any other violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act or any other Federal Law. This Agreement does not affect the City’s continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of Title II of the ADA.

For the City:

For the United States:

STEPHEN J. MURPHY.
United States Attorney


By:______________________________
Darwin Parks
City Manager
23200 Gratiot Road
Eastpointe, Michigan 48021


By:______________________________
Judith E. Levy
Assistant United States Attorney
Eastern District of Michigan
211 West Fort Street, Ste. 2001
Detroit, Michigan 48226



Date:                  09/13/2007                  

Date:                  9/25/2007                  



For the Eastpointe Building Authority

By: ____________________________
Gary Young
Eastpointe Building Authority
Chairperson
23200 Gratiot Road
Eastpointe, Michigan 48021

Date:                  9/17/07                  

 



October 09, 2008