1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181 et seq. (the ADA) with the United States Department of Justice ("the Department"), regarding Oceanview Motel, located at 7201 Ocean Avenue, Wildwood Crest, New Jersey 08260 (the Motel"). The complaint was investigated by the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division under the authority granted by section 308(b) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12188. The complaint alleged that the Motel is in violation of the ADA because its owners and operators have failed to remove architectural barriers to access where such removal was readily achievable. The Departments investigation of the complaint has confirmed these allegations.
2. The Attorney General is authorized to enforce title III of the ADA by seeking damages, civil penalties, and full compliance with title IIIs provisions, including requiring the owners and operators of a place of public accommodation to make it readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities. 36 C.F.R. §§ 36.504(a)(1)(iii), (2), and (3). The Attorney General may commence a civil action to enforce title III in any situation where the Attorney General believes a pattern or practice of discrimination exists or a matter of general public importance is raised. Id. at §12188(b)(1)(B).
3. The Complainant has a mobility impairment and uses a wheelchair for mobility. The Complainant is an individual with a disability as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 12102(2) and 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.
4. The Oceanview Motel is a place of lodging, providing 108 separate sleeping rooms for guests. Therefore, it is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of title III of the ADA 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(A); 28 C.F.R. § 36.104. Catdaddies, L.L.C. owns and operates the Motel. Because it was designed and constructed prior to the effective date of the ADA, and has not since then been significantly altered, the Motel is subject to title IIIs architectural barrier removal requirements. 42 U.S.C. §§ 12182(b)(2)(A)(iv) - (v); 28 C.F.R. §§ 36.304 - .305.
5. The Motel agrees to undertake barrier removal, as outlined in this settlement agreement, to ensure that individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use wheelchairs, have an opportunity equal to that of non-disabled individuals to enjoy the Motels accommodations. In light of this agreement, the parties have determined that Department of Justice complaint 202-48-97 can be resolved without litigation and have prepared and agreed to the terms of this settlement agreement.
6. Within six months of the effective date of this agreement, the Motel will modify one sleeping room so that it is accessible to people with disabilities. This room will be equipped with a bath tub or transfer shower.
7. Within 1 1/2 years of the effective date of this agreement, the Motel will modify two additional sleeping rooms so that they are accessible to people with disabilities. One will be equipped with a bathtub or transfer shower. The second will have a roll-in shower.
8. Within 2 1/2years of the effective date of this agreement, the Motel will modify two additional sleeping rooms so that they are accessible to people with disabilities. Both rooms will be equipped with a bath tub or transfer shower.
9. Each of the five sleeping rooms required to be made accessible in paragraphs 6-8 of this agreement will comply fully with the relevant provisions of the ADA Standard § 9, including the provision that accessible rooms be dispersed among the various classes of sleeping accommodations available to customers (including size, cost, amenities provided, and number of beds).
10. Specifically, the Motel will take the following actions, at minimum, in order to ensure that each sleeping room, exclusive of the bath or shower room, complies with ADA Standards:
a. Locate the room on an accessible route, and provide an accessible route within the room that connects all accessible spaces and elements. §§ 4.3, 9.22, 9.2.2(2).
b. Provide signage in the hallway designating the accessible sleeping room so that it is on the latch side of the sleeping room door; it includes Braille and raised numbering and/or lettering; and it is mounted at 60 inches above the finish floor to the centerline of the sign. §§ 4.1.3(16)(a), 4.30.4, 4.30.5, and 4.30.6.
c. On doors into and within the room, provide door hardware that is easy to grasp with one hand and does not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist to operate. §§ 4.13.9, 9.2.2(3).
d. For doors into and within the room, provide sufficient maneuvering clearances on the push and pull side that are clear and level. Standards §§ 4.13.6 & Fig. 25, 9.2.2(3)
e. For doors into and within the room, ensure that the force required to open the door is no more than 5 pounds. §§ 4.13.11(2)(b), 9.2.2(3).
f. For doors into and within the room, ensure that any door closers have a sweep period of at least 3 seconds to move from an open position of 70 degrees to a point 3 inches from the latch, measured to the leading edge of the door. §§ 4.13.10, 9.2.2(3)
g. For doors into and within the room, provide a minimum clear opening with 32 inches measured from the face of door to the opposite door stop with the door open 90 degrees. §§ 4.13.5 & Fig. 24., 9.2.2(3)
h. Provide maneuvering space at least 36 inches wide along both sides of the bed, or between two beds where more than one is provided. § 9.2.2(1).
i. If fixed or built in storage is provided (closets, drawers, shelves) provide at least one of each type that has clear floor space and is within the reach ranges of a person using a wheelchair. §§ 4.2.5, 4.2.6, 4.25 & Fig. 38, 9.2.2(4)
j. Provide room controls (e.g., for light fixtures, heat/air conditioning, draperies) that have sufficient clear floor space, are within the reach ranges of a person using a wheelchair, and can be operated with one hand, without tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. §§ 4.27, 9.2.2(5)
k. Provide an auxiliary visual fire alarm visible in all areas of the unit that is connected to the Motels central alarm system if one exists, or a portable visual alarm. §§ 4.2.5, 4.2.6, 4.28.4, 9.2.2(8), 9.3.1, 9.3.2
11. In addition, the Motel will take the following actions, at minimum, in order to ensure that each bathroom within the accessible guest rooms complies with ADA Standards:
a. Within the bathroom, provide clear floor space at fixtures, an accessible route to fixtures and controls, and an unobstructed turning space. §§ 4.2.3, 4.23.3, 9.2.2(6)(e)
b. Provide an auxiliary visual fire alarm in the bathroom, or an electrical outlet within the reach ranges of a person using a wheelchair that is connected to the Motels central alarm system, and a portable visual alarm. §§ 4.2.5, 4.2.6, 4.28.4, 9.2.2(8), 9.3.1, 9.3.2
c. Provide a lavatory that has a rim not higher than 34 inches above the finish floor; an apron that is at least 29 inches above the finish floor; toe and knee clearances that comply with the Standards; faucets that are operable with one hand and do not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist; and hot water and drain pipes that are wrapped or otherwise configured against contact. §§ 4.19 & Fig. 31, 4.23.6, 4.27.4, 9.2.2(6)(e)
d. Provide a mirror so that the bottom edge of the reflecting surface of the mirror is no higher than 40 inches above the finish floor. §§ 4.19.6, 4.23.6, 9.2.2(6)(e)
e. Provide a toilet so that the centerline is exactly 18 inches from a side wall, the top of the toilet seat is between17 and 19 inches above the finish floor, and the flush control is on the open side of the room. §§ 4.16.2, 4.16.3, 4.16.5 & Fig. 28, 4.23.4, 9.2.2(6)(e)
f. Provide side and rear grab bars at the toilet that comply with the Standards §§ 4.16.4 & Fig. 29, 4.23.4, 9.2.2(6)(e).
g. Provide a toilet paper dispenser that is within reach of the toilet, below the side grab bar, and at least 19 inches above the finish floor to the centerline of the roll. §§ 4.16.6 & Fig. 29(b), 4.23.4, 9.2.2(6)(e)
h. If fixed or built in storage is provided in the bathroom (e.g., drawers, shelves) provide at least one of each type that has clear floor space and is within the reach ranges of a person using a wheelchair. §§ 4.2.5, 4.2.6, 4.25 & Fig. 38, 9.2.2(4)
i. If controls, dispensers, receptacles or other equipment are provided, ensure that at least one of each type is within the reach ranges of a person using a wheelchair and is operable with one hand and does not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist. §§ 4.2.5, 4.2.6, 4.23.7, 4.27, 9.2.2(6)(e).
j. If a bathtub in lieu of a transfer shower is provided, ensure that there is adequate clear floor space in front of the bathtub; it has an in-tub seat or seat at the end of the tub that is securely mounted and does not slip during use; has grab bars that comply with the Standards; has faucets and controls that are located in compliance with the Standards and are operable with one hand and do not require tight grasping, pinching, or twisting of the wrist; has a height adjustable shower spray unit with a hose at least 60 inches long that can be used both as a fixed shower head and as a hand-held shower; and has enclosures, if any, that do not obstruct controls or a transfer from a wheelchair onto the seat or into the tub and do not have tracks mounted on their rims. §§ 4.20 & Figs. 33,34, 4.23.8, 9.2.2(6)(e)
k. If a transfer shower in lieu of a bathtub is provided, ensure that there is adequate clear floor space in front of the shower stall; the stall is exactly 36 inches wide and 36 inches deep; has a curb that is not more than 1/2 inch high; has a seat that is mounted on the wall opposite the controls, 17 to 19 inches above the shower floor, and extends the depth of the stall; has grab bars that comply with the Standards; and has a height adjustable shower spray unit with a hose at least 60 inches long that can be used both as fixed shower head and as a hand-held shower. §§ 4.21 & Figs. 35(a), 4.23.8, 9.2.2(6)(e)
l. Provide a roll-in shower in one bathroom so that there is adequate clear floor space in front of the shower; there is no curb; the shower dimensions and location of the folding seat, grab bars, and controls conform to Figure 57(a) or 57(b); the seat is mounted 17 to 19 inches above the shower floor; and there is a height adjustable shower spray unit with a hose at least 60 inches long that can be used both as a fixed shower head and as a hand-held shower. §§ 4.21 & Figs. 57(a) or 57(b), 4.23.8, 9.1.2, 9.2.2(6)(e)
12. Within six months of the effective date of this agreement, the Motel will provide a minimum of three sets of visual alarms, notification devices, and telephones that comply with §§ 9.3 of the Standards.
13. Within six months of the effective date of this agreement, the Motel will make the following modifications:
1. The public toilet rooms near the lobby area adjacent to the laundry area are inaccessible. Alter both toilet rooms, or convert one room into an accessible unisex toilet room, to fully comply with the Standards. Specifically, provide a toilet room or rooms so that the spaces and elements, including the entry door, signage, clear floor space, turning space, accessible route, water closet, grab bars, urinal (mens only, if provided), lavatory, mirror, controls and dispensers, and baby changing station comply with the Standards. §§ 4.22, 4.2, 4.3, 4.13, 4.16 and Figs. 28 & 29, 4.18, 4.19 and Figs. 31 & 32, 4.26, 4.27, 4.30.
2. The laundry room detergent vending machines controls and operating mechanisms are located 57 inches above the finish floor. Provide a detergent vending machine such that the highest operable part of controls, dispensers, receptacles, and other operable equipment is no higher than 48 inches high. In addition, maintain sufficient clear floor space for a person using a wheelchair to safely approach the detergent vending machine. §§ 4.2.5, 4.27.
3. Alter the parking areas surrounding the Motel to provide at least three designated accessible parking spaces (including at least one van-accessible space), signage, and spaces and access aisles that comply with the Standards. These spaces shall be on accessible routes. §§ 4.3, 4.6.
4. The ramp leading from the parking area near the entrance to the office area has a slippery tile surface, and the handrail on one side is interrupted by a column. The other side of the ramp does not have a handrail. Provide a surface that is stable, firm, and slip-resistant. In addition, provide continuous handrails on both sides of the ramp that are between 34 and 38 inches high, have extensions of at least 12 inches beyond the top and bottom of the ramp segment, and have ends that are rounded or returned to the floor, wall, or post and otherwise comply with the Standards. §§ 4.5.1, 4.8.5, 4.26.
5. Several flights of stairs specifically one in the main lobby and one near Room 125 do not allow a minimum clear head room of 80 inches. Walks, halls, corridors, passageways, aisles, or other circulation spaces shall have 80 in minimum clear head room. Provide a barrier behind each of these flights of stairs to warn blind or visually impaired persons where the head room is less than 80 inches clear. § 4.4.2.
14. In addition to any specific requirements in this Agreement requiring instruction or training of Motel staff, the Owners and Operators will ensure that all Motel staff is trained in all ADA issues relevant to the Motel, including, but not limited to: 1) location of accessible parking and entrances; 2) the location and type of accessible guest rooms; 3) accessible features within each accessible guest room; 4) location of accessible routes into and throughout the Motel, where not all routes are accessible; 5) location and use of accessibility equipment (e.g., TTYs, closed captioned televisions, visual notification devices); 6) all Motel policies regarding visitors with disabilities or use of accessible features; 7) maintenance of accessible routes; and 8) all requirements of this Agreement. The Owners and Operators will ensure that all persons on staff at the time of the execution date of this Agreement are trained in these issues no later than 90 days of the date of this agreement, and that future staff are trained in these issues within 24 hours of beginning employment. These actions are to continue for as long as the Owners and Operators or their successors in interest own, lease, or operate the Motel.
15. Within nine months and again within 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 years of the effective date of this agreement, the Motel will submit a report to the Department summarizing the actions it has taken pursuant to this agreement. The report will consist primarily of detailed photographs of the architectural modifications required by this agreement and clearly show the dimensions of the various elements and spaces so that compliance with the ADA Standards may be determined.
16. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this agreement or any of its requirement has been violated, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce this agreement or the requirements of the title III, following written notice to Oceanview Motel of possible violations and a period of 10 days in which Oceanview Motel has the opportunity to cure the alleged violations.
17. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire agreement or any of its provisions or deadlines shall not be construed as a waiver of the Departments right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this agreement.
18. This agreement shall be binding on Catdaddies, L.L.C. and successors in interest. Catdaddies, L.L.C. has a duty to notify all such successors in interest of this agreement and the duties and responsibilities it imposes on Catdaddies, L.L.C.
19. This agreement is a public agreement. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person by Oceanview Motel or the Department by request.
20. The effective date of this agreement is the date of the last signature below.
21. 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.
22. This agreement is limited to the facts set forth above and does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other Federal law.
23. This agreement does not affect Oceanview Motels continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of title III of the ADA. In particular, the title III obligation to remove barriers to access for people with disabilities where that is readily achievable is a continuing obligation. It must be continuously re-visited, particularly where the financial resources available to a public accommodation may improve over time.
24. This agreement will remain in effect for eighteen months from the effective date of this agreement or until the parties agree that full compliance with this agreement by the Motel has been achieved.
25. The person signing this document for Oceanview Motel represents that Catdaddies, L.L.C. is authorized to bind Oceanview Motel to this agreement.
FOR THE RESPONDENT: FOR THE UNITED STATES:
Wildwood Crest, NJ
RALPH F. BOYD, JR.
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
JOHN L. WOODATCH, Chief
SUSAN B. REILLY, Deputy Cheif
ANTHONY NAPOLI, Investigative Assistant
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Disability Rights Section-NYA
Washington, DC 20530
June 16, 2003