1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189, with the United States Department of Justice (Department) against the Terrace Motel, located at 312 East Brontosaurus, Dinosaur, CO, 81610. The complainant, who is legally blind, alleged that she was denied access to the Terrace Motel due to her use of a guide dog.
2. The Attorney General is authorized to enforce title III of the ADA by requiring public accommodations to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices or procedures to enable persons with disabilities to have access to facilities that is equal to the access afforded to people without disabilities. 42 U.S.C. § 12188(a)(2). In addition, 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. 42 U.S.C.§ 12188(b)(1)(B).
3. The Terrace Motel is a place of lodging, and, as such, is a place of public accommodation under title III of the ADA. 42 U.S.C. § 12181 (7)(A).
4. Charles W. Gabrielson and Vivian Gabrielson are the owners of the Terrace Motel. As the owners of a place of public accommodation, Charles W. Gabrielson and Vivian Gabrielson (hereinafter the Owners) are covered under title III of the ADA. 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.
5. The Owners agree to make modifications in policies, practices, and procedures as outlined in this Settlement Agreement (Agreement), to ensure that individuals with disabilities, including individuals who use service animals, have an equal opportunity to that of non-disabled individuals to use the accommodations provided by the Terrace Motel. In light of this Agreement, the Owners and the Department (together hereinafter referred to as the Parties) have agreed that complaint 202-13-181 can be resolved without litigation and have prepared and agreed to the terms of this Agreement.
6. 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 regarding all matters contained within this Agreement, except as provided in the section entitled Enforcement.
The Owners acknowledge and agree that:
7. Persons with disabilities may be accompanied by service animals when utilizing the Terrace Motels facilities. 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(c).
8. Although persons may be asked if an animal is a service animal required because of a disability, they may not be required to show identification or certification of a service animals status; nor may persons with disabilities be required to show identification or certification of their own disability.
9. No signage, harness, or other indicia is required to identify a service animal.
10. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Owners will post the following notice, in 24 font print or larger, in a conspicuous place in the Terrace Motels lobby:
Individuals with disabilities are welcome at the Terrace Motel. No pet fee or other special fee, surcharge, or deposit is required due to the use a service animal.
11. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Owners will adopt, implement, and distribute to all employees who have contact with hotel guests the service animal policy in Attachment A to this Agreement, the terms of which are hereby incorporated by reference. All future employees who are expected to have contact with hotel guests will receive such copies within 7 days of their entry date.
12. Within sixty (60) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Owners shall compensate the complainant in this matter by sending her a certified check in the amount of $750.00, by certified mail to the address provided by the Department; the Owners shall simultaneously send a copy of the check and the accompanying letter to the Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice.
13. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this Agreement or any of its requirements have been violated, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce this Agreement or the requirements of title III.
14. 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.
15. This Agreement shall be binding on the Owners, their agents and employees. In the event Owners seek to transfer or assign all or part of their interest in any facility covered by this Agreement, and the successor or assign intends on carrying on the same or similar use of the facility, as a condition of sale Owners shall obtain the written accession of the successor or assign to any obligations remaining under this Agreement for the remaining term of this Agreement.
16. Within 90 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Owners shall provide the Department with evidence that they have taken the actions specified in paragraphs 10-11 of the Agreement.
17. This Agreement is a public agreement. A copy of this document or any information contained in it shall may be made available to any person by the Owners or the Department.
18. 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. In the event a court of competent jurisdiction concludes that any part of this Agreement is unenforceable, such portion shall be severed from this Agreement and all other portions shall remain enforceable.
19. 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.
20. This Agreement does not affect the Owners responsibility to comply with all aspects of title III of the ADA.
21. This Agreement will remain in effect for two years from the effective date of this Agreement.
22. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
FOR TERRACE MOTEL: FOR THE UNITED STATES:
CHARLES W. GABRIELSON
312 East Brontosaurus
Dinosaur, CO 81610
Dated: 6 August 2004
R. ALEXANDER ACOSTA
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
JEANINE M. WORDEN, Deputy Chief
MARY LOU MOBLEY, Senior Counsel
ELIZABETH BACON, Supervisory Attorney
THOMAS ESBROOK, Investigator
ELIZABETH BRZEZOWSKI, Investigative Assistant
Disability Rights Section - NYA
950 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
Dated: September 7, 2004
Service animals are welcome in the Terrace Motel and in any of the hotels facilities that are open to guests. We will not require persons with disabilities to be separated from their service animals at any time. A service animal is an animal individually trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability. Service animals perform some of the functions and tasks that the individual with a disability cannot perform for him or herself. We may ask if an animal is a service animal required for a disability or ask what tasks the animal has been trained to perform, but we will not require special ID cards for the animal. Although some service animals are certified by a State agency, we will not require proof of an animals certification as a service animal prior to allowing the service animal to accompany its owner into the Terrace Motel.
We do not require an individual with a disability who requires the assistance of a service animal to pay a deposit or an extra fee as a condition to permitting a service animal to stay with its owner in one of our room. Also, we will not require a person with a disability who requires the assistance of a service animal to be isolated from other guests, or treated less favorably than other guests.
We will not ask a person with a disability to remove his service animal from the premise unless: (1) the animal is out of control and the animals owner does not take effective action to control it (for example, a dog that barks repeatedly while in the hotel) or (2) the animal poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others. However, we will not make assumptions about how a particular animal is likely to behave; each situation must be considered individually.
In accordance with Federal law, we will allow service animals in public areas of the hotel even if the State of Colorado or local health codes prohibit animals on the premises. We are not required to provide care or food for a service animal or provide a special location for it to relieve itself. Allergies and fear of animals by employees or other guests are generally not valid reasons for denying access or refusing service to people with service animals.
February 24, 2005