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CHRISTY v. L&L BOOKSTORE

United States District Court, Northern District of California


April 30, 2003

ANITA CHRISTY PLAINTIFF,
v.
L&L BOOKSTORE; LLOYD RANDALL GUCCIONE; QUYNH NHU THI LE; AND DOES 1-20, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: James Larson, United States Magistrate Judge

CONSENT DECREE AND ORDER

1. Plaintiff ANITA CHRISTY filed this action to enforce provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., and California civil rights laws against Defendants, L&L BOOKSTORE; LLOYD RANDALL GUCCIONE; QUYNH NHU THI LE; and DOES 1-35, Inclusive, ("Defendants"). Plaintiff has alleged that Defendants violated Title III of the ADA and sections 51, 51.7, 52, and 54.3, of the California Civil Code and section 17200 of the California Business & Professions Code by willfully and intentionally denying her equal access to the "L&L BOOKSTORE" ("Bookstore") located in the City of Santa Rosa. Plaintiff, who is deaf and requires the assistance of a service dog, alleges that defendants forcibly ejected her from their bookstore when she attempted to enter the bookstore to purchase schoolbooks accompanied by her service dog. Plaintiff alleges that defendants maintain a discriminatory policy that requires disabled persons to request and obtain defendants' permission to enter the bookstore with a service animal. When plaintiff refused to ask permission to enter the bookstore with her service dog, plaintiff alleges that defendants assaulted her and physically ejected her from the bookstore.

2. Defendants deny all of these allegations and by entering into this Consent Decree and Order do not admit liability to the allegations in Plaintiff's Complaint filed in this action. The parties hereby enter into this Consent Decree for the sole purpose of resolving this lawsuit without the need for protracted litigation, and without the admission of any liability.

JURISDICTION:

3. The parties agree that the Court has jurisdiction of this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. and pursuant to pendant jurisdiction for violations of California Civil Code §§ 51, 51.7, 52, 54.1 and 54.3, and section 17200 of California Business and Professions Code.

4. In order to avoid the costs, expense, and uncertainty of protracted litigation, the parties agree to entry of this Order to resolve plaintiff's complaint for injunctive relief regarding defendants' policies concerning the use of service animals in the bookstore by persons with disabilities. Accordingly, they agree to the entry of this Order without trial or further adjudication of any issues of fact or law concerning plaintiffs' request for injunctive relief.

WHEREFORE, the parties hereby agree and stipulate to the Court's entry of this Consent Order, which provides as follows:

SETTLEMENT OF INJUNCTIVE RELIEF:

5. This Order shall be a full, complete, and final disposition and settlement of Plaintiff's claims for injunctive relief that have arisen out of the Complaint. The parties agree that there has been no admission or finding of liability or violation of the ADA and/or California civil rights laws, and this Consent Order should not be construed as such.

The Court shall retain jurisdiction of this action to enforce provisions of this Order.

INJUNCTIVE RELIEF:

6. Plaintiff alleged that defendants maintain a discriminatory policy requiring disabled persons to request and obtain defendants' permission before being allowed to enter into the bookstore with a service animal. The parties agree on the implementation of the following non-discriminatory policies:

a) Defendants will establish and maintain a policy that permits persons with disabilities to enter and shop in their bookstore accompanied by their service animals, without interference by threats, intimidation or coercion, or attempts to interfere by threats, intimidation or coercion, or in any way requiring that persons with disabilities request permission or show identification identifying the person as "disabled" or requiring "certification" for the "service animal"; no inquiries will be made about details concerning a person's disability other than to ask if the person is disabled and if the animal is a "service animal" assisting the person with a disability; service animals will be permitted in any public location in the bookstore; and all defendants and employees will be informed of the non-discriminatory policy and provided with a copy of the Department of Justice's "Service Animal Information Publication," a copy of which is attached to this Consent Decree as Attachment A.

b) Defendants will post a sign on their front door or window indicating that service animals are permitted.

c) Service animals will not be excluded from the bookstore unless defendants can demonstrate that the service animal poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others.

d) Defendants will implement its non-discriminatory policy within two weeks of entering into this Consent Decree.

ENTIRE CONSENT ORDER:

12. This Consent Order, and any attachments, constitute the entire agreement between the parties on the matters of injunctive relief, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by any of the parties or agents of any of the parties, that is not contained in this written Consent Order, shall be enforceable regarding the matters of injunctive relief described herein.

CONSENT ORDER BINDING ON PARTIES AND SUCCESSORS IN INTEREST:

13. This Consent Order shall be binding on Plaintiff ANITA CHRISTY, and Defendants, L&L BOOKSTORE; LLOYD RANDALL GUCCIONE; QUYNH NHU THI LE NG, and any successors in interest. The parties have a duty to notify all such successors in interest of the existence and terms of this Order during the period of the Court's jurisdiction of this consent decree.

TERM OF THE CONSENT ORDER:

14. This Consent Order shall be in full force and effect for a period of one (1) year after the date of entry of this Consent Order. The Court shall retain jurisdiction of this action to enforce provisions of this Order for one year after the date of this Consent Decree.

SEVERABILITY:

15. If any term of this Consent Order is determined by any court to be unenforceable, the other terms of this Consent Order shall nonetheless remain in full force and effect.

SIGNATORIES BIND PARTIES:

16. Signatories on the behalf of the parties represent that they are authorized to bind the parties to this Order.

20030430

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