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In re General Order No. 56 Americans with Disabilities Act Access Litigation

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


July 2, 2009

GENERAL ORDER NO. 56 AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT ACCESS LITIGATION

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Vaughn R Walker United States District Chief Judge

In any action which asserts denial of a right of access protected by Titles II or III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 USC §§ 12131-89, the Court ORDERS, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 16, that the following shall apply:

1. Plaintiff shall, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(m), forthwith complete service on all necessary defendants. A plaintiff who is unable to complete service on all necessary defendants within 60 days may prior to the expiration of that period, file a Motion For Administrative Relief pursuant to L.R. 7-11 requesting an extension of the schedule required by this Order.

2. Initial disclosures required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a) shall be completed no later than seven days prior to the joint inspection required by ¶3. If defendant intends to dispute liability based on the construction or alteration history of the subject premises, defendant shall disclose all information in defendant's possession or control regarding the construction or alteration history of the subject premises. All other discovery and proceedings are STAYED unless the assigned judge orders otherwise.

3. No later than 100 days after filing the complaint, the parties and their counsel, accompanied by their experts if the parties so elect, shall meet in person at the subject premises. They shall jointly inspect the portions of the subject premises which are claimed to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act.

4. At the joint inspection or within 10 business days thereafter, the parties, and their experts if the parties so elect, shall meet in person and confer regarding settlement of the action. The meet and confer obligation cannot be satisfied by telephone or by exchanging letters. At the conference, the parties shall discuss all claimed premises violations. Plaintiff shall specify all claimed premises violations and the desired remediation. With respect to each claimed violation, defendant shall specify whether defendant is willing to remediate and whether defendant agrees with plaintiff's proposed remediation or has an alternate proposal. If defendant claims any proposed remediation is not readily achievable, defendant shall specify the factual basis for this claim.

5. If the parties reach a tentative agreement on remediation, plaintiff shall forthwith provide defendant with a statement of damages, if any, claimed under California law, and of costs and attorney's fees incurred to date, and make a demand for settlement of the case in its entirety.

6. If within 45 days from the joint site inspection, the parties cannot reach an agreement on remediation, or cannot settle the damages and fees claims, plaintiff shall file a "Notice of Need for Mediation" in the form set forth on the Court's ADR Internet site www.adr.cand.uscourts.gov and on the ECF Website www.ecf.cand.uscourts.gov. The matter will then be automatically referred to mediation and the ADR Department will schedule a mediation as soon as possible. The mediator shall have the authority to preside over settlement negotiations that address all issues presented by this matter, including requests for injunctive relief and attorney's fees. Should a settlement be reached, the mediator shall ensure that the parties make a written or audio record of the essential terms of the settlement sufficient to permit any party to move to enforce the settlement should it not be consummated according to its terms. Should any settlement be conditioned upon future conduct such as remediation, the assigned judge will retain jurisdiction to enforce that component of the settlement.

7. If the case does not resolve at mediation, plaintiff shall within seven calendar days of the mediation, file a Motion For Administrative Relief pursuant to L.R. 7-11 requesting a Case Management Conference.

8. Any party who wishes to be relieved of any requirement of this order may file a Motion for Administrative Relief pursuant to L.R. 7-11.

ADOPTED: June 21, 2005

AMENDED: February 17, 2009

20090702

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