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Lawson v. City of Stockton

December 3, 2009

WILLIAM LAWSON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF STOCKTON; AND DOES 1 THROUGH 50, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Frank C. Damrell, Jr. United States District Judge

Civil Rights

FULL CONSENT DECREE ORDER AND JUDGMENT

1. Plaintiff WILLIAM LAWSON is a person with a disability whose condition requires the fulltime use of a wheelchair for mobility. Defendant CITY OF STOCKTON owns, operates, controls and maintains the following relevant public rights of way within city limits:

a) The pedestrian and vehicular undercrossing on South Wilson Way between E. Hazelton Ave. and E. Anderson Street (Hereafter referred to as "Wilson Way Undercrossing"), and

b) The pedestrian and vehicular undercrossing on East Charter Way between S. Grant Street and South Airport Way (Hereafter referred to as "Charter Way Undercrossing").

(Hereafter, together, the two undercrossings shall be referred to as the "Subject Undercrossings".)

2. Plaintiff WILLIAM LAWSON filed this action for himself and all other similarly situated members of the public, and against defendant City of Stockton ("Defendant"), to vindicate the public rights under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq.; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794; and thru corresponding California law, including Government Code Sections 11135 and 4450-4456; Civil Code Sections 51, 54 and 54.1, et seq.; and Title 24 of the California Code of Regulations.

3. Plaintiff alleges that defendant violated these statutes and their corresponding regulations by failing to provide full and equal access to the pedestrian rights of way at the Subject Undercrossings. Specific identification of the facilities and their deficiencies has been identified by plaintiff through an expert's report and schematic drawings.

4. Plaintiff alleges that the Subject Undercrossing, and the adjoining roadways, have undergone construction triggering the requirement of full compliance with state and federal regulations in the altered areas, and that a further programmatic obligation is imposed on these facilities since the City is qualified government entity regulated by Title II of the ADA, and additionally pursuant to California Government Code Section 11135 and federal Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which imposes similar obligations on government entities that receive federal, state and/or local public funds.

STIPULATIONS

5. Plaintiff's Qualified Disability. Plaintiff is a qualified person with a physical disability. He requires the fulltime use of a wheelchair for mobility.

6. Plaintiff's Residence and Status as Aggrieved and Potentially Aggrieved. Plaintiff alleges he has standing. He lives approximately 5 miles from the closest undercrossing on Charter Way, which is near businesses that he frequents. He also works less than 2 tenths of a mile from the undercrossing on Wilson Way, which is also near businesses he frequents. While the City does not admit all of the specifics of the foregoing allegations, it agrees that it is aware of sufficient undisputed facts to support plaintiff's qualification as "aggrieved and potentially aggrieved" under the relevant statutes, and to support his standing under Article III of the U.S. Constitution.

7. Ownership, Control, Operation and Maintenance of the Subject Undercrossings. Defendant CITY OF STOCKTON owns, operates, controls and maintains the Subject Undercrossings.

8. Receipt of Federal, State and Local Funding. For purposes of this decree, defendant CITY OF STOCKTON admits that it receives federal, state and local funding, and additionally that such funding has been used to build, alter and maintain the relevant portions of the Subject Undercrossings, including the adjoining vehicular roadways passing under the undercrossing.

9. Construction History. The parties stipulate that all facilities in issue have undergone sufficient and recent alteration and/or new construction to require at least some level of compliance with the requirements of the 1998 Edition of Title 24, Part 2, of the California Code of Regulations and the Americans With Disabilities Act Access Guidelines published in 1992. The scope of facilities to be corrected under this Full Consent Decree Order and Judgment are identified in paragraph 10.

10. Scope of Facilities in Issue. The following are the facilities affected by this Full Consent Decree Order and Judgment: The absence of a vertical means of access to the undercrossing's public sidewalks at each of the seven currently non-compliant locations requiring the pedestrian to ascent a vertical curb or steps to access the walkway; i.e., at every end of the four undercrossing sidewalks which have steps and curbs, but excluding the ramp at the southeast end of Charter Way, which already complies with state and federal access codes.

JURISDICTION

11. The facts requisite to federal jurisdiction and venue are admitted. This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 for the alleged violations of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq. Article III jurisdiction is proper due to the plaintiff's continued exposure and proximity for use of the Subject Undercrossings. Pendant jurisdiction of the state law claims arises from a common nucleus of fact and is ...


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