Fortyune v. City of Lomita

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Disability Law
  • Date Filed: 09-05-2014
  • Case #: 12-56280
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Circuit Judge Paez for the Court; Circuit Judge Nguyen and District Judge Motz
  • Full Text Opinion

Under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, local governments must guarantee that any normal government functions be reasonably accessible to peoples with disabilities.

Robin Fortyune is a paraplegic and a resident of Lomita, California (“City”). Fortyune brought suit against the City claiming that the lack of on-street wheelchair accessible parking facilities is in direct violation of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The district court found for Fortyune and the City appealed. The Ninth Circuit granted the appeal in order to examine the question of whether under Title II of the ADA city governments are required to provide accessible on-street parking in the absence of regulatory designs that specify the need for such parking. The City contends that because the ADA has not implemented specific regulations regarding on-street parking, that it is not required to provide such parking. The panel rejected this argument, explaining that Congress enacted the ADA to fix the extensive discrimination against disabled individuals throughout the country. Therefore, courts construe the ADA’s language broadly, and with the intent to advance its “remedial purpose.” The panel further explained that Title II essentially ensures that no disabled individual is to be excluded from the benefits of any city department operation or other instrumentalities adopted by local government based on their disability. The panel had previously explained that this definition applies to “anything a public entity does.” Therefore, the panel concluded that public entities must guarantee that any normal government functions be reasonably accessible to persons with disabilities. This includes on-street parking for the purposes of the current case. AFFIRMED.

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