Humboldt County Has Three and a Half Years to Come Into Compliance With the ADA, Says Justice Department

Press release from the Department of Justice:

US Department of JusticeThe Justice Department announced a proposed consent decree today with Humboldt County resolving claims that the county violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The consent decree, which is still subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, resolves the department’s complaint that the county’s facilities, programs, services and activities are inaccessible to individuals with disabilities in violation of the ADA, despite the county’s previous commitment to improve access by entering into a Project Civic Access (PCA) agreement with the United States.

“This office is committed to ensuring equal access to programs, both public and private,” said U.S. Attorney Brian J. Stretch. “The federal government will not tolerate discrimination that results when individuals are excluded from public access.”

“State and local governments must ensure that people with disabilities can access community services, programs and facilities without facing unlawful and discriminatory barriers,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “ADA compliance is not optional and the Justice Department works tirelessly to make sure that people with disabilities can live their lives with the dignity, respect and independence they deserve.”

The consent decree is a court-enforceable commitment by Humboldt County to bring its facilities, programs, services and activities into compliance with the ADA and make the county more accessible to individuals with disabilities. Under the terms of the consent decree, the county will pay $275,000 to compensate individuals with disabilities who faced barriers to access while attempting to use county facilities and programs. Under the decree, Humboldt County will also implement a wide range of actions to comply with the ADA, including the following:

· bring all county facilities, programs, services and activities into compliance with the ADA within three and a half years;

· ensure that the county website conforms to, at minimum, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 Level AA Success Criteria;

· provide curb ramps at all county intersections;

· ensure that emergency management procedures, policies and shelters are accessible to individuals with disabilities; and

· hire an ADA coordinator, independent licensed architect, web accessibility coordinator and website accessibility consultant.

The United States has over 220 agreements with localities across the country under PCA, the department’s wide-ranging initiative to ensure that cities, towns and counties throughout the nation comply with the ADA. Humboldt County is one of the rare public entities that did not take the remedial actions required by a PCA agreement to comply with the ADA.

To read the consent decree and complaint, please visit www.ada.gov. For more information about the ADA, call the department’s toll-free ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (TDD 800-514-0383) or access the ADA website at www.ada.gov.

Further Information:

Case #: 16-5239

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.

Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.pl.

Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Abraham Simmons at (415) 436-7264 or by e-mail at

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37 comments

  • Can all of us take our time in deciding what laws we want to comply with, and when?

  • At 60, I built a ramp; at 71, I use it. This is a prime opportunity for County Employment if Humboldt has the wit to work it. af

  • I’m a firm believer that physically challenged people need access to public facilities. All it takes is millions of dollars. Sometimes you can do it and sometimes you can’t. Whenever the Feds say “comply” it costs millions of dollars of tax payers hard earned money. The Feds aren’t paying for it. I believe it’s another unfunded mandate. Anyway, whatever.

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      Given that Eureka rents a lot of places (some empty) for city and county services, this is going to be an expensive fix. I look forward to it with the next emergency tax measure of General Fund robbery to be in compliance.

      • Henchman Of Justice

        So, gubbamint tax dollar kickbacks to private building owner’s asset improvements…… if gubbamint relocates and a private sector business takes over as new tenant, does building owner pay back the tax dollar kickbacks?

        Can’t imagine Floyd Squires getting public tax dollars to fix up his buildings if gubbamint is the tenant………..

        • So every business no matter how small, has to up grade their toilets and wash basins, almost every business in G ville is non compliant and will be ticketed , Just so some cripple can piss in a bathroom of their choosing. Not Fair,
          Why not just fit them with diapers and /or a piss bag. I was on one for 2 months, after the shock of the needle going up your canal you get used to it.
          Seriously . every business in So Hum will be out of service.
          I know that is why the Texaco Gas Station had to shut their doors.
          This crap is out of hand.

  • Just like medical cannabis, the county has had 20 years to deal with this issue. And look what a mess they have made with that.

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Intentional mess created is an ongoing mess so that ongoing messy decision makers always have a mess on their hands to mess with.

      Crib babies with a bib spilling food all over is messy.

  • Which essential services will be cut in order to comply with this court order?

  • I wonder if thats even possible within three and a half years, the logistics of it, just the sidewalks are a ton of work

  • The County has been addressing the issues, problem is, after they made the agreement in 2008, they ignored it. The past couple of years there are several things being done and being planned.

    Funding is a big barrier to some of the items, but it is being addressed.

    It is too bad non-governmental businesses did not have the DOJ down their backs.

    • the misadventures of bunjee

      No, they just have a certain local attorney run them out of business because a door is 1/2″ too narrow or the original 80 year old faucets are too high. Sure. Get the DOJ on their backs too.

      • And t is agreed, the attorney that did these type of lawsuits did wrong, even those t was still against the law, there are other ways of dealing with these concerns.

        My concerns are facilities that do not have access into the facilities, or facilities with access but not appropriate services available once inside – it is more than “You can get your chair through the ailes, they meet ADA.”

        What I find is for those today criticizing the ADA and those looking for improvements are often those who need it the most later in their lives.

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Floyd Squires is not even ADA and he is having a helluva time, so your point is?

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Crooked building owners sublet to gubbamint knowing tax dollars will be kicked back for private asset improvements…….free money to fix an elitist’s building (look at repetitive names of commercial building owners, hint hint)

  • Do we need another increase in sales tax? We’ll be at 15% in no time.

    Why aren’t the Board of Supervisors following through if this was enacted back in 2008? Why aren’t they taking care of the nuts and bolts of running policy? Who’s minding–much less running– the company store?

    When is enough, enough? Folks, maybe it’s time to vote out our supervisors. Not just one, but a majority so at least there would be some basic competence going on.

    The BOS have been routinely ignoring these important things over and over again to instead support each others’ pet projects and agendas– as if they were in a high school popularity contest, letting the County Administrative Officer figure it out.

    • Sales tax will not reach 15%, there is a law that stops the addition of local sales tax increases to be limited to 2% above the state sales tax.

  • I got news for the justice department we have a lot more problems than A.D.A around here.

  • Mark my word. The first essential service to be cut to pay for this bullshit will be in the public safety sector. The county is not going to take an EBT card away from a crackhead single parent.

  • Anyone ever try to go to a doctor appointment at Mental Health on Wood Street? ADA nightmare. (For the patient)

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Anyone hear about how certain downtown local elitist commercial building owners have colluded with gubbamint and its services knowing gubbamint would finance private building asset improvements……the rental owner gets richer off taxpayer subsidies…….

  • I have been to the planning department many times over the years and have seen big trucks parked in the handicap spots with no stickers handicapped spots are at the front door people act like they can’t walk 20 freaking feet when I see a $50,000 pick up parked in the handicapped spot and a and 20-year-old boy getting out of it it’s bullshit

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Ya, it is bullshit to see any person acting like they are disabled and are not……same goes for the disabled fuck allowing a non disabled fuck to operate the disabled fuck’s vehicle, giving the impression that the non disabled fuck is disabled….happens all the time.

      Oh, and pregos are not disabled, they simply chose to become inconvenienced but claim social justice through false victimization that being prego is a disability…….

  • Sorry it’s been a while I guess they’re hundred thousand dollar pick ups now

  • How do these conversations get so far off track

  • President Rodrigo Duterte is the only one who gets it.

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Maybe it’s cheaper to simply close down the county buildings?

    Getting ramps built using Humboldt labor is just going to bring more lawsuits when the shoddy construction harms someone.

    In the long run it’s cheaper to just close down the buildings and call it good.

    • Henchman Of Justice

      Exactly, it is not as if the service is genuine anyway, nor effective…….shit, look at all the proposed local taxes on top of the already implemented local taxes……obviously history says nothing is effective with gubbamint on a mass scale…..

  • I have searched & searched, but I can’t find where it says the govt may tell citizens how to run their businesses or lives. Neither can I find where it says govt can expand their authority anyway the wish to. I have read that govt is limited to 17 delegated jobs & that they can pass laws & amendments, treaties & acts that stay within the defined bounds of the jobs delegated. Where oh where in the articles does it say govt can mind your business instead of their own? Where oh where does it say they can expand outside the confines of the contract? I’m not seeing it.
    The businesses who can meet the needs of their customers prosper. If a business hasn’t converted on their own free will, let the customers do the walking. Forcing businesses to meet the needs of their customers is not the American way.
    Unless I read the Constitution wrong. http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/

    • Honeydew Bridge Chump

      Implied consent is their basis…

      They also won’t provide evidence that just because you are physically within certain boundaries that their codes apply to you.

      Mark Stevens has some interesting cases regarding demand for proof of jurisdiction.

      One of these cases was won regarding medical grow in Hawaii.

      Check out the no state project and Hawaii cop block for videos of procedure on this.

      • That sounds good for a likely excuse, but it holds no water. Only laws, acts & treaty’s made within the confines of the original compact (contract, constitution) are constitutional. All others are to be considered repugnant to the constitution and are to be considered null & void.

        I’ll google the leads anyway, thanks.

  • The ADA was promulgated in 1990 under George H.W. Bush. How’s that for a history lesson for the haters?

    • States can nullify acts. Acts have to be within the confines of the original compact. The original compact has no clause for citizen intrusion. Quite the opposite in fact.

  • What a racket. I imagine one of our well known local ambulance chasing scumbag lawyers was behind this and almost all of the “settlement” money will go to him. Access for people with disabilities is important, but it needs to be blended in with all of the other important issues. Their issues shouldn’t trump everybody else.

  • Ponder this for a minute. Had the county of complied years back, the buildings would be mandatorily demolished today had sb32 gone through. The bill will be back, just like they always do with infringing bills.
    Bob Marley song playing in my head. Stand up, Stand up, Stand up for your rights..

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