IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE [EASTERN, WESTERN OR WHATEVER] DISTRICT OF
| [Your Name(s)- people suing]
| Civil ActionNo. 97-CV- [Court will give this number to you.]|
| [Defendant's Name(s)-people you are suing]
| Pro Se [means: without lawyer]|
COMES NOW the plaintiff(s), [Your Name(s)], appearing pro se, and for
a complaint against the defendant[s] above named, states, alleges, and
avers as follows:
1. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. sections
1331 and 1343.
2. This action is commenced pursuant to 2201 and 2202 and 42 U.S.C.,
3. The plaintiffs, [Your Name(s)] are citizens of the State of [Your
State], United States of America.
4. Defendants, [name] , own and at all times pertinent to the complaint
have owned a commercial business [insert e.g., movie house, shopping market,
etc.] at [ street, city and state address].
5. Plaintiffs are individuals with disabilities that cause a mobility
impairment. [Your Name(s)] use(s) a motorized wheelchair [insert other,
if relevant] for mobility. All Plaintiffs want to [eat, do business in,
etc.] defendants' [restaurant, retail store, etc.] but the establishment
is inaccessible to persons using wheelchairs.
6. On July 26, 1990, Congress enacted the Americans with Disabilities
Act, 42 U.S.C. section 12101, et seq., establishing the most important
civil rights law for persons with disabilities in our country's history.
7. The Congressional statutory findings include:
- a. "some 43,000,000 Americans have one of more physical or mental
disabilities . . .;
- b. "historically, society has tended to isolate and segregate
individuals with disabilities and despite some improvements, such forms
of discrimination against individuals with disabilities continue to be
a serious and pervasive social problem;
- c. "discrimination against individuals with disabilities ties
persists in such critical areas as . . .public accommodations;
- d. "individuals with disabilities continually encounter various
forms of discrimination, including . . .the discriminatory effects of architectural
. . .
- e. "the continuing existence of unfair and unnecessary discrimination
and prejudice denies people with disabilities the opportunity . . . to
pursue those opportunities for which our free society is justifiably famous
. . ."42 U.S.C. section l2101(a).
8. Congress went on to state explicitly the purpose of the Americans
with Disabilities Act to be:
- a. "to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for
the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities;
- b. "to provide clear, strong, consistent, enforceable standards
addressing discrimination against individuals with disabilities; and
- c. "to invoke the sweep of Congressional authority . . . to regulate
commerce, in order to address the major areas of discrimination faced day-to-day
by people with disabilities.'' 42 U.S.C. section 12101(b).
9. Congress gave commercial businesses one and a half years to implement
the Act. The effective date was January 26, 1992.
10. Nevertheless, [defendant's name] at [address] has not eliminated
[name of barrier] barrier that prevents persons using [wheelchairs, canes,
etc.] from [entering, using] this commercial establishment.[If you have
a photo of the barrier, xerox it and write "A photo of the barrier
is attached as Exhibit "A".]
11. One of the most important parts of the Americans with Disabilities
Act is Title III, known as the "Public Accommodations and Services
Operated by Private Entities." 42 U.S.C. section 12181.
12. Congress included a "[type of establishment]" as a public
accommodation covered by the Act. 42 U.S.C. section 12181.
13. Defendant's business at address] is a [type of establishment].
14. As relevant to the present action, discrimination includes, "a
failure to remove architectural barriers . . . that are structural in nature,
in existing facilities . . . where such is readily achievable.'' 42 U.S.C..
15. The U.S.. Department of Justice, in promulgating the federal regulations
to implement this Act, defines "readily achievable" to mean "easily
accomplishable and able to be carried out without much difficulty or expense,"
including ["installing an entrance ramp or whatever is needed]."28
C.F.R.. section 36.304(a) - (c).
16. Other commercial facilities similar to the defendant's have made
similar modifications, like what [we, I] ask here. Defendant could easily
make its business accessible but has chosen not to comply with The Americans
with Disabilities Act.
17. To assist businesses with complying with the ADA, Congress has enacted
a tax credit for small businesses and a tax deduction for all businesses.
See Section 44 and 190 of the IRS Code. An eligible small business is allowed
a tax credit equal to 50% of the amount of the eligible access expenditures
between $250 and $10,500 for any tax year. A business that removes architectural
barriers e.g., by modifying ramps, grading, entrances, doors and doorways,
may receive an annual tax deduction of up to $15,000 each year.
18. Plaintiffs want to [eat, do business, shop, etc.] in the defendant's
[restaurant, store, etc.].
FIRST CLAIM OF RELIEF
19. Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. section
12101, et seq., and the federal regulations promulgated pursuant to this
Act, 28 C.F.R. §36.304, defendant was to make the commercial facillty
at [address] accessible by January 26, 1992. To date, defendant has not.
20. By failing to remove the architectural barrier where such removal
is readily achievable, defendant discriminates against plaintiffs and violates
the Americans with Disabilities Act.
WHEREFORE, the plaintiffs, [Your Name(s)], pray that the Court issue
an injunction enjoining the defendant from continuing its discrimination
and that the Court award plaintiffs such additional or alternative relief
as may be just, proper, and equitable, including costs.
- [Your signature]
- [YOUR NAME]
- [Your Address]
- PRO SE
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