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Disabled in Action v. Board of Elections

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

May 14, 2014

DISABLED IN ACTION, a nonprofit organization, UNITED SPINAL ASSOCIATION, a nonprofit organization, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
BOARD OF ELECTIONS IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK, FREDERIC M. UMANE, in his official capacity as President of the Board of Elections in the City of New York, Defendants-Appellants

Argued December 12, 2013

Page 190

Appeal from a final order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Batts, J.), requiring defendants-appellants to comply with a comprehensive remedial plan to address barriers to access for people with disabilities at New York City polling sites. The order was entered after the district court granted summary judgment to plaintiffs-appellees, finding that defendants-appellants had violated Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

STUART SEABORN, Disability Rights Advocates, Berkeley, CA (Sid Wolinsky and Christine Chuang, Disability Rights Advocates, Berkeley, CA, Julia Miriam Pinover, Disability Rights Advocates, New York, NY, Kevin Mintzer, The Law Office of Kevin Mintzer, P.C., New York, NY, and Mariann Meier Wang, Cuti Hecker Wang LLP, New York, NY, on the brief), for Plaintiffs-Appellees.

DRAKE A. COLLEY (Edward F.X. Hart, on the brief), for Michael A. Cardozo, Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, New York, NY, for Defendants-Appellants.

ALICIA M. SIMMONS, Assistant U.S. Attorney (Benjamin H. Torrance, Assistant U.S. Attorney, on the brief), for Preet Bharara, United States Attorney of the Southern District of New York, New York, NY, and Jocelyn Samuels, Acting Assistant Attorney General (Dennis J. Dimsey and Sasha Samberg-Champion, Attorneys), Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice, for Amicus Curiae United States of America.

Before: CABRANES, HALL, and CHIN, Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 191

Chin, Circuit Judge.

The Board of Elections in the City of New York (the " BOE" ) is responsible for identifying and designating poll sites that are accessible to voters with disabilities in New York City. In this case, plaintiffs-appellees, non-profit organizations representing people with mobility or vision disabilities (collectively " plaintiffs" ), allege that BOE is failing to provide them with meaningful access to its voting program, in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (the " Rehabilitation Act" ), 29 U.S.C. § 794(a), and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the " ADA" ), 42 U.S.C. § 12132.

The district court (Batts, J .) concluded that pervasive and recurring barriers to access exist at poll sites operated by BOE and granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. After giving the parties the opportunity to develop and propose a joint plan for relief, the district court ordered a remedial plan to address BOE's violations of federal law. We conclude that the district court properly granted plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment. Moreover, we find that the district court did not abuse its discretion in ordering the remedial plan. Accordingly, we affirm.

STATEMENT OF THE CASE

A. The Facts

As the district court noted, the facts set forth below are not in substantial dispute. See United Spinal Ass'n v. Bd. of Elections in the City of New York, 8 ...


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