SAN FRANCISCO – The United African-Asian Abilities Club in San Diego has filed a suit against some apartment owners claiming they have provided no accommodations for the handicapped based on website data.
The alleged lack of these accommodations was originally confirmed by analyzing the owners’ internet site by the plaintiffs and violations were later confirmed by in-person visits to the property.
The United AAA Club, et al. are represented by David C. Wakefield of San Diego, who filed the suit on April 25 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. A jury trial has been requested.
Malek Property Management Inc., and other named individuals associated with that company, are alleged to have filed the U.S. Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, the California Unruh Civil Rights Act, the California Disabled Persons Act and Title III of the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
"The plaintiffs allege that the due process rights of the defendants have not been violated because the Department of Justice has informed the public that websites must comply with the ADA since 1996. The Plaintiffs allege that the Department of Justice no longer desires to issue regulations regarding the ADA and websites," the complaint states.
The suit states that the defendants' property is an apartment complex consisting of four or more residential units in Menlo Park.
The plaintiffs also allege that there is disparate treatment on the internet related to the amenities being offered to people without disabilities and people with disabilities. As named in the compliant, “The tow signage was not installed. The accessible parking space had an access aisle, which was not van accessible. The aisle did not have a no parking sign included in the access aisle. The office had a high threshold. There was no International Symbol of Accessibility signage. The internet does not state the accessible amenities at all.”
Also, plaintiffs say that the equal housing opportunity statement is misleading because the property is not completely accessible.
According to the complaint, "due to this denial of full and equal access, plaintiffs and other individuals with disabilities were injured.”
The plaintiffs ask the court "to enjoin defendants to cease their discriminatory practices in housing rentals, and housing management services and for defendants to implement written policies and methods to respond to reasonable accommodation and reasonable modification requests,” the complaint states.
Plaintiffs also asked the court to require defendants "to remove all barriers to equal access to the disabled plaintiffs in, at, or on their facilities, including but not limited to architectural and communicative barriers."