Federal - HR 620

A bill to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to promote compliance through education, to clarify the requirements for demand letters, to provide for a notice and cure period before the commencement of a private civil action, and for other purposes.

Introduced

January 24, 2017

Description

A bill to amend the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 to promote compliance through education, to clarify the requirements for demand letters, to provide for a notice and cure period before the commencement of a private civil action, and for other purposes.

Our Position

Monitoring

Original Sponsor 1

Co-Sponsors 52

Latest Actions See More/Less

  • Sept. 14, 2017 — Additional cosponsor(s): 1

    Rice, K. (D-N.Y.)
  • Sept. 8, 2017 — Additional cosponsor(s): 28

    Bacon, (R-Neb.)Gohmert, (R-Texas)Schweikert, (R-Ariz.)
    Bilirakis, (R-Fla.)Gonzalez-Colon, J. (R-P.R.)Smith, J. (R-Mo.)
    Brooks, M. (R-Ala.)Graves, G. (R-La.)Stewart, (R-Utah)
    Burgess, (R-Texas)Grothman, (R-Wis.)Stivers, (R-Ohio)
    Byrne, (R-Ala.)Hunter, (R-Calif.)Tipton, (R-Colo.)
    Carter, E.L. (R-Ga.)Johnson, M. (R-La.)Valadao, (R-Calif.)
    Crawford, (R-Ark.)Lamborn, (R-Colo.)Walker, (R-N.C.)
    Curbelo, (R-Fla.)Marchant, (R-Texas)Williams, (R-Texas)
    Duncan, Jeff (R-S.C.)Moolenaar, (R-Mich.)
    Gallagher, (R-Wis.)Nunes, (R-Calif.)
  • Sept. 7, 2017 — Full committee consideration and markup held by the House Judiciary Committee.

    Sept. 7, 2017 — Committee Vote: Disability Law Compliance — Compensatory and Punitive Damages
      Conyers, D-Mich. —

    Amendment that would allow courts to award appropriate relief, damages (both economic and noneconomic) and punitive damages the court determines is appropriate.

    Amendment that would allow courts to award appropriate relief, damages (both economic and noneconomic) and punitive damages the court determines is appropriate.

    Rejected 9-19.

    Sept. 7, 2017 — Committee Vote: Disability Law Compliance — Liquidated Damages
      Cohen, D-Tenn. —

    Amendment that would strike language that would bar civil actions based on the failure to remove an architectural barrier to access to an existing public accommodation unless the owner or operator fails to make substantial progress in removing the barrier within 120 days of the date the owner or operator provides a written description outlining improvements that will be made to remove the barrier.

    It also would direct courts to award liquidated damages of up to $1,000 per day for each day that an owner or operator fails to remove the barrier after the beginning of the 120-day period.

    Amendment that would strike language that would bar civil actions based on the failure to remove an architectural barrier to access to an existing public accommodation unless the owner or operator fails to make substantial progress in removing the barrier within 120 days of the date the owner or operator provides a written description outlining improvements that will be made to remove the barrier.

    It also would direct courts to award liquidated damages of up to $1,000 per day for each day that an owner or operator fails to remove the barrier after the beginning of the 120-day period.

    Rejected 9-15.

    Sept. 7, 2017 — Committee Vote: Disability Law Compliance — Civil Actions Against Small Entities
      Cicilline, D-R.I. —

    Amendment that would add a provision that would limit the bill's provisions to civil actions against business owners or operators with five or fewer full-time employees.

    Amendment that would add a provision that would limit the bill's provisions to civil actions against business owners or operators with five or fewer full-time employees.

    Rejected 8-19.

    Sept. 7, 2017 — Committee Vote: Disability Law Compliance — Barriers to Access
      Swalwell, D-Calif. —

    Amendment that would require written notification to business owners on architectural barriers to public accommodations before a civil action could be filed under the ADA. Under the bill, owners would have 60 days to respond with a written plan for improvement, and an additional 120 days to correct the deficiency or demonstrate sufficient progress towards a correction.

    The amendment would add language that would require the complaint to state if the attorney had filed five or more actions in the past 30 days or if the plaintiff had been a plaintiff in five or more similar actions in the past 30 days.

    It would allow the defendant to file a motion to have the cases be dismissed without prejudice if:

    " Either the plaintiff or the lawyer has been found to file multiple duplicative cases.

    " No evidence of good faith in the civil action.

    " The defendant was not given prior written notice.

    The amendment would require an opportunity for both parties to present evidence which may include a hearing.The court would be required to dismiss the case without prejudice if it finds that prior civil actions brought by the attorney for the plaintiff showed a pattern of duplicative lawsuits, lawsuits intended to only cause nuisance, or lawsuits without factual support; if there is no evidence of good faith expectations in the civil action; if the defendant had no reason to believe and received no notice that the business was in violation regarding barriers to access.

    The amendment also would add language to express the sense of Congress that the courts should make determinations as quickly as possible to avoid prejudice and to maintain judicial efficiency.

    Amendment that would require written notification to business owners on architectural barriers to public accommodations before a civil action could be filed under the ADA. Under the bill, owners would have 60 days to respond with a written plan for improvement, and an additional 120 days to correct the deficiency or demonstrate sufficient progress towards a correction.

    The amendment would add language that would require the complaint to state if the attorney had filed five or more actions in the past 30 days or if the plaintiff had been a plaintiff in five or more similar actions in the past 30 days.

    It would allow the defendant to file a motion to have the cases be dismissed without prejudice if:

    " Either the plaintiff or the lawyer has been found to file multiple duplicative cases.

    " No evidence of good faith in the civil action.

    " The defendant was not given prior written notice.

    The amendment would require an opportunity for both parties to present evidence which may include a hearing.The court would be required to dismiss the case without prejudice if it finds that prior civil actions brought by the attorney for the plaintiff showed a pattern of duplicative lawsuits, lawsuits intended to only cause nuisance, or lawsuits without factual support; if there is no evidence of good faith expectations in the civil action; if the defendant had no reason to believe and received no notice that the business was in violation regarding barriers to access.

    The amendment also would add language to express the sense of Congress that the courts should make determinations as quickly as possible to avoid prejudice and to maintain judicial efficiency.

    Rejected by voice vote.

    Sept. 7, 2017 — Committee Vote: Disability Law Compliance — Written Notice
      Raskin, D-Md. —

    Amendment that would strike language requiring a written notice from the plaintiff to the business owner originally listing the following requirements:

    • The specific circumstances in which the individual was denied access.
    • The address of the property where the violation occurred.
    • Whether there was a request for removal of the barrier.
    • If the barrier is permanent or temporary.

    The amendment would only require the written notice to include the property of the address and a description of the barrier.

    Amendment that would strike language requiring a written notice from the plaintiff to the business owner originally listing the following requirements:

    • The specific circumstances in which the individual was denied access.
    • The address of the property where the violation occurred.
    • Whether there was a request for removal of the barrier.
    • If the barrier is permanent or temporary.
    • The amendment would only require the written notice to include the property of the address and a description of the barrier.

      Withdrawn without objection. Note: <p>The written notice is required to be sent before legal action can be taken.</p>

      Sept. 7, 2017 — Committee Vote: Disability Law Compliance — Vote to Report

      Require plaintiffs seeking civil suits arising from inadequate access to public accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide written notice to owners and operators of businesses before a civil action could begin.

      Under the bill, owners would have 60 days to respond with a written plan for improvement, and an additional 120 days to correct the deficiency or demonstrate sufficient progress after written notice is provided. The written notice would have to specify the circumstance in which the individual was denied access including the address of the property, the specific architectural barrier, whether a request for assistance was made and whether or not the barrier is temporary or permanent.

      The bill also would direct the Justice Department, in consultation with state and local governments and property owners, to develop a program that would educate state and local governments and property owners on efficient and effective strategies for promoting access to public accommodations for people with disabilities.

      The Judicial Conference, in consultation with the property owners and representatives of the disability rights community, would also be required to develop a program to promote the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms including mediation.

      Require plaintiffs seeking civil suits arising from inadequate access to public accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide written notice to owners and operators of businesses before a civil action could begin.

      Under the bill, owners would have 60 days to respond with a written plan for improvement, and an additional 120 days to correct the deficiency or demonstrate sufficient progress after written notice is provided. The written notice would have to specify the circumstance in which the individual was denied access including the address of the property, the specific architectural barrier, whether a request for assistance was made and whether or not the barrier is temporary or permanent.

      The bill also would direct the Justice Department, in consultation with state and local governments and property owners, to develop a program that would educate state and local governments and property owners on efficient and effective strategies for promoting access to public accommodations for people with disabilities.

      The Judicial Conference, in consultation with the property owners and representatives of the disability rights community, would also be required to develop a program to promote the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms including mediation.

      Ordered reported favorably to the full House 15-9.

  • Aug. 8, 2017 — Additional cosponsor(s): 2

    Costa, (D-Calif.)Smith, L. (R-Texas)
  • July 20, 2017 — Cosponsor(s) withdrawn: 1

    Suozzi, (D-N.Y.)
  • June 15, 2017 — Additional cosponsor(s): 2

    Roby, (R-Ala.)Suozzi, (D-N.Y.)
  • May 22, 2017 — Additional cosponsor(s): 2

    Coffman, (R-Colo.)Sewell, (D-Ala.)
  • May 19, 2017 — Additional cosponsor(s): 2

    Emmer, (R-Minn.)Rush, (D-Ill.)
  • April 5, 2017 — Additional cosponsor(s): 1

    Issa, (R-Calif.)
  • March 29, 2017 — Additional cosponsor(s): 2

    Mitchell, (R-Mich.)Sinema, (D-Ariz.)
  • March 28, 2017 — Additional cosponsor(s): 2

    Denham, (R-Calif.)Foster, (D-Ill.)
  • March 22, 2017 — Additional cosponsor(s): 2

    Collins, D. (R-Ga.)Correa, (D-Calif.)
  • Feb. 27, 2017 — Additional cosponsor(s): 2

    Abraham, (R-La.)Aguilar, (D-Calif.)
  • Jan. 24, 2017 — Original cosponsor(s): 5

    Bera, (D-Calif.)Conaway, (R-Texas)Speier, (D-Calif.)
    Calvert, (R-Calif.)Peters, S. (D-Calif.)
  • Jan. 24, 2017 — Read twice and referred to: House Judiciary.Congressional Record p. H682

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