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# 76 III-1.

8000 May 25, 1993 DJ 202-PL-00035

Mr. Rod W. Simmons, AIA HKS, Inc. 1111 Plaza of the Americas North, LB 307 Dallas, Texas 75201 Dear Mr. Simmons: I am responding to your letter asking for clarification of the requirements of title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), Pub. L. 101-336, 104 Stat. 327 (July 26, 1990), 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq., and this Department's regulation implementing title III, 56 Fed. Reg. 35544, to be codified at 28 C.F.R. pt. 36. The ADA authorizes the Department to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities that have rights or responsibilities under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA and the Department's regulation. However, this technical assistance does not constitute a determination by the Department of Justice of your rights or responsibilities under the ADA, and it is not binding on the Department of Justice. Your letter notes that the ADA and this Department's regulation provide that the ADA does not invalidate any Federal, State, or local law that provides greater or equal protection to people with disabilities, and asks us to clarify how we would expect this provision to apply in specific fact situations. In your first question, you ask which law to apply when there is a Federal, State, or local law that is broader in scope than the ADA, i.e., that law covers entities not covered by the

ADA, but it establishes technical requirements that are not as stringent as the ADA's. If a particular facility is subject to a Federal, State, or local law, but is not within the scope of the ADA (for example, it is a private club) then only the requirements of the other statute would apply. If a particular building is covered by the ADA and another statute, then both laws apply. To meet the requirements of both laws, you should comply with the technical requirements of each law that provide the greatest degree of access. Your second question addresses remedies. You ask whether, if a Federal, State, or local law provides greater access than the ADA, but has less significant remedies, the ADA will be applied to enforce the substantive requirements of the other statute. The ADA enforcement process may be used only to enforce the requirements of the ADA. However, it is possible that in a situation where the failure to provide access may violate more than one statute, an aggrieved party may file a single lawsuit alleging violations of the ADA, and each of the other applicable statutes, and seek the remedies available under each statute. In this situation, the appropriate remedy will be determined by the court. Finally, you ask if the failure of a governmental entity to enforce laws that provide for greater access than the ADA violates the ADA. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability against individuals with disabilities in the programs, services, and activities of State and local governments. States are required to comply with title II, and may be held liable for noncompliance. It is possible that, in some circumstances, a failure to enforce an existing State law could be found to violate title II. In addition, the operation of State statutes or case law may affect the State's liability for failure to enforce State laws or regulations. I hope that this information is helpful to you. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section