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# 168 III-8.

000 May 16, 1995

XXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXX XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX XXXXX Dear Mr. XXXX: Your letter to President Clinton concerning the complaint you filed with this office under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was referred to this office for response. You are concerned about the delay in handling your complaint. You also raise questions about a complaint you filed with the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) and about enforcement of accessible parking regulations. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to investigate alleged violations of title II and title III of the ADA, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability by public entities, public accommodations, and commercial facilities. In addition, the Department is responsible for enforcing title I of the ADA when a public employer is engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of disability, or when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has referred an individual complaint for enforcement when EEOC has found that there is reasonable cause to believe a violation has occurred, and EEOC has failed to obtain a conciliation agreement. Within the Department, ADA enforcement is assigned to the Civil Rights Division's Disability Rights Section, which is also responsible for enforcing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and other Federal statutes that prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability. Since the effective date of the ADA, the Department has received several thousand allegations of ADA violations. The Disability Rights Section now has more than 1000 open investigations. We understand your concerns regarding the

complaint you filed with this office, but be assured that your complaint is not being ignored. We have reviewed your complaint and determined that it is complete and timely, and that we have jurisdiction to investigate it under the ADA. A Department of Justice employee will contact you about your complaint in the future. Unfortunately, due to limited resources, we cannot project a date certain when we will begin our investigation. Other enforcement options are available if you do not wish to wait until we begin our investigation. As an alternative to investigation by a Federal agency, you may file a title II lawsuit in the appropriate Federal district court. You do not need any approval letter from the Department of Justice before proceeding. You also may seek to resolve your complaint through alternative dispute resolution. You may consult with the State or local authorities involved, disability rights organizations, or organizations that provide alternative dispute resolution services (such as mediation or negotiation). The local or State bar association may be able to give the names of private attorneys or mediation services. Regarding the complaint you filed with the Access Board, we contacted that agency and were assured that the ramp you requested to be built into your town's Post Office was completed. If you have further questions regarding the disposition of that case, you should contact the Access Board. Finally, enforcement of parking regulations is a matter governed by State or local law. The ADA does not contain provisions specifically requiring law enforcement officials to ensure that accessible parking spaces are occupied only by persons with disabilities. Decisions made by local law enforcement officials as to how to allocate scarce enforcement resources are a matter of local prosecutorial discretion that typically would not raise ADA concerns. I hope this information has been helpful to you. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Disability Rights Section