AUG 9 1993 DJ 202-PL-612

Mr. Marc Fiedler Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & Regan 2020 K Street, N.W. Suite 840 Washington, D.C. 20006 Dear Mr. Fiedler: This letter is in response to your inquiry of July 12, 1993, about whether the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq. ("ADA"), applies to places of public accommodation housed in federally owned buildings or facilities. The ADA authorizes the Department of Justice to provide technical assistance to individuals and entities having rights or obligations under the Act. This letter provides informal guidance to assist you in understanding the ADA's requirements. However, it does not constitute a legal interpretation or legal advice, and it is not binding on the Department of Justice. You are correct to assume that a privately owned, operated, or leased place of public accommodation which is housed in a federally owned facility may be covered by the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4151 et seq. ("ABA"), and may have to comply with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards. However, wholly apart from the question of whether such a place of public accommodation must comply with the ABA, it is covered by, and must comply with, the ADA. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability by any person who owns, operates, leases, or leases to, a place of public accommodation. 42 U.S.C. 12182(a). See also 28 C.F.R. 36.201(a). Thus, even if a private entity does not own the facility housing a place of public accommodation, if that private entity operates or leases a place of public accommodation, it is covered by title III of the ADA. The fact that the landlord in a particular case is not covered by the ADA -- such as the federal government in the case you describe --

does not negate the ADA's coverage of the private entities which lease or operate places of public accommodation within the facility. Thus, there may be cases where a place of public cc: Records, Chrono, Wodatch, Magagna, Contois, FOIA MAF Udd:Contois:PL:Fiedler 01-02504 - 2accommodation operated by a private entity is covered both by the ADA and ABA (because it is housed in a federal facility). I hope this information is useful to you in understanding the requirements of the ADA. Sincerely,

John L. Wodatch Chief Public Access Section

Enclosure Title III regulation



JULY 12, 1993 WRITER'S DIRECT DIAL (202) 822-1868 Joan Magagna, Esquire Deputy Chief Public Access Section Civil Rights Division United States Department of Justice P.O. Box 66738 Washington, D.C. 20035-6738 Re: Request for Interpretive Letter or Amicus Participation

Dear Ms. Magagna: I am writing to request an interpretive letter from your office or your office's involvement on an amicus curiae basis with respect to an issue that has arisen in the case of Fiedler v. American Multi-Cinema, Inc., Civil Action No. 92-0486 (TPJ), now pending in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The case involves claims for compensatory damages and injunctive relief under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the District of Columbia Human Rights Act, and the common law by myself, a wheelchair-user, against American Multi-cinema, Inc. (AMC) which operates the AMC Union Station Nine Theatres in Washington, D.C. The claims arise from the fact that seating for wheelchair-users in all nine theaters of the Union Station multiplex (one of which has a seating capacity greater than 300) is clustered in or behind the back row of seats. The action seeks dispersal of wheelchair seating in each of the theaters. 01-02506 Joan Magagna, Esquire Deputy Chief July 12, 1993 Page 2

AMC has now moved for summary judgment. One of their arguments is that they are exempt from compliance with Title II of the ADA because the Union Station Nine Theatres is located in a federal building and is leased from the federal government. In light of the foregoing, the following question is presented: Is a private entity that meets the definition of a place of public accommodation under Title II of the ADA and the Justice Department's rules and regulations exempt from the application of the statute and rules by virtue of the fact that it leases its space from the federal government and is located in a federal building and therefore is required under the Architectural Barriers Act to comply with the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards? I would appreciate it if your office could issue an interpretive letter on this matter or could enter an appearance as an amicus curiae to respond to AMC's argument. Our response

to the motion for summary judgment is due on August 31, 1993. For your information, I am enclosing a copy of the Amended Complaint, the Answer to the Amended Complaint, AMC's motion for summary judgment, AMC's motion for leave to file an amended answer to the Amended Complaint, and the most recent scheduling order. Thank you kindly for your attention to this matter. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you need further information. Very truly yours,

Marc Fiedler MF/jmm Enclosures