DJ# 204-37-359


  1. The parties to this Settlement Agreement are the United States of America and the City of Detroit, Michigan (City).
  1. This matter arises from a complaint received by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan alleging that the Adams Butzel Recreation Center (Center), which is part of the City’s Recreation Department, discriminated against a child based on his disability, as well as the child’s mother based on her association with an individual with a disability.  Specifically, the complaint alleged that the Center violated title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. § 12131 et seq., when it failed to modify its policy banning children from locker rooms designated for the opposite sex to allow a mother to help her pre-school aged son, who has a disability, to use the locker room facilities.


  1. The United States Department of Justice (“United States”), of which the United States Attorney’s Office is a component, is responsible for enforcing title II of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131 -12134 and its implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. Part 35.
  1. Complainants are a child with a disability within the meaning of the ADA and his parent. 42 U.S.C. § 12102; 28 C.F.R. § 35.104.
  1. The City of Detroit is a “public entity” as defined by the ADA.  See 42 U.S.C. § 12131; 28 C.F.R. § 35.104. 
  2. Under Title II, no qualified individual with a disability, shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs or activities of a public entity, or be subjected to discrimination by any public entity.  28 C.F.R. § 35.130(a).  Public entities are required to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the public entity can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program or activity.  28 C.F.R. § 35.130(b)(7).
  1. The United States is authorized to investigate alleged violations of title II of the ADA and its implementing regulations, to attempt to resolve such investigations informally through a settlement agreement, and if unsuccessful, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements.  If voluntary compliance cannot be achieved, the Attorney General is authorized under 42 U.S.C. § 12133 to bring a civil action enforcing Title II of the ADA.  See 42 U.S.C. § 12133; 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F. 
  1. The City has fully cooperated with the United States’ investigation.
  1. The United States and the City agree that it is in the parties’ best interests, and the United States believes that it is in the public interest, to resolve this complaint on mutually agreeable terms without litigation and have therefore agreed to the terms of this Agreement.
  2. By entering into this agreement, the City does not admit that it violated the Americans with Disabilities Act or the state's equivalent (Michigan's Persons with Disabilities Act). It is expressly understood that this agreement pertains to only the items identified herein and shall not be construed as an admission of fault or liability as to any claim or proceeding which exists or may arise and be pursued by any person, agency or entity. It is understood that this agreement is for settlement purposes only and may not be used in any manner other than as stated in the agreement.
  1. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement, the United States agrees to refrain from filing a civil suit in this matter, except as provided in paragraph 21 of this Agreement.

  3. Consistent with the ADA, the City will not discriminate against any qualified individual with a disability, including autism spectrum disorder, on the basis of disability, and will provide all qualified participants an equal opportunity to participate in its programs, services and activities.  The City will also not discriminate against any individual based on his or her association with an individual with a disability.
  4. The City agrees to make reasonable modifications to its policies, practices or procedures to ensure that children with disabilities, and their parents,  may participate in all of the programs, services, or activities provided by the Center.
  1. Immediately, as of the effective date of this Agreement, the Center will adopt, maintain and enforce the policy that is attached to this agreement as “Attachment A,” and keep the policy in place for the duration of this agreement.   
  2. Within ten (10) days of the effective date of this agreement, the policy that is attached to this agreement as “Attachment A” will be prominently posted at the Center near the Center’s locker rooms and in any place where the Center’s opposite-sex child policy is posted. 
  3. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this agreement, the City will provide training to all Center employees on the policy and their obligations under the ADA, and will document that each employee received this training.
  4. Within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City will return all dues and fees paid by the Complainant for membership at the Center.
  5. The City will notify the United States in writing when it has completed the actions described in paragraphs 15-17 of this Agreement, and will provide documentation that Center employees were trained on the new policy.  If any issues arise that affect the anticipated completion dates set for such actions, the City will immediately notify the United States of the issue(s).
  6. The City will not discriminate or retaliate against any person because of his or her participation in this matter.

  8. During the term of this Agreement, the City will immediately notify the United States if any individual submits a complaint, charge, grievance, or files a lawsuit, alleging that any of its recreation centers failed to provide reasonable modifications to any individual with a disability.  Such notification must be provided in writing within fifteen (15) days of receipt and will include, at a minimum, the nature of the allegation, the name of the individual making the allegation, and any documentation possessed by the City or any of its agents or representatives relevant to the allegation.
  1. The United States may review compliance with this Agreement or title II of the ADA at any time. If the United States believes that the City has failed to comply in a timely manner with any requirement of this Agreement without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement with the United States for a modification of the relevant terms, the United States will so notify the district in writing, and will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the United States is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within thirty (30) days of the date it provides notice to the district, it may institute a civil action in federal district court to enforce the terms of this Agreement or title II of the ADA and may, in such action, seek any relief available under law.
  2. Failure by the United States to enforce any provision of this Agreement is not a waiver of its right to enforce that or any other provision of this Agreement.
  1. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the United States and the City on the matter raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement shall be enforceable. This Agreement does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other federal law. This Agreement does not affect the continuing responsibility of the City to comply with all aspects of the ADA.
  2. This Agreement will remain in effect for two (2) years from its effective date.
  3. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

Agreed and Consented to:


United States Attorney
Eastern District of Michigan


/s/ Sarah Karpinen                                
Assistant United States Attorney
United States Attorney's Office
Eastern District of Michigan
Civil Rights Unit
211 W. Fort St., Suite 2001
Detroit, MI 48226


Dated: 4/4/26




/s/ Letitia C. Jones                                     
Assistant Corporation Counsel
City of Detroit Law Department
2 Woodward, Suite 500
Detroit, MI 48226



Dated:  3/31/16