D.J. No. 202-79-351

Press Release

    1. The parties to this Settlement Agreement are the United States of America and the Landmark Hotel Group (“Landmark”), located at 249 Central Park Avenue, Suite 320, Virginia Beach, Virginia 23462.
    2. The United States Department of Justice (“Department”) is responsible for enforcing Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189, and the regulation implementing Title III, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36.
    3. Title III of the ADA prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations of any place of public accommodation. 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a); 28 C.F.R. 36.201(a).
    4. Landmark is a hotel management company, which owns and operates the Holiday Inn Express (“Hotel”), located at 1813 West Mercury Boulevard, Hampton, Virginia 23666. The Hotel is open to the public and is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7)(A) and 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.
    1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under Title III of the ADA with the Department.
    2. The complainant is a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”), who uses a service animal. The complainant is an individual with disabilities, within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12102 and 28 C.F.R. § 36.105.
    3. On or about October 1, 2018, as the complainant attempted to check into the Hotel, the desk clerk requested to see documentation regarding the complainant’s service dog.  The complainant informed the desk clerk that the ADA prohibited the Hotel from requesting such documentation.  Both the Hotel desk clerk and Hotel manager insisted that service dogs were not permitted without documentation.  The complainant left the Hotel and found a hotel in Newport News, Virginia, which permitted his service dog without requiring any documentation.
    4. Because of the denial of access to the Hotel, the complainant felt humiliated by Hotel staff and experienced emotional distress.
    5. Landmark admits that the Hotel did request documentation for the complainant’s service dog and did not permit the complainant to check in without such documentation.
    6. The parties wish to amicably resolve this matter without litigation.  The United States believes that resolution of this matter through this Agreement is in the public interest.  In consideration of, and consistent with, the terms of this Agreement, the United States agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or filing a civil suit under Title III in this matter, except as provided in the Implementation section of this Agreement.
    1. Consistent with Title III of the ADA, Landmark shall ensure that hotels it owns and operates do not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability, including by excluding or providing unequal treatment to persons with disabilities who use service animals.  42 U.S.C § 12182; 28 C.F.R. §§ 36.201, 36.202.
    2.  Landmark shall modify policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a service animal by an individual with a disability.  42 U.S.C. §12182(b)(2)(A); 28 C.F.R. § 36.302(a), (c).
    3. Service Animal Policy: Landmark agrees that persons with disabilities, including those accompanied by service animals, will be welcome in the hotels it owns and operates and that those hotels will adopt and abide by the Service Animal Policy (Attachment A) attached to this Agreement.  No hotel owned and operated by Landmark shall refuse to admit a person with a disability because that person uses a service animal, nor shall it request documentation concerning the service animal.  It also shall not charge a person with a disability any extra fee or ask a person with a disability to comply with any additional condition of service because they use a service animal.
    4. Publication of Policy: Landmark agrees to prominently post the Service Animal Policy in its hotels and on its website.  Landmark will also post a statement in all future advertising for the hotels it owns and operates that Landmark complies with the ADA and welcomes service dogs.  Landmark shall provide a copy of the notice to the United States within ten (10) days of posting.
    5. Training: Owners, managers, front desk, and reservations staff of hotels owned and operated by Landmark shall undergo training regarding the ADA requirements to accommodate individuals with disabilities who use service animals¸ including a review of the Department’s technical assistance document: Frequently Asked Questions About Service Animals and the ADA, available at:  Landmark shall arrange for and ensure that appropriate training on the ADA and service animals is conducted within one hundred twenty (120) days of the effective date of this Agreement.  Thereafter, all new employees will be trained on the requirements of the ADA within thirty (30) days of their hire date.  Landmark will notify the Department when it has completed this training.
    6. Monitoring:  During the term of this Agreement, the Hotel shall maintain a log of all overnight guests accompanied by a service dog.  At a minimum, the log will include the name and contact information of the person making the request, the date of the request, and the Hotel’s disposition of the request.  Copies of the log will be delivered to the Department on the three and nine-month anniversary of the effective date of the Agreement as defined in paragraph 26, below.
    7. Landmark will not retaliate against or otherwise interfere with the rights of any individual for filing a complaint with the Department or otherwise exercising rights protected by the ADA.  42 U.S.C. § 12203(a).
    8. Within ten (10) days after receiving the complainant’s signed release, Landmark shall send a check in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) made out to the complainant.  This check is compensation to the complainant pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(B) for the effects of the discrimination and the harm he has endured, including, but not limited to, emotional distress, as a result of the Hotel’s actions.  Landmark shall provide written notification to counsel for the United States, including a copy of the check, within seven (7) days of completing the actions described in this paragraph.
    1. This Settlement Agreement cannot be modified or amended except in writing, agreed to by the parties.
    2. The United States may review compliance with this Agreement at any time.  If the United States believes that this Agreement or any portion of it has been violated, it will raise concerns with Landmark and the parties will attempt to resolve the concerns in good faith.  If the parties are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue(s) raised within thirty (30) days of the date that the United States provides notice to Landmark, the United States may institute a civil action in the appropriate federal district court to enforce this Agreement or the requirements of Title III.
    3. It is a violation of this Agreement for Landmark to fail to comply in a timely manner with any of its requirements without obtaining sufficient advance written agreement from the United States for an extension of the relevant timeframe imposed by the Agreement.
    4. Failure by the United States to enforce any provision or deadline in this Agreement shall not be construed as a waiver of the United States’ right to enforce any deadline or provision of this Agreement.  The Agreement, including Attachment A, constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters 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, will be enforceable under its provisions.
    5. This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth above and does not purport to remedy or resolve any other existing or potential violations of the ADA or any other local or Federal law.
    6. This Agreement does not affect Landmark’s continuing responsibility to comply with all applicable aspects of Title III of the ADA.
    7. A copy of this document will be made available to any person by Landmark or the United States on request.
    8. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.  This Agreement will remain in effect for one (1) year from the effective date of this Agreement.
    9. The provisions of this Agreement shall be deemed severable, and any invalidity or unenforceability of one or more of its provisions shall not affect the validity or enforceability of the other provisions herein.
    10. This Agreement is binding on Landmark, including all principals, agents, executors, administrators, representatives, employees, successors in interest, beneficiaries, and assigns. In the event that Landmark seeks to sell, transfer, or assign all or part of its interest in the Hotel during the term of this Agreement, as a condition of sale, transfer, or assignment, Landmark will obtain the written agreement of the successor, buyer, transferee, or assignee to all obligations remaining under this Agreement for the remaining term of this Agreement.
    11. The person signing this Agreement for Landmark represents that he is authorized to bind the Hotel to this Agreement.






By: /s/ Akhil Jain
AKHIL JAIN, President
249 Central Park Ave., Ste 320
Virginia Beach, Va. 34462
(757) 213-4380 (telephone)

Dated: 10-23-19


Special Litigation Counsel
Deputy Chief
Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division


By: /s/ Paula N. Rubin
PAULA N. RUBIN, Trial Attorney
Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC  20530
(202) 305-2191 (telephone)

Dated: 10-24-19


Landmark Hotel Group (“Landmark”) is committed to providing service to customers with disabilities, including those individuals with disabilities who are accompanied by a service animal, in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  Service animals play an important role in ensuring the independence of people with disabilities.  Hotels owned by Landmark welcome guests who use service animals.

What is a Service Animal?

“Service animal” means any dog individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability.  Service animals come in all breeds and sizes.  A service dog may be trained either by an organization or by an individual with a disability; it does not need to be certified or licensed as a service animal.  Service animals provide a wide range of services that may or may not be identifiable, including but not limited to:

Requirements with Regard to Service Animals

Hotels owned by Landmark may ask the person who has the dog if it is required because of a disability, and what work or task(s) the dog is trained to perform.  Hotels owned by Landmark may not ask an individual with a disability for proof of his or her disability or for any information about his or her disability, nor may Hotels owned by Landmark require proof or certification of the animal’s training or vaccination.  Service animals do not always have a sign, symbol, or harness indicating they are service animals.

Limited Exceptions

Hotels owned by Landmark have the right to exclude a service animal from the hotel only if the animal is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it or the animal is not housebroken.