Settlement Agreement | Department of Justice Press Releases




This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12131-12134, with the United States Department of Justice ("Department") against the Springfield-Greene County Library District of Springfield, Missouri ("Library"). The complaint was received by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, under the authority of 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F. The complaint alleges that the Library's Midtown Branch is not accessible to individuals with mobility impairments. The Library denies these allegations, but acknowledges its responsibility to provide reasonable access and services to persons with disabilities.

The Department expanded the scope of the investigation to include the Library's compliance with the following title II requirements:

The Department limited its review to the Library's Midtown Branch.


1. The ADA applies to the Library because it is a "public entity" as defined by title II. 42 U.S.C. § 12131(1).

2. The Department is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate the complaint in this matter to determine the compliance of the Library with title II of the ADA and the Department's implementing title II regulation, to issue findings, and, where appropriate, to negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized, under 42 U.S.C. § 12133, to bring a civil action enforcing title II of the ADA should the Department fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart F.


The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the Springfield-Greene County Library District, Springfield, Missouri. In order to avoid the burdens and expenses of an investigation and possible litigation, and without the admission of any liability, the parties hereby agree as follows:

3. In consideration of the terms of, and consistent with, this Agreement as set forth below, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing civil suit in this matter regarding the areas covered by the Remedial Action provisions of this agreement.

4. The Parties agree that the technical requirements and, where appropriate, the scoping requirements of the Standards are used as a guide in this Agreement for the Remedial Action to be undertaken by the Library. This Agreement is not an admission by the Library that the Standards are valid or enforceable in whole or in part. The Standards appear at 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A.


5. Within six months of the effective date of this Agreement, the Library will train its employees who interact or communicate with the public or who maintain facilities, regarding the Library's responsibilities under the ADA, such as responding to inquiries from individuals with disabilities who require accommodations to participate in Library programs or services.


The site plans and architectural plans for the alterations to the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library were submitted to the Department. To insure that the altered areas are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, the Library shall make the following adjustments to the planned alterations before the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library is reopened. Cites are to the Standards.

6. Ramp

7. Circulation Desk 120

8. File Room 106

9. Study Room 108

10. Women's Toilet 114 and Men's Toilet 115

11. Baby Changing 125

12. Toilet 124 located in the Children's Room

13. Study Room 219

14. HC Study Room 218

15. Adult Fiction Room 215

16. In addition to making the above changes, the Library will also ensure that the altered areas of the library are on an accessible route. Standards § 4.1.6(2).


The Library shall modify the following existing features within 180 days of the effective date of this Agreement to ensure that the programs offered at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library, when viewed in their entirety, are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities.

17. Parking

18. Exterior Route

19. Vestibule 128

20. Men's Toilet 031

21. Women's Toilet 023

22. Toilet 213 and Toilet 208

23. Community Room 207


24. Except as otherwise specified in this Agreement, at 90 and 180 days after the effective date of this Agreement, and thereafter at yearly anniversaries of the effective date, subject to paragraph 32 hereof, the Library will submit written reports to the Department summarizing the actions the Library has taken pursuant to this Agreement. Reports will include photographs, architectural plans, notices published in the newspapers, copies of adopted policies, and proof of the efforts to secure funding/assistance for structural renovations.

25. If at any time the Library desires to modify any portion of this Agreement because of changed conditions making performance impossible or impractical or for any other reason, it will promptly notify the Department in writing, setting forth the facts and circumstances thought to justify modification and the substance of the proposed modification. Until there is written Agreement by the Department to the proposed modification, the proposed modification will not take effect. These actions must receive the prior written approval of the Department, which approval shall not be unreasonably withheld or delayed.

26. The Department may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department believes that this Agreement or any portion of it has been violated, it will so notify the Library in writing and it will attempt to resolve the issue or issues in good faith. If the Department is unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the issue or issues raised within 30 days of the date it provides notice to the Library, it may institute a civil action in federal district court directly to enforce title II or to enforce the terms of this Agreement.

27. Failure by the Department to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with regard to any deadline or any other provision herein shall not be construed as a waiver of the Department's right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.

28. In the event that the Library fails to comply in a timely manner with any deadline in this Agreement without having obtained the prior written agreement of the Department for a temporary modification of the relevant terms of this Agreement, the Department may institute a civil action in federal district court directly to enforce title II or to enforce the terms of this Agreement.

29. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person by the Library or the Department on request.

30. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

31. This Agreement 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, 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 Library's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.

32. This Agreement will remain in effect for three years from the effective date of this Agreement, or until full compliance with this Agreement by the Library has been achieved.

33. The person signing for the Library represents that he or she is authorized to bind the Library to this Agreement.


For the United States:

Acting Assistant Attorney General
for Civil Rights

By: __________________________

L. IRENE BOWEN, Deputy Chief
NAOMI MILTON, Supervising Attorney
AME EDUARDO, Investigator
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, DC 20035-6738

Date ________________________

For the Springfield-Greene County Library District:


Annie Busch, Executive Director
Springfield-Greene County Library District

Date ___________________________



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February 7, 2001