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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CARMENA STONEY AND LINDA VANDEUSEN VS. MAPLE SHADE TOWNSHIP A-1777-10T3


CARMENA STONEY AND LINDA VANDEUSEN VS. MAPLE SHADE
TOWNSHIP
A-1777-10T3

At issue is whether a trial court may deny injunctive relief upon a jury finding of access discrimination under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C.A. §§ 12101-12213, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 to -49.

 We hold that although injunctive relief is authorized by both the ADA and LAD, it does not automatically follow from a breach of either statute.  Instead, where a party has
demonstrated actual success on the merits, a court must balance three factors to determine whether injunctive relief is appropriate: (1) the threat of irreparable harm to the movant;
(2) the harm to be suffered by the non-moving party if the injunction is granted; and, most significantly, (3) the public interest at stake, which strongly favors mandating
accessibility. 

 Moreover, irreparable harm to the disabled individual from a denial of access should be presumed in cases involving facilities built or "altered" after January 26, 1992, the
effective date of Title II's implementing regulations, which mandate compliance with specific architectural standards. 05-11-12