Saturday, January 4, 2014

Bay Area Addiction Research and Treatment, Inc. v. City of Antioch case brief

Bay Area Addiction Research and Treatment, Inc. v. City of Antioch case brief summary
179 F.3d 725 (1999)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiffs sought review of a decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California denying plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary injunction to stop the implementation of an urgency ordinance passed by defendants to block the relocation of plaintiffs' methadone clinic.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiffs, operators of a methadone clinic, challenged the district court's refusal to grant a preliminary injunctive relief blocking an urgency ordinance passed by defendants barring the relocation of plaintiffs' methadone clinic in plaintiffs' city, even though such a use was permitted under the city's zoning code.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the court held that Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C.S. §§ 12132 and § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C.S. § 794(a) (1999), applied to discriminatory zoning practices because zoning was a normal function of a government entity. 
  • The reasonable modifications test set forth in 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(b)(7) (1998) did not apply because defendants' ordinance discriminated on its face rather than in its application. 
  • Defendants' facially discriminatory law per se violated the ADA. 
  • The district court erred by failing to apply the "significant risk" test when deciding whether plaintiffs would suffer irreparable harm by denial of injunctive relief. 
  • The court reversed the order denying a preliminary injunction and remanded for reconsideration of plaintiffs' motion.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed the district court's denial of a preliminary injunction to block implementation of defendants' urgency ordinance barring plaintiffs from relocating their methadone clinic within defendants' city limits, because the ordinance facially violated the Americans with Disabilities and Rehabilitation Acts and application of the "significant risks" test was required when weighing whether plaintiffs would suffer irreparable harm.


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