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Re: Hooks v. OKBridge

From: Martin Sloan <martin.sloan@orange.net>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 2002 17:25:21 GMT
To: RUST Randal <RRust@COVANSYS.com>
Cc: "WAI (E-mail)" <w3c-wai-ig@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1579a14202.142021579a@orange.net>
Hi Randal,

The case of Hooks v OKBridge is kind of complicated. The quotes that 
you included are not from the decision - there never was one, the 
matter was, I think, dismissed by the court on other grounds. What you 
were quoting from was the letter from the Department of Justice which 
is automatically consulted for an opinion as to what the law is (again 
my memory is hazy - it could have been a different department).

As such their submission to the court stated that they thought a Web 
site did come within the ADA and I believe that these submissions are 
legally binding statements of the law, which the court would then have 
to follow.

However, because the case was dismissed by the court later on in 
proceedings, this DoJ submission is not legally binding as the court 
never had the opportunity to follow it and adopt it.

Had the case not been dismissed then it would probably have been 
America's Maguire v SOCOG. However, at least we now know that if and 
when the DoJ is asked again for its opinion we can probably guess what 
it'll be.

The DoJ's view partly relies on an earlier case called Carparts v 
Automotive Wholesalers of New England (http://harp.org/carparts.txt) 
which was the case which decided that for the purposes of the ADA there 
was no reason to differentiate between a service provider that operated 
out of a shop and one who was telephone-based.

(I apologise if there are any errors in the above as I can't find my 
notes, but that is the general gist of what happened)

Glasgow Graduate School of Law

----- Original Message -----
from: RUST Randal <RRust@COVANSYS.com>
date: Monday, March 18, 2002 12:45 pm
subject: Hooks v. OKBridge

> I need some clarification on this.  I have read the Court of Appeals
> decision in Hooks v. OKBridge, and it is my understanding the the 
> opinionapplies the Americans with Disabilities Act to the web 
> sites of covered
> entities.
> However, I was reading some information on Jim Thatcher's web site 
> yesterdaythat says "...there has not yet been a court ruling 
> supporting or denying
> the concept that the Web, like a store or sidewalk or bus, is a 
> place where
> discrimination against people with disabilities would not be 
> permitted."
> The following excerpts from the Hooks v. OKBridge decsions lead me to
> believe that web sites fall under the ADA:
> "There is no reasonable explanation of why Congress would have 
> intended to
> draw such a boundary or why it would have chosen such an indirect 
> way of
> expressing its intent to do so."
> "A commerical business providing services solely over the internet is
> subject to the ADA's prohibition against discrimination on the 
> basis of
> disability."
> "OKBridge is no different than any other commercial business."
> "The absence of specific mention of services provided over the 
> Internet does
> not restrict the statute's coverage."
> "This Court should reverse the District Court's holding that Title 
> III of
> the ADA does not apply to commercial business providing services 
> on the
> Internet and its holding that OKBridge is exempt from the Act as a 
> privateclub."
> Randal Rust
> Covansys, Inc.
> Columbus, OH
Received on Monday, 18 March 2002 12:25:53 UTC

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