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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Mootness, enforcement, and particularized injunctions

The mootness analysis in this Eleventh Circuit decision illustrates the importance of focusing on the particularized nature of litigation and remedies, including injunctions. This was an action against Hooter's by Haynes, a visually impaired plaintiff, alleging that the incompatibility of its website with certain software violated the ADA. Hooter's settled a separate lawsuit brought by Gomez and raising similar claims, agreeing to place an accessibility notice on its site and to improve access to the site.

The court held that the settlement in Gomez did not moot Haynes' action, for three reasons. First, whatever Hooters agreed to do had not been done, so Haynes still was suffering a remediable injury. Second, while compliance with the Gomez settlement would provide some of what Haynes sought, it did not provide everything and Haynes sought some unique remedies. Third, and this should be most important, Haynes is not a party to Gomez and so lacks the power or right to enforce that order if Hooters fails to comply or if it should reach a different agreement with Gomez.

That control over enforcement of the judgmentt is essential to party status and to injunctive relief. It is why injunctions are particularized to the parties--binding the defendant as to the plaintiff and allowing the plaintiff to enforce if the defendant fails to comply.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on June 20, 2018 at 10:57 PM in Civil Procedure, Howard Wasserman, Law and Politics | Permalink


Just emphasizing it :

The remedy sought by Haynes , is also a future one , prospective as such , ongoing , and not only to comply with basic regulations , but to maintain so the site , from here and on .The web site to become or to be always accessible for disable persons .


Posted by: El roam | Jun 21, 2018 8:44:36 AM

One can reach the ruling , in PDF format , here :



Posted by: El roam | Jun 21, 2018 8:40:22 AM

Thanks for that interesting ruling . But you have ignored the most important reason , for that request which renders it not moot and yet live , and it is I quote :

Haynes requested in his complaint that the district court direct Hooters to continually update and maintain its website to ensure that it remains fully accessible. Accordingly, even if Hooters' website becomes ADA compliant, Haynes seeks injunctive relief requiring Hooters to maintain the website in a compliant condition. Thus, notwithstanding the fact, as argued by Hooters and as found by the district court, that the Gomez Settlement Agreement supplies Haynes with much of the relief he requested, there is still a live controversy about whether Haynes can receive an injunction to force Hooters to make its website ADA compliant or to maintain it as such. Therefore, this case is not moot.

End of quotation :

That is to say , that the " Gomez agreement " hadn't provided , the order to maintain the web site , to comply with regulation . So, the agreement was rather one-off , lacking that remedy .


Posted by: El roam | Jun 21, 2018 8:38:27 AM

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