Disabled man settles parking space dispute against National Church Residences for $3,000

Edward Danner, a disabled man with mobility impairments, settled a complaint against the owners and managers of Chambers Bridge Residences in Brick, New Jersey for $3,000. Danner repeatedly requested a reserved parking space but was denied.

In February 2001, Danner made a verbal request for a reserved parking space closer to his unit. He told Chambers Bridge management about his disabilities and his reasons for needing a parking space closer to his home. He also provided documentation from his doctor regarding his disabilities. Danner received no response to his request.

In July 2001, Danner’s attorney made a written reasonable accommodation request to complex management, again providing documentation of Danner’s disabilities and explaining the need for a parking space closer to his home. National Church Residences, the owner of Chambers Bridge, responded to the letter from Danner’s attorney, writing, “It has always been our policy not to assign parking in either our handicapped or regular parking areas. One of the reasons is we are not prepared to make a judgment as to the degree of a person’s disability/handicap that should allow them the parking spot closest to the building. All parking spaces, including the handicap parking spaces, are on a first come first serve basis.”

The failure of the management to provide a reserved parking space forced Danner to move in October 2001. In his complaint, he asserted that he was unable to leave his apartment after 3:00 p.m., because the parking lot filled up in the late afternoon and would force him to walk great
distances to his unit. He therefore had to stop meeting with his family and friends and was essentially trapped in his unit.

The respondents claimed that Danner never really made a reasonable accommodation request but agreed to settle the complaint in a September 2002 Consent Order approved by Administrative Law Judge Robert Andretta.

HUD v. National Church Residences
Case No. HUD ALJ 02-01-0596-8
The Honorable Robert Andretta, Admin. Law Judge
Complaint filed: October 15, 2001
Charge Issued: April 24, 2002
Consent Order approved: September 3, 2002