May 17, 2013 4th Circuit published opinons

Scroggins v Lee’s Crossing Homeowners Association

Scroggins sought to add a wheelchair ramp to his front door and to use ATVs in Lee’s Crossing. The Association board did not respond to the ATV request for over a year and Scroggins sued under the fair Housing Amendments Act before the board was required to respond to the ramp request. The district court granted summary judgment to Association, but, denied its motion for attorney fees and costs. The panel affirmed in part and reversed in part. It revered on the ramp request holding the ramp claim was not ripe as suit was filed before the time to respond had expired and the Association stated at oral argument that the request would be granted if the required information was included. It held the ATV claim was ripe as the delay in response constructively denied the request. However, it held that the ATV request was properly denied as ATV use on roads is inherently dangerous and Scroggins partial paralysis made his use of ATVs even more dangerous. The Panel affirmed the denial of fees and costs holding that Congress intended to incentivize suits alleging violations of the Act and the Association rule allowing fees and costs was void for violating this public policy.

Wilson v Dollar General Corporation

Wilson filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Dollar alleging violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. He later field for Chapter 13 bankruptcy protection and then sued Dollar under the ADA. The district court ruled that Wilson had standing to sue, but, his claim failed on the merits. The panel affirmed. It joined five other circuit courts in holding that because Wilson had explicit rights to possess and sell the property of the Chapter 13 estate, he had implicit power to sue on behalf of the estate. Thus, he had standing to sue. However, the panel affirmed on the merits holding Wilson failed to provide any evidence he could have reported for work with the request two day leave and in fact testified he could not returned to work on the day his leave would have ended. Thus, he failed to prove he was a qualified individual and his claim failed as a matter of law.

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