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How to Respond to an Unruh Civil Rights Act Lawsuit

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2023 | Business Law |

An Unruh Civil Rights Act lawsuit is usually filed in Superior Court for the State of California due to allegations of a plaintiff encountering barriers to access when they visited a property. The Unruh Civil Rights Act, rooted in California’s anti-discrimination laws, prohibits businesses from engaging in unjust discrimination based on protected characteristics.

Suppose you’ve been served with such a lawsuit; knowing how to respond to the complaint is crucial because you have limited time to do so. You have 30 days to respond if the lawsuit was filed in a Superior Court and 21 days if the complaint was filed in a U.S. District Court.

Treat the lawsuit with the seriousness it deserves

It’s easy to assume that an Unruh Civil Rights Act lawsuit is simply about parking space or a dining table. However, this would be a misleading mindset because buried deep in these cases is usually a reference to DORAN v. ELEVEN INC (2008). This is a strategy plaintiffs employ to broaden the scope of the lawsuit to include new barriers that weren’t specified in the original complaint.

As soon as you get served with the lawsuit, it’s prudent to start collecting all pertinent documents, including business policies and customer interactions, that may support your case. The information you have compared with the complaint filed against your property can help determine if the claims have merit and whether relevant defenses can apply. Your lawsuit can be defended if your property is ADA-compliant and the complaints lack merit or otherwise fall within an exception to certain requirements.

Effectively responding to an Unruh Civil Rights Act lawsuit demands a meticulous approach. By following these strategic steps, backed by knowledgeable legal guidance, businesses can generally navigate these challenges with confidence.