The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES F. MCCLURE, JR.
On October 13, 1994, plaintiffs initiated this action with the filing of a complaint under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101 et seq ("ADA"). Plaintiffs, with the exception of the Center for Independent Living of Central Pennsylvania ("CILCP") are individuals with disabilities who use the fixed-route transportation system of defendant Capitol Area Transit ("CAT"). CILCP is a non-profit corporation whose clients have disabilities. One of CILCP's purposes is to assure equal access to mass transportation facilities for handicapped individuals.
Before the court is defendants' motion to dismiss as to the claim asserted by CILCP. Defendants have filed an answer relative to the individual plaintiffs.
Defendants move to dismiss because the court does not have jurisdiction over the claim of CILCP, arguing that CILCP does not have standing under the ADA. Although not specifically stated, then, the motion to dismiss presumably is based upon Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1), (2) and/or (6).
The enforcement provision of the ADA reads:
The remedies, procedures, and rights set forth in section 794a of Title 29 shall be the remedies, procedures, and rights this subchapter provides to any person alleging discrimination on the basis of disability in violation of section 12132 of this title.
42 U.S.C. § 12133. In turn, 29 U.S.C. § 794a, part of the Rehabilitation Act, provides that the remedies, procedures and rights set forth in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, specifically 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16 shall be available. The latter section provides, inter alia, a private cause of action by designated persons. 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16)(c). Under § 12133, then, "any person alleging discrimination on the basis of disability" may bring a civil action.
Defendants' position is that CILCP is not itself a person with a disability, and so is not entitled to bring an action under the ADA. We disagree.
In construing a similar provision of the Fair Housing Act ("FHA"), the Supreme Court held that an organization the purpose of which was to assist individuals to obtain equal access to housing had standing to bring an action in its own right. Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman, 455 U.S. 363, 378-379, 71 L. Ed. 2d 214, 102 S. Ct. 1114 (1982). The language of the statute was summarized separately by the Third Circuit as follows:
The language of the statute clearly supports this rule. The statute permits any "aggrieved person" to commence a civil action in a United States district court, 42 U.S.C.A. § 3613(a)(1)(A) (West Supp. 1992), and includes in the definition of "an aggrieved person" any person who "claims to have been injured by a discriminatory housing practice." 42 U.S.C.A. § 3602(i) (West Supp. 1992). The Supreme Court has made clear what seems evident from this language--that "an aggrieved person" does not necessarily have to be the person discriminated against. See, e.g., Trafficante v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., 409 U.S. 205, 208-12, 93 S. Ct. 364, 366-68, 34 L. Ed. 2d 415 (1972); Gladstone, 441 U.S. at 102-09.
Growth Horizons, Inc. v. Delaware County, Pennsylvania, 983 F.2d 1277, 1282 n. 6 (3d Cir. 1993). In the latter case, the Third Circuit held that Growth Horizons, Inc., a corporation which provided community living arrangements to mentally retarded individuals, had standing ...