Doe et al v. City of Worcester et al

Filing 23

Proposed Document(s) submitted by Andrew Moyer, Massachusetts Coalition For The Homeless, Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance, City of Worcester, Worcester Public Library, Worcester Public Library Board of Directors, Jane Doe, Suzette Lindgren. Document received: Proposed Consent Order and Settlement Agreement. (Fitzpatrick, Kate)

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Doe et al v. City of Worcester et al Doc. 23 Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 Filed 12/18/2006 Page 1 of 13 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS JANE DOE, SUZETTE LINDGREN, ANDREW MOYER, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, and MASSACHUSETTS COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS, and CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS HOUSING ALLIANCE, Plaintiffs, v. ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) CIVIL ACTION NO. 06-40133-FDS CITY OF WORCESTER, WORCESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY, and WORCESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY BOARD OF DIRECTORS, Defendants. ) ) ) ) ) CONSENT ORDER AND SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT Plaintiffs brought this action challenging the constitutionality of Defendants' policy that restricts the public library borrowing privileges of residents of homeless shelters, transitional housing programs, teen/children's programs and other facilities. WHEREAS, Plaintiffs and Defendants, having carefully considered the issues raised in this case, agree that such issues should be resolved without further litigation; WHEREAS, Plaintiffs acknowledge that Defendants understand the need for and believe in promoting fair and equitable lending practices for all of Worcester's residents, including those people who are homeless and/or reside in homeless shelters, transitional housing programs, Dockets.Justia.com Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 Filed 12/18/2006 Page 2 of 13 teen/children's programs and other facilities, and further acknowledge that the agreements herein are motivated by the desire of both the Plaintiffs and the Defendants to assure that the goal of fair and equitable lending practices for all of Worcester's residents is achieved; WHEREAS, by agreeing to this Consent Order and Settlement Agreement (hereinafter described as "Consent Order"), the Defendants do not admit to any liability to the Plaintiffs; and WHEREAS, the parties acknowledge and affirm that the agreements and undertakings set forth herein, as well as avoidance of the risk and expense of further litigation, constitute good and valuable consideration for the settlement of this litigation; It is, therefore, mutually agreed between the Plaintiffs and the Defendants as follows: 1. The Defendants agree that the policy attached as Exhibit A to this Consent Order and entitled "Borrowing Criteria for Homeless Shelter and Transitional Housing Residents" is null and void, and that the Defendants will no longer (a) limit people residing in "temporary" residences to borrowing two items, or (b) use their existing list, or create any new lists, of transitional housing programs, teen/children's programs, homeless shelters and/or other similar facilities for the purpose of limiting the borrowing privileges of the residents of these facilities. 2. The Defendants agree that the policy attached as Exhibit B to this Consent Order has been adopted by the Worcester Public Library Board of Directors or other entity with authority to create policies for the Worcester Public Library, and that said policy will be applied at each of the Worcester Public Library's locations. 3. Nothing in this Consent Order shall prohibit the Defendants from providing library patrons with the option of obtaining "firm cards" or "temporary library cards"; however, the Defendants agree that (a) they will make such cards generally available on an equal basis; (b) Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 Filed 12/18/2006 Page 3 of 13 they will not specifically inform the residents, owners or operators of transitional housing programs, teen/children's programs, homeless shelters and/or other similar facilities about the availability of such cards unless they give the same information to the general public, or unless they are responding to a specific inquiry; (c) they will not pressure or coerce the residents, owners or operators of transitional housing programs, teen/children's programs, homeless shelters and/or other similar facilities into accepting or obtaining such cards, and (d) the borrowing privileges of any person residing in a transitional housing program, teen/children's program, homeless shelter and/or other similar facility shall not be denied, restricted or otherwise limited (i) because of such person's refusal to accept or obtain a temporary library card or (ii) because the operator/owner of the facility in which such person resides refuses to accept or obtain a firm card. 4. The Defendants agree that they will disseminate the policy attached as Exhibit B to the general public. In furtherance thereof, the Defendants shall (a) place the full text of the new policy on the Worcester Public Library's website (and remove any reference to the policy attached as Exhibit A); and (b) post the full text of the new policy in each of the Worcester Public Library's locations (and remove any existing postings which make reference to the policy attached as Exhibit A). 5. The Defendants agree to make arrangements for, host, and fund one session of the Faces of Homelessness Speakers' Bureau of the National Coalition for the Homeless. Such a session will be held at the Worcester Public Library's main branch before the expiration of this Consent Order. Defendants further agree to make reasonable efforts to promote and publicize the session, including, but not limited to, (a) placing an announcement on the Worcester Public Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 Filed 12/18/2006 Page 4 of 13 Library's website, (b) placing an announcement in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, and (c) posting an announcement at each of the Worcester Public Library's locations. Defendants further agree to notify Plaintiffs' counsel of the date and time of the session within seven days of the Defendants having scheduled said session. 6. The Plaintiffs acknowledge that the Defendants are developing a bookmobile program. Defendants agree that any bookmobile program undertaken by the Worcester Public Library during the duration of this Consent Order will include stops at least two shelters or transitional housing programs; provided, that such visits shall be in accordance with a generally applicable library policy governing the selection of bookmobile stops, which policy shall address factors such as the general hours of operation of the bookmobile, the staff time required for the operation of the bookmobile, the safety of the public using the bookmobile, the visibility of the bookmobile, the potential volume of usage at any particular location, the day and time of day and period of any bookmobile stop and the route and travel times of bookmobile stops. The Library shall give reasonable notice of each bookmobile visit to each shelter or transitional housing program location or, alternatively, to Plaintiffs' counsel, so they can inform residents of the scheduled visits and make provision for adequate parking for the bookmobile. In the event that the bookmobile is unable to stop at any particular shelter or transitional housing program because of inadequate parking or any other deficiencies at the property of the shelter, the Library may satisfy its obligations under this paragraph by securing a reasonably nearby location and giving notice of said location as provided above. 7. Upon execution of this Consent Order by the Plaintiffs and the Defendants, the parties will execute the mutual releases that are attached as Exhibit C to this Consent Order and Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 Filed 12/18/2006 Page 5 of 13 incorporated by reference herein. 8. This Consent Order shall continue in force from the date on which it is approved by the Court until twenty-four (24) months thereafter. The Court shall retain jurisdiction of this action for the duration of this Consent Order. The Consent Order shall extend beyond the twenty-four month duration to the extent necessary to correct any noncompliance or violation of its terms, when such violations or noncompliance has occurred prior to the expiration of this Consent Order. 9. This Consent Order may be amended by agreement of the parties, or by order of the Court upon application of either party for good cause shown. Nothing herein shall prevent or impair the Board of Library Directors in the exercise of its duty and obligation to manage the Free Public Library; to have care and custody of the buildings and grounds of the library and any branches thereof; to have sole custody of the books; to promulgate any and all needful and suitable regulations concerning the Free Public Library and the use thereof; and, to manage all trust funds given or bequeathed for the benefit of the Free Public Library; provided however, that the Board of Library Directors shall obtain the consent of the Plaintiffs, through their counsel of record, prior to adopting any regulation, policy or rule, or implementing any practice: A) which concerns the methods for identifying individuals and/or their residential addresses in connection with the issuance, ongoing maintenance (including any re-verification procedures) or revocation of library cards; or, (B) which involves the number of books or items allowed for check-out (unless such change in number is required to conform to any change of general applicability imposed by the C/W MARS system); or, (C) which otherwise seeks to deviate from or amend the portions of the policy in bold print and attached as Exhibit B to this Consent Order. Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 Filed 12/18/2006 Page 6 of 13 10. The Defendants shall file a compliance report with the Plaintiffs' counsel that enumerates the steps they have taken to implement the terms of this Consent Order, including any actions required by paragraphs 1 through 6. The report shall also contain a list of all bookmobile visits, including the dates and locations visited. The report shall be due on or about eighteen (18) months after the Court's approval of this Consent Order or the parties' execution of the Consent Order, whichever occurs later. 11. If the Court declines to execute this Consent Order and/or to accept continuing jurisdiction, the terms and conditions of this Consent Order and Settlement Agreement shall nevertheless be fully binding upon the parties as an agreement in settlement of litigation. In such a situation, the parties shall jointly prepare and file a stipulation of dismissal pursuant to Rule 41(a)(l) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. ORDERED this day of , 2006. U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE The undersigned apply for and consent to the entry of this Agreement: DATE \V\Vtfc DATE SUZ Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 Filed 12/18/2006 Page 7 of 13 DATE ANDREW MOVER 12/13/06 DATE CENTRAL MASS. HOUSING ALLIANCE By: G face A its: 12/15/06 DATE ^ ^Wx^O^U jC> DATE JONATHAN L. MANNINA, ESQ. Attorney for the Plaintiffs 12/06/2006 DATE CITY OF WORCESTER By: Its: DATE WORCE^ER KTBfUC LIBRARY By: Its: DATE WORCESTERPUBLIC LIBRARY EO^KD OF DIRECTORS By: Its: 12/06/2006 DATE DAVID M. MOORE, ESQ. Attorney for the Defendants Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 EXHIBIT A Filed 12/18/2006 Page 8 of 13 Transitional Housing The first level of criteria applies to residents of Homeless Shelters. These r e s i d e n t s are transient with no permanent address. The Worcester Public Library limits those residents of shelters that have been contacted by the library to 2 items per checkout. Residents of shelters in the first level will be given a handout explaining their borrowing privileges and encouraging them to let us know when t h e y have found permanent housing so their card can be updated for unrestricted borrowing. The second level of criteria is for residents of Transitional Housing Programs. While in a Transitional Housing Program, residents are limited to two items per checkout, unless the resident presents a letter signed .by the. director of their p r o g r a m allowing the patron full borrowing privileges and accepting full r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the safe return of all materials, including lost book payments. The directors of Transitional Housing Programs may also opt to sign up for a Firm Card that transfers the responsibility for the safe return of materials from t h e resident to the agency. The third level of criteria applies to Teen/Children's Programs that serve children less than 18 years of age. These agencies will be strongly encouraged by letter with a follow-up phone call to have a Firm Card in place. WPL provides Firm Cards to agencies willing to accept financial responsibility for their b o r r o w i n g by their residents. Library volunteers-are granted full borrowing privileges, regardless of housing status. 12/08/05 Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 Filed 12/18/2006 Page 9 of 13 305 Belmont St 142 Burncoat St 510 Cambridge St 21 Catherine St 9 Chadwick St 16-18 Cottage St 23 Crown St 87 Elm St 12 George St 10 Hammond St 52 High St 19 King St 107 Lincoln St 114 Main St 660 Mam St 77 Mulberry St, Leicester 15 Northampton 100 Pine St 54 Queen St 30 Richards St 2 Sigourney St Worcester State Hospital F a i t h House The Village - Housing Alliance C h a n n m g House O a s i s House F r a n c e s Perkins Home A b b y ' s House Daybreak Friendly House Shelter F l o r e n c e House C r o z i e r House S t . Joseph Residence Tides AdCare I n t e r f a i t h Hospitality A u r o r a Project (PIP) Nazareth Home Linda Fay Griffin House Grafton Job Corps Shepherd's House Dismas House Sigourney House Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 Filed 12/18/2006 Page 10 of 13 21 Ives St 104 Lincoln St 60 Miles Rd 27 Vernon St Starting Point - Price Memorial'House Key Program D e v e r e u x School Starting Point alpha by agency 41 Randolph Rd 2 Sigourney St 2-4 Norton St 414 Cambridge St 133 Paine St 125 Hartwell St Box 1380 Westboro 35 Fruit St 1601 Mam Leicester 25 Catherine St 350 Plantation ST 979 Millbury St 979 Millbury St 979 Millbury St 2 Granite St Bridge of Central Mass - School. House Program C o m m u n i t y Health Link - Grace House Key Program L u t h e r a n Community Services S a n t r a m House Seven Hills Work Options W e s t b o r o Secure Treatment West Side House Willis Center - Fresh Start Willis Center - Starting Point W o r e Day Rehab You, Inc. - Bridge Home Y o u , Inc - Carol Schmidt Village Y o u , Inc - Jean-Parent Program You, inc - Wentzell Center Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 Filed 12/18/2006 Page 11 of 13 72 Cambridge St 217 Cambridge St 69 Grove St 701 Mam St 1059 Mam St 52 Mason St S a l v a t i o n Army Hope House C e n t r a l Mass Veteran's Shelter PIP (People in Peril) Shelter J e r e m i a h ' s Inn St, Francis & St.Therese Catholic Worker Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 Filed 12/18/2006 Page 12 of 13 EXHIBIT B How to Get a Worcester Public Library Card You may sign up for a Library Card at any of the library's three locations. The application must be submitted in person. A library card gives borrowing and computer usage privileges at the Main Library and branches and provides remote access to the Library's online resources. Residents of Massachusetts with identification may obtain a library card for free, although fees are charged to replace lost cards ($.50 for children, young adults and seniors; $1.00 for adults). Library cards, card numbers and Personal Identification Numbers (P.I.N.) are issued to individuals and should be used only by the person to whom they were issued, whether for borrowing library material or using library computers. As a first-time borrower, you may borrow two items when you receive your Library Card. On subsequent visits, the Worcester Public Library, as part of the C/W MARS library network, allows a person to have up to 50 items checked out at one time. A library card will be issued to you when one of the following is presented: Valid Massachusetts Driver's License, or Valid Massachusetts State Identification Card OR, any one identification from EACH of the following two lists: 1. Current Picture Identification (I.P.): (must include name and photo) Passport Alien Registration Card Government issued cards, such as Military I.D. or D.O.C. I.D. University or school I.D. Out-of-state driver's license W.R.T.A. bus pass State issued photo I.D. including welfare, Medicaid or F.I.D. card 2. Address* Verification: (must include name and Massachusetts address) An imprinted bank check or deposit slip Rent receipt (confirming 30 day occupancy) Utility bill dated within the last 30 days Letter verifying residency and mailing address dated within the last 30 days from a social service provider, temporary employer that provides housing, or a short-term residence A Post Office box or business address is not acceptable. Case 4:06-cv-40133-FDS Document 23 Filed 12/18/2006 Page 13 of 13 OR, if you are unable to provide the above means of identification and address verification, the Library will mail you a post card. When you return that post card, you will receive your Library Card. Most Library Cards are valid for two years unless otherwise noted. All Library Cards can be renewed easily at the check out desk by confirming orally that you still live at your current address. If you have moved, you are required to notify Library staff and will need to re-verify your address by presenting one of the noted address verifications. If your address is verified by either a post card or a letter, every three months you will be required simply to confirm your current address orally. This confirmation can be done easily at the check out desk and does not require presenting additional address verification documents (unless you have moved, which, as described above, requires you to notify Library staff and to re-verify your address by presenting one of the noted address verifications). TEENS If you are between the ages of 13 and 17 and cannot meet the I.D. requirements, you will need your parent or guardian (with sufficient identification) to sign the application. Your Library Card is valid for two years or until you turn 18 years old. CHILDREN If you are under 13 year old, you will need to have your parent or guardian (with sufficient identification) to sign your Library Card application. Your Library Card is valid for two years or until you turn 13 years old. OUT-OF-STATE RESIDENTS If you are an out-of-state resident with sufficient identification, you are eligible for a Library Card for a $10 annual fee. (The fee is waived if you own property in Worcester and present a tax bill or if you work in Worcester and show proof of Worcester employment.) If you are an out-of-state resident with sufficient identification, who is visiting or working in the area for less than 3 months, you are eligible for a Library Card after paying a $10 refundable deposit and providing verification of temporary address. COLLEGE or PRIVATE STUDENTS If you are a student at a Worcester college or private high school and have your school identification and photo identification with your home address, you will receive a Library Card. Student cards are valid until the end of the current semester.

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