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Case Name Rose v. Mnuchin DR-CA-0064
Docket / Court 4:19-cv-04254 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Case Summary
On July 24, 2019, several blind taxpayers and the National Federation of the Blind sued the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs alleged that the Internal Revenue Service had sent them hard-copy notices they ... read more >
On July 24, 2019, several blind taxpayers and the National Federation of the Blind sued the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs alleged that the Internal Revenue Service had sent them hard-copy notices they could not read due to their disability, leading them to incur tax penalties. The plaintiffs alleged that this issue may have affected more than seven million blind adults in the United States. The plaintiffs alleged that this conduct violated the Rehabilitation Act by not providing blind persons equally effective access to all print communications distributed by the IRS. They sought declaratory judgment and a permanent injunction ordering the defendants to provide accessible notices to blind taxpayers. The plaintiffs were represented by Brown Goldstein & Levy, and the case as assigned to Judge Haywood Gilliam.

After a year of litigation, the parties reached a settlement on July 14, 2020. The IRS agreed to add accessible formats for affected taxpayers by letting taxpayers with disability receive post-filing notices in Braille, large print, audio, or electronic formats. The IRS also agreed to provide additional training to IRS employees about the revised policies for blind taxpayers, and also agreed to implement an accessibility helpline. To ensure compliance, the IRS consented to provide status updates on each of these points for 21 months. Finally, the defendants agreed to pay $175,000 in attorney's fees and costs. Plaintiffs, in exchange, agreed to release their claims and voluntarily dismiss the action.

Jordan Katz - 11/07/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Reasonable Accommodation
Reporting
Training
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Disability
Visual impairment
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Government Services (specify)
Reasonable Accommodations
Reasonable Modifications
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Section 504 (Rehabilitation Act), 29 U.S.C. ยง 701
Defendant(s) Internal Revenue Service
Plaintiff Description Blind taxpayers and the National Federation of the Blind
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2020 - n/a
Filed 07/24/2019
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
N.D. Cal.
07/14/2020
4:19-cv-04254-HSG
DR-CA-0064-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Cal.
07/24/2019
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
DR-CA-0064-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
07/14/2020
Settlement Agreement [ECF# 34-1]
DR-CA-0064-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
07/14/2020
Joint Stipulation of Dismissal With Prejudice [ECF# 34]
DR-CA-0064-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Cal.
07/14/2020
Settlement Agreement [ECF# 34-2]
DR-CA-0064-0004.pdf | Detail
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Judges Gilliam, Haywood Stirling Jr. (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0064-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Conway, Benjamin T. (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0064-0001 | DR-CA-0064-0002 | DR-CA-0064-0003 | DR-CA-0064-9000
Elliott, Autumn M. (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0064-0001 | DR-CA-0064-0002 | DR-CA-0064-0003 | DR-CA-0064-0004 | DR-CA-0064-9000
Hildreth, Alyssa L (Maryland) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0064-0001 | DR-CA-0064-0002 | DR-CA-0064-0003 | DR-CA-0064-0004 | DR-CA-0064-9000
Hill, Eve Lynne (Maryland) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0064-0002 | DR-CA-0064-0003 | DR-CA-0064-0004
Weber, Jessica P (Maryland) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0064-0001 | DR-CA-0064-0002 | DR-CA-0064-0003 | DR-CA-0064-0004 | DR-CA-0064-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Davis, Ethan P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0064-0002 | DR-CA-0064-0003 | DR-CA-0064-0004
Wells, Carlotta (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0064-0002 | DR-CA-0064-0003 | DR-CA-0064-0004
Zee, Michael Andrew (California) show/hide docs
DR-CA-0064-0002 | DR-CA-0064-0003 | DR-CA-0064-0004 | DR-CA-0064-9000

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