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Wilson v. Thomas

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

August 20, 2014

LOGAN WILSON, et al., Plaintiff,
v.
KELLY J. THOMAS, in his official capacity as the Comissioner of Motor Vehicles, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles, and ANTHONY TATA, in his official capacity as the Secretary of Transportation, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Defendant

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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For Logan Wilson, Katherine McCrory, Steven Chambers, Pamela Dickens, Rebecca Kay, Natasha Wright, Disability Rights North Carolina, Plaintiffs: Lisa Grafstein, Holly Anne Stiles, Disability Rights of North Carolina, Raleigh, NC.

For Kelly J. Thomas, in his official capacity as the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Division of Motor Vehicles, Anthony J. Tata, in his official capacity as the Secretary of Transportation, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Defendants: Christopher West Brooks, LEAD ATTORNEY, N.C. Dept. of Justice, Raleigh, NC.

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ORDER

TERRENCE W. BOYLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

This matter is before the Court on defendants' motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and (6). [DE 17]. A hearing was held on this matter in Raleigh North Carolina on August 5, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. For the reasons stated herein, defendants' motion to dismiss is DENIED.

BACKGROUND

This action is brought by six individually named plaintiffs and an organization, Disability Rights North Carolina (" Disability Rights" ) and alleges claims under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (" ADA" ), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (" Rehabilitation Act" ), and the North Carolina Constitution. Disability Rights is a North Carolina non-profit organization that advocates on behalf of individuals with disabilities. Each individual plaintiff in this case holds a current, valid, North Carolina driver's license. Each individual plaintiff has various restrictions on their licenses pertaining to the various physical disabilities and medical conditions they have. Plaintiffs allege that the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (" DMV" ) requires plaintiffs to undergo repeated medical reviews in spite of medical evidence that these reviews are unnecessary, the DMV requires plaintiffs to take road tests when others are not required to do so and when there is no objective basis for doing so, the DMV imposes restrictions of plaintiffs' licenses that are unsupported by medical evidence, and that the DMV frequently acts outside of its statutory authority in taking these actions and violates federal laws requiring that purported " safety" measures must be " necessary . . . [and] based on actual risks, not on mere speculation, stereotypes, or generalizations about individuals with disabilities." 28 C.F.R. § 35.130(h).

Specifically, plaintiffs object to defendants' behavior including: requiring unwarranted road testing, medical reviews, and behind-the-wheel assessments; imposing arbitrary license restrictions on plaintiffs and other constituents of Disability Rights; relying on discriminatory policies contained in the Examiners Manual and the Physician's Guide; forcing plaintiffs to bear the cost and burden of additional testing; and the lack of administrative rules promulgated to govern defendants' administration of the North Carolina driver medical review program.

DISCUSSION

I. 12(b)(1).

A motion pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1) is treated in a manner similar to a motion for summary judgment in that the question before the Court is whether there is a genuine issue of material fact as to the Court's jurisdiction. Richmond, F. & P. R. Co. v. United States, 945 F.2d 765, 768 (4th Cir. 1991). " The moving party should prevail on if the material jurisdictional facts ...


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