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ASG’S response to fed disability lawsuit over serivce animials due

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — ASG Task Force officials named as defendants in an alleged violation of the American Disability Act (ADA) federal lawsuit has been given until next week to respond, according to filings on Wednesday this week with the US Central District Court of California.

A local resident, who is a US National and identified in a federal court document as “Jane Doe”, filed in April this year, a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief for violations of the ADA against the task force officials in connection with ASG’s ongoing repatriation program.

Plaintiff contends “she has a statutorily protected right under the ADA as a disabled person to be accompanied by a service animal in all areas of a public entity's facilities where members of the public, participants in services, programs or activities, or invitees, as relevant, are allowed to go.”

Additionally, defendants rule violates plaintiffs rights under the ADA and prevents plaintiff, a disable person, from returning home to her family and business affairs in American Samoa like other “non-disabled” members of the public are permitted to do.  (See Samoa News edition June 10th and June 14th for details.)

Plaintiff’s filing this week states that defendants were served with a summons and complaint via the United States Attorneys and the US Department of Justice. And the court has directed defendants to respond by June 29th.

Defendants in the lawsuit filed Apr. 23 this year, are Health director Motusa Tuileama Nua; local Homeland Security director Samana Semo Veavea; Lt. Gov. Talauega Eleasalo Ale, chairman of the task force; Agriculture director Solia Mutini; and Attorney General Fainu’ulelei Falefatu Ala’ilima-Utu.