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Title III Technical Assistance Manual (with 1994 supplement)

III−1.6000 Private clubs. The obligations of title III do not apply to any "private club. " An entity is a private club for purposes of the ADA if it is a private club under title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, and national origin by public accommodations.

Courts have been most inclined to find private club status in cases where --

1) Members exercise a high degree of control over club operations.

2) The membership selection process is highly selective.

3) Substantial membership fees are charged.

4) The entity is operated on a nonprofit basis.

5) The club was not founded specifically to avoid compliance with Federal civil rights laws.

Facilities of a private club lose their exemption to the extent that they are made available for use by nonmembers as places of public accommodation.

ILLUSTRATION: A private country club that would be considered a "private club" for ADA purposes rents space to a private day care center that is also open to the children of nonmembers. Although the private club would maintain its exemption for its other operations, it would have title III obligations with respect to the operation of the day care center.


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