Am I Respected?
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- Read Crandall v. Nevada, 73 U.S. 35 (1868).
- Read Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States, 379 U.S. 241 (1964).
- Read Katzenbach v. McClung, 379 U.S. 294 (1964).
- Describe your understanding of what is respect for citizens.
- Apply that to the following hypothetical factual scenario:
- Mr. Ballabh Shakya is a dark-skinned middle-aged man originally from Nepalico. But after World War II, he immigrated to Rome, Alaska and was eventually naturalized as an American citizen.
- In 1965, Mr. Shakya visited Latlanka, Georgia on a business trip. His company had made his hotel reservations at the Green Inn Hotel for him before he left home. However, by the time that he arrived in Latlanka, something went wrong, and the Green Inn Hotel had no record of his pre-existing reservation.
- When Mr. Shakya tried to sort out the problem in person and get a different room at the Green Inn Hotel, the receptionist told him that no rooms were available.
- Alone in the “Lower 48” of the United States for the first time, Mr. Shakya did not know what to do. So, he went the telephone booth in the hotel’s lobby to look in a telephone book to find other possible nearby hotels.
- As Mr. Shakya was moving toward the telephone booth, the receptionist told him that that telephone was broken. However, he was told that there was another one outside, on the far side of the parking lot.
- Mr. Shakya started to gather his luggage and move outside toward the outside telephone booth. As he was doing so, a young white couple came in, told the receptionist that they had just had serious car trouble and needed a room for the night. The receptionist completed the transaction and handed the woman a room key. Meanwhile, the man walked to the inside telephone booth to call a mechanic.
- Mr. Shakya watched all of this, then returned to question the receptionist. The receptionist then threatened to call security, claiming that the Green Inn Hotel did not cater to “his kind.”
- Ultimately, Mr. Shakya found a room all the way across town from where his business meeting took place the following day. Between his exhaustion from his long journey, humiliation at the Green Inn Hotel, frustration at the additional hours needed for him to try to figure out how to solve his problem of finding a last minute hotel room, and the expense in more time and money to travel all the way across town twice (to get to the new hotel and to return the next morning to the location of his business meeting), Mr. Shakya was pretty upset.
- After his business meeting, he stopped into your civil litigation law firm (Weluv, Hour & Klientell), which was located nearby and advertised on its front window that it handled plaintiffs’ civil rights cases, to ask about what he could do about all that had happened to him. Mr. Weluv asked you to conduct an initial interview of Mr. Shakya to obtain background information that could be useful for determining whether a civil lawsuit against the Green Inn Hotel might be possible.
- About what topics would you ask Mr. Shakya in order to fulfill Mr. Weluv’s request? Provide a summary of what you learned and offer an in-house (no need to discuss non-lawyer legal advice for this forum) recommendation to Mr. Weluv as to whether you think Mr. Shakya might have a civil rights claim related to whether his human dignity may not have been respected.
- Explain what access to justice issues are related to this sort of factual scenario, and make suggestions about how to reduce the legal burdens associated with such problems.