Community Upset about Sudden Closure of Pool Hall Due to an ADA Violation

SOUTH SACRAMENTO -- Long time customers of the Jointed Cue Billards Hall were met with this sign that said, "Thanks for the memories but we're closed for good."

The business blamed wheelchair-bound attorney Scott Johnson who touts himself as a champion of the Americans with Disabilites Act.

"In all fairness he's not, he's lining his pockets with cash," Mike Murphy, the owner of Jointed Cue, said.

The Jointed Cue is one of over 2,000 businesses sued by Johnson.

He's known for making visits to business multiple times or sends in surrogates unannounced. He makes no requests to be accommodated.

The Jointed Cue is legally on the hook for $4,000 a visit.

"He claims he's been here five times, no one's ever saw him and he doesn't even tell anyone there's a problem. It's not about access to the facility, it's about access to your pocketbook," Jointed Cue's attorney Catherine Corfee said.

Evelyn Abouhassan can count the times she's been told by businesses that they will fix access problems and then do nothing.

"There is no private inspector that holds businesses accountable for insuring businesses comply with the ADA so for many the only recourse you have is to file a lawsuit," Abouhassan, Disabled Rights California, explained.

She urges businesses to comply with ADA codes before you get a complaint.

Realistically small businesses often choose to forgo expensive changes if there is no complaint.

"We have plenty people who come here in wheelchairs, eating, playing pool, never had any complaints whatsoever," Murphy said.

Now Murphy says his forced closure means people with disabilities won't be able to come in at all.

Generations of pool players and champions have made there way through the tournament room here, a legacy that may not be lost.

It's not just locals who are at home here...a who's who of big time players from around the country played in the first tournament room on the West Coast -- Minnesota Fats among them.

"It was a shock to me," Ted Ito, a regular customer, said.

Ito first came here when it opened 50 years ago and took on the best.

A table was dedicated to 93-year-old Ito, a local legend who made this his home away from home.

"To have it close down is very depressing," Ito explained.

Friday afternoon, regulars were helping clean the place out and relive some memories and lament the loss of a community asset.

"There are people who come here every day, not most days, everyday. Race, creed and color doesn't matter. The pool community here is very tight and they're very upset," Pocket Don said.

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