This case involves a Secretary-initiated HUD complaint that elected, as well as a pattern-or-practice and group of persons claim. The amended complaint alleges that the City and Sheriff’s Department created and enacted the ordinance with the intent to drive African American and Latino renters out of their homes and out of Hesperia, and that the Sheriff’s Department, acting on behalf of the City, discriminatorily enforced the ordinance against African American and Latino renters and in majority-minority areas of Hesperia. The amended complaint further alleges that the City’s discrimination against African American and Latino renters violates Alcohol dependence Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits recipients of federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin. On July 16, 2015, the court entered a consent order in United States v. American Honda Finance Corporation (C.D. Cal.), an Equal Credit Opportunity Act case, filed on July 14, 2015, alleging that Honda discriminated by permitting automobile dealers to charge higher interest rates to borrowers on the basis of race and national origin. Under the consent order, Honda will implement policies and procedures that limit the dealer markup on automobile retail installment contracts.
The complaint alleges that the defendant violated 50 U.S.C. § 3958 by auctioning off the belongings of a United States Air Force Technical Sergeant who was deployed to Qatar, without a court order. The auctioned belongings included the Technical Sergeant’s military gear and mementos that had belonged to his cousin who was killed in action while serving in the military, his grandfather’s military service medals, a dresser that was handmade by his great-grandfather, and his personal photographs.
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The complaint, which was filed on August 20, 2020, alleges that the owner of a single-family home in Florence, Oregon violated the Fair Housing Act on the basis of familial status by refusing to rent the home to a woman because she would be living with her four foster grandchildren. The settlement agreement requires the defendant to obtain fair housing training and notify the public of her non-discrimination policy. The complaint, filed on September 28, 2015, alleges that the bank engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of race and national origin in its indirect auto lending business. The consent order includes $18 million in restitution for harmed African American and Hispanic borrowers and requires the bank to change the way it prices its loans by limiting dealer markup to 125 basis points (or 1.25%) for loans of 60 months or less, and to 100 basis points (or 1%) for loans greater than 60 months. On October 1, 2015, the court entered a consent order in United States v. Eagle Bank and Trust Co. of Missouri (E.D. Mo.). The complaint, filed on September 29, 2015, alleges that the bank engaged in a pattern or practice of redlining in the area of St. Louis City north of Interstate 64, including Ferguson and Florissant. The consent order includes a loan subsidy fund of $800,000 for future lending in the redlined areas and two new full-service branches to serve those areas.
The United States had filed a statement of interest in this case on November 3, 2016, to address the question whether the protections of the Fair Housing Act extend to group homes for unaccompanied children in the care and custody of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The plaintiff in the case sought to operate such a home in the City of Escondido and alleges that the city discriminated on the basis of race and national origin when it denied the request for a conditional use permit to operate the group home. The United States’ statement of interest urged the court to find that the proposed group home is a “dwelling” covered by the Fair Housing Act and is neither a jail nor a detention facility. On November 28, 2017, the United States filed a complaint in United States v. City of Springfield (C.D. Ill.), alleging that the City violated the Fair Housing Act by imposing a 600-foot spacing requirement on small group homes for persons with disabilities, while not applying any spacing requirement to similarly situated housing for people without disabilities.
The statement of interest argues that the plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to support a claim of housing discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, and that Facebook does not have statutory immunity under the Communications Decency Act for the development of its data collection and advertising tools. On January 18, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit affirmed the October 27, 2017 jury verdict of $43,500 in favor of the United States in United States v. DeRaffele (D. Mass.). The complaint, which was filed on May 31, 2016 and amended on October 24, 2016, alleged that the owner of a four-unit rental property in Springfield, Massachusetts violated the Fair Housing Act when he refused to rent an apartment to a family because they had children under six years old and the units had no lead certificate. The jury found that the defendant made an apartment unavailable to the family based in substantial part on their familial status. The jury also found that the defendant retaliated against them by filing a lawsuit against them after they filed their HUD complaint. The jury found that the United States had proven a pattern or practice of discrimination and stated that the defendant should pay $35,000 to the United States as a civil penalty.
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The consent order requires the Township to allow construction of the Islamic school and provides for other injunctive relief, such as training, notice, and reporting. On December 12, 2018, the court issued an opinion denying the city’s motion to dismiss GSIC’s RLUIPA action in Garden State eco sober house rating Islamic Center v. City of Vineland (D. N.J.), finding that the city’s denial of a certificate of occupancy for GSIC’s place of worship based on the application of State sewage regulations fell within RLUIPA, and that the sewage regulations were a “land use regulation” under RLUIPA.
On November 24, 2020, the United States filed a pattern or practice complaint in United States v. Village of Hinsdale, Ill. (N.D. Ill.), alleging that the Village of Hinsdale discriminated on the basis of disability when it prohibited a sober living home from operating and refused to consider its request for a reasonable accommodation to the Village’s zoning code. On December 7, 2020, the United States filed a complaint in United States v. Town of Wolcott (D. Conn.), a HUD zoning and land use referral. The complaint alleges that the Town of Wolcott discriminated on the basis of disability in violation of the Fair Housing Act when it denied a special use permit to applicants seeking to open a community residence for 13 adults with mental health disabilities and subsequently amended its zoning regulations to eliminate the operation of community residences for adults with disabilities as a permitted use anywhere in the Town. On January 17, 2017, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York filed a complaint in United States v. Atlantic Development Group, LLC (S.D.N.Y.), against the designers and developers of 33 West End Avenue, 2 Cooper, and other properties in New York City and Westchester County. The complaint alleges that the defendants violated the Fair Housing Act by failing to design and construct these properties so as to be accessible to persons with disabilities. The settlement requires defendants to make retrofits at 170 Amsterdam Avenue to bring the exteriors and interiors of the property into greater compliance with the FHA’s accessibility requirements, and requires defendants to pay $30,000 in civil penalties and establish an aggrieved persons’ fund of at least $30,000. On April 12, 2018, the United States entered into a settlement agreement resolving United States v. Riexinger (E.D. Wash.).
The complaint alleges that a developer and affiliated entities and individuals violated the FHA and ADA by failing to design and construct 116 units of housing and their common use areas at four building developments in Grand Forks and West Fargo so that they are accessible to people with disabilities. The partial consent decree resolves the United States’ claims against the architect, Hepper Olson Architects Ltd. and Pribula Engineering, PLLC, the engineer at one of the building developments. Among other provisions, the partial consent order includes that the architect Alcoholism in family systems and engineer receive accessibility training, that they contribute to an aggrieved persons fund, and that the architect contribute to a retrofit fund for the single building development. This case was consolidated with a previously-filed private action (Sellers v. Southeastern Community and Family Services, Inc. (M.D.N.C.)). The consent decree, which was entered by the court on July 2, 2015, required the defendants to pay $2.7 million in damages to victims of their discriminatory conduct, including fees and costs, and more than $25,000 in civil penalties.
The complaint alleges that Joseph Centanni, the owner and manager of rental properties in and around Elizabeth, New Jersey, violated the Fair Housing Act by engaging in a pattern or practice of sexual harassment against tenants and housing applicants since at least 2005. The original complaint, filed on June 29, 2020, alleged that Juan Goitia, the manager of multiple residential rental units in Davenport, sexually harassed a female tenant from March 2018 until August 2018. The amended complaint alleges that Sobriety Goitia also engaged in a pattern or practice of sexual harassment of multiple female tenants throughout the last decade. According to the amended complaint, Goitia’s harassment of multiple female tenants included repeated and unwelcome sexual comments, touching tenants’ bodies without their consent, and retaliation for rejecting his advances. The United States also named 908 Bridge Cooperative, the corporate owner of the rental properties where the harassment occurred, as a defendant in the lawsuit.
On September 9, 2019, the United States filed a complaint in United States v. Prashad (D. Mass.), alleging a pattern or practice of sexual harassment in violation of the Fair Housing Act. The complaint alleges that Prashad sexually harassed female tenants of rental properties he owned, either individually or through LLCs. The complaint further alleges that Besaw, who was employed by Prashad to assist with the management and maintenance of his rental properties, also sexually harassed and assaulted female tenants. Besaw’s alleged conduct includes subjecting female tenants to unwelcome sexual contact including groping, sexual assault, and forced touching of their bodies; exposing himself to female tenants; making unwelcome sexual comments and sexual advances toward female tenants; and making intrusive, unannounced visits to female tenants’ units to conduct and further his sexual advances. The complaint alleges that the defendants engaged in a pattern or practice of sexual harassment in housing at properties that they own and operate in and around Toledo, Ohio, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
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The Department of Justice also brings cases where a housing discrimination complaint has been investigated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD has issued a charge of discrimination, and one of the parties to the case has “elected” to go to federal court. In FHA cases, the Department can obtain injunctive relief, including affirmative requirements for training and policy changes, monetary damages and, in pattern or practice cases, civil penalties. Additional calls to numbers marked with a label like ‘ad’ will be primarily routed to advertisers of the website.
The consent order requires the City to amend its zoning ordinance to comply with RLUIPA, provide RLUIPA training to its officials and employees, and notify the public about its compliance with RLUIPA in zoning and land use. On June 30, 2015, the court entered a consent order in United States v. Routh Guys, LLC d/b/a Kung Fu Saloon (N.D. Tex.). The complaint, which was also filed on June 30, 2015, alleged that the owners and operators of a bar and restaurant located in Dallas, Austin, and Houston, Texas, discriminated against African-American and Asian-American patrons by denying them admission into Kung Fu Saloons, in violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The consent order includes a subsidy fund, as well as requirements including a credit needs assessment, community outreach, targeted outreach and advertising, and consumer repair and education provisions. On January 20, 2017, the court entered a consent order in United States v. JPMorgan Chase Bank (S.D.N.Y.). The complaint, which was filed on January 18, 2017 by the United States Attorney’s Office, alleged that the defendant violated the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act when African American and Hispanic borrowers paid higher rates and fees for wholesale mortgage loans than similarly situated white borrowers. On July 2, 2020, the Court entered a consent order to resolve the United States’ allegations in United States v. Guaranteed Auto Sales (D. Md.), against a used car dealership, its owner Kelly Ann West, and its manager Robert Chesgreen.