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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA

LAJANA K. PAIGE,
     Plaintiff,

v.

C.A. NO. 97-2305 "C" (2)

VINCENT A. PACIERA, SR., SHIRLEY
PACIERA, GULF COAST PROPERTIES,
INC., AND APARTMENT & HOME HUNTERS,
INC.,
     Defendants.

___________________________________

GREATER NEW ORLEANS FAIR HOUSING
ACTION CENTER, INC.,
     Plaintiff,

v.

C.A. NO. 97-2532 "C" (2)

APARTMENT & HOME HUNTERS, INC.,
ET AL.,
     Defendants.

___________________________________

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

C.A. NO. 97-2920 "C" (2)

APARTMENT & HOME HUNTERS, INC.,

ET AL.,
     Defendants.

___________________________________

CONSENT DECREE

This Consent Decree resolves three cases which have been consolidated for discovery and pretrial purposes. Plaintiff LaJana Paige initiated the first of the three actions on July 23, 1997, alleging, among other things, racial discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., by defendants Vincent and Shirley Paciera, Gulf Coast Properties, Inc. ("Gulf Coast"), and Apartment and Home Hunters, Inc. ("AHH"). The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, Inc. ("FHAC") filed its complaint on August 14, 1997, alleging, among other things, racial and familial status discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Named as defendants were AHH; its owner, Digna Hunter; AHH employees Lori Mabile, Kathy Sweeney, Dionne Epstein, and Maxine Puchot; Charles Spitzfaden, III, as an AHH owner, AHH corporate officer, and landlord listing properties with AHH; and AHH's insurance company.(1) The United States filed its complaint on September 4, 1997, alleging racial and familial status discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act and naming AHH, Hunter, and Mabile as defendants. The insurance company for all defendants, State Farm Insurance Company, intervened as a defendant in all three cases. Plaintiffs later amended their complaints so that all plaintiffs named defendant Spitzfaden and the Paciera defendants.

The parties desire to avoid costly and protracted litigation and agree that the controversy should be resolved without the necessity of a trial. Therefore, the parties have consented to the entry of this Decree as indicated by the signatures appearing below.

It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED:

  1. INJUNCTION AGAINST FUTURE DISCRIMINATION

    1. General. The defendants, their agents, employees, successors, and all persons in active concert or participation with any of them shall not discriminate in any aspect of the rental of dwellings because of race or familial status in violation of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., including but not limited to the following(2):

      1. Discouraging or encouraging prospective tenants from obtaining information about, viewing, applying to rent, or renting any dwelling, on the basis of race or familial status;

      2. Misrepresenting the availability of apartments for rent on the basis of race or familial status;

      3. Withholding information regarding the availability of apartments for rent on the basis of race or familial status;

      4. Steering persons seeking housing to particular units on the basis of race or familial status;

      5. Taking any action tending to remove, or assist in the removal of, any tenant from a rental unit on the basis of race or familial status;

      6. Making, printing, or publishing, or causing to be made, printed, or published, any statement with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference based on race or familial status; and

      7. Providing different terms or conditions in housing on the basis of race or familial status. This includes, but is not limited to, placing any restriction, written or oral, on the number, age or gender of children allowed at a particular rental unit. Defendants may place reasonable restrictions on the total number of persons (of any age) allowed to live at a unit, provided that the occupancy limit does not operate unreasonably to limit or exclude families with children. See 54 Fed. Reg. 3237 (1989). Defendants shall not employ or implement an occupancy standard that allows less than two persons per bedroom in any unit unless required or provided for by applicable governmental authorities.

    2. Seeking and Recording Familial Status Information. Prior to renting a unit to them, defendants will not ask prospective tenants whether they have children, how many children they have, or the ages of their children. If this information is volunteered, defendants may use this information in determining whether the prospective tenant is a suitable candidate for any particular rental unit, if and only if the prospective tenant, on his or her own initiative, explicitly indicates that he or she is looking for a unit with particular characteristics because of special needs created due to children living in the unit.

    3. Changing Business Records. All landlord listing cards which have spaces or blanks calling for familial status information(3) shall be destroyed and replaced with forms which do not call for such information to be recorded. Defendants are enjoined from using landlord listing cards, or other forms recording either a description of a rental unit or the landlord's requirements or preferences of tenants renting that unit, which call for familial status information. Within 120 days of the date of entry of this Decree, AHH (and the Paciera defendants, if applicable) shall furnish to FHAC and the United States samples of the new business forms generated pursuant to this paragraph.

  2. NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICIES

    1. Adoption of Nondiscriminatory Policies. Defendants shall immediately adopt and implement objective, uniform nondiscriminatory standards in renting housing units. When assisting persons seeking housing and processing applications, defendants shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that all housing units rented by defendants (or with their assistance) are rented on a nondiscriminatory basis.

    2. Implementation and Display of Policies--AHH. The AHH defendants, as of the date of entry of this Decree, shall implement and adhere to the policies set forth in Exhibit A. Exhibit A shall be prominently displayed in all AHH offices. The AHH defendants shall furnish a copy of Exhibit A to each current employee or agent, and to each future employee or agent within one week of the beginning of the employment or agency relationship, and obtain the signature of such person on Exhibit A. The AHH defendants shall also distribute a copy of Exhibit A to every current private landlord listing with AHH, and to each future private landlord that lists with AHH, either by certified mail, return receipt requested; by telefacsimile (with fax cover sheet and record of successful transmission); or by hand delivery (with signed acknowledgment of receipt).

    3. Implementation and Display of Policies--Paciera Defendants. The Paciera defendants, as of the date of entry of this Decree, shall implement and adhere to the policies set forth in Exhibit B. The Paciera defendants shall furnish a copy of Exhibit B to each current employee or agent, and to each future employee or agent within one week of the beginning of the employment or agency relationship, and obtain the signature of such person on Exhibit B.

  3. MONETARY COMPENSATION

    1. Damages to Parties. Within 10 days from the date of entry of this Decree, defendants shall pay to plaintiffs $180,000, some of which will be in the form of a civil penalty paid to the United States. The amounts to be paid by each defendant, and to each plaintiff, will be set out in a separate document signed by the parties.

    2. Victim Compensation Fund. Within 25 days of the entry of this Decree, FHAC shall deposit into an interest bearing escrow account the sum of $50,000 for the purpose of compensating additional claimants who may be identified through the procedures set forth in this Section.

    3. Publication of Notice to Potential Claimants. On two separate dates, within 60 days of the entry of this Order, Defendants shall publish a Notice to Potential Claimants of Housing Discrimination ("Notice") of at least one column by three inches in the public notices, Metro, and Sports sections of the Times-Picayune. The defendants shall provide to counsel for the United States a copy of the newspaper containing such Notice, within 3 days after the last publication. The written Notice shall not be published on a Saturday or on a holiday.

    4. Contents of Notice. As set out in Exhibit C, the Notice shall set forth a summary of the legal and evidentiary contentions of the United States; a general statement of the relief provided under this Consent Order; and a statement that the United States seeks information from any persons who claim to have been subjected to racial or familial status discrimination.

    5. Distribution of Funds. Six months after the last publication of the Notice, the United States shall determine which persons, if any, have valid claims of discrimination, and shall determine in its sole discretion an appropriate amount of damages to be awarded to each such person. The United States shall interview all claimants, require claimants to sign a statement under oath outlining their allegations, and shall examine any corroborative evidence carefully in making decisions regarding disbursement. The Defendants shall have an opportunity to provide information relevant to dispute any claim prior to any disbursement. The United States shall provide to the Defendants nonconfidential information in support of any claim pertaining to such Defendant, 30 days prior to any disbursement pursuant to that claim, provided that compliance with this requirement may necessitate disbursements occurring after the 6-month disbursement period provided for in this section. The United States shall also require all claimants to sign statements releasing defendants from further liability regarding the allegations relating to this lawsuit before distributing funds to them.

    6. Unused Funds. In the event that no additional claimants are located or identified within 180 days of the last publication of the Notice, or that a total amount of less than $50,000 plus the accrued interest is paid to such persons, the remaining balance shall be paid to FHAC for use in educational, investigatory, and enforcement efforts relating to fair housing.

  4. FAIR HOUSING TRAINING

    1. Training of Defendants and Their Agents. Defendants, as well as defendants' current employees and agents (who deal in any way with the rental or management of rental properties), shall undergo comprehensive fair housing training by FHAC. The training shall include all local, state and federal laws regarding housing discrimination and shall last at least 3 hours. All training shall be completed within 120 days of the date of entry of this Decree. FHAC shall work with defendants to schedule one joint training session for all defendants, which will occur within this 120-day period. Any defendant or defendant's agent who does not attend this session must attend a make-up session within 150 days of the date of entry of this Decree. Each make-up session will be billed by FHAC at a rate of $100 per hour to either the Paciera defendants or the AHH defendants, individually, or both jointly, depending on who attends the make-up session. Each defendant shall sign a statement verifying under oath that they have received the requisite fair housing training pursuant to this paragraph (see Exhibit D), and shall mail such signed statement to the United States within 150 days of the date of this Decree. AHH shall require that all agents and employees including future agents and employees take at least 4 hours of fair housing per year as part of their continuing education necessary for retaining a real estate license from the Louisiana Real Estate Commission, and that agents certify attendance at such additional training by signing Exhibit D and mailing it to the United States within 30 days of receiving such training. The Paciera defendants will retain all training materials provided by FHAC and will provide such materials to new employees or agents who have responsibility in renting or managing Paciera properties.

    2. Records of Training Sessions. The AHH defendants and the Paciera defendants shall each maintain a separate record of the training sessions attended by them or their agents, indicating the date, location, duration, trainer, attendees, and topics covered for each session.

    3. Notice to Employees and Agents. In addition, AHH and the Paciera defendants will:

      1. Furnish to each current and future employee or agent a summary of this Decree (Exhibit E) and inform each employee or agent that noncompliance with this Decree may lead to sanctions imposed by the Court.

      2. Secure a signed statement from each current and future employee or agent that he or she has received, read, and understands both Exhibit E and the statement of nondiscriminatory policy described in Section II above. Copies of such statements shall be provided to the United States within 60 days of the date of entry of this Decree, for current employees and agents; and within 60 days of the beginning of the agency relationship, for future employees and agents.

  5. PUBLIC NOTICE AND OUTREACH

    1. Fair housing poster and logo. Defendants will post and maintain a fair housing sign in a form approved by the Secretary of HUD(4) in all offices in which they perform any business related to housing. Similarly, defendants shall include the words "Equal Housing Opportunity Provider" or the fair housing logo in all advertising conducted and paid for by defendants in newspapers, radio, television or other media, including telephone directory display ads, and on all billboards, signs, pamphlets, brochures, T-shirts, and other promotional literature. Those words shall be prominently placed and easily legible.

    2. Nondiscrimination statement. Defendants shall include the following statement on all prospect sheets, questionnaires, rental applications, and leases (unless the lease displays a preprinted Fair Housing logo as defined in this Section):

      We are an equal housing opportunity provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, national origin, or disability.

    3. Advertising--AHH. AHH will advertise its services in the Greater New Orleans White Pages and the New Orleans Yellow Pages. AHH will also advertise its services in the Times-Picayune and in the Louisiana Weekly. AHH shall place its advertisements at least once a month in the Times-Picayune for the duration of this decree, and once every other month in the Louisiana Weekly for at least two years. The advertisements in the Weekly shall be at least as large as those in the Times-Picayune.

    4. Advertising--Pacieras. The Paciera defendants will advertise their available rental units in the Times-Picayune.

    5. Notice of Availability. Within one business day of discovering that a privately owned rental unit is available (in the case of the Paciera defendants), or on a weekly basis (in the case of the AHH defendants), AHH and the Paciera defendants shall each provide the relevant information by telefacsimile or telephone to the appropriate housing office of Xavier University, Dillard University and Southern University of New Orleans, and to the Greater St. Stephen's Ministries Church. The relevant information shall include the type of unit [single-family home, duplex, 4-plex, 8-plex, apartment complex (with number of units), etc.]; the number of bedrooms and bathrooms; the square footage; the neighborhood; and the rent and security deposit.

    6. Timing. Defendants will satisfy the requirements set out in this Section within 120 days of the entry of this Decree.

  6. TESTING

    1. Self-testing programs. The AHH defendants and the Paciera defendants agree that FHAC will implement fair housing testing programs to test AHH, defendant Spitzfaden, and the Paciera defendants. The AHH program will send matched pairs of fair housing testers to the AHH offices or to rental properties owned or managed by defendant Spitzfaden; the Paciera program will send similar testers to rental properties owned or managed by the Paciera defendants. Each program will consist of up to 9 tests(5) taking place during the life of this Decree. The AHH defendants and the Paciera defendants will each pay FHAC $350 per test within 30 days of receiving a bill from FHAC for testing services, provided that each set of defendants will not be obligated to pay for more than four tests in a year period. Tests will be recorded and tapes will be preserved for all tests.

    2. Testing Reports. The United States shall have access to the FHAC testing reports at any time upon request and shall use the reports to monitor the defendants' compliance with this Decree. FHAC will provide AHH with the AHH testing reports and the Paciera defendants with the Paciera testing reports within 90 days of the completion of any series of tests.

  7. RECORDKEEPING

    1. Records of Rental Transactions. Commencing on the date of entry of this Decree, for each privately owned unit(6) rented by AHH or with the assistance of an AHH agent, AHH will retain a copy of a photo I.D. of the new tenant and the corresponding landlord listing card (where available).(7) AHH will add columns to its rental invoice ledger setting out the race and number/age of children for each tenant, and record such information in the ledger. The Paciera defendants will compile and maintain a separate list of units rented which will include the full address of the unit along with the new tenant's name, forwarding address (if given at the completion of the rental term), telephone number, race, and number and ages of children living in the unit. Unless the familial status information has been previously volunteered, defendants will obtain the familial status information of the new tenant only after the apartment has been rented.(8)

    2. Records of Persons Shown Units. Commencing on the date of entry of this Decree, AHH and the Paciera defendants must each maintain a record of the prospective tenants shown privately owned rental units. The listing shall include the date; the full address of the unit; the name of the person showing the unit; and the name, race, and telephone number of the person shown the unit.

    3. Records of Advertising. AHH and the Paciera defendants will each maintain records of all advertising done during the life of this Decree. The records will include a sample of each annual telephone listing; a copy of each newspaper advertisement, with a notation indicating the dates it was placed in each newspaper. This obligation applies to advertising of the victim compensation fund pursuant to Section III.

    4. Access to Records. During the life of this Decree, AHH and the Paciera defendants shall preserve all records which are the source of, or contain, any of the information pertinent to defendants' obligations under this Decree, including, but not limited to, any document, notice, signed statement, or other record required to be generated pursuant to this Decree. This specifically includes, but is not limited to, records generated or received pursuant to Sections II.1 through II.3 (promulgation of nondiscriminatory policies), IV.2 (training session records), V.1 (fair housing poster and logo), and V.2 (nondiscrimination statement on office forms). All such records shall be made available to the United States or FHAC upon written request at any time during the life of this Decree. The United States and FHAC shall endeavor to minimize any inconvenience to defendants in reviewing and/or obtaining copies of these documents. Defendants may not destroy any such record without providing the United States or FHAC 45 days' notice and an opportunity to copy such records at its expense.

  8. REPORTING

    1. Annual Report. During the life of this Decree, AHH and the Paciera defendants shall each submit an annual report to the United States detailing its compliance with the provisions of this Decree. The first report shall cover the one-year period beginning with the date of entry of this Decree, and each subsequent report shall cover the next one-year period. Each report is due within 30 days of the end of the applicable reporting period. The report shall include a paragraph-by-paragraph description of all actions taken to comply with each paragraph of this Decree (except for Section I.1). It shall also include, as attachments, the records for that reporting period described in paragraphs 1-3 of Section VII. The AHH report shall be signed by defendants Hunter and Mabile as a declaration pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1746. The Paciera defendants' report shall be signed by defendant Vincent Paciera, Sr. as a declaration pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1746. The United States shall provide report forms to each set of defendants within 60 days of the entry of this Decree.

    2. Notice of Discrimination Complaints. Defendants, during the term of this Decree, shall advise counsel for the United States in writing within 60 days of receipt of any written administrative or legal complaint against defendants, or against any of defendants' employees, agents or residential rental properties, alleging housing discrimination.

  9. ADMINISTRATION OF DECREE

    1. Enforcement. This Decree is the order of the Court. Any defendant who fails to comply with any of its terms, whether through commission or omission, may be subject to sanctions and civil contempt. At any time during the life of this Decree, any party may make a motion to enforce the decree and for sanctions. If the Court grants relief, the movant will be entitled to reimbursement of costs and fees at the discretion of the Court if the Court finds that the losing party was unreasonable.

    2. Modification. This Decree may be modified at any time by written agreement of the parties. Such written agreement shall be submitted to the Court. Once the agreement is filed with the Court, the parties may act as though the modification is approved until such time as the Court indicates otherwise.

    3. Term and Disposition. This action is dismissed with prejudice, except that the Court retains jurisdiction to enforce the Decree. At any time after five years of the entry of this Decree, defendants may move to terminate this Decree, except that all obligations in Sections III, IV (1), V, VI and VIII terminate automatically after three years from the entry of this Decree. Unless a plaintiff opposes this motion within 30 days, this motion will be automatically granted. If a plaintiff makes a timely showing that defendants have not substantially complied with the terms of this Decree, or have failed to act in good faith with respect to any term of this Decree, or that the interests of justice otherwise justify extension of this Decree, the Court in its discretion may extend the term of this Decree. The parties to this Decree shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of and compliance with this Decree prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution.

ORDERED this ________ day of ____________, l99___.

______________________________
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

The undersigned apply for and consent to the entry of this Decree:

For the United States:
__________________________

for FHAC:
__________________________

For LaJana Paige:
__________________________

For the AHH Defendants:
__________________________

For the Paciera Defendants:
__________________________
__________________________

Digna Hunter (for AHH)
__________________________

__________________________
Digna Hunter

__________________________
Lori Mabile

__________________________
Dionne Epstein

__________________________
Kathy Sweeney

__________________________
Maxine Puchot

__________________________
Charles Spitzfaden, III

__________________________
Vincent Paciera, Sr. (for Gulf Coast)

__________________________
Vincent Paciera, Sr.


LIST OF EXHIBITS

A     NonDiscrimination Policy -- AHH Defendants

B     NonDiscrimination Policy -- Paciera Defendants

C     Notice of Victim Compensation Fund

D     Statement Verifying Attendance of Fair Housing Training

E     Summary Of Decree (to be distributed to defendants' agents and employees)

F     Releases


Exhibit A (AHH Defendants)

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

It is the policy of the owners and managers of _______, not to discriminate against anyone in any aspect of the rental of dwellings because of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status or religion. This policy means, among other things, that all agents must:

  1. always truthfully provide any client who inquires about an apartment for rent a reasonable number of apartments available for rent that meet the client's stated criteria;

  2. never

    1. select, choose, recommend or suggest a particular apartment to anyone; or

    2. fail to inform someone of an available apartment; or

    3. discourage anyone from renting an apartment;

    --because of a person's race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status or religion; or because of the race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status or religion of current tenants.

Any employee who does not comply with the rental procedures and criteria set forth in this document may be subject to disciplinary action, termination of employment and/or federal court sanctions.

STATEMENT OF AGENT OR EMPLOYEE

I have read the above Nondiscrimination Policy. I understand its terms and intend to comply with them.

_______________________
Signature

_______________________
Printed Name

_______________________
Date


Exhibit B (Paciera Defendants)

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

It is the policy of the owners and managers of _______, not to discriminate against anyone in any aspect of the rental of dwellings because of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status or religion. This policy means, among other things, that all agents must:

  1. always truthfully provide any client who inquires about an apartment for rent a reasonable number of apartments available for rent that meet the client's stated criteria;

  2. never

    1. select, choose, recommend or suggest a particular apartment to anyone; or

    2. fail to inform someone of an available apartment; or

    3. discourage anyone from renting an apartment;

    --because of a person's race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status or religion; or because of the race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status or religion of current tenants.

Any employee who does not comply with the rental procedures and criteria set forth in this document may be subject to disciplinary action, termination of employment and/or federal court sanctions.

STATEMENT OF AGENT OR EMPLOYEE

I have read the above Nondiscrimination Policy. I understand its terms and intend to comply with them.

_______________________
Signature

_______________________
Printed Name

_______________________
Date


EXHIBIT C (NOTICE OF VICTIM FUND)

NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT AND CONSENT DECREE REGARDING HOUSINGDISCRIMINATION LAWSUIT

On __________, 1999, the US District Court in New Orleans entered an order with consent of the parties resolving discrimination lawsuits brought by the United States and two private plaintiffs. The lawsuits alleged that a Metairie-based apartment finding service, along with two individual landlords, discriminated against African Americans and families with children under age 18 who were seeking rental housing.

Without admitting liability or wrongdoing, all parties have agreed to resolve the lawsuit under the terms of the Consent Decree.

The United States is now seeking information from all persons who claim to have suffered unlawful housing discrimination by these Defendants or at rental locations on St. Patrick, Olympia, Penniston and Cleveland Streets in New Orleans; on Richland St. in Metairie; and on Central Ave. in Jefferson.

Persons who believe that they may have a valid claim of racial or familial status discrimination by these defendants or at these locations are invited to contact the United States Department of Justice before ________________, 1999 (six months from the date of the Decree) at 1-800-896-7743 (press option ___).

You may also write to:

United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, DC 20035-5998


EXHIBIT D (VERIFICATION OF FAIR HOUSING TRAINING)

I, ___________________, certify that on _______________, I attended a fair housing training session conducted by _____________________ of the organization ______________________________. I attended this training session for at least ________ hours. I received instruction at this training session on the topics referred to in the attached agenda.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.

____________________
Signature

Date: _______________


EXHIBIT E-1 (SUMMARY OF DECREE--AHH)

In 1997, the United States and two private plaintiffs filed separate federal lawsuits alleging that AHH discriminated against African-American clients and clients with minor children. These cases, which also named landlord Charles Spitzfaden, III as a defendant, were consolidated together and jointly settled before trial in 1999 through a judicial order agreed to by the parties (the Consent Decree). At all times, these Defendants denied all of the allegations and claims made in these suits. The Consent Decree requires defendants and their agents to take certain steps to address the allegations of discrimination made by the plaintiffs. As an agent of one of the defendants, you must follow these steps, some of which are summarized below. The Decree is a federal court order which will last until 2004, and violating it may subject a defendant to civil contempt.

++The Decree forbids anyone from providing less favorable or helpful service, information, or apartments to anyone because they are black or because they have children under 18.

++The Decree forbids the use of an occupancy limit more restrictive than two persons per bedroom.

++Although you can ask someone seeking an apartment how many total people will be living there, you cannot ask them for information about their children prior to their signing a lease (unless they bring it up themselves). After they sign a lease, information about their children should be obtained and recorded for a report sent to the Department of Justice (see below).

++All defendants and agents must receive fair housing training, either from the GNO Fair Housing Action Center, Inc. (FHAC) or as part of the continuing education licensing requirements of the Louisiana Real Estate Commission.

++AHH must ensure that all advertising contains either the phrase "Equal Housing Opportunity Provider" or the fair housing logo, and that business forms include a similar statement, spelled out in the Decree.

++AHH must advertise in the Louisiana Weekly as well as the Times-Picayune, and must notify certain organizations of available vacancies once a week.

++AHH must keep photo I.D. records of tenants; and all Defendants must keep (a) records of the race and I.D. of persons shown apartment units; (b) records of advertising; and (c) records regarding training and other things done as part of the Decree.

++AHH must file an annual report with the U.S. Dept. of Justice outlining their compliance with the Decree. The report must include the records in (a) through (c) above.


EXHIBIT E-2 (SUMMARY OF DECREE--Paciera)

In 1997, the United States and two private plaintiffs filed separate federal lawsuits alleging that AHH discriminated against African-American clients and clients with minor children. These cases, which also named landlord Vincent Paciera as a defendant, were consolidated together and jointly settled before trial in 1999 through a judicial order agreed to by the parties (the Consent Decree). At all times, these Defendants denied all of the allegations and claims made in these suits. The Consent Decree requires defendants and their agents to take certain steps to address the allegations of discrimination made by the plaintiffs. As an agent of one of the defendants, you must follow these steps, some of which are summarized below. The Decree is a federal court order which will last until 2004, and violating it may subject a defendant to civil contempt.

++The Decree forbids anyone from providing less favorable or helpful service, information, or apartments to anyone because they are black or because they have children under 18.

++The Decree forbids the use of an occupancy limit more restrictive than 2 persons per bedroom.

++Although you can ask someone seeking an apartment how many total people will be living there, you cannot ask them for information about their children prior to their signing a lease (unless they bring it up themselves). After they sign a lease, information about their children should be obtained and recorded for a report sent to the Department of Justice (see below).

++All defendants and agents must receive fair housing training, either from the GNO Fair Housing Action Center, Inc. (FHAC) or as part of the continuing education licensing requirements of the Louisiana Real Estate Commission.

++The Pacieras must ensure that all advertising contains either the phrase "Equal Housing Opportunity Provider" or the fair housing logo, and that business forms include a similar statement, spelled out in the Decree.

++The Pacieras must advertise in the Times-Picayune, and must promptly notify certain organizations of available vacancies.

++The Pacieras must keep (a) records of the race and I.D. of persons shown apartment units; (b) records of advertising; and (c) records regarding training and other things done as part of the Decree.

++The Pacieras must file an annual report with the U.S. Dept. Of Justice outlining their compliance with the Decree. The report must include the records in (a) through (c) above.


EXHIBIT F

RELEASE

In consideration of the payment of $ _________________ to _______________, I, ____________________, release and discharge the defendants in Case No. 97-2305 C(2)/97-2532 C(2) (circle one) from any liability relating to the claims raised in the complaints in this case, for any conduct up to and including the date of this Release.

Defendants deny any liability for the claims and allegations raised in these cases.

________________________
Signature

Date: ____________________


AGREEMENT

Pursuant to paragraph III.1 of the consent decree in the consolidated cases Nos. 97-2305 C(2), 97-2532 C(2), and 97-2920 C(2), the following monetary payments will be made.

$50,000 by defendants AHH, Hunter, Mabile, Spitzfaden, Sweeney, Epstein, and Puchot.

$50,000 by defendants Vincent and Shirley Paciera, and Gulf Coast Properties, Inc. (Gulf Coast).

$80,000 by defendant State Farm Fire and Insurance Co., Inc.

From this total of $180,000, the plaintiffs in these consolidated cases shall receive the following.

The United States shall receive $10,000 in the form of a civil penalty, and FHAC shall receive $50,000 for a victim compensation fund as set out in Section II of the consent decree.

Defendants Vincent Paciera, Shirley Paciera, Gulf Coast, and ____ shall each pay $1,000 toward the $10,000 civil penalty.

The Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, Inc. (FHAC) shall receive $90,000.

Plaintiff LaJana Paige shall receive $30,000.

The initial training session (but not subsequent make-up sessions) required in Section IV.1 shall be provided free of charge by FHAC.

Except for the $10,000 civil penalty, the monies paid by defendants in these consolidated cases represent damages and attorney fees.

____________________
For the United States

____________________
For FHAC

____________________

For LaJana Paige

____________________
For defendants AHH, Hunter, Mabile, Spitzfaden, Sweeney, Epstein, and Puchot

____________________
For defentants Vincent & Shirley Paciera and Gulf Coast

____________________
For defendant State Farm

____________________
Digna Hunter (for AHH)

____________________
Digna Hunter

____________________
Lori Mabile

____________________
Dionne Epstein

____________________
Kathy Sweeney

____________________
Maxine Puchot

____________________
Charles Spitzfden, III

____________________
Vincent Paciera, Sr. (for Gulf Coast)

____________________
Vincent Paciera, Sr.


1. For the purposes of this consent Decree, Vincent Paciera, Shirley Paciera, and Gulf Coast can be considered together as "the Paciera defendants." Defendants AHH, Hunter, Mabile, Spitzfaden, Sweeney, Epstein, and Puchot can be considered together as "the AHH defendants." Paige, FHAC, and the United States can be considered together as "plaintiffs."

2. Nothing in this decree shall prevent defendants from considering the total number of intended occupants (of any age) when deciding whether a prospective tenant is a suitable candidate for a rental unit pursuant to a neutral landlord-imposed occupancy limit, provided that the occupancy limit does not operate unreasonably to limit or exclude families with children. See 54 Fed. Reg. 3237 (1989).

3. As used in this Decree, "familial status information" includes any information about the number and/or ages of children living or staying with prospective tenants, or living at particular rental units; any information regarding the number and/or ages of children preferred by landlords; any judgment regarding the suitability of a particular rental unit for children; and any restriction, or change in rental terms or conditions, premised on the number and/or ages of children to be living or staying in particular rental units. It does not include information about the total number of persons, of any age, who will or may reside in a rental unit.

4. See 24 C.F.R. Part 110.

5. As used in this Decree, a single "test" is made up of one set of completed tests from a single matched pair of testers.

6. In this Decree, a "privately owned unit" includes a unit which is not owned (in whole or in part) by a commercial realty company. It also includes a unit owned under the name of a family-owned or closely held commercial entity. All Paciera and Spitzfaden units are "privately owned."

7. A photo I.D. will not be deemed "unavailable" unless a defendant asks the tenant involved for a copy of such I.D. and is told that the tenant has none.

8. Defendants will obtain the race information based on personal observation only; where the race of a client cannot be ascertained based on personal observation, this fact shall be noted. p>


Document Filed: Feburary 2, 1999
General Information Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
 
Leadership
Steven H. Rosenbaum
Chief
Contact
Housing & Civil
Enforcement Section
(202) 514-4713
TTY - 202-305-1882
FAX - (202) 514-1116
To Report an Incident of Housing Discrimination:
1-800-896-7743
Mailing Contact
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, NWB
Washington, D.C. 20530

Email: fairhousing@usdoj.gov

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