UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF IDAHO
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
MARVIN A. GARDNER,
CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT
The United States of America alleges:
- This action is brought by the United States to enforce
the provisions of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (the
Fair Housing Act), as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act
of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619. It is brought on behalf of the
Idaho Fair Housing Council pursuant to section 812(o) of the Fair
Housing Act ("the Act"), as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
- This Court has jurisdiction over this action under
28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
- Defendant Marvin A. Gardner is a resident of the
District of Idaho. At all relevant times, Defendant Marvin A.
Gardner owned a four-unit residential rental property located at
122 N. 4th E., Rexburg, Idaho 83440, in the District of Idaho.
The apartments in this four-unit residential rental property are
dwellings within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
- The Idaho Fair Housing Council is a nonprofit
organization that promotes fair housing practices for housing
providers and consumers throughout Idaho.
- In November 1997, Defendant Marvin A. Gardner caused an
advertisement for a vacancy in the four-unit property to be
placed in the Rexburg Standard-Journal, a twice-weekly newspaper.
Inter alia, the advertisement stated that "no children" would be
permitted in the apartment.
- Upon seeing the advertisement, representatives of the
Idaho Fair Housing Council instructed two testers to telephone
the number listed in the advertisement to inquire about renting
the apartment. Defendant Marvin A. Gardner told each of the two
testers that occupancy of the apartment by children would be
prohibited or restricted.
- On or about March 13, 1998, the director of the Idaho
Fair Housing Council filed a timely housing discrimination
complaint with HUD pursuant to Section 810(a) of the Fair Housing
Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a), alleging that Defendant
discriminated in housing because of familial status. In its
complaint, the Idaho Fair Housing Council alleges that "the
discriminatory practice documented through testing frustrates the
mission of the Council and encourages other housing providers or
consumers to believe that not renting to families with children
is a permissible practice."
- Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(a) and
(b), the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development conducted and
completed an investigation of the complaint filed by the Idaho
Fair Housing Council, attempted conciliation without success, and
prepared a final investigative report. Based on information
gathered in the investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause exists
to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred.
Accordingly, on August 28, 1998, the Secretary issued a Charge of
Discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), charging
Defendant Marvin A. Gardner with engaging in discriminatory
housing practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
- On or about September 21, 1998, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 3612(a), Defendant Marvin A. Gardner elected to have the charge
resolved in a civil action filed in federal district court.
- On September 22, 1998, the Chief Administrative Law
Judge issued a Notice of Election of Judicial Determination and
terminated the administrative proceeding on the complaints filed
by the Idaho Fair Housing Council.
- Following the Notice of Election, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§ 3612(o), the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
authorized the Attorney General to commence this civil action.
- Defendant Marvin A. Gardner, through the actions
referred to in paragraphs 5 and 6, has made, or caused to be
made, statements with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling
that indicate a preference, limitation or discrimination because
of familial status, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c).
- The Idaho Fair Housing Council is an aggrieved person,
as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i), and has suffered damages as a
result of the Defendant Marvin A. Gardner's conduct described
WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the court enter an
- Declares that the discriminatory housing practices
of the Defendant Marvin A. Gardner as set forth above violate the
Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619;
- Enjoins Defendant Marvin A. Gardner, his agents,
employees, successors, and all other persons in active concert or
participation with them from discriminating because of familial
status against any person in any aspect of the rental of a
- Awards such damages as would fully compensate the
Idaho Fair Housing Council for injuries caused by Defendant
Marvin A. Gardner's discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C.
§§ 3612(o)(3) and 3613(c)(1).
The United States further prays for such additional relief
as the interests of justice may require.
BILL LANN LEE
Acting Assistant Attorney General
JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
JOSEPH D. RICH
CLAY G. GUTHRIDGE
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
BETTY H. RICHARDSON
United States Attorney
D. MARC HAWS
Assistant United States Attorney
First Interstate Center
877 W. Main St., Ste. 201
Boise, Idaho 83702