UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF IDAHO
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
ALLAN HORSLEY, and HORSLEY
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 Intermountain Fair Housing Council pursuant to
Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act ("the Act"), as amended,
42 U.S.C. § 3612(o), as well as pursuant to Section 814(a) of
the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).
- This court has jurisdiction over this action under 28
U.S.C. § 1345 and 28 U.S.C. § 3614(a).
- Venue is proper in that the claims alleged herein arose
in the District of Idaho.
- The Elms Apartments ("The Elms") are multifamily
dwellings located in Pocatello, Idaho, in the District of Idaho.
- The Elms consist of three buildings, located at 2211,
2219, and 2227 South Fourth Avenue in Pocatello. Each building
contains four dwelling units, for a total of twelve dwelling
units. All twelve units are located at ground level.
- The Elms were designed and constructed for first
occupancy after March 13, 1991. Each apartment at The Elms is a
dwelling within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
- Each of the 12 units at The Elms is a "covered
multifamily dwelling" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §
3604(f)(7)(A) and is subject to the design and construction
requirements set forth at 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
- Defendant Allan Horsley resides in Pocatello, Idaho.
- Defendant Horsley Construction has its principal place
of business in Pocatello, Idaho.
- Defendants Horsley and Horsley Construction owned The
Elms during its construction and were responsible for the design
and construction of The Elms.
First Claim For Relief
- Plaintiff re-alleges and herein incorporates by
reference the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1-10 above.
- The Intermountain Fair Housing Council, formerly known
as the Idaho Fair Housing Council, is a non-profit organization
that promotes fair housing throughout the State of Idaho.
- On or about February 6, 1998, the Intermountain Fair
Housing Council filed a timely complaint with the United States
Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") pursuant to
Section 810(a) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C.
§ 3610(a), alleging that Defendants discriminated in housing
because of handicap. In its complaint, the Intermountain Fair
Housing Council alleged that its purpose of eliminating
discrimination had been frustrated and its resources diverted
from other activities because The Elms was not designed and
constructed in accordance with the accessibility requirements of
the Fair Housing Act.
- The Intermountain Fair Housing Council diverted
resources from its other activities to investigate whether The
Elms was designed and constructed in violation of the Fair
Housing Act and to pursue a complaint concerning The Elms with
- Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C.
§§ 3610(a) & (b), the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
conducted and completed an investigation of the complaint filed
by the Intermountain 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 November 20, 2000, the
Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), charging Defendants with engaging in
discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Fair
- On or about January 4, 2001, defendants Allan Horsley
and Horsley Construction elected to have the Charge resolved in
a civil action filed in federal district court, pursuant to
42 U.S.C. § 3612(a).
- On January 5, 2001, the Chief Administrative Law Judge
issued a Notice of Election of Judicial Determination and
terminated the administrative proceeding on the complaint filed
by the IFHC.
- Following this Notice of Election, the Secretary of
Housing and Urban Development authorized the Attorney General to
commence a civil action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
- The defendants have failed to design and construct The
Elms so that:
- the public use and common use portions are readily
accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;
- all doors within the 12 ground floor units are
sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons with
disabilities who use wheelchairs; and
- the 12 ground floor units contain the following
features of adaptive design: (i) an accessible route into
and through the dwelling; (ii) electrical outlets,
thermostats and other environmental controls in accessible
locations; (iii) reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow
later installation of grab bars; and (iv) usable kitchens
and bathrooms such that an individual using a wheelchair
can maneuver about the space.
- The defendants, through the actions referred to in the
preceding paragraph, have:
- Discriminated in the rental, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, dwellings to renters because of
handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1);
- Discriminated against persons in the terms,
conditions or privileges of rental of a dwelling, or in the
provision of services or facilities in connection with a
dwelling, because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C.
§ 3604(f)(2); and
- Failed to design and construct dwellings in
compliance with the accessibility and adaptability features
mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
- The Intermountain 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 Defendants' conduct described above.
- The discriminatory actions of Defendants were
intentional, willful and taken in disregard for the rights of
the Idaho Fair Housing Council and others.
Second Claim For Relief
- Plaintiff re-alleges and herein incorporates by
reference the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1-10, and 19-22, above.
- The conduct of the defendants described in paragraph
- A pattern or practice of resistance to the full
enjoyment of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42
U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619; and
- A denial to a group of persons of rights granted
by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619, which
denial raises an issue of general public importance.
- Persons who have been the victims of the defendants'
discriminatory housing practices are aggrieved persons as
defined by 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i) and may have suffered injuries as
a result of the defendants' conduct described above.
WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the court enter an
- Declares that the defendants' policies and practices,
as alleged herein, violate the Fair Housing Act;
- Enjoins the defendants, their officers, employees,
agents, successors and all other persons in active concert or
participation with any of them, from:
- Failing or refusing to bring the 12 ground-floor
units and public use and common use areas at The Elms into
compliance with 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
- Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps
as may be necessary to restore, as nearly as practicable,
the victims of the defendants' unlawful practices to the
position they would have been in but for the discriminatory
- Designing or constructing covered multifamily
dwellings in the future that do not contain the
accessibility and adaptability features required by
42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
- Awards such damages as would fully compensate each
person aggrieved by the defendants' discriminatory housing
practices, including the Intermountain Fair Housing Council, for
injuries resulting from the defendants' discriminatory conduct,
pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3), 3613(c)(1),and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B);
- Awards punitive damages to each person aggrieved by the
defendants' discriminatory housing practices, including the
Intermountain Fair Housing Council, because of the intentional
and willful nature of the defendants' conduct, pursuant to
42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3), 3613(c)(1), and 42 U.S.C.
- Assesses a civil penalty against each defendant in an
amount authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C), in order to
vindicate the public interest.
The United States further prays for such additional relief
as the interests of justice may require.
Acting Attorney General
BETTY A. RICHARDSON
United States Attorney
WILLIAM R. YEOMANS
Chief of Staff
Asst. U.S. Attorney
First Interstate Center
877 W. Main Street
Boise, Idaho 83703
JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Timothy J. Moran
Richard A. Koffman
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
Document Filed: February 1, 2001