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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF IDAHO


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

ALLAN HORSLEY, and HORSLEY
CONSTRUCTION,
     Defendants.

________________________________


COMPLAINT

The United States of America alleges:

  1. 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).

  2. This court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 28 U.S.C. § 3614(a).

  3. Venue is proper in that the claims alleged herein arose in the District of Idaho.

  4. The Elms Apartments ("The Elms") are multifamily dwellings located in Pocatello, Idaho, in the District of Idaho.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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).

  8. Defendant Allan Horsley resides in Pocatello, Idaho.

  9. Defendant Horsley Construction has its principal place of business in Pocatello, Idaho.

  10. 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

  1. Plaintiff re-alleges and herein incorporates by reference the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1-10 above.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 HUD.

  5. 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 Housing Act.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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).

  9. The defendants have failed to design and construct The Elms so that:

    1. the public use and common use portions are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;

    2. all doors within the 12 ground floor units are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons with disabilities who use wheelchairs; and

    3. 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.

  10. The defendants, through the actions referred to in the preceding paragraph, have:

    1. 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);

    2. 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

    3. Failed to design and construct dwellings in compliance with the accessibility and adaptability features mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  1. Plaintiff re-alleges and herein incorporates by reference the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1-10, and 19-22, above.

  2. The conduct of the defendants described in paragraph 19 constitutes:

    1. 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

    2. 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.

  3. 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 order that:

  1. Declares that the defendants' policies and practices, as alleged herein, violate the Fair Housing Act;

  2. Enjoins the defendants, their officers, employees, agents, successors and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from:

    1. 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);

    2. 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 conduct; and

    3. 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);

  3. 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);

  4. 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. § 3614(d)(1)(B);

  5. 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.


  ERIC HOLDER
Acting Attorney General

BETTY A. RICHARDSON
United States Attorney

WILLIAM R. YEOMANS
Chief of Staff

NICK WOYCHICK
Asst. U.S. Attorney
First Interstate Center
877 W. Main Street
Suite 201
Boise, Idaho 83703
(202) 334-1211

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

Timothy J. Moran
Deputy Chief
Richard A. Koffman
Trial Attorney
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
(202) 305-3102


Document Filed: February 1, 2001

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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