The United States Department of Justice Department of Justice SealF The United States Department of Justice
Search The Site
 

HCE Cases black banner

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA
STATESVILLE DIVISION


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

Civil Action No. 5:00CV45-V

TOWN OF MAIDEN, NORTH
CAROLINA; and DORIS C.
BUMGARNER, in her
individual capacity and in
her official capacity
as Town Manager,
     Defendants.

______________________________

CONSENT ORDER

On March 17, 2000, the United States commenced this action on behalf of The Hand, Inc., ("The Hand") pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968), as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o). At all times relevant to the events at issue in the Complaint:

  1. The Hand was a for-profit North Carolina corporation organized to develop and operate residential care facilities for children and adolescents with emotional and mental disabilities;

  2. The officers and shareholders of The Hand were African-American;

  3. Defendant Town of Maiden was a municipality incorporated under the laws of North Carolina; and

  4. Defendant Doris C. Bumgarner was the Town Manager of the Town of Maiden, North Carolina.

    The United States' Complaint alleges that The Hand entered into a contract to purchase a home in Maiden, and that The Hand intended to use this home as a residence for up to six children with emotional and mental disabilities. The Complaint further alleges that Defendants took a series of actions intended to forestall The Hand from using the home as a residence for children with emotional and mental disabilities. The United States' complaint alleges that, by these actions, the Defendants made a dwelling unavailable to persons on account of race and handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a) and 3604(f)(1); discriminated against The Hand in the provision of services or facilities in connection with the sale or rental of a dwelling because of race and handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(b) and 3604(f)(2); made statements with respect to the sale of a dwelling that indicated a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race and handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c); and interfered with The Hand on account of race and handicap, in its exercise of rights protected by the Fair Housing Act, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3617. The Defendants deny these allegations.

    The parties agree that the controversy should be resolved without further litigation. Therefore, without a trial or adjudication on the merits, and without admission of liability by the Defendants, the parties have consented to the entry of this Order, as indicated by the signatures appearing below.

    After reviewing the terms of this Order, the Court concludes that the entry of this Order comports with the Fair Housing Act and federal law.

Accordingly, it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that:

  1. PROHIBITION OF DISCRIMINATION

Defendant Town of Maiden, its employees and agents, and all those acting in concert or participation with them are hereby enjoined from:

  1. Making housing unavailable, or otherwise denying housing, to any person because of race, color, or handicap;

  2. Discriminating against any person because of race, color, or handicap in the terms, conditions, or privileges of selling or renting a dwelling unit, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with the sale or rental of a dwelling unit;

  3. Making, printing, publishing, or causing to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling unit that states any preference, limitation, or discrimination on the basis of race, color, or handicap;

  4. Coercing, intimidating, threatening, or interfering with any person because of his or her exercise or enjoyment of his or her rights under the Fair Housing Act, or his or her aid or encouragement to any other person exercising such rights; and

  5. Engaging in any other discriminatory housing practices prohibited by 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619.

  1. OTHER INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

  1. ADOPTION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICIES

    1. Defendant Town of Maiden has adopted and shall implement the non-discrimination policy set forth at Attachment A.

    2. Within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Order, Defendant Town of Maiden, Inc., shall:

      1. Furnish to all employees or agents with responsibility for, or who participate in, the zoning, planning, permitting or approval process for group homes, assisted living facilities, or congregate care facilities, a copy of this Order and a copy of the non-discrimination policy set forth at Attachment A;
      2. Secure from each such employee or agent the signed certification set forth at Attachment B;
      3. Distribute to any person or other entity applying for a zoning variance or a permit for a group home, assisted living facility, or congregate care facility, a copy of the non-discrimination policy set forth at Attachment A.

    3. During the period in which this Order is in effect, Defendant Town of Maiden shall ensure that each new employee or agent with responsibilities relating to the zoning, planning, permitting or approval process for group homes, assisted living facilities, or congregate care facilities shall, within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Order, or ten (10) days of commencing an employment or agency relationship with Defendant Town of Maiden, whichever is later, receive a copy of this Order and the non-discrimination policy appearing at Attachment A, and sign the statement appearing at Attachment B indicating that he or she has received and understood these documents.

  2. TRAINING

    Within sixty (60) days after the entry of this Order, any and all agents or employees of Town of Maiden with responsibility for, or who participate in, the zoning, permitting, planning or approval process for group homes, assisted living facilities, or congregate care facilities, shall complete an educational program on their obligations under the federal Fair Housing Act and applicable state and local non-discrimination laws. This training shall be conducted by the North Carolina Fair Housing Center (NCFHC). Defendant Town of Maiden shall bear all expenses associated with this training. Defendant Town of Maiden shall obtain a statement from NCFHC certifying the attendance of each person who completes such training.

  1. MONITORING AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS (1)

  1. Within thirty (30) days after the entry of this Order, Defendant Town of Maiden shall deliver to counsel for the United States an initial report of all pending applications for zoning variances or special use permits for group homes, assisted living facilities, or congregate care facilities. Such report shall include for each application: the applicant's name, address, and telephone number; the address or location of the property for which the permit or variance is sought; a description of the facility for which the permit or variance is sought; and a description of the type of permit or variance sought.

  2. Within seventy (70) days after the entry of this Order, Defendant Town of Maiden shall deliver to counsel for the United States the certified list of all employees or agents who have completed the educational program described in Section II.B.

  3. Once each year on the anniversary of the entry of this Order, for a period of three (3) years total, Defendant Town of Maiden shall send the following information to the United States: all applications to the Town of Maiden or its components for zoning variances or special use permits for group homes, assisted living facilities, or congregate care facilities (2); a description of any action taken by the Town on each such application; a copy of any written determination or decision made by the Town or any of its components concerning each application; and a copy of any official minutes or transcripts from any meeting of the Town or any of its components at which an application for permit or variance was discussed.

  4. Defendant Town of Maiden shall advise counsel for the United States in writing within thirty (30) days of receipt of any complaint against the Town of Maiden alleging discrimination on the basis of race, color or handicap, or any complaint against the Town of Maiden's employees, rental agents, or residential rental properties, regarding zoning, planning, permitting or approval for any group home, assisted living facility, or congregate care facility. This notification shall include full details of the complaint and any action taken by the Defendant Town of Maiden in response to the complaint, and shall be accompanied by all pertinent documents.

  5. Upon reasonable notice, Defendant Town of Maiden shall allow the United States to have access to any records concerning compliance with this consent order, including but not limited to applications for variances or special use permits for group homes, assisted living facilities, or congregate care facilities, in order to monitor the Defendants' compliance with this Consent Order. The United States shall endeavor to minimize any inconvenience to the Defendants resulting from inspection of such records.

  1. MONETARY RELIEF

  1. Within thirty (30) days following the entry of this Order, Defendants shall pay forty-five thousand dollars ($45,000.00) to The Hand, Inc. in consideration for the full and final settlement of this claim as payment for damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o)(3). Defendants shall make this payment available at the office of Counsel for Defendants: Frank B. Aycock, III, 6501 Park South Drive, Charlotte, N.C. 28210.

  2. The President of The Hand, Azeem Wahid-Holman, shall execute a release on behalf of The Hand, attached to this Order as Attachment C, prior to The Hand's receiving compensation under this Order.

  3. Once Azeem Wahid-Holman has executed the release described in section IV.B above, he shall deliver it to the office of Counsel for Defendants in exchange for the payment described in section IV.A above. Counsel for Defendants shall notify the United States by facsimile at (202) 514-1116 that such exchange has occurred, and shall provide facsimile copies of the payment and the release to the United States, within three (3) days of that exchange.

  1. DISMISSAL AND ENFORCEMENT

  1. This action is dismissed with prejudice, except that the United States may move at any time to reopen the case for the purpose of enforcing this Order. This Order shall remain in effect for three (3) years and three (3) months, except that the United States may move to extend the term of the Order for good cause.

  2. The Court shall retain jurisdiction of this action for purposes of enforcing this Order.

  3. Except where explicitly limited, the provisions of this Order shall apply to the Defendants, their employees and agents, anyone acting under their direction, and all those acting in concert or participation with any of them.

  4. The parties may mutually agree to extend the time periods set out in this Order for any required action.

  5. The parties to this Order shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of and compliance with this Order prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution. However, in the event that any Defendant either fails to perform in a timely manner any act required by this Order or acts in violation of any provision of this Order, the United States may move the Court to impose any remedy authorized by law or equity, including, but not limited to an order requiring performance or non-performance of certain acts and an award of any damages, costs, and attorneys' fees to any person, that may have been occasioned by that Defendant's non-action or actions.

ORDERED this ___ day of _______, 2002.

_____________________
RICHARD L. VOORHEES
United States District Judge


For the Defendants: For the United States:

HERMAN CAULDER
Town Manager
For Defendant Town of Maiden
P.O. Box 125
Maiden, NC 28650

RALPH F. BOYD, JR.
Assistant Attorney General

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief
ISABELLE M. THABAULT
Deputy Chief
HARVEY L. HANDLEY
DEBORAH A. GITIN
Trial Attorneys
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Ave.
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section - G St.
Washington, DC 20530
Tel: (202) 305-2020
Fax: (202) 514-1116
Counsel for Defendants
FRANK B. AYCOCK III
6501 Park South Drive
Charlotte, N.C. 28210
Tel: (704) 554-1198
Fax: (704) 554-1198
ROBERT J. CONRAD, JR.
United States Attorney
JAMES SULLIVAN
Assistant United States Attorney
Suite 1700
Carillon Building
227 W. Trade St.
Charlotte, NC 28210


ATTACHMENT A

NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

It is the policy of the Town of Maiden not to discriminate against anyone in any aspect of zoning, planning, permitting or approval of dwellings because of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status or religion. This policy means, among other things, that all agents or employees of the Town of Maiden, with the responsibility for considering zoning or permitting applications concerning dwellings must:

  1. treat all qualified applicants equally regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, handicap or familial status; and

  2. treat all residents and potential residents equally regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, handicap or familial status.

Any employee or agent of the Town of Maiden with the responsibility for zoning, planning, permitting or approval of dwellings who does not comply with the policy set forth in this document may be subject to disciplinary action, termination of employment, and/or federal court sanctions.


ATTACHMENT B

EMPLOYEE CERTIFICATION

On ____________________, 200__, I was instructed by my employer, the Town of Maiden, with respect to my responsibilities under the Order entered by the federal district court in United States v. Town of Maiden, North Carolina and Doris C. Bumgarner, Civil Action No. 5:00CV45-V (W.D.N.C.), the federal Fair Housing Act and applicable state and local laws. I also was instructed as to the non-discriminatory policies and procedures. I have received copies of and have read the Order and the Non-Discrimination Policy. I understand my legal responsibilities and will comply with those responsibilities. I understand that the Court may impose sanctions on me if I violate a provision of the Order and that my employer may also discipline me if I violate a provision of the Order. I have been informed by my employer that I will not be reprimanded by my employer for providing information to any law enforcement agency (including the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, 950 Pennsylvania Ave., Housing and Civil Enforcement Section - G St., Washington, DC 20530, telephone (202) 514-4713) or official regarding my employer's compliance with the Fair Housing Act and/or the Order.

_______________________
(Date)

_______________________
(Signature)

_______________________
(Print Name)


ATTACHMENT C

RELEASE

In consideration for the parties' agreement to the terms of the Consent Order entered in United States v. Town of Maiden, North Carolina and Doris C. Bumgarner, Civil Action No. 5:00CV45-V (W.D.N.C.), and the Defendants' payment to The Hand, Inc. of FORTY-FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($45,000.00), The Hand, Inc. hereby releases and forever discharges all of its claims related to the facts at issue in the litigation referenced above, or in any way related to that litigation, and any other claims arising from alleged housing discrimination up to and including the date of execution of this release, that The Hand, Inc. may have against any of the defendants, their heirs, executors, administrators, successors or assigns, including claims for attorneys' fees and litigation costs.

I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed this ____ day of _____________, 2002.

Azeem Wahid-Holman
President
For THE HAND, INC.

Attested:
Secretary
The Hand, Inc.


1. All documents required by this Section shall be sent to U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, 950 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W., Housing and Civil Enforcement Section - G St., Chief, DJ 175-55-145, Washington, DC 20530.

2. Each application shall include: the applicant's name, address, and telephone number; the address or location of the property for which the permit or variance is sought; a description of the facility for which the permit or variance is sought; and a description of the type of permit or variance sought.


Document Filed: May 7, 2002.

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

Stay Connected YouTube MySpace Twitter Facebook Sign Up for E-Mail Updates Subscribe to News Feeds