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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Plaintiff,

v.                                                                     Case No. 02-4029-SAC

TRINIDAD MALDONADO, et al.,

Defendants.

CONSENT DECREE

This action was filed by the United States on February 13, 2002, to enforce the provisions of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (the Fair Housing Act), as amended by the Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq. In its initial Complaint, the United States alleged that Defendant Trinidad Maldonado, individually and doing business as Midway Mobile Home Park, and Centro Rentals, Inc., discriminated against HUD complainants Peggy Roeseler, Larry Roeseler, and James Roeseler on the basis of sex, in the rental of dwellings at the Midway Mobile Home Park (hereinafter "Midway" or "the property"), located at 2220 Prospect Circle in Junction City, KS, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a-c) and § 3617. (1) The United States amended its Complaint on May 30, 2002, to add as defendants Margaret Maldonado, individually and d/b/a Midway Mobile Home Park, and Centro Management, Inc., and to include a claim that all Defendants engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of sex, and/or a denial of rights to a group of persons, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3614.

The United States alleges that Defendant Trinidad Maldonado subjected female tenants at Midway to extensive, continuous, unwelcome, and uninvited sexual harassment, including sexual comments, unwanted touching, sexual assault, and stalking; conditioned aspects of tenancy on compliance with sexual favors; and created a hostile environment for complainants and other female tenants, in violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b) and (c). The United States alleges that this conduct resulted in the constructive eviction of complainants and other female tenants, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a). The United States also alleges that Trinidad Maldonado engaged in threatening, intimidating, and retaliatory behavior toward complainants and other female tenants, in violation 42 U.S.C. § 3617.

The United States further alleges that Defendants Margaret Maldonado, Centro Rental, Inc., and Centro Management, Inc., knew or should have known of the discrimination against female tenants by Trinidad Maldonado, but failed to take reasonable action to remedy, curtail, or prevent the discriminatory conduct, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

The parties have agreed that in order to avoid protracted and costly litigation, this controversy should be resolved without a trial or adjudication of any of the facts alleged by the United States. Therefore, the parties consent to the entry of this Decree. This agreement constitutes full resolution of the United States' claims that (1) the Defendants discriminated against Peggy Roeseler, Larry Roeseler, and James Roeseler on the basis of sex, (2) the Defendants discriminated against the additional individuals listed in Exhibit A on the basis of sex, and (3) the Defendants engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of sex at the Midway Mobile Home Park. No individual shall receive any compensation pursuant to this Agreement until he or she has executed a release of claims, attached hereto as Exhibit B.

I. SCOPE AND TERM OF DECREE

  1. The provisions of the Decree shall apply to Defendants, their employees, agents, assigns, successors-in-interest, and all persons in active concert or participation with any of them.

  2. This Decree is effective immediately upon its entry by the Court. For purposes of this Decree, the phrase "date of this Decree" shall refer to the date on which the Court adopts this document as its own ORDER.

  3. With the exceptions of Section II and as otherwise specifically provided, this Decree shall be in effect for a period of five (5) years and three (3) months from the date of this Decree.

II. INJUNCTION

  1. It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND AGREED that Defendants, their agents, employees, successors, and all persons currently in active concert or participation with any of them, are hereby permanently enjoined from:

    1. Refusing to rent a dwelling unit, refusing or failing to provide or offer information about a dwelling unit, or otherwise making unavailable or denying a dwelling unit to any person because of sex;

    2. Discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions or privileges of renting a dwelling unit, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of sex;
    3. Making, printing, publishing, or causing to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement or advertisement with respect to the rental of a dwelling unit that states any preference, limitation or discrimination based on sex;
    4. Coercing, intimidating, threatening or interfering with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of her having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of her having aided and encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted by 42 U.S.C. §§ 3603-6; or
    5. Engaging in any other discriminatory housing practice prohibited by 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq.

  2. The Defendants aver that Defendant Trinidad Maldonado has voluntarily stayed away from the Midway Mobile Home Park property since the allegations against him first surfaced in late 2000, and that he currently is in no way involved with the day-to-day management of the Park. The parties agree that this arrangement should continue. Therefore, Defendant Trinidad Maldonado shall henceforth delegate the exclusive authority over the management and operation of the Park to other persons for the term of this Decree, which may include members of his family, provided that the following conditions are met: (a) Defendant Trinidad Maldonado will not knowingly engage in any contact with any tenants or applicants for tenancy at Midway or enter the property at Midway, except in exigent circumstances or except, subject to the conditions below, when it is necessary for him to inspect the property or show it to a prospective buyer and that function cannot reasonably delegated to a family member, employee, or agent. In the event it is necessary for Maldonado personally to inspect the property or show it to a prospective buyer, he must be accompanied by another person; (b) Defendant Trinidad Maldonado surrenders all keys in his possession to Midway and certifies in writing under penalty of perjury that he has done so; and (c) Defendant Trinidad Maldonado is not thereafter given access to any keys for Midway unless required by an emergency. Defendants and their agents and employees are enjoined from failing to comply with any of the above provisions.

    If the United States believes that Defendants have violated any portion of the above Paragraph, it shall notify the Defendants and move the Court pursuant to Section VI, below. If the Court determines that Defendants have violated any of the provisions in the above Paragraph, Defendants shall be required to do the following:

    1. Retain an independent management company, approved by the United States (hereinafter "Management Company"), to manage Midway, within thirty (30) days of the Court's determination and continuing for the duration of time that any Defendant owns any part of Midway. No member of Trinidad or Margaret Maldonado's family, related either by blood or marriage, shall be employed by this Management Company. The Management Company shall be responsible for all aspects of management of Midway, including showing and renting units, making repairs, collecting rents, determining whom to rent to and/or evict, and all other aspects of the rental process. Defendants, and all members of Trinidad or Margaret Maldonado's family, related either by blood or marriage, shall refrain from entering the Midway premises, including the rental office, and from engaging in any contact with any tenants or applicants for tenancy at Midway. Defendants shall provide a copy of this Decree to the Management Company.
    2. Pay a $50,000.00 civil penalty to the United States within five (5) days of the Court's determination.

  3. For the duration of time that any Defendant owns any interest in the Midway Mobile Home Park, the Defendants shall do the following:

    1. Implement, subject to the United States' approval, a written policy against sexual harassment, including a formal complaint procedure. A copy of this policy and procedure shall be provided to counsel for the United States within thirty (30) days after the date of entry of this Decree. This policy and procedure shall be implemented within fifteen (15) days if it is satisfactory to the United States, and at that time the Defendants shall notify all new and current tenants at Midway of the policy and procedure.
    2. Enroll all employees who will be working at Midway in a fair housing training and education program conducted by a qualified civil rights organization to be approved by the United States. Such training shall be completed for all employees within thirty (30) days of the date of this Decree, and any new employees of Midway shall be required to attend such training within thirty (30) days of their start date. Any and all costs and fees associated with the training program shall be borne by the Defendants. Elements of the fair housing training program shall include, but not be limited to;
      1. Providing training on the non-discrimination requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.;
      2. Providing each individual with relevant portions of the Fair Housing Act and instruction concerning the individual's duties and obligations under the Fair Housing Act;

      3. Furnishing to each individual a copy of Defendant's sexual harassment policy and complaint procedure; informing each such person of his or her duties pursuant to these policies; and specifying what disciplinary measures may be taken in the event of noncompliance.
      4. Upon completion of the training, each individual shall sign a written statement in the form set forth in Exhibit C attesting to the date on which the training was completed, and to the fact that he or she has received, read and understands the Defendants' sexual harassment policy and relevant portions of the Fair Housing Act.

    3. Post an "Equal Housing Opportunity" sign in the rental office and common areas of Midway, which indicates that all apartments are available for rent on a nondiscriminatory basis. An 11 x 14 poster substantially equivalent to the reduced sample appended to this Decree as Exhibit D will satisfy this requirement. Such poster shall be placed in a prominent, well-lit, and easily readable location.
    4. Require that all advertising conducted for Midway, in newspapers, telephone directories, radio, television or other media, and all billboards, signs (including at the entrance to the property), pamphlets, brochures and other promotional literature, include either a fair housing logo, the words "equal housing opportunity provider," and/or the following sentence:
    5. We are an equal opportunity housing provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.

      The words or logo should be prominently placed and easily legible.

    6. Maintain all rental records kept or created at Midway, and allow the United States to inspect and copy all such records upon reasonable notice.

  4. Defendants shall report to the United States in the event that any Defendant sells or otherwise disposes of any interest in Midway. Such notification shall be made within thirty (30) days after the sale or transfer of interest and shall include the identity of the potential purchaser(s) or person(s) to whom the interest is being transferred.

III. COMPENSATION FOR AGGRIEVED PERSONS

  1. Within five (5) days after entry of this Decree, Defendants shall forward to the United States a check, made payable to The United States Department of Treasury, in the amount of two hundred and seventy thousand dollars ($270,000.00), which shall be used to compensate the aggrieved persons identified by the United States as having been victims of the Defendants' allegedly discriminatory practices.

  2. The United States shall use two hundred and forty-five thousand dollars ($245,000.00) of the $270,000 referenced above, to pay to each aggrieved person listed in Exhibit A, the amounts listed for each such person in Exhibit A. As a prerequisite to receiving such payments, each aggrieved person must execute and deliver to counsel for the United States, the release in Exhibit B. The United States will temporarily hold the remaining twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) of the $270,000 referenced above, as a Reserve Fund. This Reserve Fund shall be used to compensate any additional aggrieved persons in this action, as described in paragraphs 4-6, infra.

  3. Within fifteen (15) days of the date of entry of this Decree, Defendants shall mail or deliver a Notice, which is attached at Exhibit E, to all current tenants of the Midway Mobile Home Park. The United States may also mail copies of this Notice to former tenants of the Midway Mobile Home Park. Nothing in this Decree shall prevent the United States from engaging in efforts to locate victims in this matter.

  4. Within 180 days after the entry of this Decree, the United States shall make a preliminary determination of which persons, besides those listed in Exhibit A, are aggrieved and an appropriate amount of damages that should be paid to the each such person. If the United States requires additional time to make these preliminary determinations, it will so inform the Defendants. The United States will inform the Defendants in writing of its preliminary determinations, together with a copy of a sworn declaration from each aggrieved person setting forth the factual basis of the claim. Defendants shall have 14 days to review the declaration and provide any documents or information that they believe may refute the claim to the United States.

  5. After receiving Defendants' comments, the United States shall submit its final determinations as to any additional aggrieved persons who should be paid from the Reserve Fund, to the Court for approval, together with a copy of the declarations and any additional information submitted by Defendants. Unless the Court directs otherwise within 30 days, the United States shall forward compensation to the individuals as specified in its submission. If the Court issues an order approving or changing the United States' proposed distribution of the Reserve Fund for aggrieved persons, the United States shall forward compensation to the individuals in the amounts approved by the Court. But in no event shall the aggregate of all such checks exceed the sum of the Reserve Fund. The Court is not required to hold an evidentiary hearing prior to making its determination, and the parties hereby waive the right to such a hearing. No aggrieved person shall be paid until he/she has executed and delivered to counsel for the United States the release at Exhibit B.

  6. In the event that less than the total amount in the Reserve Fund is distributed to aggrieved persons, Defendants shall make a proposal to the United States regarding distribution of the remainder of the Fund for the purpose of furthering the objectives of the Fair Housing Act in Kansas, subject to final approval by the Court. The United States shall then distribute the remainder of the fund in accordance with this proposal. If Defendants fail to submit a proposal acceptable to the United States, the United States will so advise the Court and the Court shall make the determination for distribution of the remainder of the funds for purpose of furthering the objectives of the Fair Housing Act in Kansas. The United States shall distribute the funds in the manner directed by the Court within 10 days of the Court's determination.

IV. CIVIL PENALTIES

  1. In order to vindicate the public interest, Defendants shall pay the United States the sum of $30,000 as a civil penalty. Defendants shall therefore forward a check for thirty thousand dollars ($30,000.00), made payable to The United States Department of Treasury, to the United States within five (5) days of the entry of this Decree.

  2. In the event that any of the Defendants or their agents or employees engage in any future violation(s) of the Fair Housing Act, such violation(s) shall constitute a "subsequent violation" pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d).

V. COURT JURISDICTION

The parties agree that the United States District Court for the District of Kansas shall retain jurisdiction of this action for all purposes relating to the enforcement of this Decree. The United States may move the Court to extend the period in which the affirmative injunctive provisions of this Decree are in effect if it determines that Defendants have likely violated one or more terms of the Decree, or if the interests of justice otherwise require an extension of the terms of the Decree. The time limits for performance imposed by this Decree may be extended by mutual consent of the parties.

VI. REMEDIES FOR NON-PERFORMANCE

The parties to this Consent 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. However, in the event of a failure by Defendants, whether willful or otherwise, to perform in a timely manner any act required by this Consent Decree or otherwise to act in violation of any provision thereof, the United States may move this Court to impose any remedy authorized by law or equity, including, but not limited to, an order requiring performance of such act or deeming such act to have been performed.

Ordered this _____________ day of _______________, 2003.

___________________________
HONORABLE SAM A. CROW
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

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

For the United States: RALPH F. BOYD, JR.
Assistant Attorney General

By:

____________________________
JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief
TIMOTHY J. MORAN
Deputy Chief
ELLEN M. BOWDEN
RIGEL C. OLIVERI
Attorneys
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil
   Enforcement Section
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Northwestern Building, 7th Floor
(202) 305-3109

For the Defendants: ____________________________
WALTER P. ROBERTSON
910 South Washington St.
Junction City, KS 66441
(785) 762-3333

____________________________
STEPHEN W. CAVANAUGH
Fisher, Cavanaugh, Smith & Lemon
2942A S.W. Wannamaker Drive
Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66614
(785) 440-4000


EXHIBIT A

LIST OF AGGRIEVED PARTIES AND AMOUNTS

Name of Aggrieved Person Amount that this Person Will Receive under this Decree
Tammy Borrell $35,000.00
Journette Eaves $10,000.00
Jeanette Fanaro $35,000.00
Steve Fanaro $10,000.00
Chrischara Forrest $10,000.00
Monika Gomez $50,000.00
Diane Lyte $10,000.00
Madeline Moody $35,000.00
Peggy Roeseler $50,000.00



EXHIBIT B

RELEASE

In consideration for the parties' agreement to the terms of the Consent Decree entered in United States v. Trinidad Maldonado, et al., and the Defendants' payment to me of $______________, I,_____________________________, hereby agree, effective upon receipt of payment, to remise, release and forever discharge all claims of any kind, nature or description whatsoever, 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 I may have against Defendants Trinidad Maldonado, Margaret Maldonado, Midway Mobile Home Park, Centro Rental, Inc., and Centro Management, Inc., and their agents, employees, officers, heirs, executors, administrators, successors or assigns.

I acknowledge and understand that, by signing this Release and accepting this payment, I am waiving any right to pursue my own legal action based on the discrimination alleged by the United States in this case.

I also acknowledge that I have been informed that I may review the terms of this Release with an attorney of my choosing, and to the extent that I have not obtained legal advice, I voluntarily and knowingly waive my right to do so.

I waive any claims I may have against the United States arising out of this action.

This General Release constitutes the entire agreement between Defendants Trinidad Maldonado, Margaret Maldonado, Midway Mobile Home Park, Centro Rental, Inc., and Centro Management, Inc., and me, without exception or exclusion.

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

Executed this _________ day of ________________ , 2003.

____________________________
Name



EXHIBIT C

STATEMENT ATTESTING TO TRAINING

On _________________________, 200__, I was instructed by __________________________________ with respect to my responsibilities under the federal Fair Housing Act. I also was instructed as to Midway Mobile Home Park's sexual harassment policy and complaint procedure. I have received copies of and have read the Consent Order and relevant portions of the federal Fair Housing Act. I understand my legal responsibilities and will comply with those responsibilities. 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, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20530, telephone 202-514-4713) or official regarding my employer's compliance with the Fair Housing Act.

________________________________
Signature

________________________________
(Print name)



EXHIBIT D

[POSTER]



EXHIBIT E

IMPORTANT NOTICE

to current and former tenants of

MIDWAY MOBILE HOME PARK
in Junction City, Kansas

The Department of Justice has recently settled a lawsuit against the owners of the Midway Mobile Home Park in Junction City, Kansas.

The Department of Justice's lawsuit alleged that one of the Park's owners, Trinidad Maldonado, sexually harassed female tenants at the Park.

The owners deny that they engaged in any harassment.

The settlement agreement involves a monetary payment to victims of the alleged harassment.

If you believe that you may have a claim, please call:

1-800-896-7743

and select the mailbox option referring to the Midway Mobile Home Park.



1. Peggy Roeseler filed a complaint with HUD, which subsequently added Larry and James Roeseler as complainants. Following a Determination of Reasonable Cause, HUD issued a Charge of Discrimination against Trinidad Maldonado, Midway Mobile Home Park, and Centro Rental, Inc., on December 21, 2001. On January 14, 2002, the Defendants elected to have the charge resolved in a federal civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(a).


Document Filed: January 29, 2003

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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