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

HCE Cases black banner

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

DISTRICT OF NEVADA

* * *

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

MEADOWS APARTMENTS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP,
MARY GENE McDONALD,
MARY GENE McDONALD FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP,
IRENE SMITH, and
TRACEY A. McDONALD,
     Defendants.

____________________________________


COMPLAINT

The United States of America alleges:

  1. This action is brought by the United States on behalf of Robert Lillegard and Joaquina Lillegard and their minor child, Paola, pursuant to Section 812(o) of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §3612(o).

  2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §1345 and 42 U.S.C. §3612(o).

  3. Meadows Apartments is a 110-unit apartment complex located at 105 East Prater Way, Sparks, Nevada, within the District of Nevada. The buildings at Meadows Apartments are dwellings within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §3602(b).

  4. At all times relevant to the complaint, defendant Mary Gene McDonald Family Limited Partnership has been an owner of Meadows Apartments. Defendant Mary Gene McDonald Family Limited Partnership is a limited partnership that does business within the District of Nevada.

  5. At all times relevant to the complaint, defendant Mary Gene McDonald has been an owner of Meadows Apartments and the General Partner in Mary Gene McDonald Family Limited Partnership. Defendant Mary Gene McDonald is an individual with responsibility for management of Meadows Apartments.

  6. At all times relevant to the complaint, defendant Meadows Apartments Limited Partnership has been the entity with management responsibility for the Meadows Apartments. Defendant Meadows Apartments Limited Partnership is a limited partnership that does business within the District of Nevada.

  7. At all times relevant to the complaint, Defendant Irene Smith has been the office manager for Meadows Apartments. Defendant Irene Smith resides in the District of Nevada.

  8. At all times relevant to the complaint, Defendant Tracey A. McDonald has been the resident agent and manager for Meadows Apartments. Defendant Tracey A. McDonald resides in the District of Nevada.

  9. Beginning in approximately July, 1997, Robert and Joaquina Lillegard and their minor child, Paolo, lived in Meadows Apartments in Sparks, Nevada.

  10. On or about March 2000 and continuing until approximately December 2000, Defendants stated, adopted, and enforced a policy at Meadows Apartments that imposed a limitation on the use of facilities by persons under the age of eighteen years, including Paolo Lillegard. Specifically, those rules:(1) restricted use of common areas by forbidding access thereto to occupants under the age of eighteen years; and (2) prohibited all people under the age of eighteen years from using or occupying any of the common areas after 10:00 p.m., irrespective of adult or parental supervision. Defendants incorporated these rules into an addendum to the lease that tenants were required to sign.

  11. On one or more occasions in 2000, Defendants, through oral and written admonishments to Robert Lillegard, Joaquina Lillegard, and their minor child, Paolo, enforced the rules against the Lillegards restricting the use of common areas by occupants under the age of eighteen.

  12. On or about May 1, 2000, October 4, 2000, and August 6, 2001, Robert and Joaquina Lillegard filed, pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §3610(a), housing discrimination complaints with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In their complaints, the Lillegards alleged that Defendants discriminated against them on the basis of familial status, in violation of Section 804(b) and (c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604(b) and (c), when they made, printed, and enforced rules that restricted their minor child's access to the facilities within the apartment complex.

  13. Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §3610(a) and (b), the Secretary of HUD (Secretary) conducted and completed an investigation of the complaints, 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 September 6, 2001, 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.

  14. On or about September 27, 2001, Defendants elected to have the Charge resolved in a civil action filed in federal district court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3612(a).

  15. Following this election, the Secretary of HUD authorized the Attorney General to commence a civil action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3612(o).

  16. Defendants, through the actions referenced above, have:

    1. discriminated in the terms, conditions, or privileges of rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of familial status, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b) and

    2. made, printed, and published, or cause to be made, printed, or published notices, statements, or advertisements, with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicated a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on familial status, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(c).

  17. Robert and Joaquina Lillegard and their minor child, Paolo, are aggrieved persons, as defined in 42 U.S.C. §3602(i), and have suffered damages as a result of Defendants' conduct described above.

  18. The discriminatory actions of Defendants were intentional, willful and taken in disregard for the rights of the complainants.

    WHEREFORE: the United States prays that the Court enter an ORDER that:

    1. Declares that the discriminatory housing practices of Defendants, as set forth above, violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§3601, et seq.

    2. Enjoins Defendants, their agents, employees, and successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them from discriminating on the basis of familial status in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling; and

    3. Awards appropriate damages to robert Lillegard, Joaquina Lillegard, and their minor child, pursuant to Sections 812(o)(3) and 813(c)(1) of the Fair Housing Act, 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.

           DANIEL G. BOGDEN
           United States Attorney

           GREG ADDINGTON
           Assistant United States Attorney
           100 West Liberty Street, Suite 600
           Reno, NV 89509
           Telephone: (775)784-5438


    Document Filed: October 22, 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

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