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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
WESTERN DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

           Plaintiff,

v.

CASE NO.

ALLEN NORMAN, NANCY
NORMAN AND JOHN NORMAN,

           Defendants.

______________________________________

COMPLAINT

The United States of America alleges:

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

1. This action is brought by the United States on behalf of Monica Nightingale-Hawkins 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, et seq.

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

3. Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) and 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o) because the actions giving rise to the United States' allegations occurred in the Western District of Missouri and the subject property is located in the Western District of Missouri.

PROPERTY AND PARTIES

4. The subject property is a 2-unit residential rental property located at 2703 Harrison Street in Kansas City, Missouri. The units at 2703 Harrison Street are dwellings within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).

5. Defendants Allen and Nancy Norman are residents of Kansas City, Missouri. At all times relevant to this action, Allen and/or Nancy Norman (formerly Nancy Lacoss) have owned and managed the property at 2703 Harrison Street but did not reside at that location. Upon information and belief, at all times relevant to this action Allen and/or Nancy Norman owned at least 3 other rental units.

6. Defendant John Norman is the son of Allen Norman and stepson of Nancy Norman. At all times relevant to this action, John Norman resided at 2710 Harrison Street, across the street from the units at 2703 Harrison Street. At all times relevant to this action, John Norman performed maintenance and repair work on the apartments at 2703 Harrison Street on behalf of, and as an agent of, Allen and Nancy Norman.

7. Complainant Monica Nightingale-Hawkins ("Complainant") is an African-American woman who rented an apartment at 2703 Harrison Street in Kansas City, Missouri from Allen and Nancy Norman during the period from February 2002 through May, 2002.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

8. On or about February 6, 2002, Complainant moved into Apartment 1 at 2703 Harrison Street, Kansas City, Missouri.

9. During Complainant's tenancy at 2703 Harrison Street, Defendant John Norman subjected her to extensive, continuous, uninvited, and unwelcome sexual harassment, including, inter alia, repeated use of sexually suggestive and vulgar language, references to his wishes for certain types of sexual contact, unauthorized entry into her apartment and display of his genitalia, and a direct proposition to engage in a sexual act.

10. Defendant John Norman subjected complainant to racial harassment, including repeated use of racial epithets.

11. On at least one occasion, Defendant John Norman threatened Complainant with eviction if she complained to his father.

12. On or around March 21, 2002, Ms. Nightingale-Hawkins sought an Order of Protection against John Norman from the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri. After holding a hearing at which both Complainant and Defendant John Norman testified, the Court granted an Order of Protection for one year.

13. On or around April 21, 2002, after Complainant sought and obtained an Order of Protection against John Norman, Defendant Allen Norman sent Complainant a letter requesting that she vacate the premises by May 31, 2002.

14. Defendants Allen and Nancy Norman knew or should have known of the discriminatory conduct of John Norman but failed to take action to curtail and/or prevent the discriminatory conduct of John Norman.

FAIR HOUSING ACT CLAIMS

15. In May, 2002, Complainant Monica Nightingale-Hawkins timely submitted to the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("the Secretary") a complaint alleging housing discrimination on the basis of sex and race pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a). The complaint alleges that John Norman engaged in sexual and racial harassment of Complainant during her tenancy at the Harrison Street apartment. The complaint also alleged that Defendants Allen and Nancy Norman failed to take effective action to prevent John Norman from sexually and racially harassing her.

16. Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(a) and (b), the Secretary conducted an investigation of the complaint, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based on the information gathered in that investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory housing practice had occurred. Therefore, on February 28, 2005, the Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), charging Allen Norman, Nancy Norman, and John Norman with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

17. On or about March 22, 2005, Complainant Monica Nightingale-Hawkins elected to have the charge resolved in a federal civil action pursuant to Section 812(a) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(a).

18. On or about March 28, 2005, the Secretary authorized the Attorney General to commence a civil action on behalf of the complainant, pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).

19. By the actions and statements set forth above in Paragraphs 9 - 15 above, Defendants have:

  1. Discriminated in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, on the basis of sex, in violation of Section 804(b) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b);
  2. Discriminated in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, on the basis of race, in violation of Section 804(b) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b);
  3. Made statements with respect to the rental of a dwelling indicating a preference, limitation or discrimination based on sex, and an intention to make such a preference, limitation or discrimination based on sex, in violation of Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c).
  4. Made statements with respect to the rental of a dwelling indicating a preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, and an intention to make such a preference, limitation or discrimination based on sex, in violation of Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c).
  5. Coerced, intimidated, threatened, or interfered with a person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of her having exercised or enjoyed, rights granted or protected by the Fair Housing Act in violation of Section 818 of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3617.

20. Monica Nightingale-Hawkins is an aggrieved person as defined in Section 802(i) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3602(i). She has suffered injury as a result of Defendants' conduct described herein.

21. The conduct of Defendants described herein was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of Monica Nightingale-Hawkins.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the Court enter an order that:

1. Declares that Defendants' conduct, as alleged herein, violates the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 - 3619;

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

3. Discriminating on account of sex against any person in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling;

  1. Discriminating on account of race against any person in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling;
  2. Interfering with or threatening to take any action against any person in the exercise or enjoyment of rights granted or protected by the Fair Housing Act, as amended; and
  3. Awards monetary damages to Monica Nightingale-Hawkins pursuant to Section 812(o) (3) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o)(3), and Section 813(c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3613(c);

The United States further prays for such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.



Dated: ________________, 2005

ALBERTO R. GONZALES
Attorney General
_______________________
TODD P. GRAVES
United States Attorney

CHARLES THOMAS
Assistant United States Attorney
United States Attorney's Office
400 East 9th Street - Room 5510
Kansas City, MO 64106-2149
(816) 426-4299
_______________________
Assistant Attorney General
R. ALEXANDER ACOSTA
Civil Rights Division

STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM
Chief, Housing and Civil
Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division

_______________________
KEISHA DAWN BELL
Deputy Chief
CATHERINE A. BENDOR
Attorney
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Northwestern Building, 7th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20530
Phone: (202) 514-4305
Fax: (202) 514-1116


Document Filed: April 21, 2005
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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