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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Plaintiff,

Case No. 4:00-CV-194-H(3)

v.

QUALITY BUILT CONSTRUCTION,
INC. f/k/a Dawn Construction,
Inc.; WILLIAM E. DANSEY, JR.;
and HITE/MSM,P.C.,

Defendants.

_________________________________________

SECOND AMENDED COMPLAINT

The United States of America alleges:

1. This action is brought by the United States to enforce the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (Fair Housing Act), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).

3. Venue is proper in this District. Defendant Quality Built Construction, Inc. ("Quality Built") and defendant Hite/MSM, P.C. ("Hite") are North Carolina corporations with their principal place of business in the Eastern District of North Carolina. William E. Dansey, Jr. ("Dansey") is an individual and a resident of the Eastern District of North Carolina.

PARTIES

4. Defendant Quality Built constructed Breezewood Condominiums ("Breezewood"), a multi-family condominium development which is located in Greenville, North Carolina.

5. Defendant Quality Built constructed Hyde Park Apartments ("Hyde Park"), a multi-family rental development which is located in Greenville, North Carolina.

6. At the time Breezewood was designed, built, and sold, defendant Quality Built was doing business under the corporate name Dawn Construction, Inc. Dawn Construction, Inc. subsequently changed its legal operating corporate name to Quality Built Construction, Inc.

7. Defendant Dansey was the owner of Breezewood during its construction and was responsible for the development and/or construction of Breezewood.

8. Defendant Dansey was the owner of Hyde Park during its construction and was responsible for the development and/or construction of Hyde Park.

9. Defendant Hite is a licensed architectural and engineering firm that was responsible for the design of Breezewood and Hyde Park.

PATTERN OR PRACTICE VIOLATIONS

10. Breezewood has 15 non-elevator buildings with four or more residential condominium units in each building. Breezewood has a total of 232 residential condominium units, 116 of which are located on the ground-floor. The condominium units are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).

11. All of the units contained in Breezewood were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. The ground floor units at Breezewood are "covered multi-family dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A) and are subject to the design and construction requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

12. Defendants Quality Built, Dansey, and Hite have failed to design and construct the covered dwelling units and public use and common use areas in Breezewood in such a manner that:

  1. the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons;

  2. all the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by handicapped persons in wheelchairs; and

  3. all premises within such dwellings contain the following features of adaptive design:

    1. an accessible route into and through the dwelling;

    2. light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;

    3. reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and

    4. usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

13. Hyde Park has 12 non-elevator buildings with four or more residential condominium units in each building. Hyde Park has a total of 192 residential condominium units, 96 of which are located on the ground-floor. The condominium units are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).

14. All of the units contained in Hyde Park were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. The ground floor units at Hyde Park are "covered multi-family dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A) and are subject to the design and construction requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

15. Defendants Dansey, Quality Built, and Hite have failed to design and/or construct the covered dwelling units in Hyde Park and public use and common use areas of such dwellings in such a manner that:

  1. the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons;

  2. all the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by handicapped persons in wheelchairs; and

  3. all premises within such dwellings contain the following features of adaptive design:

    1. an accessible route into and through the dwelling;

    2. light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;

    3. reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and

    4. usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

16. Defendants, through the actions described in paragraphs 10-15 above, have:

  1. Discriminated in the sale of, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, dwellings to persons because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1);

  2. Discriminated against persons in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with the sale of 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 requirements mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

17. The conduct of defendants described above 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.

18. Persons who have been the victims of defendants' discriminatory housing practices are aggrieved persons as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i) and may have suffered injuries as a result of defendants' conduct described above.

19. Defendants' conduct described above was intentional, willful, and/or taken in reckless disregard of the federally protected rights of others.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

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

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

2. Enjoins 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 the extent possible, to bring the dwelling units and public use and common use areas at Breezewood and Hyde Park into compliance with the requirements of 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. Failing or refusing to design and construct any covered multi-family dwellings in the future in compliance with the requirements set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);

3. Awards such damages as would fully compensate each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices for their injuries and damages resulting from defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B);

4. Awards punitive damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B); and

5. Assesses civil penalties against each defendant pursuant to 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.

John Ashcroft
Attorney General

John S. Bruce
United States Attorney

___________________________
By: Rudy Renfer
Assistant U.S. Attorney
Civil Division
310 New Bern Avenue
Suite 800
Raleigh, NC 87601-1461
Telephone: (919) 856-4530
Fax: (919) 856-4821

___________________________
Ralph F. Boyd, Jr.
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

___________________________
Joan A. Magagna
Chief, Housing and Civil
Enforcement Section

___________________________
Isabelle M. Thabault
Deputy Chief
Scott P. Moore
Trial Attorney
United States Department of
   Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil
   Enforcement Section- G Street
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 307-3801



Document Filed:

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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