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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

ALLAN J. NOLD; AURORA NOLD;
MARK MORTENSON; DONALD B.
SHEFFER; and DISABLED
RIGHTS ACTION COMMITTEE
(a Utah non-profit corporation),
     Plaintiffs-Intervenors,

v.

ROCK SPRINGS VISTA
DEVELOPMENT CORP., INC.;
J.A. BLACK CONSTRUCTION
COMPANY, INC.; and
JAMES A. BLACK,
     Defendants.

_____________________________________

UNITED STATES' FIRST 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.

  2. This court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 3614(a).

Subject Properties

  1. Rock Springs Vista #7 (RSV #8) is a residential dwelling complex located at Vegas Drive and Durango Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada. RSV #7 is comprised of sixty-one buildings, each with four dwelling units, 122 of which are located on the ground-floor.

  2. Rock Springs Vista #8 (RSV #8) is a residential dwelling complex located at Vegas Drive and Buffalo Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada, and is comprised of thirty-three buildings, each with four dwelling units, sixty-six of which are located on the ground floor.

  3. Rock Springs Vista #9 (RSV #9) is a residential dwelling complex located on Buffalo Drive at Ducharme Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada, and is comprised of fourteen buildings, each with four dwelling units, twenty-eight of which are located on the ground-floor.

  4. Rock Springs Vista, Mesquite #1 (RSV Mes #1) is a residential dwelling complex located at Rock Springs Drive at Mesa Boulevard, Mesquite, Nevada and is comprised of forty-four buildings, each with four dwelling units, eighty-eight of which are located on the ground-floor.

  5. Rock Springs Vista, Mesquite #2 (RSV Mes #2) is a residential dwelling complex located at Mesquite Springs Road at Maryland Parkway, Mesquite, Nevada, and is comprised of eighty-six buildings, each with four units, 172 of which are located on the ground-floor.

  6. All of the condominium units at RSV #7, RSV #8, RSV #9, RSV Mes #1, and RSV Mes #2 were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. The condominium units at RSV #7, RSV #8, RSV #9, RSV Mes #1, and RSV Mes #2 are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).

  7. All of the 566 ground-floor units at RSV #7, RSV #8, RSV #9, RSV Mes #1, and RSV Mes #2 (the RSV ground-floor units) are "covered multi-family dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(F)(7)(A).

  8. All of the RSV ground-floor units are subject to the accessibility requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

Parties

  1. Defendant Rock Springs Vista Development Co., Inc. is a Nevada corporation whose principal place of business is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Defendant Rock Springs Vista Development, Co. is responsible for the design, development, construction, and sale of residential dwellings at RSV #7, RSV #8, RSV #9, RSV Mes #1, and RSV Mes #2.

  2. Defendant J.A. Black Construction Co., Inc (JAB) is a Nevada corporation whose principle place of business is located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Defendant JAB is responsible for the development and construction of residential dwelling at RSV #7, RSV #8, RSV #9, RSV Mes # 1, and RSV Mes #2.

  3. Defendant James A. Black is an architect whose principle place of business is in Las Vegas, Nevada. Defendant James A. Black is responsible for the design of residential at RSV #7, RSV #8, RSV #9, RSV Mes #1, and RSV Mes #2.

Fair Housing Amendments Act Pattern or Practice Claim

  1. Defendants have violated 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C) by failing to design and construct these dwellings in such a manner that: (a) the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; (b) all doors are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons who use wheelchairs; and (c) all premises with such dwellings contain: (i) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; (ii) light switches, electrical outlets, and thermostats in accessible locations; (iii) reinforcements in the bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (iv) usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

  2. Defendants, through actions referred to in Paragraph 14, above, have:

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

    2. Failed to design and construct dwellings in compliance with the accessibility and adaptability features mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 3604 (f)(3)(C).

  3. 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.

  4. Persons who may 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.

  5. Defendants' conduct described above was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others.

WHEREFORE, the United States 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 RSV #7, RSV #8, RSV #9, RSV Mes #1, and RSV Mes #2 into compliance with 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 defendants' unlawful practices to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct; and

    3. Designing or constructing any covered multi-family dwellings in the future that do not contain the accessibility and adaptability features 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 resulting from defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B);

  4. Awards punitive damages to each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices because of the intentional and willful nature of defendants' conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B); and

  5. Assesses a civil penalty against each defendant in the maximum amount authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C), in order to vindicated the public interest.

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

Janet Reno
Attorney General

Bill Lann Lee
Acting Assistant Attorney General

Joan A. Magagna
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

Brian Heffernan
S.E. Pietrafesa
Scott P. Moore
Attorneys
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998

Kathryn E. Landret
United States Attorney
District of Nevada

Blaine T. Welsh
Assistant United States Attorney
701 E. Bridger Avenue
Suite 800
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
702-388-6336

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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