WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today sued The Latvian Tower Condominium Association, Inc. (LTCA) and its president, Karl Tegtmeyer, for allegations that they violated the Fair Housing Act by interfering with the sale of a home because of the familial status of the buyers.
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for Nebraska, charges that the LTCA and Tegtmeyer interfered with the sale of a unit at The Latvian Tower Condominiums, located at 3003 Paddock Rd., Omaha, Neb., between 2005 and 2007, because they did not want the owners of the unit to sell the apartment to a family with children.
"The Fair Housing Act ensures that people have the right to purchase a home free of discrimination, including discrimination on the basis of familial status," said Grace Chung Becker, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. "The Justice Department will continue to vigorously enforce the Fair Housing Act."
This lawsuit arose as a result of a complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by a couple who attempted to sell their home. After an investigation of the complaint, HUD issued a charge of discrimination, and the complainants elected to have the case heard in federal court.
The suit seeks a court order prohibiting future discrimination by the LTCA and Tegtmeyer, and requiring the LTCA and Tegtmeyer to pay monetary damages to the complainants. The suit also alleges that the LTCA’s and Tegtmeyer’s conduct constituted a pattern or practice of discrimination, and seeks a civil penalty as well as monetary damages for any other persons harmed by the defendants’ actions.
The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability and familial status. Since Jan. 1, 2001, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division has filed 272 cases to enforce the Fair Housing Act, 55 of which have alleged discrimination based on familial status. More information about the Civil Rights Division and the laws it enforces is available at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt . Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of housing discrimination can call the Housing Discrimination Tip Line at 1-800-896-7743, e-mail the Justice Department at email@example.com, or contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777.