FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SETTLES DISCRIMINATION SUIT
AGAINST MOBILE, ALABAMA APARTMENT OWNER
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The owner and former manager of an apartment complex in Mobile, Alabama that allegedly discriminated against African American persons and families with children agreed to pay $360,000 in damages, the Justice Department announced today.
The consent order, filed today in U.S. District Court in Mobile, resolves a June 2001 lawsuit, which alleged that Ralph R. Johnson, owner of the Carriage Inn Apartments in Mobile, and Dawn Stockton, a former manager, violated the Fair Housing Act by denying apartments to African Americans and families with young children.
"Denying people apartments because of the color of their skin or because they have children is not only wrong, it's also illegal," said Ralph F. Boyd, Jr., Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. "The Justice Department will vigorously prosecute housing providers and others who violate the Fair Housing Act."
The lawsuit alleged that Johnson instructed employees of the Carriage Inn not to allow black persons or young children to live at the complex. Johnson's employees, including Stockton, carried out these instructions by refusing to rent apartments to black persons and families with young children and by falsely claiming that there were no available apartments for rent when apartments were in fact available.
Under the terms of the consent order, which must still be approved by the federal court, the defendants will:
"This settlement will help ensure that African Americans and families with children are treated equally when they go to apply for apartments," said United States Attorney David P. York. "The residents of Mobile deserve no less."
Individuals who believe that they may have been the victims of housing discrimination at the Carriage Inn, or elsewhere, should call the Housing Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department at 1-800-896-7743 or 202-514-4752.