Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF KANSAS


United States of America,
     Plaintiff,

v.

Trinidad Maldonado;
Trinidad Maldonado, d/b/a Midway
Mobile Home Park; and
Centro Rental, Inc.,
     Defendants.

___________________________________


FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

The United States of America alleges:

  1. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
  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, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 - 3619.
  2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1345, 42 U.S.C. § 3612, and 42 U.S.C. § 3614.
  3. Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because the actions giving rise to the United States' allegations occurred in the District of Kansas, the subject property is located in the District of Kansas, and all of the defendants reside in and do business in the District of Kansas.
  1. PROPERTY AND PARTIES
  1. At all relevant times, the defendants have owned and/or managed the Midway Mobile Home Park, located at 2220 Prospect Circle in Junction City, Kansas 66441, in the District of Kansas.
  2. The mobile homes at Midway Mobile Home Park are dwellings within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
  3. Defendant Trinidad Maldonado is a resident of Junction City, Kansas, which is located in the District of Kansas. Defendant Trinidad Maldonado, d/b/a Midway Mobile Home Park, has co-owned and managed the subject property at all relevant times. Defendant Trinidad Maldonado is a principal of Centro Rental, Inc. and Centro Management, Inc.
  4. Defendant Margaret Maldonado is a resident of Junction City, Kansas, which is located in the District of Kansas. Defendant Margaret Maldonado, d/b/a Midway Mobile Home Park, has co-owned the property on which the Midway Mobile Home Park is located, and managed the subject property at all relevant times. Margaret Maldonado is also a principal of defendant Centro Rental, Inc. and Centro Management, Inc.
  5. Defendant Centro Rental, Inc. is incorporated and has its principal place of business in the District of Kansas. Centro Rental, Inc. has co-owned and managed the subject property at all relevant times.
  6. Defendant Centro Management, Inc. is incorporated and has its principal place of business in the District of Kansas. Centro Management, Inc. has managed the subject property at all relevant times.
  7. At all times relevant to this Complaint, defendant Trinidad Maldonado has served as a manager for Midway Mobile Home Park and has been an agent of Margaret Maldonado, Centro Rental, Inc. and Centro Management, Inc. Mr. Maldonado has been responsible for all aspects of the operation of the Park, including but not limited to, accepting and approving applications for tenancy, showing units to prospective tenants, collecting rents, enforcing park rules and regulations, and providing maintenance.
  1. FIRST CLAIM FOR RELIEF
  1. Plaintiff re-alleges and herein incorporates by reference the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 through 10 above.
  2. On or about August 1, 2000, complainant Peggy Roeseler submitted to the Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("the Secretary") a complaint alleging housing discrimination on the basis of sex. This complaint, filed pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a), alleges that Trinidad Maldonado sexually harassed Ms. Roeseler during her tenancy at Midway Mobile Home Park. This complaint was amended on September 28, 2001 to include Peggy Roeseler's husband Larry Roeseler, and their minor son James Roeseler as complainants, and Centro Rental, Inc. and Midway Mobile Home Park as respondents.
  3. 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 discriminatory housing practices occurred. Therefore, on December 21, 2001, the Secretary issued a Determination of Reasonable Cause and Charge of Discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), charging Trinidad Maldonado, Midway Mobile Home Park, and Centro Rental, Inc. with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
  4. On or about January 14, 2002, Respondent Trinidad Maldonado 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).
  5. On or about January 18, 2002, the Secretary authorized the Attorney General to commence a civil action on behalf of the complainants, pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
  6. Defendant Trinidad Maldonado, and Trinidad Maldonado, d/b/a Midway Mobile Home Park, discriminated against complainants Peggy Roeseler, Larry Roeseler, and James Roeseler, on the basis of sex in connection with the rental of dwellings in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Defendants subjected complainant Peggy Roeseler to unwelcome and uninvited sexual comments, advances, offers, and unwanted touching,creating a hostile environment for Peggy Roeseler, in violation of Sections 804(a), 804(b), 804(c), and 818 of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a),(b),(c) and 3617.
  7. Defendant Centro Rental Inc. is liable for the discriminatory conduct of its agent and principal, Trinidad Maldonado, described above. In addition, defendant Centro Rental, Inc. knew or should have known of the discriminatory conduct of Trinidad Maldonado, yet failed to take reasonable preventive and corrective actions.
  8. The discriminatory conduct described above in paragraphs 16-17, resulted in the constructive eviction of Peggy Roeseler, Larry Roeseler, and James Roeseler, thereby making the dwelling unavailable to them because of sex in violation of Section 804(a) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a).
  9. The conduct described abovein paragraphs 16-17, which created a hostile and abusive environment for Peggy Roeseler, Larry Roeseler, and James Roeseler, constitutes a violation of Section 804(b) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b).
  10. Defendant Trinidad Maldonado's conduct described abovein paragraphs 16-17, which included propositions for sex from complainant Peggy Roeseler in exchange for housing benefits, constitutes a violation of Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c).
  11. The conduct described abovein paragraphs 16-17, further intimidates, threatens and interferes with the rights of Peggy Roeseler, Larry Roeseler, and James Roeseler, which are protected by section 804 of this title, in violation of Section 818 of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C.§ 3617.
  12. Peggy Roeseler, and her husband and son, Larry Roeseler and James Roeseler, are aggrieved persons as defined in Section 802(i) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i). They have suffered damages as a result of the defendants' conduct as described herein.
  13. The conduct of the defendants described herein was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of Peggy Roeseler, Larry Roeseler, and James Roeseler.
  1. SECOND CLAIM FOR RELIEF
  1. Plaintiff re-alleges and herein incorporates by reference the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 through 23 above.
  2. Defendants Trinidad Maldonado, and Trinidad Maldonado, d/b/a Midway Mobile Home Park have engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment, in connection with the rental of dwellings at the Midway Mobile Home Park, in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Such conduct has included, but is not necessarily limited to:
    1. Subjecting female tenants at Midway Mobile Home Park to unwelcome and uninvited sexual comments, including, but not limited to, propositions for sex and sexual comments about their appearance and their bodies;
    2. Sexually assaulting one or more female tenants and subjecting them to unwelcome physical touching, including unwelcome touching of intimate body parts, often in the women's homes;
    3. Stalking female tenants and staring at them in a sexually suggestive manner;
    4. Offering to reduce the rent of female tenants or otherwise favorably modify the terms and conditions of their housing in exchange for sexual favors;
    5. Intimidating and threatening one or more female tenants by reminding them that he held the key to their apartments; and
    6. Withholding repairs and otherwise retaliating or discriminating against female tenants who refused his sexual advances.

    This conduct was taken in violation of Sections 804(a), 804(b), 804(c), and 818 of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C.§§ 3604(a), (b), (c) and 3617.

  3. Defendants Margaret Maldonado, Centro Rental, Inc., and Centro Management, Inc. are liable for the discriminatory conduct of their agent, Trinidad Maldonado, described above. In addition, defendants Margaret Maldonado, Centro Rental, Inc., and Centro Management, Inc. knew or should have known of the discriminatory conduct of Trinidad Maldonado and failed to take reasonable preventive and corrective actions.
  4. The discriminatory conduct described above, resulted in the constructive eviction of female tenants and their families, thereby making the dwellings unavailable to them because of sex in violation of Section 804(a) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C.§ 3604(a).
  5. The conduct described above has created a hostile and abusive environment for female tenants and their families and constitutes a violation of Section 804(b) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C.§ 3604(b).
  6. Defendant Trinidad Maldonado's conduct described above, which included propositions for sex from female tenants in exchange for housing benefits and sexual comments about the women's bodies and appearance, constitutes a violation of Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C.§ 3604(c).
  7. The conduct described above has further intimidated, threatened, and interfered with the rights of female tenants and their families, which are protected by section 804 of this title, in violation of Section 818 of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C.§ 3617.
  8. The conduct of the 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. § 3614(a); and
    2. A denial to a group of persons of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, which denial raises an issue of general public importance under Section 814(a), 42 U.S.C.§ 3614(a).
  9. In addition to complainant Peggy Roeseler, there are other persons who were also subjected to the defendants' discriminatory conduct. Such persons and their families are aggrieved persons as defined in Section 803(i) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C.§ 3602(i), and have suffered actual injury and damages as a result of the defendants' conduct as described herein.
  10. The conduct of the defendants, as described herein, was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of the victims of the discrimination.
  1. PRAYER FOR RELIEF

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

  1. Declares that the defendants' policies and practices, as alleged herein, violate 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:
    1. Discriminating on account of sex 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. Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps as may be necessary to (1) restore, as nearly as practicable, the victims of thedefendants' past unlawful practices to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct; and (2) notify residents of their rental properties as well as the public that the properties will be operated in a manner so as not to discriminate on the basis of sex;
  3. Awards such damages as would fully compensate Peggy Roeseler, Larry Roeseler, James Roeseler, and each other victim of the defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to Section 814(d)(1)(B) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §the defendants');
  4. Awards punitive damages to Peggy Roeseler,Larry Roeseler, James Roeseler, and each other victim of the defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to Section 812(o)(3) and 814(d)(1)(B) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3) and 3614(d)(1)(B); and
  5. Assesses a civil penalty against each defendant in order to vindicate the public interest, in an amount authorized by Section 814(d)(1)(C) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C.§ 3614(d)(1)(C), and 28 C.F.R. § 85.3(b)(3).

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

Plaintiff United States also demands a trial by jury on all issues.


JOHN ASHCROFT
Attorney General

RALPH F. BOYD, JR.
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

JAMES E. FLORY
United States Attorney

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section Division

D. BRAD BAILEY
Assistant United States Attorney
United States Attorney's Office
444 S.E. Quincy, Suite 290
Topeka, KS 66683
Tel.: (785) 295-2850
Fax: (785) 295-2853
Kansas Bar # 11345

TIMOTHY J. MORAN
WINIFRED KAO
Attorneys
U.S. Department of Justice

Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section (NWB)
950 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Tel. (202) 616-9747
Fax: (202) 514-1116

Document Filed: May 30, 2002 > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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