Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NORTH DAKOTA


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

CA No. A1-00-143

KELVIN A. MOLDENHAUER; and
LAUNA L. MOLDENHAUER,
     Defendants

______________________________


CONSENT ORDER

On December 18, 2000, the United States commenced this action on behalf of Bobbi and Jeff Zueger, their minor daughter Katie Zueger, Deanne and Stewart Schatz, their minor children Kaeley and Daxton Schatz, and the North Dakota Fair Housing Council. At all times relevant to this case, Defendants Kelvin and Launa Moldenhauer were owners of K & L Apartments, located in Bismarck, North Dakota, which contains approximately sixty (60) dwelling units.

The United States' complaint was brought pursuant to section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o). The Complaint alleges that Defendants violated the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against the complainants by refusing to rent or negotiate for, or otherwise making unavailable or denying, a dwelling on the basis of familial status, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a). The Complaint also alleges that Defendants made or caused to be made statements with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicate a preference, limitation or discrimination because of familial status, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c). The Complaint further alleges that Defendants represented to the complainants, because of their familial status, that dwellings were not available for inspection or rental when such dwellings were in fact so available, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(d).

Defendants Kelvin and Launa Moldenhauer have denied and continue to deny each and every allegation of the Complaint, and have denied and continue to deny that they refused to rent or otherwise discriminated against families with children. It is expressly understood and agreed that this Consent Order is not an admission of liability; but rather is a compromise of disputed claims and that said actions contemplated herein are not in any manner to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of Defendants, their agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and any and all other persons, firms or corporations, such liability being expressly denied.

However, for the sole purpose of conserving time and expense, Defendants agree that the controversy should be resolved without further litigation. Therefore, without a trial or adjudication on the merits, and without any admission of liability whatsoever by the Defendants, the parties have consented to entry of this Order, as indicated by the signatures appearing below.

After reviewing the terms of this Order, the Court concludes that the entry of this Order comports with the Fair Housing Act and federal law.

Accordingly it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED that:

  1. PROHIBITORY INJUNCTION

Defendants, their employees, agents and successors, and all those acting in concert or participation with them, consent to be enjoined from:

  1. Making dwellings unavailable to persons because of familial status;
  2. Discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of renting a dwelling unit or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of familial status;
  3. Making, printing, publishing, or causing to be made, printed or published, any notice, statement, or advertisement with respect to the rental or ownership of a dwelling unit that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination on the basis of familial status;
  4. Representing to any person because of familial status that any dwelling unit is not available for inspection, rental or sale when such dwelling is in fact so available; and
  5. Engaging in any other discriminatory housing practices prohibited by 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq.
  1. AFFIRMATIVE RELIEF
  1. TRAINING

    1. Within ninety (90) days after the entry of this Order, Defendants, as well as any and all agents or employees of Defendants with responsibility for showing, renting, or managing dwelling units at any of the apartment complexes owned by Defendants, shall complete an educational program, to be conducted by the North Dakota Department of Labor or other entity agreed upon by the parties, at Defendants' expense, that shall include the following:
      1. Informing each individual of his or her duties and obligations under this Order as well as under the federal Fair Housing Act and applicable state laws;
      2. Furnishing to each agent or employee whose duties include showing, renting or managing dwelling units, and each agent or employee who supervises such activities, a written non-discrimination policy under the terms of this Order and the Fair Housing Act. Said policy is attached to this Order as Attachment A;
      3. Instructing each individual on procedures to insure that familial status does not enter into the process of providing rental information to persons who make inquiries or making decisions on rental applications; and

      4. Securing the signed statement appearing at Attachment B from each such agent, employee or successor indicating that he or she has received, read, and understands this Order and Defendants' policy of non-discrimination and further understands that violation of this Order may result in sanctions against him or her by Defendants and/or the Court. (1)
    2. During the period in which this Order is in effect, any subsequent employee or agent of Defendants shall be given a copy of the Non-Discrimination Policy and Consent Order and required to sign the statement appearing at Attachment C indicating that he or she has received, read, and understands this Order and Defendants' policy of non-discrimination and further understands that violation of this Order may result in sanctions against him or her by Defendants and/or the Court. The signed statement must be completed by the new employee or agent within thirty (30) days after the date he or she becomes an officer of, commences employment or an agency relationship with, or succeeds ownership from Defendants.
  2. TENANT FAIR HOUSING AWARENESS

    Defendants shall:

    1. Provide each current tenant, within thirty (30) days of the issue of this Order, and each new tenant, at the commencement of their tenancy, and use best efforts to provide each prospective applicant, with a copy of the HUD booklet, entitled Fair Housing Is Your Right!, HUD form 903.1; (2) and
    2. Post a HUD fair housing poster, HUD form 928.1, (3) in a conspicuous location at each of Defendants' rental premises within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order.
  3. ADVERTISING

    Defendants shall include the words "Equal Housing Opportunity" and/or the fair housing logo in all advertising (whether in newspapers, telephone directories and other written materials; on radio, television or other media broadcasts; and on all billboards, signs, pamphlets, brochures and other promotional literature) conducted by Defendants and/or their agents, employees, or successors for any of Defendants' properties. The words and/or logo shall be prominently placed and easily readable. In addition, all newspaper and radio advertising regarding Defendants' properties subsequent to the date of entry of this Order shall conform to the provisions of the applicable advertising guidelines of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 24 C.F.R. Part 109 (1995).

  4. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
    1. Every twelve (12) months after the entry of this Order, for a period of two years, Defendants shall deliver to counsel for the United States a report containing the following information:
      1. Copies of all signed statements secured pursuant to Section IIA1d above;
      2. Copies of applications, date stamped when filed, including indication as to whether the application was accepted or rejected;
      3. Best efforts at an inquiry log recording the names and contact information (address and phone numbers) of all individuals inquiring by telephone or in person about housing availabilities at K & L;
      4. Records of tenant payments by occupant and unit number; and
      5. Representative copies of any advertisements conducted by Defendants regarding Defendants' properties during the reporting period.
    2. Defendants shall also advise counsel for the United States in writing within thirty (30) days of receipt of any written complaint against Defendants, or against any of Defendants' employees, rental agents or residential rental properties, regarding discrimination based upon familial status. This notification shall include full details of the complaint and any action taken by Defendants, and shall be accompanied by all pertinent documents. (4)
  1. MONETARY RELIEF

Within thirty (30) days following the entry of this Order, Defendants shall pay fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) to Bobbi and Jeff Zueger and their minor child Katie Zueger (payable to Bobbi and Jeff Zueger); twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) to Deanne and Stewart Schatz and their minor children Kaeley and Daxton Schatz, (payable to Deanne and Stewart Schatz); and fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) to the North Dakota Fair Housing Council, as payment of damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o)(3), and in consideration for the full and final settlement of all claims of the United States on behalf of the named aggrieved parties, and all claims of the named aggrieved parties individually, arising out of the transactions or occurrences or series of transactions or occurrences alleged in the Complaint, including the claims filed in the United States District court for the District of North Dakota, styled North Dakota Fair Housing Council, et al. v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer et al., A1-01-037.

Payment shall be made by certified checks, which shall be sent to counsel for the United States. (5) Counsel for the United States shall retain possession of the checks for all aggrieved persons until releases of all aggrieved persons of all claims against Defendants that were raised in this lawsuit and complainants' action referenced above, conforming with that set out at Attachments D1-D3, have been signed by or on behalf of all aggrieved persons. Counsel for the United States shall forward the original releases to counsel for Defendants.

  1. TIME FOR PERFORMANCE

Any time limits for performance imposed by this Consent Order may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties.

  1. DISMISSAL
  1. This Order shall remain in effect for two (2) years and 60 days from the date of its entry. This Court shall retain jurisdiction of this action for purposes of enforcing this Order.
  2. The provisions of this Order shall apply to Defendants, their employees, agents, successors, anyone acting under their direction, and all those acting in concert or participation with any of them, except that the provisions of IIA1 shall not apply to Defendant Launa Moldenhauer as long as she is not involved in the business of providing rental housing. Should Launa Moldenhauer become involved in the business of providing rental housing at any time during the duration of this order, however, Defendants must advise counsel for the United States to that effect in writing within fifteen (15) days of her involvement and must comply with the requirements of IIA1 within thirty (30) days of her involvement into the rental housing business.
  3. The provisions of this Order, except Section III, which provides for monetary relief, shall apply to all rental properties, which are owned and/or managed in whole or in part by Defendants.
  4. The parties may mutually agree to extend the time periods set out in this Decree for any required action.
  5. The United States may move the Court to extend the period in which this Order is in effect if it determines that Defendants likely have violated one or more terms of the Order or if the interests of justice otherwise require an extension of the terms of the Order.
  6. The parties to this Order shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of and compliance with this Order prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution. However, in the event that Defendants either fail to perform in a timely manner any act required by this Order or act in violation of any provision of this Order, the United States may move the Court to impose any remedy authorized by law or equity, including, but not limited to, an order requiring performance or non-performance of certain acts and an award of any damages, costs, and attorneys' fees that may have been occasioned by Defendants' non-action or actions.
  7. The above captioned Complaint is dismissed with prejudice.

ORDEREDthis _[25th]_ day of _[September]__, 2001

________/sig/______________________
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Approved:

For the United States:

RALPH F. BOYD
Assistant Attorney General

ISABELLE M. THABAULT
Deputy Chief
ELIZABETH O. TUCCI
Trial Attorney
Housing & Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
(202) 514-4738

LYNN E. CROOKS
United States Attorney

SHON HASTINGS
Assistant United States Attorney
655 First Ave. North
Suite 250
Fargo, ND 58102-4932
(701) 297-7400
ND Bar Board ID No. 05084

For the Defendants:

JOHN C. KAPSNER
MICHAEL T. ANDREWS
Vogel Law Firm
304 East Rosser Avenue
P.O. Box 2097
Bismarck, ND 58502-2097
(701) 258-7899

JOHN M. OLSON
Olson Cichy
P.O. Box 817
Bismarck, ND 58502-0817
(701) 223-4524


ATTACHMENT A
  1. NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

It is the policy of Kelvin and Launa Moldenhauer (the "Moldenhauers") not to discriminate against anyone in any aspect of the rental of dwellings because of race, color, national origin, sex, handicap, familial status or religion. This policy means, among other things, that all agents or employees of the Moldenhauers with the responsibility for showing, renting, or managing any dwelling units owned by the Moldenhauers must:

  1. treat all qualified applicants equally regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, handicap or familial status; and
  2. allow qualified families with children to apply for and to reside in any properties owned by the Moldenhauers.

Any employee or agent of the Moldenhauers with the responsibility for showing, renting, or managing any dwelling units owned by the Moldenhauers who does not comply with the policy set forth in this document may be subject to disciplinary action, termination of employment, and or federal court sanctions.

  1. DEFINITIONS

The term "familial status" means one or more individuals (who have not attained the age of 18 years) being domiciled with:

  1. a parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals; or
  2. the designee of such parent or the person having such custody, with the written permission of such parent or another person.

The protections afforded against discrimination on the basis of familial status shall also apply to any person who is pregnant or is in the process of securing legal custody of any individual who has not attained the age of 18 years.


ATTACHMENT B

On ______________, 200_, I was instructed by ____________________ with respect to my responsibilities under the Order entered by the federal district court in United States v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer, et al., the federal Fair Housing Act and applicable state laws. I was also instructed as to the "Non-Discrimination Policy." I have received copies of and have read the Order and the Non-Discrimination Policy. I understand my legal responsibilities and will comply with those responsibilities. Specifically, I understand that I am prohibited from discriminating against any person in any aspect of a sale or rental transaction on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. I understand that the Court may impose sanctions on me if I violate a provision of the Order and that my employer may also discipline me if I violate a provision of the Order. I have been informed by my employer that I will not be reprimanded by my employer for providing information to any law enforcement agency (including the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, P.O. Box 65998, Washington, D.C. 20035-5998, telephone (202) 514-4713) or official regarding my employer's compliance with the Fair Housing Act and/or the Order.

____________________
Date
____________________
Signature
____________________
Print Name


ATTACHMENT C

On ___________________, 200_, I received copies of and have read the Consent Order in United States v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer, et al., and the Non-Discrimination Policy. I understand my legal responsibilities set out in these documents to comply with the Fair Housing Act and will comply with those responsibilities. Specifically, I understand that I am prohibited from discriminating against any person in any aspect of a sale or rental transaction on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. I understand that the Court may impose sanctions on me if I violate a provision of the Order and that my employer may also discipline me if I violate a provision of the Order. I have been informed by my employer that I will not be reprimanded by my employer for providing information to any law enforcement agency (including the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, P.O. Box 65998, Washington, D.C. 20035-5998, telephone (202) 514-4713) or official regarding my employer's compliance with the Fair Housing Act and/or the Order.

____________________
Date
____________________
Signature
____________________
Print Name


ATTACHMENT D1

BOBBI and JEFF ZUEGER, and their minor child, KATIE ZUEGER for the sole consideration of FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS ($15,000.00), the payment of which shall be made in compliance with the terms of the Decree entered on _______________, 2001, in the case of United States v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer et al., do, for themselves, their heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, release and forever discharge Kelvin and Launa Moldenhauer, their representatives, employees and agents, and all other persons, firms, insurers, corporations or entities from any and all claims, demands, damages, actions or causes of action on account of or in any way arising out of or relating to the allegations set forth in United States v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer et al., concerning alleged discrimination on the basis of familial status.

BOBBI and JEFF ZUEGER, for themselves and their minor child, KATIE ZUEGER, expressly waive, and in every other way release all rights to claims alleged in the Complaint and any related claims which were or could have been brought in United States v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer et al., including the claims set forth in North Dakota Fair Housing Council, Inc. et al. v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer, et al., A1-01-037.

It is understood that this release constitutes the entire agreement between the parties; that the terms of this release are contractual and not a mere recital; and that the release is binding upon and adheres to the benefit of the parties jointly and severally, and the executors, administrators, personal representatives, heirs, successors, and assigns of each.

The undersigned further declare and represent that no promise, inducement or agreement not herein expressed has been made to the undersigned.

Signature:

________________________
Bobbi Zueger

________________________
Jeff Zueger

Dated:__________, 2001


ATTACHMENT D2

DEANNE and STEWART SCHATZ and their minor children, KAELEY and DAXTON SCHATZ, for the sole consideration of TWELVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($12,000.00), the payment of which shall be made in compliance with the terms of the Decree entered on ____________, 2001, in the case of United States v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer et al., do, for themselves, their heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, release and forever discharge Kelvin and Launa Moldenhauer, their representatives, employees and agents, and all other persons, firms, insurers, corporations or entities from any and all claims, demands, damages, actions or causes of action on account of or in any way arising out of or relating to the allegations set forth in United States v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer et al., concerning alleged discrimination on the basis of familial status.

DEANNE and STEWART SCHATZ, for themselves and their minor children KAELEY and DAXTON SCHATZ, expressly waive, and in every other way release all rights to claims alleged in the Complaint and any related claims which were or could have been brought in United States v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer et al., including any and all claims DEANNE and STEWART SCHATZ and their minor children KAELEY and DAXTON SCHATZ could have brought had they intervened in that action.

It is understood that this release constitutes the entire agreement between the parties; that the terms of this release are contractual and not a mere recital; and that the release is binding upon and adheres to the benefit of the parties jointly and severally, and the executors, administrators, personal representatives, heirs, successors, and assigns of each.

The undersigned further declare and represent that no promise, inducement or agreement not herein expressed has been made to the undersigned.

Signature:

________________________
Deanne Schatz

________________________
Stewart Schatz

Dated:__________, 2001


ATTACHMENT D3

The NORTH DAKOTA FAIR HOUSING COUNCIL, for the sole consideration of FIFTEEN THOUSAND DOLLARS ($15,000.00), the payment of which shall be made in compliance with the terms of the Decree entered on ____________, 2001, in the case of United States v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer et al., does, for itself, its heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, release and forever discharge Kelvin and Launa Moldenhauer, their representatives, employees and agents, and all other persons, firms, insurers, corporations or entities from any and all claims, demands, damages, actions or causes of action on account of or in any way arising out of or relating to the allegations set forth in United States v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer et al., concerning alleged discrimination on the basis of familial status.

The NORTH DAKOTA FAIR HOUSING COUNCIL expressly waives, and in every other way releases all rights to claims alleged in the Complaint and any related claims which were or could have been brought in United States v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer et al., including the claims set forth in North Dakota Fair Housing Council, Inc. et al. v. Kelvin A. Moldenhauer, et al., A1-01-037.

It is understood that this release constitutes the entire agreement between the parties; that the terms of this release are contractual and not a mere recital; and that the release is binding upon and adheres to the benefit of the parties jointly and severally, and the executors, administrators, personal representatives, heirs, successors, and assigns of each.

The undersigned further declares and represents that no promise, inducement or agreement not herein expressed has been made to the undersigned.

Signature:

North Dakota Fair Housing Council

By:

________________________

Dated:__________, 2001


1. These signed statements and all other records required by this Order to be provided to the United States shall be sent to: United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, (Attention DJ # 175-56-46), P.O. Box 65998, Washington, D.C. 20035-5998.

2. HUD official form 903.1 is available and free of charge from the North Dakota Fair Housing Council or by calling HUD directly at (800) 767-7468.

3. HUD official form 928.1 is also available free of charge from the North Dakota Fair Housing Council or by calling HUD directly at (800) 767-7468.

4. All documents required by this section should be sent to: United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, (Attention DJ # 175-56-46), P.O. Box 65998, Washington, D.C. 20035-5998.

5. Checks shall be sent via express mail to: United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, (Attention DJ # 175-56-46), P.O. Box 65998, Washington, D.C. 20035-5998.


Document Signed: September 25, 2001. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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