Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF WYOMING


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

CA No. 00CV 218B

LARRY BARONE; and
LUCY BARONE,
     Defendants.

_______________________________

CONSENT ORDER

On November 17, 2000, the United States commenced this action on behalf of Wendy A. Sheridan and her minor child Dalton James Spence ("Complainants"). At all times relevant to this case, Defendants Larry Barone and Lucy Barone ("Defendants") were owners of the residential rental property located at 1018 East 24th Street, Cheyenne, Wyoming. The Defendants own several residential rental properties in Wyoming.

The United States brought its Complaint pursuant to section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o). The Complaint alleges that the Defendants discriminated against the Complainants by refusing to rent or negotiate for, or otherwise making unavailable or denying, a dwelling on the basis of the Complainants' familial status, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a), and by representing, because of the Complainants' familial status,that a dwelling was not available when such dwelling was in fact available, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(d).

Defendants have denied the allegations set forth in the Complaint. Specifically, they deny that they refused to rent or negotiate for, or that they otherwise made unavailable or denied, a dwelling on the basis of the Complainants' familial status. Defendants further deny that, because of the Complainants' familial status, they represented that a dwelling was not available when such dwelling was in fact available.Defendants deny that they have violated any provision of the Fair Housing Act.

The parties agree that, in order to conserve time and expense, the controversy should be resolved without further litigation. Therefore, without a trial or adjudication on the merits, and without admission of liability by the Defendants, the parties have consented to the 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 and agents, and all those acting in concert or participation with them are hereby enjoined from:

  1. Refusing to rent a dwelling unit, refusing or failing to provide or offer information about a dwelling unit, or otherwise making unavailable or denying a dwelling unit to any person 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 with the rental of a dwelling unit, 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 of a dwelling unit that states 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 or rental when such dwelling is in fact so available; and

  5. Engaging in any other discriminatory housing practices prohibited by 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619.

  1. AFFIRMATIVE RELIEF

  1. TRAINING
    1. Within sixty (60) days after the entry of this Order, Defendant Larry Barone, as well as any and all agents or employees of the Defendants with responsibility for, or who participated in, showing, renting, or managing dwelling units at any of the residential properties owned by the Defendants, shall complete an educational program, to be conducted by an organization approved by the United States, at Defendants' expense, that shall include the following:
      1. Informing each individual of his or her 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 ensure that familial status does not enter into the process of making decisions on rental applications or that of providing rental information to persons who make inquiries; and
      4. Securing the signed statement appearing at Attachment B from each such agent or employee indicating that he or she has received, has read, and understands this Order and the Defendants' policy of non-discrimination and further understands that violation of this Order may result in sanctions against him or her by the Defendants and/or the Court.
    2. Effective immediately upon entry of this Order, Defendant Lucy Barone shall cease performing any management duties with respect to any residential rental property, whether owned by her and/or by others. If Defendant Lucy Barone receives any inquiries about any such residential rental property, she shall refer those inquiries to her son, Defendant Larry Barone.

    3. During the period in which this Order is in effect, each new employee or agentof the Defendants shall review a videotape and educational materials concerning the requirements of the Fair Housing Act, approved by the United States, within thirty (30) days after the date he or she commences employment or an agency relationship with the Defendants, (1) or within thirty (30) days after the United States has provided the Defendants with such written materials and with information about where to obtain such videotape, whichever is later. During the period in which this Order is in effect, each new employee or agent of the Defendants shall sign the statement appearing at Attachment B within thirty (30) days of commencing such a relationship with the Defendants.

  2. TENANT FAIR HOUSING AWARENESS

    Within thirty (30) days after the entry of this Order, the Defendants shall provide all current tenants of rental properties owned by the Defendants with a written notice, conforming with that set out at Attachment A, indicating that the Defendants follow a policy of nondiscrimination in housing and that their occupancy policy contains no restrictions on the rental of units and the provision of rental services and facilities to families with children. The Defendants shall retain a copy of this notice and provide a copy of this notice to the United States.

  3. REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
    1. Within thirty (30) days after the entry of this Order, the Defendants shall deliver to counsel for the United States an initial report listing the names and ages of all current tenants, their dates of tenancy, and the respective addresses of the units;

    2. Every twelve (12) months after the entry of this Order, for a period of two (2) years,the 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 II.A.3 above;
      2. An Occupancy Report for all residential rental units owned by the Defendants. That Report shall include the dates of tenancy and the names and ages of all tenants who moved into such units during the reported period, and the respective addresses of such units;
      3. For all prospective tenants who inquire about such units, whether in person or by telephone: a list of the name, address and telephone number of each person inquiring, and the date of each inquiry. In the event that a particular prospective tenant refuses to provide his or her name, address, and telephone number, Defendants shall note the date of the inquiry, record any information that was received, and note that the prospective tenant refused to provide the remainder of the requested information; and
      4. For prospective tenants who inquire about such units in person: a list of the familial status of each prospective tenant (i.e., whether that prospective tenant has children), the address of the unit(s) applied for, whether the prospective tenant requested to rent the unit, and, if so, whether the prospective tenant was accepted or rejected, and, if rejected, the reason for the rejection. To find out the familial status of a prospective tenant who has inquired in person, the Defendants, their agents and employees are to ask the prospective tenant to fill out the form included below as Attachment C. The Defendants are not required to provide such familial status data for any prospective tenant who refuses to provide the information requested.
    3. Defendants shall also advise counsel for the United States in writing within thirty (30) days of receipt of any written complaint against the Defendants, or against any of the Defendants' employees, rental agents, or residential rental properties, regarding fair housing. This notification shall include full details of the complaint and any action taken by the Defendants in response to the complaint, and shall be accompanied by all pertinent documents. (2)

  1. ACCESS TO RECORDS

  1. With reasonable notice and at a mutually convenient time, the Defendants shall allow the United States to have access to any records of the Defendants' properties in order to monitor the Defendants' compliance with this Consent Order. The United States shall send any such notice requesting access to Defendant Larry Barone at his address (3722 Carey Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82001), as well as to Defendants' current attorney of record (Harriet M. Hageman, 1822 Warren Avenue, Cheyenne, WY 82001). The United States shall endeavor in good faith to minimize any inconvenience to the Defendants resulting from inspection of such records.

  2. The Defendants shall maintain all records related to the operation of their rental units throughout the time period covered by this Consent Order. Such documents shall include, but not be limited to, advertisements, applications, leases, tenant files, policies and procedures, a log of the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all persons making inquiries and the familial status of all persons making inquiries in person, as well as all other documents or records that refer or relate in any way to the rental dwelling units owned by the Defendants.

  1. MONETARY RELIEF

  1. Within thirty (30) days following the entry of this Order, Defendants shall pay a total of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) to Wendy A. Sheridan and her minor child Dalton James Spence in consideration for the full and final settlement of this claim as payment of damages pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o)(3). Defendants shall make the following monetary disbursements, by certified check:
    1. Two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) payable to "Wendy A. Sheridan"; and
    2. Two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) payable to "Dalton James Spence."

    All disbursements shall be sent by certified mail to the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, Chief, DJ 175-87-16, Post Office Box 65998, Washington, DC 20035-5998.

  2. Wendy A. Sheridan, on behalf of herself and her minor child Dalton James Spence, shall execute a release, attached to this Order as Attachment D, prior to receiving compensation under this Order. A copy of that release containing the required signatures shall be sent by facsimile to Harriet M. Hageman at fax number (307) 632-5111. A copy of the original release will be sent to Defendants upon the United States' receipt of the monies as described in Section IV.C below.

  3. Upon receipt of both the monies described in Section IV.A above and the release described in Section IV.B above, the United States shall forward the monies to Wendy A. Sheridan and Dalton James Spence, and shall forward the release to Defendants.

  1. DISMISSAL AND ENFORCEMENT
  1. This Order shall remain in effect for twenty-seven (27) months from the date of its entry or three (3) months after the final Occupancy Report required in Section II.C.2 is received by the United States, whichever is later. This Court shall retain jurisdiction of this action for purposes of enforcing this Order.
  2. The provisions of this Order shall apply to the Defendants, their employees and agents, anyone acting under their direction, and all those acting in concert or participation with any of them.
  3. The provisions of this Order, except Section IV, which provides for monetary relief, shall apply to all rental properties that are owned and/or managed in whole or in part by the Defendants.
  4. The parties may mutually agree to extend the time periods set out in this Order 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 the Defendants have likely 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 the 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 attorney's fees that may have been occasioned by the Defendants' non-action or actions.
  7. The above-captioned Complaint is dismissed with prejudice.

ORDERED this ____ day of __________________, 2001.

____________________________
CLARENCE A. BRIMMER
United States District Judge

For the United States:

WILLIAM R. YEOMANS
Acting Assistant Attorney General

ISABELLE M. THABAULT
Deputy Chief
DEBORAH A. GITIN
Trial Attorney
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, DC 20035-5998
Tel: (202) 305-2020
Fax: (202) 514-1116

JOHN R. GREEN
Interim United States Attorney
CAROL A. STATKUS
Assistant United States Attorney
2120 Capitol Ave., Rm. 4002
Cheyenne, WY 82001
Tel: (307) 772-2124
Fax: (307) 772-2907

For the Defendants:

LARRY BARONE, Defendant
3722 Carey Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82001

LUCY BARONE, Defendant
3722 Carey Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82001

HARRIET M. HAGEMAN
Attorney for Defendants
Hageman & Brighton
1822 Warren Avenue
Cheyenne, WY 82001
Tel: (307) 635-4888
Fax: (307) 632-5111


ATTACHMENT A
  1. NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

It is the policy of Larry Barone and Lucy Barone ("the Barones") 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 Barones with the responsibility for showing, renting, or managing any dwelling unit(s) owned by the Barones 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 residential rental property owned by the Barones.

Any employee or agent of the Barones with the responsibility for showing, renting, or managing any dwelling unit(s) owned by the Barones 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 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 reviewed the videotape and materials concerning the requirements of the Fair Housing Act that were given to me by Larry Barone. In addition, I was instructed by Larry Barone with respect to my responsibilities under the Order entered by the federal district court in United States v. Larry Barone and Lucy Barone, Civil Action No. 00CV 218B (D. Wyo.), the federal Fair Housing Act and applicable state laws. I also was instructed as to the non-discriminatory rental policies and procedures. 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. I understand that the Court may impose sanctions on me if I violate a provision of the Order and that Larry Barone may also discipline me if I violate a provision of the Order. I have been informed by Larry Barone that I will not be reprimanded by him or his agentsfor 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, DC 20035-5998, telephone (202)

514-4713) or official regarding Larry Barone's or his agents' compliance with the Fair Housing Act and/or the Order.

_______________________
(Date)

_______________________
(Signature)

_______________________ (Print Name)


ATTACHMENT C INFORMATION REQUEST FOR PROSPECTIVE TENANTS

The following information is requested from prospective tenants for the purpose of compliance and monitoring under the federal Fair Housing Act. We are required by the federal government to request this information; however, your participation is voluntary.

  1. Address of rental unit inquired about: ___________________
  2. Names and ages of all persons who would be living in that rental unit:


Name Age


Thank you for your help in providing this information.


ATTACHMENT D RELEASE OF CLAIMS

WENDY A. SHERIDAN and her minor child DALTON JAMES SPENCE for the sole consideration of FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS ($5,000.00), the payment of which shall be made in compliance with the terms of the Order entered on ____________, 2001, in the case of United States v. Larry Barone and Lucy Barone, Civil Action No. 00CV 218B (D. Wyo.), do, for themselves, their heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, release and forever discharge Larry Barone and Lucy Barone, 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. Larry Barone and Lucy Barone, Civil Action No. 00CV 218B (D. Wyo.), concerning alleged discrimination on the basis of familial status.

By signing this Release of Claims, WENDY A. SHERIDAN, for herself and her minor child DALTON JAMES SPENCE, expressly settles, waives, and in every other way releases all rights to any related claims which were or could have been brought in United States v. Larry Barone and Lucy Barone, Civil Action No. 00CV 218B (D. Wyo.), including any and all claims WENDY A. SHERIDAN or her minor child DALTON JAMES SPENCE could have brought had they intervened in that action. By signing this Release of Claims, WENDY A. SHERIDAN, for herself and for her minor child DALTON JAMES SPENCE, specifically acknowledges that she will not again file suit against Defendants with regard to the incidents alleged in the above-referenced lawsuit.

It is understood and agreed that this settlement is the compromise of a disputed claim, and that the payment made is not to be construed as an admission of liability on the part of the Defendants hereby released; and the Defendants released do not admit and specifically deny any liability therefor.

It is further understood and agreed 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, and assigns of each.

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

Of the above-mentioned five thousand dollars ($5,000.00):

  1. two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) is payable to WENDY A. SHERIDAN for her own benefit; and
  2. two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) is payable to minor child DALTON JAMES SPENCE, and will be delivered to WENDY A. SHERIDAN to be used for DALTON JAMES SPENCE's support, care, and education, as described in the following paragraphs.

Pursuant to Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 3-3-108(a), "[a]ny person under a duty to pay or deliver money or personal property to a minor for whom no conservator has been appointed may pay not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) per annum or may deliver property of a value not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) to: . . . (ii) [a]ny person having the care and custody of the minor with whom the minor resides." WENDY A. SHERIDAN is the custodial parent of minor child DALTON JAMES SPENCE, and DALTON JAMES SPENCE resides with WENDY A. SHERIDAN.

As is required by Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 3-3-108 (c) and (d), WENDY A. SHERIDAN will apply the two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500.00) that she is receiving on behalf of DALTON JAMES SPENCE "to the support, care and education" of DALTON JAMES SPENCE, and understands that this money "shall not be used as compensation to [WENDY A. SHERIDAN] except for reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses for goods and services necessary for the minor's support." Id. § 3-3-108(c). WENDY A. SHERIDAN acknowledges that she must "discharge fully [her] parental duties of support before reimbursing [her]self for out-of-pocket expenses as provided under [§ 3-3-108(c)]." Id. § 3-3-108(d).

Dated: ______________, 2001

Signed: ________________________
Wendy A. Sheridan

Signed: ______________________________
Wendy A. Sheridan, on behalf of minor child Dalton James Spence; as custodial parent of Dalton James Spence

Witnessed this ___ day of _______, 2001:

________________________
Notary Public

My Commission Expires: _______________


1. The United States shall provide these written materials to the Defendants within thirty (30) days after entry of this Order, and, within that same time period, shall tell the Defendants where a suitable videotape can be obtained. The Defendants shall obtain that videotape, at the Defendants' expense, within thirty (30) days after being notified by the United States as to how to obtain the videotape.

2. All documents required by this section should be sent to: United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, DJ 175-87-16, P.O. Box 65998, Washington, DC 20035-5998.


Document Signed: June 20, 2001. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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