DISTRICT OF NEVADA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
The United States of America alleges:
- This action is brought by the United States on behalf of Mitch and Denise Johnston, and their minor child, Jimmy Forrest pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
- This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
- The Johnstons and their minor child are residents of the State of Nevada.
- Defendant Yvonne Dutcher is a resident of the State of Nevada and is the owner of a single-family dwelling and an apartment located at 112 Rancho Vista Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada 89106, ("the subject property"), which Defendant rents to the public.
- The subject property is a "dwelling" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
- On or about February 26, 1999, Mitch and Denise Johnson and their minor child, Jimmy Forrest, filed a timely complaint alleging discrimination in housing on the basis of familial status with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") pursuant to Section 810(a) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a). That complaint alleged, inter alia, that on or about November 12, 1998, Defendant discriminated against the complainants by making statements indicating a preference, limitation or discrimination based on familial status.
- Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(a) and (b), the Secretary of HUD conducted and completed an investigation of the complaint, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based on the information gathered in the investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause exists to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred. Accordingly, on or about March 14, 2001, the Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination ("the Charge") pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), charging Defendant with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of Section 804(c) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604(c).
- On or about April 9, 2001, Defendant elected to have the Charge resolved in a civil action in federal district court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(a).
- Following this election, the Secretary of HUD authorized the Attorney General to commence a civil action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
- By agreement of the parties, the date by which the United States could timely file its federal complaint in this litigation was extended to June 15, 2001.
- As alleged in the HUD complaint described in paragraph 6 above, on or about November 12, 1998, Defendant served the Johnstons with a handwritten notice to move from the subject property. The Johnstons had rented the single-family residence on the subject property from Defendant on or about October 23, 1998. In the written notice to move, Defendant stated she had been trying to rent out the apartment on the subject property but had been unable to do so, noting, inter alia, that "on weekends there are kids all over the place, adults pass as this should be an adult neighborhood."
- The conduct of Defendant described in the previous numbered paragraph constitutes the making of a statement with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicates a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on familial status or an intention to make such preference, limitation, or discrimination, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c).
- Mitch Johnston, Denise Johnston, and Jimmy Forrest are aggrieved persons, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i), and have suffered damages as a result of the Defendant's conduct described above.
- The discriminatory actions of the defendant were intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of Mitch Johnston, Denise Johnston, and Jimmy Forrest.
WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the Court enter an ORDER that:
- Declares that the discriminatory housing practices of Defendant as set forth above violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c);
- Enjoins the Defendant, any agents, employees, and successors she may have, and all other persons in active concert or participation with her from making any statements with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicate a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on familial status or an intention to make such preference, limitation, or discrimination, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c);
- Awards such damages as would fully compensate Mitch Johnston, Denise Johnston, and Jimmy Forrest for injuries caused by Defendant's discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3) and 3613(c)(1); and
- Awards punitive damages to Mitch Johnston, Denise Johnston, and Jimmy Forrest pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3) and 3613(c)(1).
The United States further prays for such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.
|John Ashcroft |
William R. Yeomans
Acting Attorney General
United States Attorney
District of Nevada
Joan A. Magagna
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Blaine T. Welsh
Assistant United States Attorney
333 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Suite 5000
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
Jeanine M. Worden
Myron S. Lehtman
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
Document Filed: June 15, 2001. > >