Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

McGREGOR W.SCOTT
United States Attorney
501 I Street, Suite 10-100
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel. (916) 554-2700
Fax (916) 554-2900

ALBERTO R. GONZALES
Attorney General
WAN J. KIM
Assistant Attorney General
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM
Chief
KEISHA DAWN BELL
Deputy Chief
SEAN R. KEVENEY
Trial Attorney
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Northwestern Building, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20530
Tel: (202) 305-3109
Fax: (202) 514-1116


IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,                           

                                    Plaintiff,                      

            v.                                                                               Civil Action No.2:06-cv- 

SANDPOINTE ASSOCIATES, L.P;
BACO REALTY CORP.; and
HEIDI PRADO

                                    Defendants.

COMPLAINT

The United States of America alleges:

1.         This action is brought 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 ("Fair Housing Act"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq. It is brought on behalf of Heather Smith and her minor children, Courtney and Megan Smith, pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o), and pursuant to Section 814(a) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).

2.         This court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).

3.         Venue is proper because the claim alleged herein arose in the Eastern District of California, and concerns or otherwise relates to real property located in the Eastern District of California.

4.         Defendant Sandpointe Associates, L.P., owns the Sandpointe Apartments, a 156-unit residential apartment complex located at 655 Hilltop Drive, Redding, California.

5.         Defendant Sandpointe Associates, L.P., is organized under the laws of California.

6.         Defendant Sandpointe Associates, L.P., is engaged in the operation and management of the Sandpointe Apartments.

7.         Defendant Baco Realty Corporation is engaged in the operation and management of the Sandpointe Apartments.

8.         Defendant Heidi Prado, an employee of Baco Realty Corporation, is the manager of the Sandpointe Apartments.

9.         Defendant Heidi Prado is engaged in the operation and management of the Sandpointe Apartments.

10.       The Sandpointe Apartments is a "dwelling" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).

11.       Heather Smith became a tenant at the Sandpointe Apartments on or about April 30, 2004.

12.       Heather Smith resided at the Sandpointe Apartments with her two minor children, Courtney, and Megan. As of May 31, 2005, Courtney was aged ten (10) and Megan was aged twelve (12).

13.       On or about May 31, 2005, Heidi Prado issued a memorandum to all tenants at the Sandpointe Apartments that stated, "all persons under the age of 14 must remain under constant visual supervision of an adult 18 years of age or older. No one under the age of 14 would be allowed in the Office Area, Pool Area, Laundry Area, Weight Room Area, Mail Area, or Outside on the lawns, driveways, behind buildings, or on sidewalks without an adult present."

14.       As a result of the May 31, 2005 memorandum Heather Smith's children were afraid to play outside.

15.       As a result of the May 31, 2005 memorandum, on or about June 10, 2005, Heather Smith gave notice of her intention to vacate her apartment.

16.       On or about July 10, 2005, Heather Smith moved out of the Sandpointe Apartments.

17.       On or about June 30, 2005, Ms. Smith filed a complaint 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), alleging discrimination in housing on the basis of familial status. In her complaint, Ms. Smith alleged, inter alia, that Sandpointe Apartments and Ms. Prado had discriminated in the terms and conditions of the rental of a dwelling on the basis of familial status, and had caused to be made, printed, or published, a notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicates a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on familial status.

18.       Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(a), (b) & (f), the Secretary of HUD conducted and completed an investigation of the complaint filed by Ms. Smith, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based on information gathered during 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.

19.       Accordingly, on or about September 21, 2006, the Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), charging Sandpointe Associates and Heidi Prado with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

20.       On or about October 17, 2006, Heidi Prado and Sandpointe Associates, L.P. elected to have the Charge of Discrimination resolved in a civil action filed in federal district court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(a).

21.       On or about October 18, 2006, HUD's Chief Administrative Law Judge issued a Notice of Election of Judicial Determination and terminated the administrative proceeding on the complaint filed by Ms. Smith.

22.       Following this Notice of Election, the Secretary of HUD authorized the Attorney General to commence a civil action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).

23.       Defendants, through the actions described above, have:

(a) Discriminated in the terms, conditions, or privileges of rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of familial status, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b); and

(b) Made, printed, or published, or caused to be made, printed, or published, a notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicates a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on familial status, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c).

24.       Ms. Smith, Courtney Smith, and Megan Smith are aggrieved persons, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i), and have suffered damages as a result of the defendants' conduct described above.

25.       The discriminatory actions of the defendants described above, were intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of Ms. Smith, Courtney Smith, and Megan Smith.

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;

            2. Enjoins the Defendants, their officers, employees, agents, successors and all other persons in active concert or participation with them, from:

(a) Discriminating in the terms, conditions, or privileges of rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of familial status;

(b) Making, printing, or publishing, or causing to be made, printed, or published any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on familial status; and

(c) Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps as may be necessary to restore, as nearly as practicable, the victims of the Defendants' unlawful practices to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct.

            3. Awards monetary damages, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B), to all persons harmed by the Defendants' discriminatory practices; and

            4. Assesses a civil penalty against Sandpointe Apartments in an amount authorized by

42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C), to vindicate the public interest.

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

Dated: November 16, 2006


ALBERTO R. GONZALES
Attorney General
/s/Wan J. Kim
WAN J. KIM
Assistant Attorney General


/s/Steven H. Rosenbaum
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM
Chief/s/Sean R. Keveney
KEISHA DAWN BELL
Deputy Chief
SEAN R. KEVENEY
Trial Attorney




Document Filed: November 16, 2006 > >
Updated August 6, 2015

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