IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ALABAMA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
DAWSON DEVELOPMENT COMPANY,
L.L.C. and MILBURN LONG,
The United States of America alleges:
1. This action is brought by the United States to enforce the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614.
3. The Park Place Apartments complex is located at 1200 North Main Street, Boaz, Alabama, 35957.
4. Defendant Dawson Development Company L.L.C. owns and operates Park Place Apartments and is an Alabama limited liability company.
5. At the time of the events giving rise to this complaint, Defendant Milburn Long was the resident manager of Park Place Apartments.
6. The Park Place Apartments are dwellings within the meaning of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
7. Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because the events giving rise to this action occurred in this judicial district.
8. The United States Department of Justice conducted a series of tests in 2003 to determine defendants' compliance with the Fair Housing Act. The testing undertaken by the United States revealed that Defendants are engaged in housing practices that discriminate on the basis of race or color at Park Place Apartments, including:
- Denying the availability of apartments to African American persons while at the same time telling white persons about available apartments;
- Failing to provide African American persons information about the availability of apartments that is full, complete and consistent with the information provided to white persons;
- Making statements that indicate a preference or discrimination based on race; and/or
- Restricting or attempting to restrict the choices of available apartments.
9. The conduct of the Defendants described in the previous numbered paragraph constitutes:
- A refusal to rent, a refusal to negotiate for the rental of, or otherwise making unavailable or denying dwellings to persons because of race or color, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a);
- Discrimination against persons in the terms, conditions or privileges of rental, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race or color, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b);
- Statements with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicates a preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color or national origin in violation of 42 U.S.C. §3604(c); and
- A representation to persons because of race or color that dwellings are not available for rental when such dwellings are in fact so available, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(d).
10. The conduct of the Defendants described above constitutes:
- A pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601, et seq., including, in particular, 42 U.S.C. §3614; and
- A denial to a group of persons of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601, et seq., including, in particular, 42 U.S.C. §3614, which denial raises an issue of general public importance.
11. Upon information and belief, persons who have been the victims of discriminatory housing practices by the Defendants are aggrieved persons as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i), and have suffered injuries as a result of the Defendants' conduct described above.
12. The Defendants' conduct described above was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others.
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, and agents, and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from:
- Discriminating against any person on the basis of race or color in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling;
- Failing or refusing to notify the public that dwellings owned or operated by the Defendants are available to all persons on a nondiscriminatory basis; and
- 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 to each person injured by the Defendants' conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B); and
4. Assesses a civil penalty against the Defendants in the 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.
| JOHN ASHCROFT|
| _______________________ |
ALICE H. MARTIN
United States Attorney ______________________
By: Sharon D. Simmons
Bar No. 2082
Assistant United States
200 Federal Building
1800 5th Avenue North
Birmingham, AL 35203 (205) 244-2001 (205) 244-2171 - fax
R. ALEXANDER ACOSTA
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM
Chief, Housing and Civil
Enforcement Section __________________________
MICHAEL S. MAURER
ALLEN W. LEVY
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 514-1689 (fax)
Document Filed: January 18, 2005 > >