Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

YODER SHRADER MANAGEMENT
COMPANY, INC.; ERVIN E. YODER,
JR., individually and as
Trustee of the ERVIN E. YODER,
JR. FAMILY TRUST, the KEVIN
ALLEN YODER TRUST, the ERIC E.
YODER TRUST, the DIANE ELANORE
YODER TRUST, the DEBORAH JUNE
WILMSHURST TRUST, and the
REBECCA LYNN MATICS TRUST;
FLORINE N. YODER, individually
and as Trustee of the KEVIN
ALLEN YODER TRUST, the ERIC E.
YODER TRUST, the DIANE ELANORE
YODER TRUST, the DEBORAH JUNE
WILMSHURST TRUST, and the
REBECCA LYNN MATICS TRUST;
SHRADER INVESTMENTS, a
California general partnership;
SMITH & SONS PROPERTIES, a
California general partnership;
ALEXANDER M. POWER, individually
and as Trustee of the ALEXANDER
M. POWER RETAINED INCOME TRUST;
HELOISE B. POWER, individually
and as Trustee of the HBT TRUST;
EL DORADO PROPERTIES, a
California general partnership;
FULLERTON PINES APARTMENTS, a
California general partnership;
YORBA LINDA APARTMENTS-II, a
California general partnership;
SUZANNE BERMINGHAM; WILLIAM and
LETHA RICHARDSON; SHARON and
HAROLD DEERING; PATRICIA EKLUND;
BONNIE RITCHIE; ANN KRAMER;
CHERYL LEINSEFELDER; EVA
WHETSTONE; MARGO SANCHEZ; JOHN
SANCHEZ; AND KATHRYN WALTERS,
     Defendants.

________________________________________

Complaint for Monetary and Injunctive Relief

The United States of America alleges as follows:

  1. This action is brought by the United States on behalf of the Fair Housing Council of Orange County (FHCOC) pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§3601 et seq.
  2. This action is also brought by the United States pursuant to Section 814(a) of the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§3601 et seq.
  3. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1345, 42 U.S.C. §3612(o), and 42 U.S.C. §3614(a).
  4. The defendants are the owners and/or managers of numerous multi-family residential rental properties located in Orange County, California.
  5. The apartments available for rent that are owned and/or managed by the defendants are dwellings within the meaning of the Fair Housing Act. 42 U.S.C. §3602(b).
  6. The FHCOC is a private non-profit fair housing agency which provides education and outreach services to all segments of the public regarding fair housing; counsels individual home seekers with respect to their fair housing rights; provides referral services to individuals seeking housing; receives, processes, and investigates fair housing complaints; conducts fair housing testing; and pursues legal remedies for unlawful discrimination. In January, 1998, the FHCOC filed a timely complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3610(a) alleging that the defendants had discriminated against persons on the basis of race, color, national origin, and familial status in connection with the rental of apartments at nine apartment properties they owned and/or managed, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
  7. Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §§3610(a) and (b), the Secretary of HUD conducted an investigation of the FHCOC's complaint, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based upon the information gathered in this investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause existed to believe that illegal discriminatory housing practices had occurred at eight of the properties which were the subjects of the original complaints. Therefore, on January 21, 2000, the Secretary issued a Determination of Reasonable Cause and Charge of Discrimination, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3610(g)(2)(A), charging that the defendants had engaged in discriminatory practices, in violation of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §3604.
  8. On February 9, 2000, the FHCOC made a timely election to have the charge resolved in a federal civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3612(a).
  9. The Secretary subsequently authorized the Attorney General to file this action on behalf of the FHCOC pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3612(o).
  10. In order to pursue settlement of this action, the parties agreed to extend the time for the filing of this action on behalf of the FHCOC until after a formal mediation effort.
  11. The defendants have been engaged in discriminatory housing practices at various of their eight apartment complexes encompassed by HUD's January 21, 2000, Charge of Discrimination, including, but not limited to, the following practices:
    1. implementing a policy of refusing to rent apartments located above the first floor to families with minor children;
    2. stating a preference not to rent apartments located above the first floor to families with minor children;
    3. implementing a policy not to rent certain apartments within given complexes to families with minor children;
    4. at one apartment complex, having two swimming pools, one restricted to adults only;
    5. making statements with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicate a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on familial status, or an intent to make such a preference, limitation, or discrimination;
    6. instructing certain rental employees not to rent apartments to African-American or Hispanic prospective tenants, but rather to refer such persons to a rental manager;
    7. providing prospective applicants who were African-American or Hispanic with information about fewer future apartment availabilities and later dates of availability than that provided to similarly situated white individuals;
    8. informing prospective applicants who were African-American or Hispanic that no apartments were available to rent at the date requested while telling similarly situated white individuals that there were apartments available during the same time period; and
    9. making statements with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicated a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, or national origin, or an intent to make such a preference, limitation, or discrimination.
  12. The defendants' actions, as described above, constitute discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, and familial status in connection with the rental of residential dwellings, in violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604.
  13. The conduct of the defendants as described above also constitutes:
    1. 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.; and
    2. A denial to a group of persons of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§3601 et seq., which denial raises an issue of general public importance.
  14. The FHCOC is an aggrieved person as defined in 42 U.S.C. §3602(i). The organization has suffered injury and damages, including the diversion of its resources from its counseling, referral, educational, and other programs, as a result of the defendants' unlawful conduct as described above.
  15. The discriminatory actions of the defendants were 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 actions of the defendants as set forth above violate the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604;
  2. Enjoins all defendants, their partners, officers, employees, agents, and successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from:
    1. Discriminating because of race, color, national origin, or familial status against any person in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling;
    2. Failing or refusing to notify the public that dwellings owned or operated by defendants are available to all persons on a nondiscriminatory basis;
    3. Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps as may be necessary to restore, as nearly as practicable, the victims of defendants' unlawful practices to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct; and
    4. Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps as may be necessary to prevent the recurrence of any discriminatory conduct in the future and to eliminate, to the extent practicable, the effects of the defendants' unlawful housing practices.
  3. Awards aggrieved persons such damages as would fully compensate them for the injuries caused by the defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§3612(o)(3) and 3613(c);
  4. Awards punitive damages to aggrieved persons, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§3612(o)(3) and 3613(c); and
  5. Assesses a civil penalty against the defendants in an amount authorized by 42 U.S.C. §3614(d)(1)(C) in order to vindicate the public interest.

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

Dated: ________________________, 2000

JANET RENO
Attorney General

BILL LANN LEE
Acting Assistant Attorney General

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief, Housing & Civil Enforcement Section

BRIAN HEFFERNAN
Deputy Chief

BURT DOUGHERTY
Attorney Housing & Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
(202) 305-1457
Fax: (202) 514-1116

ALEJANDRO N. MAYORKAS
United States Attorney

LEON W. WEIDMAN
Assistant United States Attorney
Chief, Civil Division

ROBYN-MARIE LYON MONTELEONE
Assistant United States Attorney > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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