IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ALASKA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
SUSAN R. REEVES, RICHARD L. REEVES,
and RED OAKS ASSISTED LIVING, INC.,
1. This Consent Order, filed contemporaneously with the Complaint, resolves the above-captioned case brought by the United States of America on behalf of Complainant, Ms. Lorine Snyder, pursuant to subsection 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act ("Act"), 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
2. Ms. Snyder, who has been diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus ("HIV") and had end-stage liver disease, major depression and a seizure disorder, was, at all relevant times, handicapped within the meaning of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3602(h).
3. The complaint alleges that Defendants, Susan R. Reeves, Richard L. Reeves, and Red Oaks Assisted Living, Inc. ("Red Oaks"), discriminated against Ms. Snyder because she was HIV positive when Ms. Reeves repeatedly requested Ms. Snyder's medical information, and when Ms. Reeves told JoAnn Wise, Ms. Snyder's care coordinator, that Ms. Reeves intended to evict Ms. Snyder and sue Ms. Wise for assault and reckless endangerment. Defendants Mr. and Ms. Reeves are the owners and operators of Red Oaks.
4. The Complaint alleges that in making the statements generally described in paragraph three above, Defendants made or caused to be made a statement with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicated a preference, limitation, or discrimination, or an intent to make such a preference, limitation or discrimination, based on disability, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c). (1)
5. On or about May 1, 2003, Ms. Snyder filed a timely complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"), pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a), alleging discrimination based on disability. HUD then conducted and completed an investigation of the complaints and determined that reasonable cause existed to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred. After Defendants elected to proceed in federal district court, HUD referred the case to the Department of Justice for filing pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o)(1).
6. The parties agree that this Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
7. The Plaintiff and Defendants ("the parties") agree to the remedies set forth below. Defendants do not admit and intend no admission of wrongdoing or liability by entering into this agreement to resolve the Complaint. The parties desire to avoid costly and protracted litigation and agree that this action should be compromised, settled and resolved without further litigation. Therefore, as indicated by the signatures appearing below, the parties agree to the entry of this Consent Order. This Consent Order constitutes full resolution of the United States' claims that Defendants discriminated against Ms. Snyder on the basis of disability at Red Oaks.
It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED:
II. GENERAL INJUNCTION
8. Defendants, their officers, employees, agents, successors and assigns, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them are enjoined from:
a. Discriminating in the rental of a dwelling or otherwise making unavailable or denying a dwelling to any renter because of a disability of that renter, a person residing in or intending to reside in the dwelling after it is rented or made available, or any person associated with that renter, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1);
b. Discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such dwelling, because of disability of that person, a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is rented or made available, or any person associated with that person, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(2);
c. 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 a preference, limitation, or discrimination, or an intent to make such a preference, limitation or discrimination, based on disability, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c);
d. Representing to any person because of disability that any dwelling is not available for inspection or rental when such dwelling is in fact available, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(d); and
e. Interfering with any person, including Ms. Snyder and Ms. Wise, in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of his or her having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of his or her having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right granted by the Act, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3617.
III. DAMAGES FOR AGGRIEVED PERSON
9. Contemporaneous with the entry of this Order, Defendants shall pay to Ms. Snyder $3,500 in monetary damages. Defendants shall pay said money by sending to the United States a check for $3,500 payable to Lorine Snyder (2). Upon receipt of the check, the United States shall send to Defendants an executed Release of all claims, legal or equitable, that Ms. Snyder might have against Defendants relating to the claims asserted in this lawsuit. The Release is at Appendix A.
IV. PUBLIC NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY
10. Within ten (10) days of the date of entry of this Order and throughout the term of this Order, Defendants shall post and prominently display in all personal care homes and other rental properties owned or operated by them, a sign no smaller than 10 inches by 14 inches indicating that all dwellings are available for rental on a nondiscriminatory basis. A poster that comports with 24 C.F.R. Part 110 will satisfy this requirement.
11. Within ten (10) days of the date of entry of this Order and throughout the term of this Order, Defendants shall ensure that all advertising for all personal care homes, and other rental properties owned or operated by them, in newspapers, telephone directories, radio, television, internet, or other media, and on signs, pamphlets, brochures and other promotional literature, include a fair housing logo, the words "equal housing opportunity provider," and/or the following sentence:
We are an equal opportunity housing provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.
The words or logo should be prominently placed and easily legible.
12. Within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Order, Defendants shall provide to all employees and tenants of personal care homes and other rental properties a written notice, conforming with that at Appendix B, describing Defendants' policy of nondiscrimination based on disability. Defendants shall also provide this policy to all prospective tenants at the time of application.
13. Within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Order, Defendants shall provide a copy of this Order to all their agents and employees whose duties, in whole or in part, involve the management or administration of a personal care home or other rental property and shall secure the signed statement from each agent or employee acknowledging that he or she has received, read and understands the Order and nondiscrimination policy, and has had an opportunity to have questions about the Order and nondiscrimination policy answered. This statement shall be substantially in the form of Appendix C.
14. During the term of this Order, each new employee or agent whose duties, in whole or in part, involve the management or administration of personal care homes or other rental properties shall be given a copy of this Order and be required to sign a statement substantially in the form of Appendix C.
15. Within ninety (90) days of the date of entry of this Consent Order, Defendants and all employees and agents whose duties, in whole or in part, involve the management or administration of personal care homes or other rental properties shall undergo fair housing training. The training shall focus on discrimination based on disability and shall inform these individuals of their obligations under the Order as well as applicable state or local law. The training shall be approved by the United States and unconnected to Defendants or their employees, agents or counsel, and any expenses associated with this training shall be borne by Defendants. Those who attend the training shall be required to sign a certification confirming their attendance, in a form substantially equivalent to Appendix D.
VI. REPORTING AND RECORD-KEEPING REQUIREMENTS
16. Within ninety (90) days of the date of entry of this Order, and every six (6) months thereafter for the duration of this Order, the Defendants shall deliver to counsel for the United States the signed statement of each agent and employee referred to in paragraphs 13-14.
17. Within 30 (thirty) days after the training required by paragraph 15, above, Defendants shall provide to the United States: the name(s), address(es) and telephone number(s) of the trainer(s); copies of the training outlines and any materials distributed by the trainers; and the certifications required by paragraph 15 executed by all Defendants and covered employees and agents confirming their attendance, in a form substantially equivalent to Appendix D.
18. For the duration of this Order, Defendants shall advise the United States in writing within fifteen (15) days of receipt of any written administrative or legal complaint against them, their employees or agents, regarding equal opportunity in housing or retaliation, including complaints of discrimination under the Act. Defendants shall include a copy of the complaint and any records relating to the complaint, including those relating to the resolution of the complaint. Upon reasonable notice, Defendants shall also provide the United States all information it may request concerning any such complaint or resolution.
19. For the duration of this Order, Defendants shall preserve all records related to this Order and to all personal care homes or rental properties owned, operated or acquired by them. Such documents include, but are not limited to, advertisements, applications, leases, resident assessment materials, tenant files, policies and procedures, and inquiry logs. Upon reasonable notice to Defendants, representatives of the United States shall be permitted to inspect and copy any of Defendants' records or inspect any covered dwelling under Defendants' control at any and all reasonable times so as to determine compliance with the Consent Order; provided, however, that the United States shall endeavor to minimize any inconvenience to Defendants from such inspections.
VII. DURATION OF ORDER AND TERMINATION OF LEGAL ACTION
20. The Court shall retain jurisdiction for three years after the date of entry of this Order to enforce the terms of the Order, after which time the case shall be dismissed with prejudice. Prior to the expiration of the Order's term, the United States may move the Court to extend the duration of the Order in the interests of justice.
21. The parties 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 of a failure by Defendants to perform in a timely manner any act required by this Order or otherwise to act in violation of any provision thereof, the United States may move this Court to impose any remedy authorized by law or equity, including, but not limited to, an order requiring performance of such act or deeming such act to have been performed, and an award of any damages, costs, and reasonable attorney's fees which may have been occasioned by the violation or failure to perform.
IX. TIME FOR PERFORMANCE
22. Any time limits for performance imposed by this Consent Order may be extended by the mutual agreement of the United States and the relevant defendants.
X. COSTS OF LITIGATION
23. Each party to this Consent Order shall bear its own costs and attorney's fees associated with this litigation.
IT IS SO ORDERED:
This ____day of _____________ , 2005.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
S. LANE TUCKER
Assistant U.S. Attorney
222 West 7th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99513
Tel.: (907) 271-3388
Fax: (907) 271-2344
Attorney for Plaintiff United States of America
Bullivant Houser Bailey P.C.
1601 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2300
Seattle, Washington 98101-1618
Tel: (206) 292-8930
Fax: (206) 386-5130
Attorney for Defendants
RELEASE OF CLAIMS
In consideration of the parties' agreement to the terms of the Consent Order entered in United States v. Reeves and Red Oaks Assisted Living, Inc., Civil No. ____________ (D. Ak.), and the defendants' payment of the sum of Three Thousand Five Hundred dollars ($3,500), I, Lorine Snyder, hereby release the defendants named in this action, Susan R. Reeves, Richard L. Reeves, and Red Oaks Assisted Living, Inc., from any and all liability for any claims, legal or equitable, I may have against them arising out of the issues alleged in the action. I fully acknowledge and agree that this release of Defendants shall be binding on my heirs, representatives, executors, successors, administrators, and assigns. I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understand this release and have executed it voluntarily and with full knowledge of its legal consequences.
|ADDRESS:||22424 Birchwood Loop Road |
Chugiak, Alaska 99567
It is the policy of Susan R. Reeves, Richard L. Reeves, and Red Oaks Assisted Living, Inc. to comply with Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (commonly known as the Fair Housing Act) by ensuring that its facilities are available to all persons without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, disability, familial status or sex. This policy means, among other things, that Susan R. Reeves, Richard L. Reeves, and Red Oaks Assisted Living, Inc., and all agents or employees of the Reeves or Red Oaks Assisted Living, Inc. with the responsibility for renting, managing or administering any dwelling units must not discriminate in any aspect of the provision of dwellings against qualified applicants or tenants with disabilities. Such agents and employees may not:
A. Discriminate in the provision of a dwelling, or otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling to any person because of a disability of that person; a person residing in or intending to reside in the dwelling after it is provided or made available; or any person associated with that resident;
B. Discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with a dwelling, because of disability of that person, a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is rented or made available, or any person associated with that person;
C. Make, print or publish, or cause to be made, printed or published, any notice, statement or advertisement, with respect to the provision of a dwelling that indicates a preference, limitation, or discrimination, or an intent to make such a preference, limitation or discrimination, based on disability;
D. Represent to any person because of disability that a dwelling is not available when such dwelling is in fact available.
Any agent or employee who fails to comply with this non-discrimination policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, which may include termination and/or eviction. Any action taken by an agent or employee that results in the unequal service, treatment or behavior to residents on the basis of disability may constitute a violation of state and federal fair housing laws.
Any resident who believes that any of the above policies has been violated by any owner, agent or employee may contact the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-669-9777, the U.S. Department of Justice at 1-800-896-7743 or the U.S. Attorney's Office at (907) 271-5071.
On ________, 200___, I, ______________________, was instructed by _______________________ with respect to my responsibilities under the Consent Order entered by the U.S. District Court in United States v. Reeves and Red Oaks Assisted Living, Inc., Civil No. ____________ (D. Ak.) and the federal Fair Housing Act. I was also instructed as to the Reeves' and Red Oaks' resident policies and procedures. I have received copies of and have read the Consent Order and the nondiscrimination policy. I understand my legal responsibilities and will comply with those responsibilities.
On ______________ , 200__, I, ________________________, was instructed by ___________________________ with respect to my responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act. I understand my legal responsibilities and will comply with those responsibilities.
DateDocument Filed: June , 2005
1. This document uses the term "disability" rather than "handicap," which the Act uses. The terms are synonymous.
2. All submission to the United States or its counsel shall be made to: S. Lane Tucker, Assistant U.S. Attorney, 222 West 7th Avenue, Room 253, Anchorage, Alaska 99513.
Document Entered: June 9, 2005 > >