IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
v. Civil Action No.
DOUGLASS MANAGEMENT INC. and
5130 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20008-2006
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. 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 District of Columbia, and concerns or otherwise relates to real property located in the District of Columbia.
4. Defendant Douglass Management Inc., is incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia, and has its principal place of business in the District of Columbia.
5. Defendant Douglass Management Inc. is engaged in the operation and renting of multifamily dwellings in the District of Columbia, including the Sulgrave Manor Apartments, a 52-unit residential apartment complex located at 5130 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
6. Defendant Douglass Management Inc. owns the Sulgrave Manor Apartments, a 52-unit residential apartment complex located 5130 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
7. Sulgrave Manor is a "dwelling" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
8. Defendant Douglass Management Inc. had or has a policy of refusing to allow residents at the Sulgrave Manor Apartments to keep pets, including dogs.
9. Defendant Diane Douglass participates or has participated in the renting of dwelling units at the Sulgrave Manor Apartments on behalf of Defendant Douglass Management Inc., and is the registered agent for Douglass Management Inc.
10. In July 2005, the United States Department of Justice conducted a series of tests to evaluate the Defendants' compliance with the Fair Housing Act. The testing undertaken by the United States revealed that the Defendants are engaged in housing practices that discriminate on the basis of disability at the Sulgrave Manor Apartments, including:
(a) Denying apartments to renters because of a handicap; and
(b) Refusing to make reasonable accommodations in their no-pet policy when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a person with a handicap equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.
10. Defendants, through the actions described above, has:
(a) Discriminated in the rental of, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, dwellings to renters because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1);
(b) Discriminated against persons 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 handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(2); and
(c) Refused to make reasonable accommodations in its rules, policies, practices, and services, when such accommodations may be necessary to afford a person with a handicap equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(B).
11. The conduct of Defendants described above constitutes:
(a) A pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619; or
(b) A denial to a group of persons of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619, which denial raises an issue of general public importance.
12. 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.
13. The discriminatory actions of the Defendants were intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of the victims of this discrimination.
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 rental, or otherwise making unavailable or denying dwellings to renters because of handicap.
(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 handicap.
(c) Failing or refusing to make reasonable accommodations as required by 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(B); and
(d) 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 the Defendants 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: _____________ 2005
| ALBERTO R. GONZALES |
KENNETH L. WAINSTEIN
United States Attorney
District of Columbia
CRAIG R. LAWRENCE
Office of the United States' Attorney
District of Columbia
555 4th Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
Tel: (202) 514-7566
WAN J. KIM
Assistant Attorney General
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM, Chief
DC Bar No. 417585
NICOLE PORTER, Deputy Chief
SEAN R. KEVENEY, Trial Attorney
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
Document Filed: January 30, 2006 > >