CAROL C. LAM
United States Attorney
CINDY M. CIPRIANI
Assistant U.S. Attorney
California State Bar No. 144402
Southern District of California
880 Front Street, Room 6293
San Diego, California 92101
Attorneys for the Plaintiff
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
CASE NO. 02cv0161-IEG (JAH)
SAN MIGUEL 1 HOMEOWNERS   CONSENT DECREE
ASSOCIATION; and BILL MCADAMS,
President of the Board of Directors of
the San Miguel 1 Homeowners
The United States of America filed this action on behalf of Aldo Sartor against the San Miguel 1 Homeowners Association ["the Association"] and Bill McAdams, former President of the Board of Directors of the Association. The Complaint alleges that Defendants violated the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., by failing to make a reasonable accommodation to afford real party in interest Aldo Sartor, a person with a disability, an equal opportunity to use and enjoy his property at 600 North The Strand in Oceanside, California ["the property"].
In 1993, the Association installed an electric security gate at the entrance to the property's underground parking garage. Mr. Sartor expressed concern that in the event of a power failure, he could not exit and/or enter the garage in his wheelchair. Unable to reach agreement with the Association regarding accommodation, Mr. Sartor filed a complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"). After unsuccessful conciliation efforts, HUD issued a finding that it had reasonable cause to believe that the condo association had unlawfully failed to accommodate Mr. Sartor.
The parties agree that, in the interest of conserving time and expense, this matter should be resolved without further litigation. Accordingly, the parties have consented to the entry of this Consent Decree, subject to approval and entry by the Court. This decree is not intended to connote, and shall not be construed as connoting, an admission of liability on the part of Defendants.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED AS FOLLOWS:
I. Injunctive Relief
- The Association, as well as its agents, employees, successors, and assigns, as well as any other person in active concert or participation with them, are hereby permanently enjoined from discriminating on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, familial status, or handicap in any aspect of the administration of the property.
- The Association shall hereafter consider any and all requests for reasonable accommodations (defined as a request for a change, modification or exception to a rule, policy, practice, service or procedure) in accordance with the requirements of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq. Toward this end, the Association and all persons and entities over whom it has authority or control shall undertake the following without regard to race, color, sex, national origin, religion, familial status, or handicap:
- They shall make reasonable accommodation in rules, policies, practices, services and procedures as may be necessary to afford persons with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the property.
- They shall not make, print, or publish, any notice, statement, or advertisement that indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, familial status, or handicap.
- They shall not maintain, implement, effectuate, or countenance, directly or indirectly, any policy or practice that makes any distinction or restriction on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, familial status, or handicap.
- Within sixty (60) days of the date this Order is signed, the Association shall set out, in writing, objective, uniform, and specific guidelines for assessing requests made by persons with disabilities for reasonable accommodation in the defendants' rules, policies, practices, services and procedures. The Association shall forward these written guidelines to the Office of the United States Attorney for approval.
- The Association shall inform all employees, agents, and representatives involved in the administration of the property about the prohibitions on discrimination imposed by the Fair Housing Act.
- Within thirty (30) days after the date of entry of this Order, all employees, agents, and representatives of the Association shall be given a copy of, and required to read, this Consent Order. Within thirty (30) days after the approval of the written guidelines established pursuant to paragraph I.B of this Order, said employees, agents, and representatives shall also be required to read the guidelines. Once they have reviewed the Consent Order and guidelines, said employees, agents, and representatives shall sign a statement indicating that they have received, read, and understand the Order and the guidelines.
- A copy of the written guidelines established pursuant to paragraph I.B of this Order shall be provided to residents of the property within thirty (30) days after the entry of this Order and, for the duration of this Order, shall be provided to new buyers within sixty (60) days from the buyer's close of escrow.
- For the duration of this Order any new employee, agent, or representative of the Association involved in the administration of the property shall be required to read the Consent Order and guidelines and shall be required to sign a statement as indicated in paragraph II.B.
III. Compensatory Relief
- Within thirty (30) days of the signing of this agreement the Association shall pay Aldo Sartor the settlement payment of $60,000. Payment shall be made by State Farm Insurance Company draft payable to Aldo Sartor and delivered to Cindy Cipriani, Assistant U.S. Attorney, 880 Front Street, Room 6293, San Diego, CA 92101. In exchange for and upon receipt of the payment as set forth above, Aldo Sartor shall execute a release substantially in the form of Attachment "A" to this agreement.
IV. Inspection of Documents
- For a period of two (2) years following the entry of this Order, Defendant shall preserve all records pertaining to the Association's obligations under this Order, including documentation on all requests for changes, modifications or exceptions to rules, policies, practices, procedures or services by persons alleging physical or mental impairments and the action, if any, taken on them. Upon reasonable notice to the Association's counsel, representatives of the U.S. Department of Justice shall be permitted to inspect and copy all such records at reasonable times in order to monitor compliance with this Order.
V. Jurisdiction and Administration
- This action is dismissed with prejudice. This Consent Order shall remain in effect for a period of two (2) years following the date this Order becomes final, and the Court shall retain jurisdiction over this action for purposes of resolving any disputes that may arise under the Order and to rule on enforcement proceedings, if any. The parties to this Decree shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of and compliance with the Decree prior to bringing such matters before the Court for resolution. The signatures of the parties to this Consent Order constitute waivers by each party of any right to challenge the validity of this Consent Order at any time.
So ORDERED this ____ day of ____________, 2002
Judge of the United States District Court
Based on the consent of:
CAROL C. LAM
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY
Cindy M. Cipriani
Assistant United States Attorney
Attorneys for Plaintiff United States of America
DALEY & HEFT
Robert W. Brockman, Jr.
Jasmine A. Jorque-Bronnimann
Attorneys for Defendants
Document Entered: February 26, 2003. > >