Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

CV-8-99-112-DWH (RJJ)

CAMDEN PROPERTY TRUST; CAMDEN
SUBSIDIARY II, INC.; GEORGE F.
TIBSHERANY INCORPORATED;
ROBERT V. JONES CORP.; and
BECKER BUILT,
     Defendants.

___________________________________

COMPLAINT

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, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (Fair Housing Act), 42 U.S.C. §§3601-3619.
  2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §1345 and 42 U.S.C. §3614(a).
  3. The following multifamily, residential dwellings are located in Las Vegas, Nevada: Oasis Canyon (formerly known as Calico Canyon); Oasis Del Mar (formerly known as Blackhorse); Oasis Pines; Rock Creek Manor; Oasis Reef (formerly known as Lighthouse Cove); Oasis Rose (formerly known as Desert Rose); Oasis Vinings II; Oasis Vintage; and Oasis Hills (formerly known as Shadow Hills).
  4. The residential dwellings described in paragraph 3 were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991.
  5. The residential dwellings described in paragraph 3 are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §3602(b). All of the ground-floor units at these residential dwellings are "covered multifamily dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(7)(A).
  6. All of the ground-floor units described in paragraphs 3-11 are subject to the accessibility requirements of 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C).
  7. Defendant Camden Property Trust ("CPT") is a Texas real estate investment trust whose principal place of business is Houston, Texas. Operating through its wholly owned subsidiary, defendant Camden Subsidiary II, Inc. ("CSII"), CPT succeeded to the business of Nevada corporation Oasis Residential, Inc. ("ORI"), including the ownership and control of the multifamily dwellings constructed and/or operated by ORI in Las Vegas, Henderson County, Nevada and elsewhere, after ORI merged with CSII.
  8. Defendant CSII is a Delaware corporation, whose principal place of business is Houston, Texas. After merging with ORI through an exchange of stock, CSII succeeded to the control and ownership of ORI's entire business in Henderson, Clark County, Nevada, and elsewhere and ORI ceased to exist. Prior to the merger with CSII, ORI engaged in the development of multifamily residential property, and was responsible for the design, development, construction, management and rental or sale of residential dwellings in the vicinity of Las Vegas, Nevada and elsewhere. Specifically, ORI was directly, or through affiliated companies, including Robert V. Jones Corporation, responsible for the design and construction of the residential dwellings described in paragraphs 3 except Rock Creek Manor and Oasis Hills. ORI also owned and managed the Oasis Hills and Oasis Reef apartments.
  9. Defendant George F. Tibsherany Incorporated is an Arizona corporation, licensed to do business in the State of Nevada, which has designed residential dwellings in the vicinity of Las Vegas, Nevada, on behalf of defendant ORI and other companies. Residential dwellings designed by defendant Tibsherany include Oasis Del Mar, Oasis Vinings II, Oasis Rose, Oasis Pines, Oasis Canyon and Oasis Vintage.
  10. Defendant Robert V. Jones Corporation is a Nevada corporation whose principal place of business is Henderson, Clark County, Nevada, and which constructs residential dwellings in the vicinity of Las Vegas, Nevada. Residential dwellings constructed by Robert V. Jones Corporation include Oasis Reef, Rock Creek Manor and Oasis Vintage.
  11. Defendant Becker Built is a Nevada partnership with its principal place of business in Clark County. Becker Built constructed the Oasis Hills Apartments.
  12. Defendants have violated 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C) by failing to design and construct one or more of the dwellings described in paragraph 3 in such a manner that: (a) the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; (b) all doors are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons who use wheelchairs; and (c) all premises within such dwellings contain: (i) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; (ii) light switches, electrical outlets, and thermostats in accessible locations; (iii) reinforcements in the bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (iv) usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.
  13. Defendants CPT and CSII, through the merger of CSII with ORI, and the other named defendants have, by the actions referred to in paragraph 12,
    1. Discriminated in the rental or sale, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, dwellings to persons because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(1); and
    2. Failed to design and construct dwellings in compliance with the accessibility and adaptability features mandated by 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C).
  14. The conduct of defendants described above constitutes:
    1. A pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§3601-3619; and
    2. 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.
  15. Persons who may have been the victims of defendants' discriminatory housing practices are aggrieved persons as defined in 42 U.S.C. §3602(i) and may have suffered injuries as a result of defendants' conduct described above.
  16. Defendants' conduct described above was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard of the rights of others.

WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the Court enter an order that:

  1. Declares that defendants' policies and practices, as alleged herein, violate the Fair Housing Act;
  2. Enjoins defendants, their officers, employees, agents, successors and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from:
    1. Failing or refusing, to the extent possible, to bring the dwelling units and public use and common use areas at Oasis Canyon, Oasis Vinings, Oasis Del Mar, Oasis Pines, Oasis Rose, Rock Creek Manor, Oasis Vintage, Oasis Reef, Oasis Hills and other covered units that they have designed and/or constructed into compliance with 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C);
    2. 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
    3. Designing or constructing any covered multi-family dwellings in the future that do not contain the accessibility and adaptability features set forth in 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C);
  3. Awards such damages as would fully compensate each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices for their injuries resulting from defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3614(d)(1)(B);
  4. Awards punitive damages to each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices because of the intentional and willful nature of defendants' conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3614(d)(1)(B); and
  5. Assesses a civil penalty against each defendant in the maximum 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.

Janet Reno
Attorney General

Bill Lann Lee
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

Joan A. Magagna
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

Brian F. Heffernan
Michael L. Barrett
Scott P. Moore
Attorneys
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
202-514-2447

Kathryn E. Landreth
United States Attorney
District of Nevada

Steven W. Myhre
Assistant United States Attorney
701 E. Bridger Avenue
Suite 800
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

702-388-6336 > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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