IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
EL PASO DIVISION
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
v.JOHN FALVEY AND
NAOMI SILVA FALVEY,
The United States initiated this action on April 7, 2006, on behalf of complainant Border Fair Housing and Economic Justice Center (“BFHC”), pursuant to section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq. (“the Act”), alleging that Defendants John Falvey and Naomi Silva Falvey (referred collectively as “Defendants”) engaged in discrimination on the basis of familial status.
The complaint specifically alleges that Defendants discriminated against BFHC by excluding families with children from their apartment building located at 521 West Missouri, El Paso, Texas (hereinafter “521 West Missouri”), in violation of section 804(a) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a). Defendants deny that they engaged in any discrimination against BFHC, or anyone else in violation of the Act.
The United States and Defendants wish to avoid costly and protracted litigation and agree to resolve this action without further litigation. Therefore, the parties have entered into this
Settlement Agreement as indicated by the signatures appearing below.
ACCORDINGLY, it is hereby stipulated and agreed, by and between Plaintiff United States of America and Defendants John Falvey and Naomi Silva Falvey:
1.Defendants shall not:
A. Refuse to rent, or otherwise make unavailable, any dwelling to any person because of the familial status of such person or his or her guest(s), family, or friends(s), in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a);
B. Discriminate in the terms, conditions, or privileges of rental of any dwelling, because of the familial status of any renter or any applicant for rent, or the guest(s), family, or friend(s) of any such renter or applicant, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b);
C.Make, print or publish any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that 1) expressly requests adults or a certain number of adults as tenants or 2) indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of the familial status of any renter or applicant for rent, or guest(s), family, or friend(s) of any such renter or applicant, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c); and
D.Represent to any person because of familial status that any dwelling is not available for inspection, sale, or rental when such dwelling is in fact so available, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(d).
2.Defendants shall not coerce, intimidate, threaten, or interfere with any person who exercises, or has exercised, his or her rights under the Fair Housing Act.
3.Within thirty (30) days of the parties’ signatures of this Settlement Agreement, Defendants shall pay the sum of ten thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars ($10,750.00) to BFHC. This amount shall be paid by certified or cashier’s check made out to Border Fair Housing and Economic Justice Center, c/o Relman & Associates PLLC, and shall be sent to Anthony F. Archeval, Counsel for the United States, via Federal Express at 1800 G Street, N.W., Suite 7002, Washington, D.C. 20006. Upon receiving the check, the United States shall notify Counsel for BFHC of its receipt of the check and shall obtain from BFHC a fully executed written release, in the form attached as Exhibit “A”. BFHC shall deliver to the United States the fully executed written release within ten (10) days of the United States’ notification to BFHC of its receipt of the check. Upon receipt of the fully executed release, the United States shall deliver the check to BFHC through their attorney Reed Colfax, 1225 19th Street N.W., suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20036-2456.
4.Within sixty (60) days of the parties’ signatures of this Settlement Agreement, Defendants shall pay an additional sum of ten thousand seven hundred and fifty dollars ($10,750.00) to BFHC. This amount shall be paid by certified or cashier’s check made out to Border Fair Housing and Economic Justice Center, c/o Relman & Associates PLLC, and shall be sent to Anthony F. Archeval, counsel for the United States, via Federal Express at 1800 G Street, N.W., Suite 7002, Washington, D.C. 20006. Upon receiving the second check, the United States shall deliver to Defendants through their counsel of record, David M. Driscoll, 5809 Acacia Circle, El Paso, Texas 79912, the fully executed written release. The United States shall also deliver the second check to BFHC through their counsel Reed Colfax, 1225 19th Street N.W., suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20036-2456. The requirement to deliver a release arises only if the second check is tendered.
MANDATORY EDUCATION AND TRAINING
5. Within sixty (60) days of the parties’ signatures of this Settlement Agreement, Defendants and Defendants’ agents and employees with responsibilities for or oversight of the rental or management of 521 West Missouri, shall attend educational training concerning their responsibilities under federal, state, and local fair housing laws, regulations, or ordinances. The training shall be conducted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”). All persons attending such training shall have their attendance certified in writing by the person conducting the educational program. The certification shall be submitted to Anthony F. Archeval, Counsel for the United States, via Federal Express at 1800 G Street, N.W., Suite 7002, Washington, D.C. 20006, within fourteen (14) days of the completion of the training.
6.Any expenses associated with this training shall be borne by Defendants.
NOTIFICATION TO PUBLIC OF NONDISCRIMINATORY POLICIES
7.Within thirty (30) days of the parties’ signatures of this Settlement Agreement, and as long as the Defendants own the property at 521 Missouri, Defendants shall take the following steps to notify the public of their nondiscriminatory policies:
A.Post and prominently display in the rental office at 521 West Missouri, and in any office where there is rental activity and/or personal contact with applicants for units at 521 West Missouri, a poster no smaller than 10 inches by 13 inches that indicates that all apartments are available for rent on a nondiscriminatory basis.
B.Include the words “Equal Housing Opportunity” or the fair housing logo in all advertising conducted by Defendants for 521 West Missouri in newspapers, telephone directories, radio, television or other media, and on all billboards, signs, pamphlets, brochures and other promotional literature. The words or logo should be prominently placed and easily legible.
C.Include the following phrase in the standard lease used for 521 West Missouri:
We are an equal housing opportunity provider. We do not discriminate because of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, disability or familial status (having children under age 18).
ADDITIONAL OBLIGATIONS AND PROVISIONS REGARDING INTERESTED PARTIES
8.The parties agree that the United States shall dismiss its complaint with prejudice, conditioned upon compliance with the terms of the Agreement, and with each party bearing its own costs and fees. Within fourteen (14) days of the parties’ signatures of this Settlement Agreement, the United States shall file a Stipulation of Dismissal and Proposed Order incorporating these terms.
DURATION OF SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND ENFORCEMENT
9.This Settlement Agreement shall remain in effect for two and one half years after the date of the parties’ signature.
10.Any time limits for performance imposed by this Settlement Agreement may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties.
11.The parties agree that the United States may review compliance with this Settlement Agreement for a period of two and one half years from the execution of this Agreement. As a part of such review, the United States may, upon ten (10) days written notice to Defendants’ counsel, require written summaries concerning compliance, inspect Defendants’ premises, examine witnesses, and examine and copy Defendants’ documents at the expense of the United States.
12.If the United States believes any provision of this Settlement Agreement has been violated, it shall promptly advise the Defendants in writing of the nature of that violation, and, within fourteen (14) days of receipt of said written notice from the United States, the parties shall confer in a good faith attempt to resolve the issue. In the event the parties are not able to resolve this issue to the reasonable satisfaction of the United States, the United States may move to restore this case to the active docket in order to enforce the Agreement or any provision thereof.
13.Failure of the United States to enforce this entire Settlement Agreement or any provision of it with regard to any deadline or any other provision contained herein shall not be construed as a waiver by the United States of any right to do so.
FEES AND COSTS
14.The United States and Defendants shall bear their own costs and attorney’s fees associated with this litigation. The costs and attorney’s fees of BFHC are included in the amount set forth above in paragraphs 3 and 4.
FOR THE UNITED STATES:
| _______________________ |
| ____________________________ |
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM
MICHAEL S. MAURER
ANTHONY F. ARCHEVAL
Housing and Civil Enforcement
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
FOR THE DEFENDANTS JOHN FALVEY AND NAOMI SILVA FALVEY:
| _______________________ |
| DAVID M. DRISCOLL |
Ainsa Hutson, LLP
5809 Acacia Circle
El Paso, Texas 79912
Tel: (915) 845-5300
Fax: (915) 845-7800