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.,
The United States of America alleges:
1. This action is brought by the United States on behalf of Lorine Snyder, pursuant to subsection 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act ("Act"), 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
Jurisdiction and Venue
2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
3. Venue is proper in that the claims alleged herein arose in the District of Alaska.
4. At all times relevant, Lorine Snyder was infected with the human immunodeficiency virus ("HIV") and had end-stage liver disease, major depression and a seizure disorder. She was a person with a handicap, as defined by 42 U.S.C. § 3602(h) and 24 C.F.R. § 100.201.
5. Defendants Susan R. Reeves, Richard L. Reeves, and Red Oaks Assisted Living, Inc. own and operate a personal care home at 8811 Cordell Circle, Anchorage, Alaska, 99502 (hereinafter "Red Oaks").
6. Red Oaks is a dwelling within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b). Red Oaks is licensed by the State of Alaska and provides housing for adults with physical and/or mental disabilities.
7. On or about May 1, 2003, Lorine Snyder filed a timely complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") pursuant to subsection 810(a) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a). The complaint alleged that defendants violated the Act based on handicap.
8. Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(a) and (b), the Secretary of HUD conducted and completed an investigation of Ms. Snyder's complaint, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based on the information gathered in the investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause existed to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred. Accordingly, on September 29, 2004, the Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination ("Charge") pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(g)(1)-(2), charging Defendants with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Act.
9. On or about October 25, 2004, Defendants elected to have the Charge resolved in a civil action in federal district court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(a).
10. Following the election described in the preceding paragraph, on October 27, 2004, the Secretary of HUD authorized the Attorney General to commence a civil action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o). The parties agreed to toll the filing of this Complaint until May 4, 2005.
Fair Housing Act Claim
11. In January 2003, Ms. Snyder was living at Red Oaks Assisted Living, an assisted living facility in Anchorage, Alaska. On or about January 10, 2003, Ms. Snyder provided a prescription for exercise equipment to Susan Reeves so that Ms. Reeves could order the authorized equipment. Ms. Snyder did not realize that the doctor had noted on the prescription that Ms. Snyder had been recently diagnosed with HIV.
12. From January 10 through January 13, 2003, Ms. Reeves made repeated inquiries of Ms. Snyder and Ms. Snyder's care coordinator, JoAnn Wise, concerning Ms. Snyder's HIV status, repeatedly requested medical information, and asked for a medical information release to be signed.
13. On or about January 14, 2003, Ms. Wise went to Red Oaks to visit Ms. Snyder. While there, Ms. Wise called Ms. Reeves and Ms. Reeves again asked for medical information regarding Ms. Snyder. An argument ensued, wherein Ms. Reeves told Ms. Wise that she intended to evict Ms. Snyder and sue Ms. Wise for assault and reckless endangerment.
14. Defendants, through the actions referred to in paragraphs 11 - 13, above, have made or caused to be made a statement 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 handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c).
15. Ms. Snyder is an aggrieved person, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i), and has suffered damages as a result of Defendants' conduct described above.
16. Defendants' discriminatory actions were intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of Ms. Snyder.
WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the Court enter an ORDER that:
1. Declares that Defendants' discriminatory housing practices, as set forth above, violate the Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-19;
2. Enjoins Defendants, their agents, employees, and successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them from discriminating on the basis of handicap against any person in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling; and
3. Awards monetary damages to Ms. Snyder, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3) and 3613(c)(1).
The United States further prays for such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.
TIMOTHY M. BURGESS
United States Attorney
S. LANE TUCKER
Assistant U.S. Attorney
222 West 7th Avenue
Anchorage, Alaska 99513
Document Filed: May xxx, 2005
Document Filed: June 3, 2005 > >