Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

R. Alexander Acosta
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

Steven H. Rosenbaum
Chief
Keisha Dawn Bell
Deputy Chief
Justin Dillon
Trial Attorney
(Va. State Bar No. 48233)
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
202-305-3102
202-514-1116 (fax)

Daniel G. Bogden
United States Attorney

Greg Addington
Assistant United States Attorney
(Nev. St. Bar. No. 6875)
100 W. Liberty Street, Ste. 600
Reno, NV 89501
775-784-5438
775-784-5181 (fax)
Attorneys for Plaintiff

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF NEVADA



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

CV-N-

           Plaintiff,

v.

COMPLAINT

GRAND CANYON ENTERPRISES, INC.;
ANITA GRABOWSKI,

           Defendants.

__________________________________________



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. It is brought on behalf of Victoria Bell, Charles Bell, and Carolyn Jackson ("the Complainants") pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).

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 under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) and 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o) because the claims alleged in this action arose in Reno, Nevada.

4. Defendant Grand Canyon Enterprises, Inc., is a Nevada corporation that, at all times relevant to this complaint, owned the subject property, a seven-unit apartment building located at 750 Moran Street in Reno, Nevada.

5. Defendant Anita Grabowski is one of two shareholders in Grand Canyon Enterprises, Inc., and, at all times relevant to this complaint, served as property manager of the subject property.

6. The units available for rent at the subject property are dwellings within the meaning of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).

7. Complainant Victoria Bell is an African-American woman who, at all times relevant to this complaint, suffered from end stage renal disease. At the time she applied to live at the subject property, Mrs. Bell was undergoing dialysis treatment three times per week.

8. Complainant Charles Bell, Victoria Bell's husband, is an African-American man who, at all times relevant to this complaint, suffered or had recently suffered from morbid obesity, congestive heart failure, type II diabetes with neuropathy, sarcoidosis, anemia, hepatitis C, macular degeneration, hypertension, myocardial infarction, chronic renal insufficiency and gout. At the time he applied to live at the subject property, Mr. Bell used a mobile oxygen unit to assist with his breathing.

9. Complainant Carolyn Jackson, an African-American woman, is Mrs. Bell's mother and, at the time the Bells applied to live at the subject property, intended to live there with the Bells.

10. The Defendants have engaged in discriminatory housing practices at the subject property, including, but not limited to, the following practices:

  1. Refusing to rent to the Complainants on the basis of race;
  2. Making a statement with respect to the rental of dwellings that indicates a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race;
  3. Imposing different terms and conditions on the rental of the dwelling based on race, by imposing on the Complainants during the rental application process requirements that were not regularly imposed on other applicants;
  4. Refusing to rent to the Complainants on the basis of handicap;
  5. Making statements with respect to the rental of dwellings that indicate a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on handicap; and
  6. Imposing different terms and conditions on the rental of the dwelling based on handicap, by imposing on the Complainants during the rental application process requirements that were not regularly imposed on other applicants.

11. On June 25, 2002, the Complainants filed a timely complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a) alleging that the Defendants had discriminated against them on the basis of race and handicap, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

12. Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(a) and (b), the Secretary of HUD conducted an investigation of the complaint, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based on the information gathered in this investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause existed to believe that illegal discriminatory housing practices had occurred at the subject property. Therefore, on September 28, 2004, the Secretary issued a Determination of Reasonable Cause and Charge of Discrimination, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), charging that the Defendants had engaged in discriminatory practices, in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

13. On October 7, 2004, the Defendants timely elected to have the charge resolved in a federal civil action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(a).

14. The Secretary subsequently authorized the Attorney General to file this action on behalf of the Complainants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).

15. The conduct of the Defendants, as described in Paragraph 15, constitutes:

  1. A refusal to rent, a refusal to negotiate for the rental of, or conduct otherwise making unavailable or denying dwellings to the Complainants because of race, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a);
  2. Discrimination against the Complainants in the terms, conditions or privileges of rental of a dwelling because of race, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b);
  3. Statements of preference or limitation on the basis of race and handicap in connection with the rental of dwellings, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c);
  4. A refusal to rent, a refusal to negotiate for the rental of, or conduct otherwise making unavailable or denying dwellings to the Complainants because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1); and
  5. Discrimination against the Complainants 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).

16. The Complainants are aggrieved persons as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i) and have suffered injury and damages as a result of the Defendants' unlawful conduct described above.

17. The Defendants' discriminatory actions as set forth above were intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others.

Prayer for Relief

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

1. Declares that the Defendants' actions as alleged herein violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.;

2. Enjoins the Defendants, their partners, officers, employees, agents, and successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them, from:

  1. Discriminating on account of race or handicap against any person in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling; and
  2. Failing or refusing to take such steps as may be necessary to prevent the recurrence of any discriminatory conduct in the future and to eliminate, to the extent practicable, the effects of the Defendants' unlawful housing practices.

3. Awards monetary damages to the Complainants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3) and 3613(c); and

The United States further prays for such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.

Alberto R. Gonzales
Attorney General


Daniel G. Bogden
United States Attorney
District of Nevada ______________________________
Greg Addington
Assistant U.S. Attorney
100 W. Liberty Street
Suite 600
Reno, Nevada 89501
775-784-5438
775-784-5181 (fax)
______________________________
R. Alexander Acosta
Assistant Attorney General

______________________________
Steven H. Rosenbaum
Chief
Housing and Civil Enforcement
Section
______________________________
Keisha Dawn Bell
Deputy Chief
Justin Dillon
Trial Attorney
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
202-305-3102
202-514-1116 (fax)

Document Filed: February 7, 2005 > >
Updated August 6, 2015

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