UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
CV 00-3273 (E.D.N.Y.)
ADI MANAGEMENT, INC.;
HERBERT DONNER; and
HIGHLAND TERRACE, L.L.C.;
The United States initiated this action on behalf of the estate of Hillary Smith pursuant to sections 812(o) and 814 of the Fair Housing Act, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1998, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq. ("the Act"), alleging that defendants engaged in discrimination on the basis of disability. The complaint specifically alleges that defendants failed to make a reasonable accommodation to Hillary Smith ("Smith") to allow her to keep a dog in her apartment at 172-90 Highland Avenue in Jamaica, Queens, where Smith resided up until her death.
Defendants do not admit to the allegations in the complaint, do not admit any wrongdoing or liability, maintain that they extended a reasonable accommodation to Smith and complied with their obligations under the Act. Nonetheless, the defendants and the United States wish to avoid costly and protracted litigation and agree to resolve this action without further litigation. The parties therefore have consented to the entry of this Order as indicated by the signatures appearing below.
It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that:
1. The term of this Order shall be three years from the date of entry.
2. ADI Management, Inc., Herbert Donner, and Highland Terrace LLC, its agents and/or successors, and all persons in active concert or participation with any of them (hereinafter collectively referred to hereinafter as "ADI" or "defendants"), shall not violate the Act with respect to any aspect of the renting, leasing, occupancy or sale of a dwelling because of the disability of the tenant or purchaser or any other person protected under the Act.
3. ADI shall not discriminate on the basis of handicap against any person in any aspect of the occupancy, rental or sale of a dwelling by failing to make reasonable accommodations in any rules, policies, practices or services when such accommodations are necessary to afford individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the dwelling.
4. This Consent Order is not intended to and does not prohibit or prevent ADI from i) enforcing its no-pets policy; ii) maintaining pet-free buildings; or iii) continuing to include no-pets provisions in its present and future leases and lease renewals provided that ADI makes reasonable accommodations in said policy as required under the Act. Nothing contained in this Consent Order is intended to be, or may be used as evidence of, waiver of the no-pets provisions contained in ADI's leases with its past, current and future tenants provided that ADI makes reasonable accommodations as required under the Act.
6. ADI may indicate in its advertisements that it maintains a no-pet policy provided that such advertisements contain the words "Equal Housing Opportunity. We do Business in Accordance With the Fair Housing Act." or the fair housing logo (See 24 C.F.R.§ 110.25, attached as Attachment A.) These words or the logo should be prominently placed and easily legible.
7. Within ninety days after the entry of this Order, ADI shall:
- Post and maintain in its office, a HUD fair housing poster no smaller than 11 inches by 14 inches that indicates that all apartments are available for rent or sale on a nondiscriminatory basis. The poster shall be in compliance with regulations promulgated by HUD and described in 24 C.F.R.§ 110.25, Attachment A.
- Include the following statement on all applications or forms, including leases utilized by ADI:
- Post and maintain in its office in a prominent and conspicuous location, a copy of the application for reasonable accommodations substantially similar to that set forth as Attachment B and which shall also contain the fair housing logo (See Attachment A, 24 C.F.R.§ 110.25 ) and no smaller that 11 inches by 14 inches.
We do not discriminate on the basis of handicap, race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin.
7. Upon request by a present, prospective or future tenants, ADI shall make available applications for reasonable accommodations substantially similar to that set forth as Attachment B and which shall also contain the fair housing logo (See Attachment A, 24 C.F.R. § 110. 25).
8. ADI designates Mr. Herbert Donner ("Donner") as the person whose duty includes the processing of requests for reasonable accommodation. ADI shall notify counsel for the United States in writing of any change in designation within seven (7) business days of such change.
9. For each request for a reasonable accommodation of defendants' rules, policies, practices, procedures and services (whether or not specifically denominated as such) made by a tenant or prospective tenant (or individual acting on behalf of said person) to accommodate said person's handicap (as that term is defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(h) and 24 C.F.R. § 100.201), defendant Donner or his successor shall maintain a log reflecting the name, address and phone number of the tenant making a request for reasonable accommodation, the individual's alleged disability, the date of the request, the type of request, the response to the request including whether additional information was sought or whether alternative accommodations were offered, and the date of the response.
IV. EDUCATION REQUIREMENT
10. Donner shall attend, at ADI's expense, a training program regarding federal, state and local fair housing laws within ninety days of the entry of this Order. Donner shall provide a copy of this Order to the trainer. Any agent hired or assigned to assume Donner's responsibilities shall attend, at ADI's expense, such a training program prior to assuming these duties.
11. In settlement of all claims for damages alleged against defendants in this action, including legal fees Smith incurred, the United States shall recover from defendants and defendants shall pay the sum of eleven thousand dollars ($11,000) for which the defendants are jointly and severally liable.
12. Before the parties execute this Order, the United States shall obtain a Release executed by the estate of Hillary Smith. A copy of the Release to be executed is annexed as Attachment C. The United States shall deliver to counsel for defendants the original Release executed by the estate of Hillary Smith within twenty days of the entry of this Consent Order. The Consent Order is void and defendants shall have no obligations hereunder in the event (i) the estate of Hillary Smith does not execute the Release; or (ii) the United States does not deliver the fully executed Release to defendants' counsel as required by this Order. In the event this Consent Order becomes void/and or this action is not settled, this action shall proceed as though the parties did not execute the Order; the status quo as existed before execution of the Order shall be restored; and the parties may assert all claims and defenses available to them at the time the Order was executed.
13. Defendants shall deliver to the Financial Litigation Unit of the United States Attorney's Office (at the address for counsel for the United States listed below), within five days of receipt of the executed Release, a check in the amount of eleven thousand dollars ($11,000) made payable to the United States Treasury.
14. The United States shall mail a check for eleven thousand dollars ($11,000) to the estate of Hillary Smith within twenty-five days of receipt of the check from the defendants.
15. In the event that defendants shall fail or refuse to make the payment required by this Consent Order, plaintiff, in its sole discretion, may (i) seek to execute upon the judgment in the manner provided by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or (ii) apply to the Court for an Order upon plaintiff's demonstration that defendants defaulted in the payment obligations set forth herein. In the event that the Court shall vacate the Order, the action shall proceed through motion practice, discover, trial and judgment as though this Order has not been entered, but defendants shall pay to the United States the sum of $1,000.00 plus such other costs as the Court shall assess.
16. The claims against third-party defendants Ira G. Cooper, Cooper Paroff & Cooper and Law Offices of Ira G. Cooper (the "third-party defendants") are the subject of a separate stipulation. The United States takes no position on said stipulation.
17. Six (6) months after the entry of this Order, and thereafter every year for the term of this Order, defendants shall deliver to counsel for the United States (at the address below) a signed affidavit describing compliance with the terms of this Order including the following information:
- Written verification that any person required to do so has attended the fair housing education program pursuant to the terms of this Order.
- The name and title of the agent or employee designated to process applications for reasonable accommodations; and
- A statement concerning the number of applications submitted for reasonable accommodations and the resolution of those requests.
18. Defendants, during the term of this Order, shall advise counsel for the United States in writing within forty-five (45) days of receipt of any written administrative or legal complaint against defendants, or against any of defendants' employees, rental agents or residential rental properties, alleging housing discrimination based on disability.
ORDERED this_____day of__________ , 2003.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
The undersigned apply for and consent to entry of this Order:
For the United States:
ROSLYNN R. MAUSKOPF
United States Attorney
By: __________________________ Date: _______
MARLA TEPPER (MT7529)
Assistant U.S. Attorney
Civil Rights Litigation
1 Pierrepont Plaza, 16th Floor
Brooklyn, New York 11201
For the Defendants/Third-Party Plaintiffs
By: __________________________ Date: _______
THOMAS J. CIRONE (TC1510)
Goodman & Jacobs LLP
14 Wall Street, 22nd Floor
New York, New York 10005
It is the policy of ADI Management not to discriminate against anyone in any activities related to the rental, sale or occupancy of its apartments or in the provision of services in connection with these apartments on the basis of handicap, race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin.
It is the policy of ADI Management to make reasonable accommodations necessary to afford present and future handicapped residents equal opportunities to use and enjoy their apartments. To accommodate present and prospective tenants who are handicapped, ADI Management will, among other things, make exceptions to its rules, polices and practices, including its policies relating to ownership of pets.
If you believe that you are entitled to such an accommodation from ADI Management, please specify the type of accommodation you are seeking and the basis for it in the space below. To show that a requested accommodation may be necessary, there must be an identifiable relationship, or nexus, between the requested accommodation and your disability. Attach copies of any medical or other documentation (such as disabled drivers' license) you wish ADI Management to consider.
If you would like further information regarding this application, you may contact [name] at [phone].
4. Nature of request:
5. Documentation attached:
6. Medical personnel who may be contacted regarding this request:
7. Date of request:
Resolution of request:
The Estate of Hillary Smith (the "Estate") in consideration of the sum of eleven thousand dollars ($11,000.00) received from ADI Management, Inc., Highland Terrace LLC and Herbert Donner (the "Releasees"), releases and discharges the Releasees, the Releasees' parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, directors, shareholders, partners, principals, employees, agents, heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and assigns from all actions, causes of action, suits, debts, dues, sums of money, accounts, reckonings, bonds, bills, specialties, covenants, contracts, controversies, agreements, promises, variances, trespasses, damages, judgements, extents, executions, claims and demands whatsoever, in law, admiralty or equity including without limitation whatsoever direct or indirect any of the foregoing that may be asserted by way of cross-claim, counterclaim, intervention and/or whether known or not, matured or not, liquidated or not, fixed contingent or conditional, primary or secondary, and including all claims made in the action entitled United States v. ADI Management, Inc. et. al., 02-CV 3273 (E.D.N.Y.) and all claims of any kind, nature of description whatsoever that could have been made in the aforesaid action, which against the Releasees, the Estate, the Estate's successors, heirs, and assigns ever had, now have or hereafter can, shall or may have for, upon, or by any reason of any matter, cause or thing whatsoever from the beginning of the world to the day of the date of this Release.
The words the "Estate" and "Releasees" include, respectively, all releasors and all releasees under this Release. The Release may not be changed orally.
On behalf of the Estate, the undersigned acknowledges that I have had the opportunity to review the terms of this Release with an attorney of my choosing, and to the extent I have not obtained legal advice, I voluntarily and knowingly waive the right of the Estate to do so.
Estate of Hillary Smith
of the Estate of Hillary Smith
Sworn and subscribed to before me this ___day of ____________, 2003
On this ________ day of _______________________, 2003, before me came,
______________to me known to be the person who executed this Release, and who being duly sworn by me, did depose and say that he/she is the _______________of the Estate of Hillary Smith (the "Estate"), and that he/she executed this Release on behalf of the Estate and the he/she had the authority to sign this same on behalf of the Estate and acknowledged to me that he/she executed the same as the act and deed of the Estate for the uses and purposes herein mentioned.
Document Entered: July 2, 2003 > >