Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA
RICHMOND DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES MADE
EQUAL OF RICHMOND, INC.,
ROKENA DUNAWAY,
and
LARRY B. HALL, JR.,
     PLAINTIFFS,

v.

Civil Action No. 3:98CV036

RICHMOND 10-72 LTD.,
PROVIDENT GROUP CO.,
PROVIDENT UNITED, INC,
MICHAEL BRAUNSTEIN
JOHN W HELGERSON
and
RITA BAINES LEWIS,
     DEFENDANTS.

________________________________

CONSENT DECREE

The United States initiated this action on January 16, 1998, pursuant to § 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act ("the Act"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601, et seq. The action was filed on behalf of Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Richmond, Inc. ("HOME"), Larry B. Hall, Jr., and Rokena Dunaway, each of whom subsequently, on April 14, 1998, intervened in the action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 812(o)(2); these parties are referred to hereafter as "intervenors."

Each of the intervenors had filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"), alleging that the defendants Richmond 10-72 Ltd., Provident Group, Inc., Provident United, Inc., Michael Braunstein, John W Helgerson, and Rita Baines Lewis had discriminated against persons on the basis of race in the operation of Wedgewood Village Apartments ("Wedgewood Village"), a federally subsidized apartment complex located in Henrico County, Virginia.

Subsequently, the United States sought and was granted, on June 29, 1998, leave to amend its complaint to allege that the defendants had engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination as defined in § 814(a) of the Act.

Specifically, the United States and intervenors allege that defendants:

  1. Made housing unavailable to persons on the basis of race, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a);
  2. Discriminated against tenants on the basis of race in the provision of services and facilities in connection with the rental of apartments, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b);
  3. Made statements expressing a preference or limitation in the rental of apartments, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c); and
  4. Made false statements concerning the availability of apartments on the basis of race, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(d).

All parties agree that the controversy should be resolved without further proceedings and without an evidentiary hearing. Therefore, the parties have consented to the entry of this Decree as indicated by the signatures appearing below. By consenting to the entry of this Decree, the defendants do not admit liability, but rather expressly deny all liability. However, the parties agree that in the event it is determined that the defendants have engaged in any violation(s) of the Fair Housing Act, subsequent to the date of entry of this Decree, such violation(s) shall constitute a "subsequent violation" pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d). The parties intend for this Decree to resolve all claims made by the United States and the intervenors in this action against the defendants.

This Consent Decree resolves (a) all claims asserted or unasserted, known or unknown, by the plaintiffs arising from the allegations contained in this lawsuit or arising from any action alleged to have been committed by Rita Baines Lewis, either individually or as an agent or employee of any of the defendants, while employed at Wedgewood Village Apartments; and (b) any claims arising out of any act or occurrence prior to the entry of this Decree relating to the defendants at Wedgewood Village presented to the United States by any individual who agrees to accept the remedies provided under Section VIII of this Decree. None of the provisions of this Decree shall require the defendants to pay any additional sums of money to the plaintiffs or any individual who agrees to accept the remedies provided under Section VIII of this Decree to fulfill the obligations specified therein.(1)

It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED:

The term of this Decree shall be three years and three months from the date of entry of this Decree or three months after the last report is received by the United States pursuant to Section VIII below, whichever is later. All injunctive provisions will terminate immediately upon sale to an unrelated third party, as provided in Section X, infra. The new purchaser will not be subject to any provisions of this agreement.

Defendants, their agents, employees and all persons in active concert or participation with any of them are permanently enjoined from:

  1. Misrepresenting the availability of apartments for rent on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap;
  2. Imposing different terms and conditions for the rental of apartments on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap;
  3. Making any statements with respect to the rental of an apartment that indicates any preference, limitation or discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap;
  4. Discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or, to the extent required by law relating to housing providers of the same type as the defendants' operations at Wedgewood Village Apartments, from discriminating on the basis of handicap in the provision of facilities and services in connection with the rental of apartments; and
  5. Discouraging an applicant for an apartment, or otherwise making unavailable an apartment for rent on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or handicap.(2)

For the term of this Decree, the defendants are required to implement the following fair housing education and information program for their rental managers, leasing agents and other employees and agents with rental responsibilities at Wedgewood Village:

  1. Within ten days of the date of entry of this Decree, defendants shall submit to counsel for the United States a written fair housing policy. Upon approval by the United States,(3) defendants shall distribute such policy to all employees at Wedgewood Village Apartments with responsibilities for the showing or rental of apartments, and obtain each such person's signature signifying that he or she has received a copy of and read the defendants' fair housing policy. During the term of this Decree, if the defendants wish to modify or alter the policy, the defendants will submit the proposed changes to counsel for the United States for review and approval.
  2. Within ninety days of the entry of this Decree, the defendants shall require all employees whose duties include taking inquiries concerning the availability of apartments at Wedgewood Village, taking or processing applications for rental at Wedgewood Village, or supervising employees with such duties, to undergo a formal program of training regarding the obligations of housing providers under the Fair Housing Act, only to the extent such program is available in the State of Virginia. The United States must receive thirty days' advance notice of this training and must approve the training provider. However, the United States will approve training by the Virginia Fair Housing office.
  3. The defendants shall require all persons newly hired for positions described in the preceding paragraph to attend such training within sixty days of undertaking his or her duties, only to the extent such program is available in the State of Virginia. The United States must receive thirty days' advance notice of this training and must approve the training provider within a reasonable time, not to exceed ten days, of its receipt of the defendants' advance notice. The United States' approval will not be unreasonably withheld. However, the United States will approve training by the Virginia Fair Housing office.
  4. The defendants shall adhere to nondiscriminatory standards for the processing of applications for apartments. It is agreed that those standards shall be those set forth in HUD Compliance Manual 4350.3.

For the term of this Decree, the defendants are required to implement the following information program for the public:

  1. Include the following written statement on all defendants' rental applications, leases and written tenant rules:(4)

    Wedgewood Village Apartments is an equal opportunity housing provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of elderliness, race, color; national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and handicap.

  2. Conspicuously post the federal fair housing poster as described by former 24 C.F.R. §§ 110.15 and 110.25 in the rental office at Wedgewood Village;
  3. Include the phrase "Equal Housing Opportunity" or the fair housing logo in all newspaper and other written rental advertising as described by former 24 C.F.R. § 109, Appendix 1; and
  4. Within thirty days of the entry of this Decree, and in at least six-month intervals thereafter during the life of this Decree, place in a newspaper which primarily serves the African-American community in the Richmond area a display advertisement, of at least eight column inches, stating that applications for the waiting list for apartments are being taken at Wedgewood Village. The parties agree that the Richmond Free Press is a newspaper which serves the African-American community in the Richmond area.

Within sixty days of the date of entry of this Decree, the defendants will hire a firm to conduct matched-pair testing at Wedgewood Village. This firm will conduct matched-pair testing for race at least twice per year. The firm conducting the self-testing program must be approved by the United States not later than thirty days before the testing begins. The parties agree that any operating member of the National Fair Housing Alliance is an approved self-testing entity. Results of tests conducted under this program will be furnished to the United States within a reasonable amount of time after the test. The defendants shall maintain all records regarding the results of such testing for the term of this Decree and shall provide copies of such records to the United States as provided below. The United States will notify the defendants of any problems identified upon review of the testing. Nothing contained in this Decree shall prevent the United States or HOME from testing the defendants other than pursuant to this Decree. During the term of this Decree, should the United States or HOME test the defendants or any of them other than in response to a complaint and determine that there is evidence of discriminatory housing practices, HOME and/or the United States shall report the results of such tests to the defendants, and the parties shall then endeavor to reach a resolution of any issue raised by the testing before seeking judicial intervention.

For the term of this Decree, plus six months, the defendants are required to preserve all rental applications, leases, waiting lists, notices to terminate tenancy and status reports pertaining to Wedgewood Village. Upon reasonable notice to the defendants, representatives of the United States shall be permitted to inspect and copy all such records of the defendants at any and all reasonable times; provided, however, that the United States, absent court order, will not be permitted to inspect these records on more than two occasions in any twelve-month period, and that the United States shall furnish the defendants with reasonable notice of any such inspection; and provided, however, that the United States shall endeavor to minimize any inconvenience to the defendants from inspection of such records.

Within sixty days from the date of entry of this Decree, the defendants shall provide counsel for the United States with a written statement which shall include the following information as of the date of entry of this Decree:

  1. The name of each of the defendants' rental agents who has already attended fair housing training and the date he or she attended the training.

    Furthermore, every six months during the term of this Decree (hereinafter referred to as "a reporting period"), the defendants are required to report to the United States for the purpose of monitoring compliance with this Decree by mailing to counsel for the United States the following documents which shall provide information covering the preceding six months:

  2. Copies of the employee and agent signed fair housing statements and fair housing training verifications as described in Section II of this Decree;
  3. A written statement which shall set forth, for each person who rented an apartment at Wedgewood Village during the preceding six months, the tenant's name, race, national origin, apartment number, and whether the tenant is eligible for a rental subsidy; and
  4. Copies of self-testing reports and records obtained within the preceding six months pursuant to Section IV above.

    Furthermore, for the term of this Decree, the defendants shall notify counsel for the United States in writing within thirty days of receipt of any written legal or administrative housing discrimination complaint regarding the operation of Wedgewood Village.

The defendants shall pay to the intervenors, as monetary relief pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o)(3), the following sums:

  1. To Larry B. Hall, Jr., the sum of $15,000.00 for compensatory damages.
  2. To Rokena Dunaway, the sum of $30,000.00 for compensatory damages.
  3. To HOME, in compensation for the frustration of its mission and diversion of its resources occasioned by the defendants' conduct, the sum of $195,000.00.

    Each such payment shall be conditioned on execution by the recipient of a release in the form set out in Attachments A, B and C.

  1. The United States believes that there may be additional aggrieved parties, in addition to intervenors, who have been injured by the defendants' alleged discriminatory practices. Such persons may include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:
    1. African-Americans who applied for tenancy at Wedgewood Village, but who never obtained apartments because of their race; and
    2. African-Americans who inquired about apartments at Wedgewood Village, but who did not submit applications because they were given false information or otherwise discouraged from applying.

    In order to provide compensation for such persons, the defendants shall, within fifteen days after entry of this Decree, forward to the Clerk of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, a check in the sum of $200,000.00 for the purpose of compensating any alleged aggrieved persons who have been the victims of the defendants' discriminatory housing practices at their apartments.

  2. During the sixty days following the entry of this Decree, the United States will, at its expense, cause to be published or distributed a notice in the form set out in Attachment D, informing individuals who believe they may fall into the categories set out in paragraph VIII.1 that they may submit claims for compensation to the United States. Such publication may include the use of such print or broadcast media as the United States considers may be calculated to reach African-American residents of the Richmond area.
  3. The United States may also distribute Attachment D to current residents at Wedgewood Village. The defendants will provide whatever facilities may be necessary and appropriate to accomplish this distribution.
  4. Persons shall have one hundred twenty days from the date of the last publication of the notice described in paragraph 2 to submit claims for payment from this fund. The United States shall, within ninety days thereafter, determine which persons have been victims of the defendants' discriminatory housing practices, and shall determine an appropriate amount of damages to be awarded to each such person, provided that:
    1. The United States shall investigate the claims of these additional allegedly aggrieved persons within one hundred eighty days from the date the last notice is published.
    2. No person shall be paid any amount pursuant to this paragraph until he or she has submitted a sworn declaration setting forth the factual basis of the claim.
    3. No person shall be paid pursuant to this paragraph until the United States has provided a copy of the person's sworn declaration to the defendants or their counsel and the defendants have had an opportunity to provide the United States, within thirty business days of the United States' delivery of the declaration, any documents or information the defendants believe are relevant to the United States' consideration of the claim.
    4. The United States shall notify the defendants in writing of its determinations as to the identities of the alleged aggrieved persons and how much each will be compensated. Within fifteen days of receipt of this notice, the United States shall issue checks payable to the alleged aggrieved persons in the amounts specified by this notice. The United States shall not forward a check from the fund to an alleged aggrieved person until it has received and forwarded to the defendants that person's executed release.
    5. No person shall be paid pursuant to this section who cannot demonstrate that he or she would have satisfied the reasonable rental criteria, to include income and credit requirements, for living at Wedgewood Village.
    6. No person shall be paid pursuant to this section who filed a previous discrimination complaint with the State of Virginia where the same issued a "determination of no reasonable cause" notice.
    7. No person shall be paid pursuant to this section who has previously voluntarily withdrawn his or her complaint of discrimination.
    8. No person shall be paid any amount pursuant to this paragraph until after execution of a written release of all claims, legal or equitable, which he or she might have against each of the defendants relating to the claims asserted in this lawsuit. The release will be in the form of that which is attached hereto as Exhibit E.
    9. No aggrieved person shall be paid an amount greater than $20,000.00.
    10. No aggrieved person shall be paid an amount less than $10,000.00, except in circumstances which would otherwise result in a total payment in excess of the amount specified in subparagraph (m) below.
    11. The total amount to be paid by the defendants pursuant to this paragraph shall not exceed the sum specified in paragraph VIII.1, plus accrued interest.
    12. The United States shall notify the defendants in writing of its determination as to who the aggrieved persons are and how much each will be compensated, together with a brief statement of the facts underlying the determination that each is an aggrieved person.
  5. In the event that the United States directs the distribution of less than the sum specified in paragraph VIII.1 to aggrieved persons, the difference between the total amount actually paid and $200,000.00 shall be paid to HOME.
  6. The Clerk of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division ("Clerk"), shall administer the fund specified in paragraph VIII.1 ("Fund"). Upon determination by the United States of which persons have been victims of discrimination and the appropriate amount of damages to be awarded to such persons, the United States shall direct the Clerk and the Clerk shall pay each such victim from the Fund the amount of damages determined by the United States. Pursuant to paragraph VIII.5, in the event the United States directs the distribution of less than the total amount of the Fund, the United States shall direct the Clerk and the Clerk shall pay the balance remaining in the Fund to HOME.

The defendants shall pay the total sum of $40,000.00 to the United States as a civil penalty pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C). Said sum shall be paid within ten days of the date of entry of this Decree by sending a check made payable to the United States of America to counsel for the United States.

  1. All of the injunctive relief provisions and other punitive or reporting requirements shall terminate in the event that Wedgewood Village is sold for value to a bona fide purchaser unaffiliated in any way with any of the defendants, provided that at least thirty days before any such sale is closed, the defendants notify counsel for the United States and for HOME in writing of the transfer and provide sworn certification that (a) no individual defendant nor any owner, partner, officer or shareholder of any defendant, or any member of his or her family will maintain any managerial, ownership, or other interest in that apartment complex; and (b) the sale is an arms' length transaction for value to a bona fide purchaser unaffiliated in any way with any of the defendants. A qualified new purchaser will not be subject to any conditions of this Consent Decree.
  2. In the event of sale to a third party, all injunctive relief provisions of this Consent Decree will terminate, subject to the provisions of Section XI.

This action is dismissed with prejudice and with each party to bear its own costs. The claims of the infant intervenors, Raneka Dunaway and Chelsey Gaines, having been previously dismissed but with leave to amend, are hereby dismissed with prejudice because no such amendment was ever filed on their behalf. However, this Court shall retain jurisdiction of this action for purposes of enforcement of the terms of this Decree for three years and six months. The United States and the defendants shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation and compliance with this Decree prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution.

ENTER: 10/15/1998

Richard L. Williams
Judge

Seen and agreed:

Helen F. Fahey
United States Attorney

Debra Prillaman
Assistant United States Attorney
Suite 1800, Main Street Centre
600 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 771-2186

Bill Lann Lee
Acting Assistant Attorney General

Joan A. Magagna
Chief

Barbara Kammerman
Harvey L. Handley (VSB No. 42105)
Scott R Moore
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
United States Department of Justice
PO. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998

Counsel for the United States

Barbara J. Gaden (VSB No.23155)
700 East Main Street, Suite 1630
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 344-3370

Co-counsel for Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Richmond, Inc., Rokena Dunaway, Larry B. Hall, Jr, Raneka Dunaway and Chelsey Gaines

Charles L. Williams
Butler, Macon, Williams & Pantele, PC.
1309 East Cary Street, Second Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23219

(804) 648-4848

Co-counsel for Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Richmond, Inc., Rokena Dunaway, Larry B. Hall, Jr, Raneka Dunaway and Chelsey Gaines

C. Michael DeCamps (VSB No. 15066)
Henry C. Spalding, III (VSB No. 34382)
Sands Anderson Marks & Miller
P 0. Box 1998
Richmond, Virginia 23218-1998
(804) 648-1636

Counsel for the defendants


ATTACHMENT A
LARRY HALL'S RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS

Know all men that these presents, that for and in consideration of the sum of Fifteen Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($15,000.00), receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, and conditioned upon his execution of the Consent Decree attached hereto, which is expressly incorporated by reference herein, Larry B. Hall, Jr., his predecessors, successors, heirs and assigns (collectively hereafter, "Hall"), hereby release, remise and forever discharge Richmond 10-72 Ltd., Provident Group Co., Provident United, Inc., Michael Braunstein, Heinz Richter, John W. Helgerson, Rita Baines Lewis, American Select Insurance Company, the Westfield Insurance Companies, and their insurers, predecessors, successors, assigns, representatives, attorneys, present or former employees, officers, directors, shareholders, partners, parents and subsidiaries, both jointly and individually (collectively, "the defendants"), of and from any and all liability, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses, losses, attorneys' fees and costs, actions and causes of action, known or unknown, asserted or unasserted, alleged to have been made on the part of or by the defendants or any one of them from the beginning of time to the date of this Release of All Claims arising from the allegations contained in the lawsuit currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, styled United States of America, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Richmond, Inc., Rokena., Dunaway and Larry B. Hall, Jr. v. Richmond 10-72 Ltd., Provident Group Co., Provident United, Inc., Michael Braunstein, John W Helgerson and Rita Baines Lewis (Civil Action No. 3:98CV036), or arising from any action alleged to have been committed by Rita Baines Lewis, either individually or as an agent or employee of any of the defendants, while employed at Wedgewood Village Apartments, provided that she is not rehired by any of the defendants.

The parties hereto agree that the payment of said sum of Fifteen Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($15,000.00) and the parties' execution of the attached Consent Decree is in compromise settlement of disputed claims arising out of the events as alleged in said lawsuit and to which the defendants have denied liability, and that said sum so paid is accepted by Hall in full and complete settlement and satisfaction of all claims contained in said lawsuit.

The defendants release Hall from any and all claims and/or causes of action which may arise out of Hall filing and prosecution of the Complaint in Intervention and/or First Amended Complaint.

Witness the following signature and seal this _____ day of ____________, 19__.

Larry B. Hall, Jr.

Michael Braunstein

Commonwealth of Virginia

City/County of ___________________, to-wit:

This day came Larry B. Hall, Jr., whose name is signed to the foregoing writing bearing the date of the ______ day of ________, 19__, and has this day acknowledged the same before me in the jurisdiction aforesaid.

Given under my hand this _______ day of ___________, 19__.

My commission expires: __/__/__.

Notary Public

State of __________

City/County of ______________, to-wit:

This day came Michael Braunstein, on behalf of the defendants, whose name is signed to the foregoing writing bearing the date of the _______________day of _____, 19__, and has this

day acknowledged the same before me in the jurisdiction aforesaid.

Given under my hand this _________ day of ____________, 19__.

My commission expires: __/__/__.

Notary Public


ATTACHMENT B
ROKENA DUNAWAY'S RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS

Know all men by these presents, that for and in consideration of the sum of Thirty Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($30,000.00), receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, and conditioned upon her execution of the Consent Decree attached hereto, which is expressly incorporated by reference herein, Rokena Dunaway, individually and as mother and next friend of her two minor children, Chelsey Gaines and Raneka Dunaway, her predecessors, successors, heirs and assigns (collectively hereafter, "Dunaway"), hereby release, remise and forever discharge Richmond 10-72 Ltd., Provident Group Co., Provident United, Inc., Michael Braunstein, Heinz Richter, John W. Helgerson, Rita Baines Lewis, American Select Insurance Company, the Westfield Insurance Companies, and their insurers, predecessors, successors, assigns, representatives, attorneys, present or former employees, officers, directors, shareholders, partners, parents and subsidiaries, both jointly and individually (collectively, "the defendants"), of and from any and all liability, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses, losses, attorneys' fees and costs, actions and causes of action, known or unknown, asserted or unasserted, alleged to have been made on the part of or by the defendants or any one of them from the beginning of time to the date of this Release of All Claims arising from the allegations contained in the lawsuit currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, styled United States of America, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Richmond, Inc., Rokena Dunaway and Larry B. Hall, Jr. v. Richmond 10-72 Ltd., Provident Group Co., Provident United, Inc., Michael Braunstein, John W Helgerson and Rita Baines Lewis (Civil Action No. 3:98CV036), or arising from any action alleged to have been committed by Rita Baines Lewis, either individually or as an agent or employee of any of the defendants, while employed at Wedgewood Village Apartments, provided that she is not rehired by any of the defendants.

The parties hereto agree that the payment of said sum of Thirty Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($30,000.00) and the parties' execution of the attached Consent Decree is in compromise settlement of disputed claims arising out of the events as alleged in said lawsuit and to which the defendants have denied liability, and that said sum so paid is accepted by Dunaway in full and complete settlement and satisfaction of all claims contained in said lawsuit.

The defendants release Dunaway from any and all claims and/or causes of action which may arise out of Dunaway filing and prosecution of the Complaint in Intervention and/or First Amended Complaint.

Witness the following signature and seal this _____ day of _______________, 19__.

Rokena Dunaway, individually and as mother and next friend of Chelsey Gaines and Raneka Dunaway Michael Braunstein

Commonwealth of Virginia

City/County of ___________________, to-wit:

This day came Rokena Dunaway, whose name is signed to the foregoing writing bearing the date of the ______ day of ________, 19__, and has this day acknowledged the same before me in the jurisdiction aforesaid.

Given under my hand this _______ day of ___________, 19__.

My commission expires: __/__/__.

Notary Public

State of __________

City/County of ______________, to-wit:

This day came Michael Braunstein, on behalf of the defendants, whose name is signed to the foregoing writing bearing the date of the _______________day of _____, 19__, and has this day acknowledged the same before me in the jurisdiction aforesaid.

Given under my hand this _________ day of ____________, 19__.

My commission expires: __/__/__.

Notary Public


ATTACHMENT C
HOME'S RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS

Know all men by these presents, that for and in consideration of the sum of One hundred Ninety-Five Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($195,000.00), receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, and conditioned upon its execution of the Consent Decree attached hereby, which is expressly incorporated by reference herein, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Richmond, Inc., a Virginia non-stock corporation (hereafter, "HOME"), its predecessors, successors and employees hereby release, remise and forever discharge Richmond 10-72 Ltd., Provident Group Co., Provident United, Inc., Michael Braunstein, Heinz Richter, John W. Helgerson, Rita Baines Lewis, American Select Insurance Company, the Westfield Insurance Companies, and their insurers, predecessors, successors, assigns, representatives, attorneys, present or former employees, officers, directors, shareholders, partners, parents and subsidiaries, both jointly and individually (collectively, "the defendants"), of and from any and all liability, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses, losses, attorneys' fees and costs, actions and causes of action, known or unknown, asserted or unasserted, alleged to have been made on the part of or by the defendants or any one of them from the beginning of time to the date of this Release of All Claims arising from the allegations contained in the lawsuit currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, styled United States of America, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Richmond, Inc., Rokena Dunaway and Larry B. Hall, Jr. v. Richmond 10-72 Ltd., Provident Group Go., Provident United, Inc.. Michael Braunstein, John W Helgerson and Rita Baines Lewis (Civil Action No. 3:98CV036), or arising from any action alleged to have been committed by Rita Baines Lewis, either individually or as an agent or employee of any of the defendants, while employed at Wedgewood Village Apartments, provided that she is not rehired by any of the defendants.

HOME further agrees that it will not file or finance any lawsuit on behalf of or represent any person or organization who wishes to file any lawsuit against the defendants for any matter which arose or occurred from the beginning of time to the date of the signing of this Release of All Claims, arising from the allegations contained in this lawsuit, or arising from any action alleged to have been committed by Rita Baines Lewis while employed at Wedgewood Village Apartments, provided that she is not rehired by any of the defendants. This restriction does not apply to HOME's efforts and assistance on behalf of Larry B. Hall, Jr., Rokena Dunaway, and those who have received or are eligible to receive payments from the fund as described in the referenced Consent Decree; however, the restrictions stated in the first sentence of this paragraph, by which HOME agrees that it will not file or finance any lawsuit on behalf of or represent any person or organization wishing to file a lawsuit against the defendants for any matter which arose or occurred from the beginning of time to the date of the singing of this Release of All Claims arising from the defendants operations at Wedgewood Village Apartments and/or the allegations contained in this lawsuit, will apply in any situation where a person who is eligible to participate in the fund chooses not to so participate in the fund. HOME further agrees that it will not make available its files, work papers or any information concerning the matters contained in the referenced lawsuit absent subpoena or court order, to anyone who intends to file a lawsuit against the defendants based on acts which occurred from the beginning of time to the date of this Release, based on acts arising from the allegations contained in this lawsuit.

The defendants release HOME from arty and all claims and/or causes of action which may arise out of HOME's filing and prosecution of the Complaint in Intervention and/or First Amended Complaint.

The defendants release HOME from any and all claims and/or causes of action which may arise out of HOME's filing and prosecution of the Complaint in Intervention and/or First Amended Complaint.

The parties hereto agree that the payment of said sum of One Hundred Ninety-Five Thousand and 00/100 Dollars ($195,000.00) and the parties' execution of the attached Consent Decree is in compromise settlement of disputed claims arising out of the events as alleged in said lawsuit and to which the defendants have denied liability, and that said sum so paid is accepted by the plaintiffs in full and complete settlement and satisfaction of all claims contained in said lawsuit.

Witness the following signature and seal this _______ day of _____________, 19__.

HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES MADE EQUAL, a Virginia non-stock corporation

By:

Michael Braunstein

Commonwealth of Virginia

City/County of ___________________, to-wit:

This day came _______________________, on behalf of Housing Opportunities Made Equal, a Virginia non-stock corporation, whose name is signed to the foregoing writing bearing the date of the _____ day of _________________, 19__, and has this day acknowledged the same before me in the jurisdiction aforesaid.

Given under my hand this _______ day of ___________, 19__.

My commission expires: __/__/__.

Notary Public

State of __________

City/County of ______________, to-wit:

This day came Michael Braunstein, on behalf of the defendants, whose name is signed to the foregoing writing bearing the date of the _______________day of _____, 19__, and has this day acknowledged the same before me in the jurisdiction aforesaid.

Given under my hand this _________ day of ____________, 19__.

My commission expires: __/__/__.

Notary Public


ATTACHMENT D
NOTICE TO POTENTIAL VICTIMS OF DISCRIMINATION AT
WEDGEWOOD VILLAGE APARTMENTS, RICHMOND, VIRGINIA

On October ____________, 1998, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia entered a consent decree resolving a lawsuit brought by the United States Department of Justice against the owners and managers of Wedgewood Village Apartments. The lawsuit alleged that owners and managers of Wedgewood Village Apartments discriminated against black persons by misrepresenting the unavailability of apartments and application requirements and failing to process their applications in the same manner as white persons. Under this consent decree, you may be entitled to receive monetary relief if you applied for, asked about renting, or rented, an apartment at Wedgewood Village, an apartment complex located in Eastern Henrico County near Laburnum Avenue, and if you can show that you met Wedgewood Village's reasonable rental standards, including income and credit criteria, and that you were otherwise eligible to rent at Wedgewood Village, and:

  1. If you were denied an opportunity to live there because of your race;
  2. If you were falsely told that no apartments were available because of your race;
  3. If you were otherwise discriminated against on the basis of race in connection with your occupancy at Wedgewood Village Apartments or your attempt to rent an apartment there.

If you believe you have been discriminated against because of race at Wedgewood Village Apartments, or if you have information about persons who may have been discriminated against on the basis of race at Wedgewood Village Apartments, please contact the United States Department of Justice at 1-800-896-7743. You may also write to:

United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998

NOTE: IN ORDER TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR MONETARY RELIEF YOU MUST CALL OR WRITE NO LATER THAN _____________ 1998.


ATTACHMENT E
RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS

Know all men by these presents, that for and in consideration of the sum of _______________ and 00/100 Dollars ($____________), receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, and in consideration for the parties' agreement to the terms of the Consent Decree entered in the case of United States of America, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Richmond, Inc., Rokena Dunaway and Larry B. Hall, Jr v. Richmond 10-72 Ltd., Provident Group Co., Provident United, Inc., Michael Braunstein, John W Helgerson and Rita Baines Lewis (Civil Action No. 3:98CV036), _____________________, his/her predecessors, successors, heirs and assigns hereby release, remise and forever discharge Richmond 10-72 Ltd., Provident Group Co., Provident United, Inc., Michael Braunstein, Heinz Richter John W. Helgerson, Rita Baines Lewis, American Select Insurance Company, the Westfield Insurance Companies and their insurers, predecessors, successors, assigns, representatives, attorneys, present or former employees, officers, directors, shareholders, partners, parents and subsidiaries, both jointly and individually (collectively, "the defendants"), of and from any and all liability, claims, demands, damages, costs, expenses, losses, attorneys' fees and costs, actions and causes of action, known or unknown, asserted or unasserted, alleged to have occurred at Wedgewood Village Apartments or to have been made on the part of or by the defendants or any one of them from the beginning of time to the date of this Release of All Claims, including all claims and causes of action arising from the allegations contained in the lawsuit currently pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Richmond Division, styled United States of America, Housing Opportunities Made Equal of Richmond, Inc., Rokena Dunaway and Larry B. Hall, Jr v. Richmond 10-72 Ltd., Provident Group Co., Provident United, Inc., Michael Braunstein, John W Helgerson and Rita Baines Lewis (Civil Action No. 3:98CV036).

____________________ hereby agrees that the payment of said sum of _________________ and 00/100 Dollars ($________) is in compromise settlement of disputed claims and to which the defendants have denied liability, and that said sum so paid is accepted by in full and complete settlement and satisfaction of all claims which has or may have against the defendants.

Witness the following signature and seal this______ day of ___________, 19__.

Commonwealth of Virginia

City/County of _____________, to-wit:

This day came __________________ whose name is signed to the foregoing writing bearing the date of the ________day of _______, 19__, and has this day acknowledged the same before me in the jurisdiction aforesaid.

Given under my hand this ________ day of _________, 19__.

My commission expires: __/__/__.

Notary Public


1. The Consent Decree shall not be construed as a bar to any action which the Attorney General may be required to bring on behalf of an individual or individuals pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(a) and (o).

2. These requirements only apply to the defendants' operations at Wedgewood Village Apartments.

3. For purposes of this Consent Decree, counsel for the United States is Chief, Attn: (DJ#175-79-375), Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice, P.O. Box 65998, Washington, D.C. 20035-5998.

4. These requirements do not apply to the defendants' existing documents, but will only apply to documents generated by the defendants once their current supplies have been depleted. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?
Yes No