Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents


IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

EDWARD ROSE CONSTRUCTION CO.
and OCCIDENTAL DEVELOPMENT
CO,
     Defendants.

______________________________


COMPLAINT

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.
  2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).
  3. Defendant Edward Rose Construction Co. is a corporation organized under the laws of Michigan. Defendant Occidental Development Co. is also a corporation organized under the laws of Michigan. Each defendant is engaged in the construction and operation of rental apartment complexes in the Northern District of Indiana and elsewhere.
  4. Among the apartment complexes constructed and operated by the defendants are complexes known as Hurwich Farms, which is located in South Bend, Indiana; Indian Lakes, which is located in Mishawaka, Indiana; Waterfront Apartments, which is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Oak Shores Apartments, which is located in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. These four garden-style apartment complexes are hereinafter referred to as "the subject complexes."
  5. Each of the subject complexes contains residential apartment units that are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
  6. A substantial number of the units contained in Hurwich Farms, and all of the units contained in the other subject complexes, were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. The ground floor units at each of the subject complexes are "covered multi-family dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A) and are subject to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
  7. Defendants have failed to design and construct the dwelling units and common use and public use areas in the subject complexes in such a manner that:
    1. the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons;
    2. all the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by handicapped persons in wheelchairs; and
    3. all premises within such dwellings contain the following features of adaptive design:
      1. an accessible route into and through the dwelling;
      2. light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;
      3. reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and
      4. usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.
  8. Defendants, through the actions described in paragraph 8 above, have:
    1. Discriminated in the rental of, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, dwellings to persons because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1);
    2. Discriminated against persons in the terms, conditions, or privileges of rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with the rental of a dwelling, because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(2); and
    3. Failed to design and construct dwellings in compliance with the requirements mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
  9. The conduct of defendants described above constitutes:
    1. A pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619; and
    2. A denial to a group of persons of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619, which denial raises an issue of general public importance.
  10. Persons who have been the victims of defendants' discriminatory housing practices are aggrieved persons as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i) and may have suffered injuries as a result of defendants' conduct described above.
  11. Defendants' conduct described above was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others.

WHEREFORE, the United States of America prays that the Court enter an order that:

  1. Declares that defendants' policies and practices, as alleged herein, violate the Fair Housing Act;
  2. Enjoins defendants, their officers, employees, agents, successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from:
    1. Failing or refusing, to the extent possible, to bring the dwelling units and public use and common use areas at Bradford Park into compliance with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
    2. Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps as may be necessary to restore, as nearly as practicable, the victims of the defendants' unlawful practices to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct; and
    3. Failing or refusing to design and construct any covered multi-family dwellings in the future in compliance with the requirements set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
  3. Awards such damages as would fully compensate each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices for their injuries and damages resulting from defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B);
  4. Awards each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory conduct punitive damages because of the intentional and wilful nature of defendants' conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B); and
  5. Assesses a civil penalty against defendants in an amount authorized by law.

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


Janet Reno
Attorney General

Bill Lann Lee
Assistant Attorney General

David Capp
United States Attorney

Joan A. Magagna
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Clifford D. Johnson
Attorney No. 5007-98
Assistant United States Attorney
M01 Robert A. Grant Federal Building
204 S. Main Street
South Bend, Indiana 46601
Tel: (219) 236-8287
Fax: (219) 236-8155
Isabelle M. Thabault
Deputy Chief
Harvey L. Handley III
Attorney
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing & Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
(202) 514-4756

Document Filed: January 18, 2000 > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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