Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF IDAHO


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

THOMAS DEVELOPMENT CO.,
ROCKY TOWLE, f/d/b/a/
DESIGN RESOURCES,
ERIC HASENOEHRL, f/d/b/a
E.F. ENGINEERING,
TURNBERRY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP,
LINKS PROPERTIES, LLC &
THOMAS C. MANNSCHRECK
     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, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619 (the "Fair Housing Act"), and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189 (the "ADA").
  2. The United States alleges that all of the Defendants have violated, and continue to violate, the new construction accessibility provisions of the Fair Housing Act, that Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, and Turnberry Limited Partnership have violated, and continue to violate, the new construction accessibility provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and that Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, Turnberry Limited Partnership, and Thomas C. Mannschreck have violated, and continue to violate, the Fair Housing Act's prohibitions on retaliation, in the manner described below, at Turnberry at Village Green Apartments ("Turnberry"), located in Lewiston, Idaho.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
  1. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345, 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a), and 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(1)(B).
  2. Venue is proper in this District. All Defendants have locations in this District as their places of business, and the claims herein alleged arose in this District.
DEFENDANT PARTIES
  1. Defendant Thomas Development Co. is the general contractor that constructed Turnberry, is a member of Defendant Links Properties, LLC, and operates Turnberry on behalf of Turnberry Limited Partnership.
  2. Defendant Rocky Towle, formerly doing business as Design Resources, is the architect who designed the buildings, apartment units, rental office, and common use clubhouse and laundry room at Turnberry.
  3. Defendant Eric Hasenoehrl, formerly doing business as E.F. Engineering, is the engineer who designed the parking and sidewalks at Turnberry.
  4. Defendant Turnberry Limited Partnership, and Defendant Links Properties, LLC as the General Partner of Defendant Turnberry Limited Partnership, are the developers and owners of Turnberry.
  5. Defendant Thomas C. Mannschreck is and at all relevant times has been the President and sole corporate officer of Defendant Thomas Development Co. and the Managing Partner of Turnberry Limited Partnership. He was also one of the two Members of Defendant Links Properties, LLC at the time Turnberry was developed, and has personally been involved in the development and operations of Turnberry through Thomas Development Co. and through Turnberry Limited Partnership. Through his positions, Mr. Mannschreck has directed or controlled, or had the right to direct or control, the actions described below of Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, and Turnberry Limited Partnership. Further, Mr. Mannshreck has directly participated in retaliatory practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act, described below.
PATTERN OR PRACTICE VIOLATION: FAIR HOUSING ACT
  1. Turnberry consists of public and common use areas and seventy-eight (78) residential apartment units contained within ten (10) two-story, non-elevator buildings. The public and common use areas consist of parking, sidewalks, a rental office, a clubhouse, mailboxes, trash enclosures, and a laundry room. The ten buildings at Turnberry each contain four (4) or more residential apartment units, for a total of seventy-eight (78) units, thirty-eight (38) of which are located on the ground floor. The apartment units are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
  2. All of the apartments at Turnberry were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. The ground floor apartments and the public and common use areas available for use by ground floor apartment residents and their guests at Turnberry are "covered multi-family dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A), and are subject to the design and construction requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
  3. Defendants have failed to design and construct the ground floor units and public and common use areas at Turnberry 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 the dwellings contain an accessible route into and through the dwelling; thermostats in accessible locations; and usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.
  4. All of the named Defendants, through the actions described in the paragraphs above, have:
    1. Discriminated in the sale 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 the sale of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with the sale 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).
  5. In June 2001, a tenant at Turnberry requested that the management of Turnberry make certain modifications to the ventilation system at Turnberry, and take certain other actions, as a reasonable accommodation for his claimed breathing-related disability and the claimed breathing-related disability of his minor son.
    1. Through such request, the tenant exercised his right and the right of his family under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3604(f)(3)(B), to request such a reasonable accommodation of the rules, policies, practices, or services as may be necessary to afford them an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.
    2. In response to the above request, Defendant Turnberry Limited Partnership retaliated against the family described above for exercising their right to request a reasonable accommodation by threatening to evict the family. No other reason for the eviction was given other than the reasonable accommodation request.
    3. When the family objected to this eviction as retaliation in violation of the Fair Housing Act, Defendant Thomas C. Mannshcreck, acting for himself and on behalf of Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, and Turnberry Limited Partnership, changed the family's sanction for requesting a reasonable accommodation from eviction to refusing to renew the family's lease at the end of the lease term.
    4. Through the actions described above, Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, Turnberry Limited Partnership, and Thomas C. Mannschreck have coerced, intimidated and interfered with one or more persons in the exercise of, or on account of their having aided or encouraged another person in the exercise of, rights protected by the Fair Housing Act, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3617.
  6. The conduct of all Defendants described above in this Count 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.
  7. Persons who have been the victims of Defendants' discriminatory housing practices are persons aggrieved within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B), and may have suffered injuries as a result of Defendants' conduct described above.
  8. The discriminatory actions of Defendants were intentional, and taken in willful and knowing disregard for the rights of others.
PATTERN OR PRACTICE VIOLATION: AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
  1. The rental office at Turnberry is a sales or rental establishment, the operations of which affect commerce, and therefore is a "public accommodation" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7).
  2. The rental office at Turnberry was constructed for first occupancy after January 26, 1993. The rental office and the facilities, privileges, and accommodations provided for the public to use the rental office, including the parking, sidewalks, and restrooms at the rental office, are covered by the prohibition on discrimination in 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a), and are subject to the design and construction requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(1).
  3. The rental office at Turnberry, and the parking, sidewalks, and restrooms at the rental office, have not been designed and constructed in such a manner that these facilities are readily accessible to and useable by individuals with disabilities.
  4. Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, and Turnberry Limited Partnership, as the owners and operators of Turnberry, are liable for the actions described in the paragraphs above, because these actions constitute:
    1. Discrimination against individuals with disabilities in the full and equal enjoyment of the services, facilities, privileges, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 12182(a); and
    2. A failure to design and construct public accommodations in compliance with the requirements mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(1).
  5. The conduct described above constitutes:
    1. A pattern or practice of discrimination under Title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189; and
    2. Discrimination against a person or group of persons under Title III of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189, which discrimination raises an issue of general public importance.
  6. Persons who have been the victims of these discriminatory practices are persons aggrieved within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(B), and may have suffered injuries as a result of the conduct of Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, and Turnberry Limited Partnership, described above.
  7. The discriminatory actions in violation of Title III of the ADA of Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, and Turnberry Limited Partnership were taken in willful and knowing disregard for the rights of others, and were not taken in good faith.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF

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

  1. Declares that design and construction practices of all of the Defendants, as alleged herein, violate the new construction accessibility provisions of the Fair Housing Act;
  2. Enjoins all 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 bring the dwelling units and public and common use areas at Turnberry 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 in violation of the Fair Housing Act; and
    3. Failing or refusing to design and construct any covered multi-family dwellings in the future in compliance with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
  3. Declares that the retaliatory practices of Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, Turnberry Limited Partnership, and Thomas C. Mannschreck, as alleged herein, violate the retaliation provisions of the Fair Housing Act;
  4. Enjoins Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, Turnberry Limited Partnership, and Thomas C. Mannschreck, their officers, employees, agents, successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from coercing, intimidating or interfering with any person in the exercise of, or on account of their having aided or encouraged another person in the exercise of, rights protected by the Fair Housing Act;
  5. Awards such damages as would fully compensate each person aggrieved by Defendants' discriminatory practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act for their injuries and damages resulting from Defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B);
  6. Awards punitive damages to each person aggrieved by the Defendants' discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act, because of the intentional and willful nature of the Defendants' conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B);
  7. Assesses civil penalties against each Defendant for that Defendant's violations of the Fair Housing Act, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C), to vindicate the public interest;
  8. Declares that practices of Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, and Turnberry Limited Partnership, as alleged herein, violate Title III of the ADA;
  9. Enjoins Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, and Turnberry Limited Partnership, their officers, employees, agents, successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from:
    1. Failing or refusing to bring the rental office at Turnberry, and the parking, sidewalks, and restrooms at the rental office, into compliance with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(1);
    2. Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps as may be necessary to restore, as nearly as practicable, the victims of the unlawful practices of Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, and Turnberry Limited Partnership in violation of the ADA, to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct; and
    3. Failing or refusing to design and construct any public accommodations in the future in compliance with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(1);
  10. Awards such damages as would fully compensate each person aggrieved by the discriminatory practices in violation of the ADA of Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, and Turnberry Limited Partnership, for their injuries and damages resulting from Defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(B); and
  11. Assesses civil penalties against Defendants Thomas Development Co., Links Properties, LLC, and Turnberry Limited Partnership for each of their violations of the ADA, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(C), to vindicate the public interest.

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


JOHN ASHCROFT
Attorney General

THOMAS E. MOSS
United States Attorney

RALPH F. BOYD, JR.
Assistant Attorney General
Civi Rights Division

NICHOLAS J. WOYCHICK
Assistant United States Attorney
First Interstate Center
877 W. Main Street
Suite 201
Boise, Idaho
(208) 334-1211

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

TIMOTHY J. MORAN
Deputy Chief
LAUREN E. WILLIS
RHONDA CAMPBELL
Trial Attorneys
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing & Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
(202) 307-3025

Document Filed: February 14, 2002. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

Was this page helpful?

Was this page helpful?
Yes No