Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

LNL ASSOCIATES/ARCHITECTS, P.A.;
ALLENBRAND-DREWS and ASSOCIATES;
GARY ALLENBRAND; LOREN DREWS;
ALLENBRAND-DREWS and ASSOCIATES, INC.;
RANDALL L. DAVIS; R.L. DAVIS COMPANY,
L.L.C.; OLATHE LEASED HOUSING ASSOCIATES
I, L.P.; NHG OLATHE PARTNERS, L.L.C.;
NATIONWIDE HOUSING GROUP; DOMINIUM
OLATHE PARTNERS, a California limited
partnership (a.k.a. NHG OLATHE PARTNERS, a
California limited partnership); OLATHE LEASED
HOUSING ASSOCIATES II, L.P.;
PORTA-MCCURDY DEVELOPMENT CO., L.L.C.;
SUMMIT CONTRACTORS, INC.; DOMINIUM
MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC.; and DOMINIUM
KANSAS ONE, a California limited partnership (a.k.a.
NHG KANSAS ONE, a California limited partnership),
     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, and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (the "ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§12181-12189.

Jurisdiction and Venue

  1. The Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §§1331 and 1345 and 42 U.S.C. §3614(a) and §12188(b)(1)(B). The Court may grant declaratory and other relief pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§2201 and 2202.
  2. Venue is proper because the claims alleged in this action arose in the State of Kansas.

The Property

  1. The Ridgeview Apartments, at 1890 N. Lennox, and the Indian Meadows Apartments, at 12230 Strang Line Court, are located in Olathe, Kansas.
  2. The apartment complexes described in paragraph 4 were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991.
  3. The apartment complexes described in paragraph 4 are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §3602(b). All of the ground-floor units at these residential dwellings are "covered multifamily dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(7)(A).
  4. All of the ground-floor units in the apartment complexes described in paragraph 4 are subject to the accessibility requirements of 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C).
  5. The clubhouse rental offices of the apartment complexes described in paragraph 4 are public accommodations within the meaning of section 301(7)(E) of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12181(7)(E).
The Defendants
  1. Defendant LNL Associates/Architects, P.A., whose principal place of business is Olathe, Kansas, designed the residential dwellings described in paragraph 4, and, on information and belief, was retained to do so by one or more of the defendants identified in paragraphs 11 - 14.
  2. On information and belief, defendants Loren Drews and Gary Allenbrand, d.b.a.. defendant Allenbrand-Drews and Associates, whose principal place of business is Olathe, Kansas, designed the exterior attributes at the site of the residential dwellings described in paragraph 4 and were retained to do so by one or more of the defendants identified in paragraphs 11-14. On information and belief, defendant Allenbrand-Drews and Associates, Inc. succeeded to and continued the business of defendant Allenbrand-Drews and Associates.

  3. On information and belief, R. L. Davis (an individual); R. L. Davis Company, L.L.C. (a Kansas limited liability company); Olathe Leased Housing Associates I, L.P. (a foreign limited partnership); Olathe Leased Housing Associates II, L.P. (a foreign limited partnership); NHG Olathe Partners, L.L.C. (a foreign limited liability corporation); Nationwide Housing Group (a California stock corporation); Dominium Kansas One, a California limited partnership (a.k.a. NHG Kansas One, a California limited partnership); and Dominium Olathe Partners, a California limited partnership (a.k.a. NHG Olathe Partners, a California limited partnership) designed and/or constructed one or both of the apartment complexes described in paragraph 4.
  4. The defendants described in paragraph 11 did business in Olathe, Kansas in connection with the design and/or construction of one or both of the apartment complexes described in paragraph 4 and, on information and belief, participated in the design and construction of those projects.
  5. Defendant Summit Contractors, Inc. (a Florida for-profit corporation) was the general contractor for the construction of both of the apartment complexes described in paragraph 4.
  6. Defendant Porta-McCurdy Development Company, L.L.C. (a foreign limited liability company) participated as developer in the design and/or construction of the apartment complexes identified in paragraph 4.
Parties Necessary for Relief
  1. Dominium Management Services, Inc., which is the property manager for the apartment complexes identified in paragraph 4, is a necessary party for purposes of relief. It is not included in the term "defendants" under paragraphs 16 through 21 below, but its services and facilities may be required for implementation of a remedy.
Count I
  1. The allegations of paragraphs 1 through 15 are hereby realleged and incorporated by reference.

  2. Defendants have violated 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C) by failing to design and construct one or more of the dwellings described in paragraph 4 so that: (a) the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; (b) all doors are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons who use wheelchairs; and (c) all premises within such dwellings contain: (i) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; (ii) light switches, electrical outlets, and thermostats in accessible locations; (iii) reinforcements in the bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (iv) usable kitchens and bathrooms so that an individual who uses a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.
  3. Defendants have, by the actions referred to in paragraph 17,
    1. Discriminated in the rental or sale, 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 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 accessibility and adaptability features mandated by 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C).
  4. The conduct of defendants, except Dominium Management Services, Inc., 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 raises an issue of general public importance.
  5. Persons who may 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.
  6. Defendants' conduct described above was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard of the rights of others.

Count II

  1. The allegations of paragraphs 1 through 21 are hereby realleged and incorporated by reference.
  2. The clubhouse rental offices and other public accommodations of the apartment complexes described in paragraph 4 were designed and constructed for first occupancy after January 26, 1993.
  3. The clubhouse rental offices of the apartment complexes described in paragraph 4 are not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, as required by section 303(a)(1) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. §12183(a)(1). These areas fail in numerous respects to comply with the Department of Justice's regulation implementing Title III of the ADA, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, ("the regulation"), including the Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A ("the ADA Standards").
  4. Inaccessible features of the clubhouse rental offices at the Ridgeview Apartments include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. Parking spaces that serve the clubhouse rental office are not accessible to persons with disabilities. See ADA Standards 4.1.2(5), 4.3.7, 4.6.2 and 4.6.3.
    2. There is no accessible route for persons who use wheelchairs to travel from the parking spaces to the main entrance or the laundry/exercise room/pool entrance of the clubhouse. See ADA Standards 4.7.2, 4.8.
    3. The threshold of the main clubhouse entrance door and the doors leading from the clubhouse to the pool area are too high. See ADA Standards 4.13.8.
    4. The public and common use restrooms in the main portion of the clubhouse have grab bars that are too short, and the center of the toilet in the men's restroom is mounted too far from the adjacent side wall. See ADA Standards 4.17.3 and 4.17.6.
  5. Inaccessible features of the clubhouse rental offices at the Indian Meadows Apartments include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. There is no accessible parking that serves the clubhouse. See ADA Standards 4.1.2(5)(b), 4.6.2, and 4.6.3.
    2. There is no accessible route between the parking spaces and the main clubhouse entrance. See ADA Standards 4.3.7.
    3. Certain doors to the clubhouse have thresholds that are too high, door hardware that is inaccessible. See ADA Standards 4.13.8 and 4.13.9.
    4. Protruding objects along the circulation route around the outside of the clubhouse pose a hazard to persons who are blind or have low vision. See ADA Standards 4.4.1.
    5. Public and common-use restrooms in the laundry/exercise portion of the clubhouse are not accessible to persons with disabilities. See ADA Standards 4.13.6, 4.17.6, 4.22.7, 4.37.3 and 4.27.4.
  6. The defendants' conduct described in paragraphs 24-26 constitutes:
    1. A pattern or practice of discrimination within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(1)(B)(i) and 28 C.F.R. § 36.503(a); and
    2. Unlawful discrimination that raises an issue of general public importance within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(1)(B)(ii) and 28 C.F.R. § 36.503(b).
  7. Victims of defendants' discriminatory conduct described in paragraphs 24-26 may have suffered injuries as a result of defendants' conduct.

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

  1. Declares that defendants have engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of the Fair Housing Act;
  2. Declares that defendants have engaged in a pattern or practice of violations of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  3. 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 bring the covered dwelling units and public use and common use areas at the Ridgeview Apartments, the Indian Meadows Apartments and other covered units that they have designed and/or constructed into full compliance with 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 defendants' unlawful practices to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct; and
    3. Designing or constructing any covered multi-family dwellings in the future that do not contain the accessibility and adaptability features set forth in 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C);
    4. Failing or refusing to bring the public accommodations at the Ridgeview Apartments and the Indian Meadows Apartments, as well as other public accommodations that they have designed and/or constructed, into full compliance with 42 U.S.C. §12183(a)(1), 28 C.F.R. §§36.401 and 36.406, and 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A;
    5. Designing or constructing any covered multi-family dwellings in the future that do not contain the accessibility and adaptability features set forth in 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C); and
    6. Designing or constructing any public accommodations or commercial facilities in the future that are not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, as required by 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(1), 28 C.F.R. §§ 36.401 and 36.406, and 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A;
  4. Orders defendant Dominium Management Services fully to cooperate with the other defendants in the execution of the remedial steps ordered by the Court, subject to reimbursement by these other defendants as determined by the Court;
  5. Awards such damages from defendants, other than Dominium Management Services, as would fully compensate each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices for their injuries resulting from defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3614(d)(1)(B) and 42 U.S.C. §12188(b)(2)(B);
  6. Awards punitive damages, from defendants other than Dominium Management Services, to each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices because of the intentional and willful nature of defendants' conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3614(d)(1)(B); and
  7. Assesses civil penalties against each defendant, except Dominium Management Services, Inc., in the maximum amount authorized by 42 U.S.C. §3614(d)(1)(C) and 42 U.S.C. §12188(b)(2)(C), in order 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

Eric F. Melgren
United States Attorney
District of Kansas

Ralph F. Boyd, Jr.
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

Christina L. Medeiros
Ks.S.Ct.No. 12884
Assistant United States Attorney
500 State Avenue, Suite 360
Kansas City, Kansas 66101
(913) 551-6730

Joan A. Magagna
D.C. Bar #910885
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

Jeanine M, Worden
D.C. Bar #420177
Deputy Chief
Michael L. Barrett
D.C. Bar #231563
Attorney
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 65998
202-514-2447 (voice); 202-514-116 (fax)

Document Filed: April 16, 2002. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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