Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
SOUTHERN DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

                        Plaintiff,                   v.                                    Case No._________________

EDWARD ROSE & SONS;
EDWARD ROSE & SONS, INC.;
EDWARD ROSE & ASSOCIATES, LLC;
EDWARD ROSE & ASSOCIATES,
INC.; EDWARD ROSE DEVELOPMENT
CO., LLC; EDWARD ROSE REALTY,
INC.; EDWARD ROSE PROPERTIES,
INC.; OCCIDENTAL DEVELOPMENT
CO., LLC;OCCIDENTAL
DEVELOPMENT, LTD.;HURON
DEVELOPMENT, L.P.; GREEN
RIDGE, L.P.; DORCHEN/MARTIN
ASSOCIATES, INC.;
ECKERT/WORDELL ARCHITECTS,
P.C.; JAMES R. SAULE,
ARCHITECT; and GERALD
PETERSON, ARCHITECT,

                        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 (&quot Fair Housing Act &quot ), 42 U.S.C. § § 3601-3619, and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (&quot ADA &quot ), 42 U.S.C. § § 12181-12189.
  2. 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). Venue is proper pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because (a) a number of defendants reside or do business in the Eastern District of Michigan and (b) all the defendants reside or do business in the State of Michigan.
  3. Defendants Edward Rose & Sons, Inc., Edward Rose & Associates, Inc., Edward Rose Properties, Inc., and Edward Rose Realty, Inc., are corporations organized under the laws of Michigan that conduct business in the Eastern District of Michigan. Defendants Occidental Development Co., LLC, Occidental Development, Ltd., Edward Rose & Associates, LLC, and Edward Rose Development Company, LLC, are limited liability companies organized under the laws of Michigan that conduct business in the Eastern District of Michigan. Defendant Edward Rose & Sons is a limited partnership organized under the law.
  4. Defendants Edward Rose & Sons, Edward Rose & Sons, Inc., Edward Rose & Associates, LLC, Edward Rose & Associates, Inc., Edward Rose Properties, Inc., Edward Rose Realty, Inc., Occidental Development Co., LLC, Occidental Development, Ltd., and Edward Rose Development Company, LLC, (collectively &quot Rose defendants&quot ) are engaged in the development, construction, and operation of rental apartment complexes in the Eastern District of Michigan and elsewhere.
  5. The Rose defendants are responsible for the design, construction, and overall development of a number of apartment complexes, including the following:
    Apartment Complexes Located in MICHIGAN
    NAME OF DEVELOPMENT LOCATION
    Byron Lakes Apts. Kent County, MI
    Canal Club Apts. Eaton County, MI
    The Crossings Apts. Kent County, MI
    Foxwood Apts. Kalamazoo County, MI
    The Hermitage Apts. Kalamazoo County, MI
    Glenn Valley Apts. Calhoun County, MI
    Green Ridge Apts. Kent County, MI
    Gull Prairie Apts. Kalamazoo County, MI
    Gull Run Apts. I&II Kalamazoo County, MI
    Pine Knoll Apts. Calhoun County, MI
    Swiss Valley Apts. Kent County, MI
    Thornridge Apts. Genesee County, MI
    Windmill Lakes Apts. Ottawa County, MI
    Apartment Complexes Located in WISCONSIN
    NAME OF DEVELOPMENT LOCATION
    Tanglewood Apts. Milwaukee County, WI
  6. Defendant Huron Development, L.P., a Michigan-chartered limited partnership, participated in the development of Byron Lakes Apartments and Foxwood Apartments. Defendant Huron Development, L.P., has its principal place of business in the Eastern District of Michigan.
  7. Defendant Green Ridge, L.P., a Michigan-chartered limited partnership, participated in the development of Green Ridge Apartments. Defendant Green Ridge, L.P., has its principal place of business in the Eastern District of Michigan.
  8. Defendant Dorchen/Martin Associates, Inc., a Michigan-chartered corporation, provided architectural and building designs for Byron Lakes Apartments, Canal Club Apartments, The Crossings, The Hermitage Apartments, the Community Building at Foxwood Apartments, Swiss Valley Apartments, Gull Run Apartments I, and Gull Prairie Apartments (excluding buildings 4, 5, and 6). Defendant Dorchen/Martin Associates, Inc., resides in and has its principal place of business in the Eastern District of Michigan.
  9. Defendant Eckert/Wordell Architects, P.C., a Michigan-chartered corporation, provided architectural and building designs for Foxwood Apartments (excluding the Community Building), Glenn Valley Apartments, Green Ridge Apartments, Gull Run Apartments II, buildings 4, 5, and 6 of Gull Prairie Apartments, Pine Knoll Apartments, and Windmill Lakes Apartments. Defendant Eckert/Wordell Architects, P.C., resides in and has its principal place of business in the State of Michigan.
  10. Defendant James R. Saule, an architect licensed and domiciled in the Eastern District of Michigan, provided architectural and building designs for Tanglewood Apartments.
  11. Defendant Gerald Peterson, an architect licensed and domiciled in the Eastern District of Michigan, provided architectural and building designs for Thornridge Apartments.
    PATTERN OR PRACTICE VIOLATION: FAIR HOUSING ACT
  12. Each of the apartment complexes specified in paragraph 5 above (hereinafter referred to as &quot the subject complexes &quot ) contains residential apartment units that are &quot dwellings &quot within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
  13. Those ground floor units at each subject complex designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991 are &quot covered multi-family dwellings&quot 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). A substantial number of the units contained in each subject complex are &quot covered &quot dwelling units.
  14. The subject complexes comprise approximately 181 buildings containing residential rental dwellings built since the effective date of the accessible design requirements of the Fair Housing Act. These buildings contain approximately 1394 ground floor units that are subject to the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act.
  15. Defendants have failed to design and to construct the covered dwelling units and common use and public use areas in the subject complexes and others 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.
  16. Defendants, through the actions described in paragraph 15 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).
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. Defendants' conduct described above was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others.
    PATTERN OR PRACTICE VIOLATION:
    AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
  20. The rental offices at the subject complexes are sales or rental establishments, the operations of which affect commerce, and therefore are &quot public accommodations&quot within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7).
  21. The rental offices at the subject complexes other than Canal Club, The Crossings, and Pine Knoll Apartments were designed and constructed for first occupancy after January 26, 1993. The rental offices and the facilities, privileges, and accommodations provided for the public appurtenant to the use of the rental offices, including the parking, sidewalks, and restrooms at the rental offices, 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).
  22. The Rose defendants, Huron Development Limited Partnership, and Green Ridge Limited Partnership have failed to design and construct the rental offices at the subject complexes and others that were designed and constructed for first occupancy after January 26, 1993, and the appurtenant parking, sidewalks, and restrooms at those rental offices, in such a manner that the facilities are readily accessible to and useable by individuals with disabilities.
  23. The actions of the Rose defendants, Huron Development Limited Partnership, and Green Ridge Limited Partnership, as described in paragraphs 20-22 above, 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).
  24. The conduct described in paragraphs 22-23 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.
  25. 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 the Rose defendants, Huron Development Limited Partnership, and Green Ridge Limited Partnership, described above.
    PRAYER FOR RELIEF

    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 bring the covered dwelling units and public use and common use areas at the subject complexes and others into immediate 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 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 for their violation of the Fair Housing Act in an amount authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C) and 28 C.F.R. 85.3(b)(3), to vindicate the public interest.
    6. Declares that practices of the Rose defendants, Huron Development Limited Partnership, and Green Ridge Limited Partnership, as alleged herein, violate Title III of the ADA;,
    7. Enjoins the Rose defendants, Huron Development Limited Partnership, and Green Ridge 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 offices at the subject complexes and others, and the parking, sidewalks, and restrooms at the rental offices, 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 the Rose defendants, Huron Development Limited Partnership, and Green Ridge 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);
    8. Awards such damages as would fully compensate each person aggrieved by the discriminatory practices in violation of the ADA of the Rose defendants, Huron Development Limited Partnership, and Green Ridge Limited Partnership, for their injuries and damages resulting from defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(B); and
    9. Assesses civil penalties against the Rose defendants, Huron Development Limited Partnership, and Green Ridge Limited Partnership for each of their violations of the ADA, in an amount authorized by 42 U.S.C. §  12188(b)(2)(C), to vindicate the public interest.

    The United States requests a jury trial of all issues triable thereby.

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

    Respectfully submitted,

    John Ashcroft
    Attorney General

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

    Jeffery G. Collins
    United States Attorney

    BY:

    Pamela J. Thompson
    Executive Assistant
    United States Attorney
    Judith E. Levy
    Asst. United States Attorney
    Office of the U.S. Attorney
    Suite 2001
    211 W. Fort St.,
    Detroit 48226-3211
    Tel.:(313)226-9100
    Fax: (313)226-4609

    Joan A. Magagna, Chief
    Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

    Timothy J. Moran
    Harvey L. Handley III
    Ming-Yuen Meyer-Fong
    Trial Attorneys
    United States Department of Justice
    Civil Rights Division
    Housing and Civil
    Enforcement Section (NWB)
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue N.W.
    Washington, D.C. 20530
    Tel.:(202) 514-4713
    Fax: (202) 514-1116


    Document Filed: September 3, 2002. > >