Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF IDAHO


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

TAIGEN & SONS, INC.;
ROBERT TAIGEN; JACKLYNE M.
TAIGEN; and DDI ARCHITECTURE
& PLANNING, CO.
     Defendants.

________________________________


COMPLAINT

The United States of America alleges:

  1. This action is brought by the United States to enforce the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619, and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("the ADA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-12189.
Jurisdiction and Venue
  1. This court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 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 that the claims alleged herein arose in the District of Idaho.
Subject Property
  1. Centennial Trail Apartments ("Centennial Trail") is located at 360 North Bay Street in Post Falls, Idaho, in the District of Idaho. It consists of four buildings containing a total of 82 apartments. Thirty two of the apartments are located on the ground floor.
  2. Centennial Trail was designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. Each building at Centennial Trail is a dwelling within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
  3. Each of the ground-floor apartments at Centennial Trail is a "covered multifamily dwelling" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A). Accordingly, the ground floor apartments and the public and common use areas at Centennial Trail are subject to the design and construction requirements at 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
  4. The public and common use areas at Centennial Trail, including the rental office, were designed and constructed for first occupancy after January 26, 1993.
  5. The rental office at Centennial Trail is a public accommodation within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12181(7).
Defendants
  1. Defendant Taigen & Sons, Inc. is incorporated in the State of Washington and has its principle place of business in Spokane, Washington. Defendant Taigen & Sons, Inc. built Centennial Trail and hired defendant DDI Architecture & Planning, Co. to design the complex.
  2. Defendants Robert L. Taigen, Sr. and Jacklyne M. Taigen, husband and wife, own Centennial Trail.
  3. Defendant DDI Architecture & Planning, Co. is incorporated in the State of Washington and has its principle place of business in Redmond, Washington. Defendant DDI Architecture & Planning, Co. designed Centennial Trail.
Fair Housing Act Pattern or Practice Claim
  1. The defendants have failed to design and construct Centennial Trail so that:
    1. the public use and common use portions are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;
    2. all doors within the ground floor units are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons with disabilities who use wheelchairs; and
    3. the ground floor units contain the following features of adaptive design: (i) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; (ii) electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls in accessible locations; (iii) reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and (iv) usable bathrooms such that an individual using a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.
  2. The defendants, through the actions referred to in the preceding paragraph, have:
    1. Discriminated in the rental of, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, dwellings to renters 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).
  3. The conduct of the 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.
  4. Persons who may have been the victims of the defendants' discriminatory housing practices are aggrieved persons as defined by 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i) and may have suffered injuries as a result of the defendants' conduct described above.
  5. The defendants' conduct described above was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others.
Americans With Disabilities Act Claim
  1. The defendants have failed to design and construct Centennial Trail so that the rental office is readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, as required by 42 U.S.C. § 12183(a)(1) and the Department of Justice's regulations implementing Title III of the ADA, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, including the Standards for Accessible Design, 28 C.F.R. Part 36, Appendix A ("the Standards"). See 28 C.F.R. §§ 36.401 and 36.406.
  2. The conduct of the defendants described in the preceding paragraph 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).
  3. Persons who may have been the victims of the defendants' discriminatory practices are aggrieved persons within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(B) and may have suffered injuries as a result of the defendants' conduct described above.
Prayer For Relief

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

  1. Declares that the defendants' policies and practices, as alleged herein, violate the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  2. Enjoins the 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 ground floor units and public use and common use areas at the subject property into compliance with 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
    2. Failing or refusing to bring the rental office and any other public accommodations at the subject property into compliance with the requirements of Title III of the ADA and the Department of Justice's regulations implementing Title III, including the Standards for Accessible Design;
    3. 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;
    4. Designing or constructing covered multifamily dwellings in the future that do not contain the accessibility and adaptability features required by 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C); and
    5. Designing or constructing public accommodations in the future that are not readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, as required by Title III of the ADA and the Department of Justice's regulations implementing Title III, including the Standards for Accessible Design.
  3. Awards such damages as would fully compensate each person aggrieved by the defendants' discriminatory practices for his or her injuries resulting from the defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B) and 42 U.S.C. § 12188(b)(2)(B).
  4. Awards punitive damages to each person aggrieved by the defendants' discriminatory housing practices because of the intentional and willful nature of the defendants' conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B); and
  5. Assesses a civil penalty against each defendant in an amount authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C), and in an amount authorized by 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

BETTY A. RICHARDSON
United States Attorney

WILLIAM R. YEOMANS
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

TIMOTHY J. MORAN
Deputy Chief
KATHLEEN M. PENNINGTON
Trial Attorney
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
(202) 353-9759

Document Filed: July 11, 2001. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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