Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
ATHENS DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

                                     Plaintiff,

                        v.                                                                    Case No. 3:02-CV-101HL

JOHN H. BARRETT; BARRETT PROPERTIES,
INC.; JOHN H. BARRETT CONSTRUCTION CO.;
PLAYERS CLUB WEST, L.P.; POLO CLUB OF
ATHENS, L.L.C.; RIVERBEND CLUB
APARTMENTS, INC.; JBPC SOUTH, INC.;
T.C. SOUTH, INC.; P.C. GREENVILLE, L.P.;
and T.C. NORTH, INC.,

                                       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.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).

3. Venue is proper in this District. All of the Defendants reside or have their principal place of business in this District. All of the apartment complexes which are the subject of this lawsuit were developed and designed by Defendant Barrett Properties, Inc. ("BPI") and constructed by John H. Barrett Construction Company, both of which are Georgia corporations which have their principal place of business in this District.

PARTIES

4. Defendant John H. Barrett resides at 220 Hanover Drive, Bogart, Georgia.

5. Defendant John H. Barrett is an owner and/or manager of the following apartment complexes ("the subject apartment complexes"): Players Club Apartments, which is located at 710 Georgia Avenue in Statesboro, Georgia; Players Club West Apartments, which is located at 425 Riverbend Parkway in Athens, Georgia; Players Club Apartments, which is located at 1526 South Charles Boulevard in Greenville, North Carolina; Riverbend Club Apartments, which is located at 355 Riverbend Parkway in Athens, Georgia; Towne Club North Apartments, which is located at 260 Springdale Street in Athens, Georgia; Towne Club South Apartments, which is located at 1818 Chandler Road in Statesboro, Georgia; and Polo Club Apartments, which is located at 110 International Drive in Athens, Georgia.

6. Defendant Barrett Properties, Inc. ("BPI"), which has its principal place of business at 150 Cleveland Road in Bogart, Georgia, is the company responsible for the development and design of the subject apartment complexes. Defendant John H. Barrett is a principal in BPI.

7. Defendant John H. Barrett Construction Company, which has its principal place of business at 150 Cleveland Road in Bogart, Georgia, is the construction company responsible for building the subject apartment complexes. Defendant John H. Barrett is the owner of John H. Barrett Construction Company.

8. Defendant JBPC South, Inc., which is a Georgia corporation with its principal place of business at 150 Cleveland Road in Bogart, Georgia, is the corporate owner of Players Club Apartments located in Statesboro, Georgia.

9. Defendant Players Club West, L.P., which is a Georgia corporation with its principal place of business at 150 Cleveland Road in Bogart, Georgia, is the owner of Players Club West Apartments located in Athens, Georgia.

10. Defendant PC Greenville, L.P., which is a Georgia corporation with its principal place of business at 150 Cleveland Road in Bogart, Georgia, is the owner of Players Club Apartments located in Greenville, North Carolina.

11. Defendant Riverbend Club Apartments, Inc., which is a Georgia corporation with its principal place of business at 150 Cleveland Road in Bogart, Georgia, is the corporate owner of Riverbend Club Apartments located in Athens, Georgia.

12. Defendant T.C. North, Inc., which is a Georgia corporation with its principal place of business at 150 Cleveland Road in Bogart, Georgia, is the corporate owner of Towne Club North Apartments located in Athens, Georgia.

13. Defendant T.C. South, Inc., which is a Georgia corporation with its principal place of business at 150 Cleveland Road in Bogart, Georgia, is the corporate owner of Towne Club South Apartments located in Statesboro, Georgia.

14. Defendant Polo Club of Athens, L.L.C., which is a Georgia corporation with its principal place of business at 150 Cleveland Road in Bogart, Georgia, is the corporate owner of Polo Club Apartments located in Athens, Georgia.

PATTERN OR PRACTICE VIOLATIONS

15. The subject apartment complexes contain units that are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).

16. Dwelling units contained in the subject apartment complexes are located in buildings which were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. All of the ground floor units in those buildings are "covered multi-family dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(B) and are subject to the accessibility requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

17. Defendants have failed to design and construct the dwelling units and common and public use areas in the subject apartment complexes in such a manner that:

  1. the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;
  2. all doors designed to allow passage into and within the dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons who use wheelchairs; and
  3. all premises within such dwellings contain: (i) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; (ii) light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls in accessible locations; (iii) usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space; and (iv) reinforcements in the bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars.

18. Defendants, through the actions referred to in paragraph 17 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); and
  2. Failed to design and construct dwellings in compliance with the accessibility and adaptability features mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 3604 (f)(3)(C).

19. 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.

20. 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.

21. Defendants' conduct as described above was intentional, wilful, and done in disregard for the rights of others.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, the United States 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 subject apartment complexes into 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. Failing or refusing to design or construct any covered multi-family dwellings in the future in compliance with the accessibility and adaptability 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 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 the Defendants' conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3614 (d)(1)(B); and

5. Assess civil penalties against Defendants in the maximum allowed by 42 U.S.C. §3614(d)(1)(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

Frank Maxwell Wood
United States Attorney
Middle District of
Georgia
433 Cherry Street
Macon, Georgia 31201
(912)752-3523


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


____________________________
Joan A. Magagna
Chief, Housing and Civil
Enforcement Section


____________________________
Isabelle M. Thabault
Deputy Chief
Charla D. Jackson
Myron S. Lehtman
Trial Attorneys
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil
Enforcement Section  
P.O. Box 65998   
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998   
202-353-9705   


Document Filed: October 9, 2002 > >
Updated August 6, 2015

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