Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
DISTRICT OF IDAHO


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

VICTORIA MADSEN and
FLOYD MADSEN,
     Defendants.

____________________________________


COMPLAINT DEMAND FOR JURY TRIAL


The United States of America alleges:

  1. This is a civil action brought by the United States on behalf of Karen S. Cox and her son Jason W. Cox against Victoria Madsen and Floyd Madsen, the owners of Pioneer Village Mobile Park in Weiser, Idaho, to enforce the provisions of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§3601 et seq. (the Fair Housing Act).
  2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§1331 and 1345 and 42 U.S.C. §3612(o).
  3. Venue is proper in the judicial district of Idaho under 28 U.S.C. §1391(b) and 42 U.S.C. §3612(o), in that the events or omissions giving rise to this action occurred in this district.
  4. At all times relevant herein, Defendants Victoria Madsen and Floyd Madsen owned and managed a mobile home park commonly known as Pioneer Village Mobile Park and located at 1500 West Seventh Street, Weiser, Idaho (Pioneer Village).
  5. Karen Cox and Jason Cox (the Coxes) are individuals who in September and October of 2000 intended to purchase and/or reside in a mobile home already located in Pioneer Village at 1500 West Seventh Street, Number 24B, Weiser, Idaho (the mobile home).
  6. At all time relevant herein, Jason Cox, an adult, resided with his mother Karen Cox.
  7. At all times relevant herein, Jason Cox was diagnosed with, and regarded by others as having, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, manic depression, and/or other mental conditions or illnesses. Jason Cox is substantially limited in, and is regarded by others as being substantially limited in, one or more major life activities. Jason Cox is handicapped within the meaning of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3602(h).
  8. The mobile home space, and the mobile home located thereon that the Coxes intended to buy, are "dwellings" within the meaning of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3602(b).
  9. In October of 2000, Karen Cox and Jason Cox timely filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) against Victoria and Floyd Madsen, pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3610(a). The complaint alleged, inter alia, that the Defendants engaged in discriminatory housing practices because of handicap and that these practices violated the Coxes' rights under the Fair Housing Act.

    10. As required by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§3610(a) and (b), the Secretary of HUD (hereinafter the "Secretary") conducted an investigation of the complaint, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based on the information gathered in this investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause exists to believe that a discriminatory housing practice has occurred. Therefore, on July 16, 2001, the Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3610(g)(2)(A), charging Victoria Madsen and Floyd Madsen with engaging in discriminatory practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604.

  10. On August 13, 2001, Victoria Madsen and Floyd Madsen elected to have the charges resolved in a federal civil action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3612(a) and (o).
  11. On or about September 16, 2000, Karen Cox signed a real estate purchase agreement for the mobile home located at 1500 West Seventh Street, Number 24B, Weiser, Idaho.
  12. The purchase of the mobile home was contingent upon the management of Pioneer Village approving the Coxes to rent the space occupied by the mobile home.
  13. The mobile home was listed for sale by Wayne Stafford, a real estate agent with Idaho Homes and Land.
  14. On or about September 21, 2000, Karen Cox filled-out and mailed a rental application for Pioneer Village to Victoria Madsen in Sequim, Washington.
  15. On the rental application, two adults were listed as in the Cox family. The information for Jason Cox included his name, designation as "son," his birth date -- "1-16-76," his social security number, and his driver's license number. The application also listed, in the space for his employer, "S.S.I."
  16. On or about October 3, 2000, after learning that Jason Cox had schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, manic depression, or a mental condition or illness, Defendants rejected the Coxes' rental application because of Jason Cox's handicap.
  17. On one or more occasions in or about October 2000, Defendants also made statements to Wayne Stafford and Karen Cox indicating that they did not wish to rent to the Coxes because of Jason Cox's handicap.
  18. By the actions referred to above, Defendants Victoria Madsen and Floyd Madsen have:
    1. discriminated in the rental or sale and otherwise made unavailable or denied a dwelling because of a handicap of a renter or a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is rented in violation of 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(1);
    2. discriminated in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the sale or rental of a dwelling because of a handicap of that person or a person residing in or intending to reside in that dwelling after it is rented, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(2);
    3. made statements with respect to the rental or sale of a dwelling that indicate a preference, limitation, or discrimination based on handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §3604(c); and
    4. interfered with persons in the exercise or enjoyment of, on account of having exercised or enjoyed, and on account of having aided or encouraged another person in the exercise or enjoyment of rights protected by the Fair Housing Act, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §3617.
  19. Karen Cox and Jason Cox are "aggrieved persons" as defined in 42 U.S.C. §3602(i), and have suffered injuries as a result of Defendants' discriminatory conduct described herein.
  20. The discriminatory actions of the Defendants described herein were intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of Karen Cox and Jason Cox.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, the United States prays that this Court enter an ORDER that:

  1. Declares that Defendants' discriminatory housing practices violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§3601 et seq.;
  2. Enjoins Defendants, their partners, officers, employees, and agents, and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from: discriminating because of handicap in any aspect of the management, rental, or sale of a dwelling; 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 interfering with any person's fair housing rights on the basis of handicap;
  3. Awards such damages as will fully compensate Karen Cox and Jason Cox for all injury occasioned by Defendants' discriminatory conduct pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§3612(o)(3), 3614(d), and 3613(c); and
  4. Awards punitive damages because of the intentional and willful nature of Defendants' discriminatory conduct pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§3612 (o)(3), 3614(d), and 3613(c).

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


JOHN ASHCROFT
Attorney General

THOMAS E. MOSS
Interm United States Attorney

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

MARC HAWS
Assistant United States Attorney
Wells Fargo Building
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
KEVIN J. KIJEWSKI
Attorney
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
(202) 305-2913
Fax: (202) 514-1116

Document Filed: September 12, 2001. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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