Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NORTH CAROLINA


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

ALDRIDGE & SOUTHERLAND
BUILDERS, INC.; and
RIVERS & ASSOCIATES, 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
  1. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).
  2. Venue is proper in this District. Each defendant is a North Carolina corporation with its principal place of business in this District.
PARTIES
  1. Defendant Aldridge and Southerland Builders, Inc. is the developer and builder of Bradford Park Apartments (Bradford Park), which is located in Greenville, North Carolina.
  2. Defendant Rivers & Associates is an architectural and engineering firm that designed Bradford Park.
PATTERN OR PRACTICE VIOLATION
  1. Bradford Park contains residential apartment units that are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
  2. All of the units contained in Bradford Park were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. The ground floor units at Bradford Park are "covered multi-family dwellings" 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).
  3. Defendants have failed to design and construct the dwelling units and common use and public use areas in Bradford Park 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.
  4. Defendants, through the actions described in paragraph 8 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Defendants' conduct described above was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others.
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 the extent possible, to bring the dwelling units and public use and common use areas at Bradford Park into 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, as nearly as practicable, 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 civil penalties against defendants in the maximum amount 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.


Janet Reno
Attorney General

Bill Lann Lee
Assistant Attorney General

Janice McKenzie Cole
United States Attorney

Joan A. Magagna
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Fenita M. Shepard
Assistant United States Attorney
Civil Division
310 New Bern Avenie
Suite 800
Raleigh, NC 87601-1461
Telephone: (919)856-4530
Fax: (919) 856-4821
Isabelle M. Thabault
Deputy Chief
Scott P. Moore
Attorney
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing & Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
202-307-3801

Document Filed: January 19, 2001 > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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