Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF IDAHO


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

CIV 97-0538-S-BLW

CHARLES (a/k/a "Jerry") HARLAN,
MARLENE HARLAN & GOLDEN GATE
MOBILE HOME PARK,
     Defendants.

______________________________

AMENDED CIVIL RIGHTS COMPLAINT

The United States of America alleges:

  1. This action is brought by the United States to enforce the provisions of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (the Fair Housing Act), as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq. It is brought on behalf of Glenda Stone, Donald Mello, Frank Garcia, and David and Lisa Fernandez, pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act ("the Act"), as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o), as well as pursuant to Section 814(a) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).
  2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o) & 3614(a).
  3. Defendants Charles Harlan and Marlene Harlan are residents of Boise, Idaho. At all relevant times, defendants Charles Harlan and Marlene Harlan were joint owners of the Golden Gate Mobile Home Park (the "Park"), located at 610 Kearney Street, in Caldwell, Idaho.
  4. The mobile homes, and spaces for mobile homes, in the Golden Gate Mobile Home Park are dwellings within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
  5. Glenda Stone is a female of Mexican national origin who resides in Nampa, Idaho. Donald Mello is an Anglo male who resides in Council, Idaho. Frank Garcia is a male of Mexican national origin who resides in Caldwell, Idaho. David Fernandez is a male of Mexican national origin who resides in Wilder, Idaho. Lisa Fernandez is an Anglo female who is married to David Fernandez and resides with him in Wilder, Idaho.
  6. In January, 1997, Donald Mello decided to sell his mobile home in the Golden Gate Mobile Home Park, where he rented a space. In accordance with Park rules, he discussed his intentions with the owner of the Park, defendant Charles Harlan. During the course of these discussions, Mr. Harlan made statements indicating a preference for selling or renting to persons who are not Hispanic or of Mexican national origin, and told Mr. Mello not to sell his home to any such persons. In addition, he said that if Mr. Mello did sell to a person of Mexican national origin, he would not rent space in the Park to the new owner. Instead, the new owner would have to move the home out of the Park.
  7. In January, 1997, Mr. Mello's daughter Lisa Fernandez and her husband David Fernandez, who is of Mexican national origin, informed Mr. Mello that they were interested in purchasing his mobile home and living there with their four children. Mr. Mello informed them that he could not sell his mobile home to them because Mr. Harlan would not allow him to sell to persons of Mexican national origin.
  8. In February, 1997, Mr. Mello placed an advertisement in the newspaper offering to sell his mobile home. Several persons of Hispanic origin contacted Mr. Mello and expressed an interest in purchasing his mobile home. Because of Mr. Harlan's statements and restrictions regarding persons of Hispanic or Mexican national origin, described in paragraph 6 above, Mr. Mello informed these persons that if they purchased the home they would have to move it out of the Park.
  9. During this same period, Frank Garcia contacted Mr. Mello, expressed an interest in buying his mobile home, and completed an application to rent space in the Park. Mr. Mello forwarded the application to Mr. Harlan, who rejected it because of Mr. Garcia's national origin.
  10. In February, 1997, Glenda Stone, who is a manufactured home dealer, contacted Mr. Mello after seeing his advertisement to sell his home. Ms. Stone asked him if he would be interested in listing his mobile home with her company, and inquired about any restrictions on the sale. Mr. Mello indicated that he would let her list his home, but referred her to

    Mr. Harlan to discuss restrictions. Mr. Harlan told Ms. Stone not to sell to any persons of Mexican national origin. This prevented her from listing the mobile home.

COUNT I
  1. Plaintiff re-alleges and herein incorporates by reference the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1-10, above.
  2. On or about April 18, 1997, Glenda Stone filed a timely complaint alleging discrimination in housing on the basis of national origin with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") pursuant to Section 810(a) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a). In her complaint, Ms. Stone alleged that in February, 1997, defendant Charles Harlan engaged in unlawful discrimination on the basis of national origin by refusing to allow her to sell a mobile home in the Park to persons of Mexican national origin.
  3. On or about July 18, 1997, Donald Mello filed a timely complaint alleging discrimination in housing on the basis of national origin with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") pursuant to Section 810(a) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a). In his complaint, Mr. Mello alleged that in early 1997, defendant Charles Harlan engaged in unlawful discrimination on the basis of national origin by refusing to allow him to sell his mobile home located in the Park to persons of Mexican national origin.
  4. On or about September 19, 1997, Frank Garcia filed a timely complaint alleging discrimination in housing on the basis of national origin with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") pursuant to Section 810(a) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a). In his complaint, Mr. Garcia alleged that defendant Charles Harlan had engaged in unlawful discrimination on the basis of national origin by refusing to rent him a mobile home space in the Park.
  5. On or about September 12, 1997, David and Lisa Fernandez, on behalf of themselves and their four children, Anthony, Shawntee, Tre and David Jr, filed a timely complaint alleging discrimination in housing on the basis of national origin with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") pursuant to Section 810(a) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a). In their complaint, the Fernandez' alleged that defendant Charles Harlan had engaged in unlawful discrimination on the basis of national origin by refusing to allow Lisa Fernandez' father, Donald Mello, to sell his mobile home to them because David Fernandez is of Mexican national origin.
  6. Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(a) & (b), the Secretary of HUD conducted and completed an investigation of the complaints filed by Glenda Stone, Donald Mello and Frank Garcia, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based on information gathered in the investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause exists to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred. Accordingly, on September 29, 1997, the Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), charging defendants with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
  7. Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(a) & (b), the Secretary of HUD conducted and completed an investigation of the complaint filed by David and Lisa Fernandez, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based on information gathered in the investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause exists to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred. Accordingly, on November 4, 1997, the Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), charging defendants with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
  8. On or about October 17, 1997, complainant Glenda Stone elected to have her Charge resolved in a civil action filed in federal district court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(a).
  9. On or about December 1, 1997, complainants David and Lisa Fernandez elected to have their Charge resolved in a civil action filed in federal district court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(a).
  10. Following each of the elections by Glenda Stone and David and Lisa Fernandez, the Secretary of HUD authorized the Attorney General to commence civil actions, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
  11. Defendants, through the actions referred to in paragraphs 6 through 10, have:
    1. refused to sell or rent, or to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, a dwelling because of national origin, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a);
    2. discriminated in the terms, conditions or privilege of the sale or rental of a dwelling because of national origin, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b);
    3. made, or caused to be made, statements with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicate a preference, limitation or discrimination based on national origin, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c); and
    4. made representations to a person because of national origin that a dwelling is not available for sale or rental when such dwelling is in fact so available, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(d).
  12. Glenda Stone, Donald Mello, Frank Garcia, David and Lisa Fernandez and the four Fernandez children are aggrieved persons, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i), and have suffered damages as a result of the defendants' conduct described above.
  13. The discriminatory actions of the defendants were intentional, willful and taken in disregard for the rights of the complainants Glenda Stone, Donald Mello, Frank Garcia, David and Lisa Fernandez and the Fernandez children.
COUNT II
  1. Plaintiff re-alleges and herein incorporates by reference the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1-10 and 21-23, above.
  2. The conduct of the defendants described in paragraphs 6-10, above, constitutes
    1. A pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of rights secured by Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.; and
    2. A denial to a group of persons of rights granted by Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq., which denial raises an issue of general public importance.
  3. In addition to Glenda Stone, Donald Mello, Frank Garcia, David and Lisa Fernandez and the Fernandez children, there may be other victims of defendants' discriminatory actions and practices who are aggrieved persons as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i). All of these persons may have suffered actual injury and damages as a result of the above actions and practices.
  4. The discriminatory actions of the defendants were intentional, willful and taken in disregard for the rights of Glenda Stone, Donald Mello, Frank Garcia, David Fernandez, Lisa Fernandez, the Fernandez children, and the other victims of this discrimination.

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

  1. Declares that the discriminatory housing practices of the defendants as set forth above violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.;
  2. Enjoins the defendants, their agents, employees, successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them from discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin against any person in any aspect of the sale or rental of a dwelling;
  3. Awards such damages as would fully compensate Glenda Stone, Donald Mello, Frank Garcia, David and Lisa Fernandez and the Fernandez children, for injuries caused by the defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3), 3613(c)(1) and 3614(d)(1)(B); and
  4. Awards punitive damages to Glenda Stone, Donald Mello, Frank Garcia, David and Lisa Fernandez and the Fernandez children pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3), 3613(c)(1) & 3614(d)(1)(B).
  5. Awards such actual damages as would fully compensate each other identifiable victim of defendants' discriminatory housing practices for the injury suffered as a result of these discriminatory practices, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B);
  6. Awards punitive damages to each other identifiable victim of defendants' discriminatory housing practices, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B); and
  7. Assesses a civil penalty against the defendants in order to vindicate the public interest, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C).

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

JANET RENO
Attorney General

BILL LANN LEE
Acting Assistant Attorney General

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Acting Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

JOSEPH D. RICH
PAUL M. TIAO
Attorneys
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
Tel.: (202) 307-0201

BETTY H. RICHARDSON
United States Attorney

By:

MARC HAWS
Assistant United States Attorney
First Interstate Center
877 W. Main St., Ste 201,
Boise, Idaho 83702
Tel.: (208) 334-1211 > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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