IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF OHIO
WESTERN DIVISION AT DAYTON
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
URBANA MHP, LLC,
Civil Case No. 3:04-CV-410
Judge Thomas M. Rose
WHEREAS, on or about November 22, 2004, the United States of America (the "United States") served and filed a Complaint alleging that Urbana MHP, LLC; Parkbridge Investment Group, Inc.; McIntosh Management; and Robin Daniels (collectively "the Defendants" or "Urbana MHP") discriminated against Lloyd Stewart and Catherine Stewart (togther "Complainants") on the basis of race in violation of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq. ("the Act"), by interfering with the Stewarts' use and enjoyment of the mobile home lot they lease from Defendants known as Urbana Estates in Urbana, Ohio;
WHEREAS, on or about February 3, 2005, Defendants served and filed an Answer to the Complaint;
WHEREAS, the United States and Defendants have agreed that in order to avoid protracted, unnecessary, and costly litigation, the controversy should be resolved without further litigation; and
WHEREAS, the settlement of this dispute shall not be deemed or construed as an admission of liability on the part of Defendants;
NOW THEREFORE, it is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED:
I. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
The Court has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter of this action pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o), and pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345. Venue is proper in this judicial district pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b).
II. INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
Defendants, and their officers, employees, agents, successors and assigns and all other persons in active concert or participation with them are enjoined from:
A. Discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of rental of a dwelling or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith because of race, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b);
B. Making, printing or publishing, or causing to be made, printed or published, any notice, statement or advertisement, with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, or an intention to make any such a preference, limitation or discrimination, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c); and
C. Coercing, intimidating, threatening, or interfering with any person, including Complainants, as well as anyone who participated in HUD's investigation of the administrative complaint that gave rise to this action, in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of his or her having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of his or her having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted by the Act, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3617.
III. RELIEF FOR COMPLAINANTS
A. Within fifteen (15) business days of the entry of this Consent Decree, Defendants shall pay to Complainants the sum of eighteen thousand seven hundred fifty dollars ($18,750) by delivering a certified check made payable to Lloyd and Catherine Stewart, in the amount of $18,750, to the undersigned counsel for the United States, United States Attorney's Office, 200 West Second Street, 6th Floor, Dayton, Ohio 45402.
B. Upon receipt of the check, the United States shall send to counsel for Defendants executed releases in the form annexed as Appendix A to this Decree.
C. If Defendants fail or refuse to make the payment required by Section III(A) of this Consent Decree, Defendants consent to entry of judgment against them for $18,750.
D. Complainants lease two dwellings from Defendants, one on which they reside, the other of which they sublet. Defendants agree to continue to permit Complainants to sublet the additional dwelling at their option so long as they and their sublessees continue to adhere to the terms of their lease.
IV. NOTICE TO THE PUBLIC
Defendants shall take the following steps to notify the public of their nondiscriminatory policies:
A. Within ten (10) days of the date of entry of this Decree and throughout the term of this Decree, Defendants shall post and prominently display in their rental offices at Urbana MHP a sign no smaller than 10 inches by 14 inches indicating that all dwellings are available for rental on a nondiscriminatory basis. A poster that comports with 24 C.F.R. Part 110 will satisfy this requirement. Defendants recognize that they are subject to 24 C.F.R. Part 110 for all of their rental properties.
B. Throughout the term of this Decree, Defendants shall ensure that all advertising purchased for Urbana MHP in newspapers, telephone directories, radio, television, the Internet, or other media, and on signs, pamphlets, brochures and other promotional literature, include a fair housing logo, the words "equal housing opportunity provider," and/or the following sentence:
We are an equal opportunity housing provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or disability.
The words or logo shall be prominently placed and easily legible.
A. Within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Decree, Defendants shall provide a copy of this Decree to all their agents and employees whose duties, in whole or in part, involve the management or administration of Urbana MHP and shall secure the signed statement from each agent or employee acknowledging that he or she has received, read and understands the Decree, and has had an opportunity to have questions about the Decree answered. This statement shall be substantially in the form of Appendix B.
B. During the term of this Decree, each new employee or agent whose duties, in whole or in part, involve the management or administration of Urbana MHP shall be given a copy of this Decree and be required to sign a statement substantially in the form of Appendix B.
C. Within ninety (90) days of the date of entry of this Decree, all of Defendants' employees and agents whose duties, in whole or in part, involve the management or administration of Urbana MHP, including the Regional Manager as well as the on-site Managers, shall undergo fair housing training. The training shall focus on discrimination because of race and shall inform these individuals of their obligations under the Act as well as applicable state or local law. The training shall be conducted by a qualified third party who is unconnected to Defendants or their employees, agents or counsel, and any expenses associated with this training shall be borne by Defendants. Those who attend training shall be required to sign a certification confirming their attendance, in a form substantially equivalent to Appendix C.
VI. RECORD KEEPING AND REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
A. Within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Decree, and thereafter on the anniversary of the entry of this Decree, Defendants shall submit to the United States the signed statement of each agent and employee referred to in Sections V(A) and (B), except that the final report shall be submitted sixty (60) days prior to the expiration of this Decree.
B. Within thirty (30) days after the training required by Section V, above, Defendants shall provide to the United States the certifications required by Section V executed by all covered employees and agents confirming their attendance.
C. For the duration of this Order, Defendants shall advise counsel for the United States, in writing, within fifteen (15) days of receipt of any complaint of housing discrimination against Defendants, or against any of Defendants' agents, officers, or employees. Such report shall include the date of the complaint, a description of the nature of the complaint, and contact information for the complaining party. Within fifteen (15) days of the resolution of any such complaints, Defendants shall advise counsel for the United States, in writing, of such resolutions.
D. For the duration of this Order, Defendant shall preserve all records related to this Decree and to the Urbana Estates Mobile Home Park. Such documents include, but are not limited to, advertisements, applications, leases, tenant files and policies and procedures. Upon reasonable notice to counsel for Defendants, representatives of the United States shall be permitted to inspect and copy any of Defendants' records at any and all reasonable times so as to determine compliance with the Consent Decree; provided, however, that the United States shall endeavor to minimize any inconvenience to Defendants from such inspections.
VII. DURATION OF DECREE AND TERMINATION OF LEGAL ACTION
A. The court shall retain jurisdiction for two years after the date of entry of this Decree to enforce the terms of the Decree, after which time the case shall be dismissed with prejudice. Prior to the expiration of the Decree, the United States may move the Court to extend the duration of the Decree for good cause, including on the basis that Defendants have failed to comply with a provision of this Decree.
B. The parties shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding the interpretation of and/or compliance with this Decree prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution. However, in the event of a failure by Defendants to perform in a timely manner any act required by this Decree or otherwise to act in violation of any provision thereof, the United States may move this Court to impose any remedy authorized by law or equity, including, but not limited to, an order requiring performance of such act or deeming such act to have been performed, and an award of damages, costs and reasonable attorney's fees which may have been occasioned by the violation or failure to perform.
VIII. COSTS OF LITIGATION
Each party to this Consent Decree shall bear its own costs and attorney's fees associated with this action.
GREGORY G. LOCKHART
s/ Dale A. Goldberg
s/ William D. Edwards
IT IS SO ORDERED:
This _____ day of October, 2005.
RELEASE OF CLAIMS by Lloyd Stewart
In consideration of the parties' agreement to the terms of the Consent Decree entered in United States of America v. Urbana MHP, LLC, et al., Civil Case No. 3:04-cv-410 (Southern District of Ohio), and Defendants' payment of the sum of EIGHTEEN THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS ($18,750.00), I, Lloyd Stewart, hereby release the defendants named in this action, Urbana MHP, LLC, Parkbridge Investment Group, Inc., McIntosh Management and Robin Daniels, from any and all liability for any claims, legal or equitable, which I may have against them arising out of the issues alleged in the action. I fully acknowledge and agree that this release of Defendants shall be binding on my heirs, representatives, executors, successors, administrators, and assigns. I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understand this release and have executed it voluntarily and with full knowledge of its legal consequences.
| ___________________________________ |
225 Logan Street, Lot 31
Urbana OH 43078
RELEASE OF CLAIMS by Catherine Stewart
In consideration of the parties' agreement to the terms of the Consent Decree entered in United States of America v. Urbana MHP, LLC, et al., Civil Case No. 3:04-cv-410 (Southern District of Ohio), and Defendants' payment of the sum of EIGHTEEN THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS ($18,750.00), I, Catherine Stewart, hereby release the defendants named in this action, Urbana MHP, LLC, Parkbridge Investment Group, Inc., McIntosh Management and Robin Daniels, from any and all liability for any claims, legal or equitable, I may have against them arising out of the issues alleged in the action. I fully acknowledge and agree that this release of Defendants shall be binding on my heirs, representatives, executors, successors, administrators, and assigns. I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understand this release and have executed it voluntarily and with full knowledge of its legal consequences.
225 Logan Street, Lot 31
Urbana OH 43078
On ________, 200___, I, ______________________, was instructed by _______________________ with respect to my responsibilities under the Consent Decree entered by the U.S. District Court in United States v. Urbana MPH, LLC, et al., Civil Case No. 3:04-CV-410 (S.D. Ohio) and the federal Fair Housing Act. I have received copies of and have read the Consent Decree. I understand my legal responsibilities and will comply with those responsibilities.
On _____________ , 200__, I, ________________________, was instructed by________________________________ with respect to my responsibilities under the Fair Housing Act. I understand my legal responsibilities and will comply with those responsibilities.
Document Entered: October 27, 2005 >