FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
No. SACV 01-504 DOC (ANx)
WILLIAM DAVID WINGO and
KAREN WINGO CIPRIANO,
individually and doing
business as WINGO
PROPERTIES, and VINCENT
Plaintiff United States of America, alleges:
- 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, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
- This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).
- Defendants William David Wingo and Karen Wingo Cipriano, doing business as Wingo Properties, are residents of the Central District of California. From at least January 1, 1997 to May 27, 1999, these defendants owned the Rio Palmas Apartments, located at 5995 Palm Ave., in Riverside, California. At all times relevant to this Complaint, defendants have also owned the Las Casitas Apartments, located at 6090 Correll St., in Riverside, California.
- The apartments in the Rio Palmas and the Las Casitas complexes are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b), and are located within the Central District of California.
- Defendant Vincent Stancyk is a resident of the Central District of California. This defendant was employed by the defendants Wingo and Cipriano as a property manager and supervisor at the Rio Palmas Apartments from January 1, 1997 until it was sold by them on or about May 27, 1999. Defendant Stancyk has been employed by defendants Wingo and Cipriano as a property supervisor at the Las Casitas Apartments from January 1998 to the present.
- Defendants Wingo, Cipriano, and Stancyk have engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against persons on the basis of race, color, and national origin in connection with the rental of dwellings in violation of the Fair Housing Act. The defendants have implemented this pattern or practice, among other ways, by:
- Instructing subordinates at the Rio Palmas Apartments not to rent to black persons on account of their race;
- Instructing subordinates at the Rio Palmas Apartments not to refer black persons or Latinos to the Las Casitas Apartments; and
- Refusing to rent to black persons and Latinos, and otherwise making apartments unavailable to black persons and Latinos at the Rio Palmas and Las Casitas Apartments on account of race and/or national origin.
- In addition to the conduct alleged in paragraph 6, above, defendant Stancyk has engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination against persons on the basis of race, color, national origin, and sex in connection with the rental of dwellings in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Defendant Stancyk has implemented this pattern or practice, among other ways, by:
- Harassing black and Latino tenants at the Rio Palmas Apartments by using racial and ethnic slurs and epithets towards and about them, shouting at them, limiting the black and Latino visitors they could have, and/or evicting them or threatening them with eviction;
- Subjecting female tenants at the Rio Palmas to unwelcome sexual harassment, including unwanted verbal sexual advances; and
- Offering female tenants at the Rio Palmas Apartments privileges related to their tenancy in exchange for engaging in or procuring sexual acts.
- At all relevant times defendant Stancyk, in committing the acts alleged in paragraph 7, was acting within the scope of his actual or apparent authority.
- Defendants Wingo and Cipriano knew or should have known of defendant Stancyk's discriminatory conduct, failed to exercise reasonable care to prevent or correct such conduct, and failed to exercise reasonable care in supervising and training defendant Stancyk.
- The conduct of the defendants as described in paragraphs 6 - 9, above, constitutes:
- A refusal to rent, a refusal to negotiate for the rental of, and conduct otherwise making unavailable or denying dwellings to persons because of race, color, or national origin in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a);
- Discrimination in the terms or conditions of rental of dwellings on the basis of race, color, national origin, or sex, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b); and
- Statements of preference or limitation on the basis of race, color, or national origin in connection with the rental of dwellings, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c).
- The conduct of defendants, as described herein, was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others.
- The conduct of the defendants described above constitutes:
- A pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of rights secured by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq.; and
- A denial to a group of persons of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq., which denial raises an issue of general public importance.
- Individuals who were subjected to defendants' discriminatory housing practices are aggrieved persons as defined in Section 802(i) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i), and have suffered actual injury and damages as a result of defendants' conduct as described herein.
WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the Court enter an order that:
- Declares that defendants' policies and practices, as alleged herein, violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.;
- Enjoins the defendants, their agents, employees, and successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them from:
- Discriminating on account of race, color, national origin, or sex against any person in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling; and
- Interfering with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of rights granted or protected by the Fair Housing Act;
- Awards such damages as would fully compensate each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices for injuries caused by the defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to Section 814(d)(1)(B) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B);
- Awards punitive damages to each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices, pursuant to Section 814(d)(1)(B) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B); and
- Assesses a civil penalty against each defendant in order to vindicate the public interest, pursuant to Section 814(d)(1)(C) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C).
The United States further prays for such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.
Pursuant to Rule 38 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the United States of America hereby demands a trial by jury of this action of all issues triable of right to a jury.
|JOHN ASHCROFT |
JOHN S. GORDON
United States Attorney
RALPH F. BOYD, JR.
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
Assistant United States Attorney
United States Attorney's Office
Room 7516, Federal Building
300 North Los Angeles St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
TIMOTHY J. MORAN
HARVEY L. HANDLEY
RIGEL C. OLIVERI
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
United States Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Document Filed: December 3, 2001. > >