Litigation Updates

NOTICE:

Wednesday, 08 March 2017

The Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit (FHCMD) extends its thanks and appreciation to the plaintiffs, testers, witnesses and attorneys who have assisted the cause of fair housing by participating in the following litigations. It is understood that in all cases reported in this newsletter the defendant, unless noted otherwise, denies the allegations of discrimination made by the plaintiff and, in “settled” cases, the parties have agreed to resolve the case without a determination by a jury or court. Some of the tests and investigations conducted by FHCMD were paid for with funds made available from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

New Filing: RAMSEY & LANE v C&J PROPERTY GROUP

Monday, 14 March 2016

FHCMD Cooperating Attorney Steve Tomkowiak reported that he has filed a Counter-Complaint against a landlord bringing claims under the Fair Housing Act and the Michigan Persons With Disabilities Civil Right Act. The case was filed in the 36th District Court before the Honorable Wanda A. Evans.

New Filing: HARDY v IRON STREET PROPERTIES

Monday, 14 March 2016
Dar’sha Hardy, an African American woman with a 5-year-old son, inquired about renting a dwelling at the Iron Properties, also doing business as River Park Lofts in Detroit. Upon her visit, a rental agent informed her of a “No Kids in This Building" policy. This policy is in clear violation of the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 that prohibits discrimination against families under the age of 18 as set forth in the statute referred as Familial Status. 
 

New Filing: FHCMD v MEER APARTMENTS

Monday, 14 March 2016
The Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit has filed a federal court lawsuit against the Jewish Senior Life of Metropolitan Detroit after extensive testing evidence was gathered throughout the last half of 2013. 
 
 

New Filing: LIGI v EMERALD APARTMENTS

Monday, 14 March 2016
Christina Ligi, a person with disabilities as defined as the FHAA of 1988, suffers from mental and physical illnesses. Upon the advice of her treating physician to use an emotional support animal to mitigate the symptoms of her disabilities, Ms. Ligi brought home a declawed, sprayed, immunized, therapy cat. Shortly thereafter, the defendant Connors threatened to have her evicted under a no pet policy. 
 
 

Settled: SIMMONS v VISION PROPERTY

Monday, 14 March 2016
The Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit (FHCMD) is pleased to announce a resolution. The plaintiff, Joyce Simmons, a resident of the Grosse Pointe Condominium community in Harper Woods, Michigan, made several requests to her landlord, Dieter Kies, to allow her a reserved handicap parking space close to her home. 
 

Settled: MCBURROWS v. TOWNE MORTGAGE CO.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Attorney Tomkowiak reports to FHCMD of a resolution in the federal court action of Hiram McBurrows Jr., v. Towne Mortgage Company alleging violations of the Fair Lending laws on the basis of his race, African American, when the defendant rejected his application for a mortgage for a condominium located at 5000 Towne Tower located in Southfield. 

ANNOUNCED: A Complaint Challenges Oakland County, Michigan Housing Policies, Alleging That Expenditures Discriminated Against African American and Latino Households

Monday, 20 July 2015

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On May 15, 2015, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) filed an administrative complaint against Oakland County, Michigan with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on behalf of the Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit (FHC). 

Settled: BRITT V ROYALE ORLEANS CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION

Monday, 20 July 2015

John and Ramona Britt, an interracial couple, have reached a settlement, the terms to remain undisclosed, in regards to their racial discrimination action filed against the Royale Orleans Condominium Association in the Wayne County Circuit Court.  The Condominium Association is located in Grosse Ile, Michigan a predominately white community and the Defendant condominium community mirrored the township.  

Settled: BRADLEY V CHARBONNEAU

Monday, 20 July 2015

The Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit (FHCMD) is pleased to announce that one of the longest pending actions as well as issues that may very well a first impression in the annals of the Fair Housing Act since it was passed in 1968 has been resolved.

Settled: DUNBAR V. NORTH PARK COOPERATIVE

Monday, 20 July 2015

Cooperating Attorney Steve Tomkowiak has informed FHCMD that the federal litigation of DELORES DUNBAR V NORTH PARK COOPERATIVE and P.P.S. OF MICHIGAN has been settled. The plaintiff is an elderly woman who at the age of 73 at the time requested reserved handicap parking closer to her dwelling at North Park Cooperative. Both the Coop Board of Directors and the current and former property management companies refused numerous times. A reasonable accommodation request was presented by FHCMD staff in support of her request was also refused. The action was resolved totaling $28,365. The Honorable George C. Steeh was assigned to preside over this case.

New Filing: TINSLEY V. SHORELINE EAST CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION

Monday, 20 July 2015

Cooperating Attorneys Matthew Clark and Denise Heberle have informed FHCMD that a federal court action has been filed on behalf Eddie Tinsley, a disabled person against the Shoreline East Condominium Association. The plaintiff claims that the Condo Association has systemically refused to grant his Requests for reasonable accommodations such as a reserved accessible parking spot, use of common areas, and use of the valet service available to other residents. The case is assigned to the Honorable Laurie J. Michaelson.

New Filing: SIMMONS V. GROSSE POINTE CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION

Monday, 20 July 2015

FHCMD Cooperating Attorney John M. Lucas has filed a federal court lawsuit on behalf of Joan Simmons, a disabled person against the Grosse Pointe Condominium Association and Vision Property Management Group, LLC located in Harper Woods, Michigan.  Ms. Simmons repeatedly requested that she be provided with a reserved handicap parking spot at her condominium. Her treating physician provided medical verification of her disability and the owner/property manager refused. After reviewing the facts and supporting evidence referred Ms. Simmons to Attorney Lucas. The Honorable Mark A. Goldsmith is the assigned judge in this matter.

Settled: ROBINSON V. ARMSTRONG

Tuesday, 02 December 2014

Lisa Robinson, the mother of bi-racial children, one of whom is with disabilities, was threatened with what appeared to be a racially-motivated eviction by her landlord, who informed her that the African American father of her children was not allowed to visit her and his children, although similarly white residents were not threatened.

Settled: UNITED STATES V. VANDERVENNEN

Tuesday, 02 December 2014

The staff of the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan (FHCWM) in Grand Rapids was crucial in gathering evidence and assisting the United States Department of Justice in the filing of a sexual harassment in United States v. Vandervennen. The case settled for $510,000 to be paid by the defendants to victims of the defendant as well as a $40,000 civil penalty to the federal government. Congratulations to the FHCWM and the DOJ attorneys for obtaining such an outstanding result.

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The evidence from the housing discrimination complaints filed with FHCMD by home seekers, from the "testing" conducted by the FHCMD, and from the statements provided by many housing providers who support fair housing laws and are willing to step forward to help expose violations of those laws, demonstrates that practices of unlawful housing discrimination continue and the services of FHCMD are needed. Read more