HUD Administrative Law Judge Samuel A. Chaitovitz has heard a mobility impairment handicap case and approved two family discrimination case settlements, among others, in recent months. The handicap case heard in Bradenton, Florida, resulted in an order for $23,370. Two other family discrimination cases, one in Florida and one in California resulted in orders totaling $10,970.
For three days in Bradenton, Judge Chaitovitz heard testimony regarding the complaint of George and Agues Guard against Ocean Sands, Inc., their condominium association. The Guard's claimed that the association had denied their requests for reasonable accommodation and permission to make modifications to their condo unit made necessary by George Guard's mobility impairment. The Guards bought their unit, which faces the Gulf of Mexico in Venice, Florida, in 1980. The Guards were both fit and active until 1985, when Mr. Guard fell in the bathtub, suffered a stroke and was never able to walk independently again. After Mr. Guard's accident, the couple attempted to make their living accommodations wheelchair accessible.
Judge Chaitovitz's 33 page order contains 10 pages recounting the couple's efforts to get the association to accommodate their use of a van, a golf cart, a wheelchair lift, and other equipment. After the 1988 Fair Housing Act amendments, the couple increased their efforts for a suitable ramp and access path.
Mr. Guard filed his complaint February 20, 1990, but died before the Secretary's charge was issued February 3, 1993. Agues Guard and the estate were awarded $5,000 for George Guard's emotional distress, humiliation, and loss of housing opportunity. Ms. Guard was also awarded $8,500 for emotional distress, humiliation and loss of housing opportunity, with an additional $6,370 for out of pocket costs. HUD received a civil penalty of $3,500.
[HUD ex rel Guard v. Ocean Sands, Inc., HUD ALJ No. 04-90-0231-1]
Filed with HUD 2-20-90
HUD Charge Issued 2-03-93
Pool Pays $8,470 for Age Limits
A case involving the use of a swimming pool in Beacon Square, a 3,000 single family home development in Pacos County, Florida was settled in July. Complainants were the parents of minor children. They challenged rules of the Beacon Square Pool Association, that restricted children ages 12 through 17 from having guests at the pool and limited the hours children could use the pool.
Judge Chaitovitz found that complainant Jayne E. Cox and her minor child suffered damages of $3,260 for emotional distress and refund of pool fees. He awarded Complainants Leslie and Larry Southard and their two minor children $5,210 damages for emotional distress and return of pool fees.
[HUD ex rel. Cox and Southard v. Beacon Square Pool. HUD ALJ No. 0491-1026-1 and HUD ALJ No. 04-91-1210-1]
Filed with HUD 8-20-91 9-13-91
HUD Charge Issued 2-11-93
Limitation on Children Results In $2,500 Award
In another family discrimination case, the complainant charged that she sought to rent housing listed in an ad in California's Hayward Daily Review. Complainant Roxanne Goddard said she called owner Byrle Belden, who asked her if she had any children. When she told Ms. Belden she had three, ages, 3, 5, and 21, months, Ms. Belden said the property was not designed for children, because there was no playground. Ms. Belden also said it was not necessary for her to view the property. Respondents deny these claims. To settle the case Byrle Belden and Edwin Belden and the Belden Trust agreed to pay Guy Goddard and Roxanne Goddard $2,500.
[HUD ex rel. Goddard v. Belden, HUD ALJ No. 09-92-1588-1]
Filed with HUD 4-13-92
HUD Charge Issued 2-23-93