Fair Housing Council Obtains Settlement in Fifth Familial Status Case of 2001

Valley
1020 N. Fair Oaks
Pasadena CA 91101

Contact:  Gary Rhoades, Director of Litigation
626-791-0211

(PASADENA, 1/4/2002) -- The owners and manager of a Pasadena, California apartment complex have paid $35,000 under a Consent Decree and Court Order and will participate in a comprehensive fair housing training and advertising program to settle claims of familial status discrimination.

The Fair Housing Council of San Gabriel Valley, along with Javier and Ana Ramirez, sued Donald Follett and resident manager Juan Perez in federal court (#01-05537R Central District, California), alleging that defendants discriminated against tenants and on the basis of familial status in the operation of the apartment complex. Specifically, the complaint alleged that defendants enforced an unwritten policy prohibiting children from playing outside.

Mr. and Mrs. Ramirez lived with their children for a year at the 26-unit complex, and the family had multiple disputes with the property management over the enforcement of the policy. Along with the payment of $35,000, under the Consent Decree and Order signed by United States District Judge Manuel Real on December 27, 2001, the defendants must participate in a comprehensive two-year program under the court’s jurisdiction. 

The terms include fair housing training for each defendant; distribution to all tenants of new, children-neutral house rules written by the Fair Housing Council; distribution to all their tenants of Fair Housing pamphlets; family-affirmative advertising; and display of fair housing posters. 

Ramirez was the fifth familial status case successfully litigated in 2001 by the Council’s new litigation team. Each of the five cases produced comprehensive Consent Decrees or settlement agreements. “This set of decrees and settlements not only benefits those tenants living at the subject properties and who will no longer have to live in a discriminatory environment,” said Frances Espinoza, the Council’s executive director. “They also benefit the community at large by sending a clear message that familial status discrimination is unlawful and will not be tolerated in our community.” 

The plaintiffs were represented by Gary Rhoades and Danielle Jones with the Fair Housing Council. Defendants were represented by Allen Brown from the Law Offices of Allen Brown in Whittier, California.

[Fair Housing Council, et al. v. Don Follett, et al, No. 01-05537 R (C.D. Cal. 12-01)]