Utah landlords pay for evicting non-Mormon tenants

Utah landlords who allegedly evicted tenants from their building because they were not practicing Mormons have agreed to pay nearly $30,000 to settle religious discrimination complaints filed with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). In addition to the money, the March settlement requires Eldon and Marilyn May, the landlords, to attend fair housing training, change tenant requirements, and write a letter of apology to the tenants who claim they were wrongfully evicted.

Tenants claimed that landlords created a "hostile environment" because they were not Mormon
The complaints of religious discrimination were filed against the Mays by a couple and two families that lived in the complex in Hyrum, Utah. They alleged that the Mays had different rental terms and conditions for them than other tenants, made discriminatory remarks to them, created a hostile environment, and forced them out of their apartments because they were not practicing members of the Mormon church. The complainants filed three complaints against the Mays in August 1994.

HUD investigated the allegations lodged against the Mays and issued a Determination of Reasonable Cause and a Charge of Discrimination in September 1996. HUD Administrative Law Judge William Cregar was to hold a hearing to examine evidence in the complaints, but Eldon and Marilyn May agreed to settle the case before any evidence was presented.

The Mays were represented by Suzanne Marychild, an attorney based in Logan, Utah. The complainants were assisted in their case by Diane Lindsey and Dorothy Crow-Willard, HUD attorneys based in Denver, Colorado.