In August of 1994, FHC Cooperating Attorney Michael J. Steinberg filed a familial status lawsuit on behalf of Regina Armstrong. According to the suit, filed in U.S. District Court, Ms. Armstrong was forced to move from her apartment in Ypsilanti because she had a son and complained to the police about noise from other tenants in the building.
In August 1992 Armstrong moved into the downtown Ypsilanti apartment. Three days later, according to the suit: Armstrong called the police to report loud music at about 1:00 a.m., the police arrived and warned the tenants who lowered the volume temporarily and turned it up again to extremely high volume when the police left. The Police returned and tickets the tenants for the noise violation. Later, Armstrong reported that her neighbors called her names and threatened her with eviction.
According to the suit, the owner forced Armstrong to move out the next day. Armstrong said she was told by owner, Joan French, that the other tenants shouldn’t have to change their life style to accommodate Ms. Armstrong and her then nine-year-old son and that she should never have rented to a family with a child. Testing by the FHC supports Armstrong’s claim of discrimination based on familial status.
Armstrong left reluctantly paying her own moving expenses. French’s alternate apartment was smaller and had serious repair problems including the absence of cold running water. The repair problems led Armstrong to seek the help of attorney, Lisa Ruby, at Legal Services of South Eastern Michigan who later suggested that Armstrong contact the FHC. The case is assigned to Federal Judge Nancy Edmunds.
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