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FHC v Parkside East et. al

#W13-19 | Location: East Lansing | Court Level: Federal | Settlement: $20,000, Plus $5,000 in civil penalties

Categories: Familial Status, Rental
Tags: Children

The Fair Housing Center initiated a housing discrimination lawsuit against several multi-family apartment properties owned, operated, and/or managed by Sudi Hopper. Testing showed evidence of discrimination against families with children. The properties include Parkside Apartments in East Lansing, Holt Manor Apartments in Holt, and Kelly Manor Apartments in Owosso.

Testing showed evidence of discrimination against families with children. The properties include Parkside Apartments in East Lansing, Holt Manor Apartments in Holt, and Kelly Manor Apartments in Owosso. FHC testers posing as single parents with a young child were told that children were not allowed to live in one-bedroom apartments. Testers without children who inquired about the availability of one-bedroom units for themselves and a spouse were asked to confirm that they did not have children, told that apartments were available, provided additional information about the units, and invited to view the apartments.  This survey testing was initialed by a call from a woman who did not have standing to pursue a familial status claim.

FHC Cooperating Attorneys Jia Cobb and Stephen M. Dane of Relman, Dane & Colfax, along with local counsel Thomas Daniels and Matthew Daniels of Pear, Sperling, Eggan & Daniels, filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Fair Housing Center. The case, filed in U.S. Federal District Court on May 7, 2015, was assigned to the Honorable Sean F. Cox. The case was settled on October 8, 2015.

The Fair Housing Center also asked the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the allegations of discrimination at the properties. The DOJ took action based on the FHC’s testing and filed a lawsuit on November 19, 2015. The case settled on August 30, 2016. According to a separate press release by the Department of Justice, “under the consent decree, which still must be approved by the court, the defendants would create a settlement fund of $20,000 to compensate victims of their discriminatory practices. The defendants also would pay $5,000 in civil penalties to the U.S. Government.

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