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FAIR HOUSING OF MARIN v. GOLDEN GATE TRAILER PARK

United States District Court, Northern District of California


April 16, 2003

FAIR HOUSING OF MARIN, A CALIFORNIA NON-PROFIT CORPORATION; ROY L. SMITH, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
GOLDEN GATE TRAILER PARK, A CALIFORNIA LIMITED LIABILITY CORPORATION; WALLACE S. HOLMES; DORA M. HOLMES; DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Thelton E. Henderson, United States District Judge.

CONSENT DECREE

This action was brought by plaintiffs Fair Housing of Marin and Roy Smith (the "plaintiffs") alleging, inter alia, that the defendants violated the federal Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq., by refusing to rent to Hispanics. Named as defendants were Golden Gate Trailer Park, Wallace Holmes and Dora Holmes (the "defendants").

The defendants have at all times denied the plaintiffs' claims of discrimination and both plaintiffs and defendants recognize that the ultimate result of this litigation cannot be predicted with certainty. Moreover, these parties recognize that continuation of the litigation would involve substantial additional fees and costs.

Whereas, plaintiffs and defendants have carefully and amicably considered the issues of damages, costs, attorneys' fees and affirmative injunctive relief sought by the plaintiffs, and agree that such issues should be resolved without further litigation; and,

Whereas, by agreeing to this consent decree, the defendants do not admit to any liability to the plaintiffs;

It is, therefore, mutually agreed between the plaintiffs and defendants, subject to the approval of the court, as follows:

1. The defendants shall pay plaintiff Fair Housing of Marin the sum of $20,000, plaintiff Roy L. Smith the sum of $15,000, and plaintiffs' attorney D. Scott Chang the sum of $20,000 in form of checks made payable to each of them no later than March 7, 2003. This payment is inclusive of all monetary payments to be made by the defendants to the plaintiffs, including attorneys fees and costs.

2. Defendant Golden Gate Trailer Park LLC shall execute a satisfaction of judgment stating that the judgments for damages and attorney's fees obtained in the unlawful detainer action Golden Gate Trailer Park LLC v. Roy Smith, Marin County Superior Court No. CV-3923, has been satisfied. The satisfaction of judgment shall be delivered to plaintiffs' counsel no later than March 7, 2003.

3. The parties shall execute mutual releases and waivers attached as Exhibit I indicating that this Consent Decree constitutes a full and final settlement of any and all claims related to the subject matter of this action.

4. The defendants, their agents, employees, successors and all persons in active concert or participation with them are permanently enjoined from:

a. Failing to rent, or refusing to negotiate for rental of, or otherwise making unavailable or denying, any dwelling because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin;

b. Discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of the rental of a dwelling or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith. because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin;

c. Making, printing, publishing or causing to be made, printed or published any notice, statement, or advertisement with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, color, religion, six, handicap, familial status, or national origin;

d. Representing to any person because of race, color, religion, six, handicap, familial status, or national origin that any dwelling is not available to rent when such dwelling is in fact so available;

e. Coercing, intimidating, threatening or interfering with any person in the exercise of enjoyment of, or on account of any person having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of any persons having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of, any right granted or guaranteed by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3603-3606.

4. The defendants shall inform the public of their nondiscriminatory policies and their desire to serve the public in a considerate and professional manner. The defendants shall perform their obligation by:

a. Displaying Fair Housing of Marin and federal fair housing posters, see 24 C.F.R.Part 110.

b. Including on rental applications and lease forms used by the defendants a notice that the management provides "equal housing opportunity." If the standard applications and lease forms used by the defendants do not include such a notice, the defendants shall add such a notice to the standard applications and lease forms (e.g. by using a sticker).

c. Including an equal opportunity slogan (e.g. "E.O. Owner") or the logo in all future newspaper or other printed advertising excluding listings of Golden Gate Trailer Park's telephone number in the "Yellow Pages" of telephone books.

5. All present employees and agents of defendants involved with the rental of spaces at Golden Gate Trailer Park, including but not limited to defendant Wallace Holmes and defendant Dora Holmes, the property manager, and all agents or employees who are involved in the rental of spaces at Golden Gate Trailer Park shall attend the Fair Housing Law and Practices Community Training conducted by Fair Housing of Marin. Fair Housing of Marin will notify the defendants of the date and place of the training by mail. The training will be conducted at no additional cost to the defendants.

6. Sixty (60) days after the effective date of this consent decree and continuing throughout the duration of the decree, the defendants shall fax all vacancies for semi-permanent spaces at Golden Gate Trailer Park at Canal Community Alliance and request that the vacancies be posted. If the defendants advertise a vacancy in the "The Marin Independent Journal," the defendants shall also advertise the vacancy in "La Voz." The vacancies shall be faxed and advertising, if any, placed within two days of the vacancy.

7. The defendants shall maintain and preserve rental availability records (identifying the address, space number, date of notification of availability, date vacated, date available for rental, date of all applications, date of lease, and date of new occupancy), applications (accepted or rejected), and leases for the duration of this Consent Decree, and after reasonable written notice shall make this information available for inspection by Fair Housing of Marin upon written request and at a mutually convenient time and place, but not more frequently than once every three (3) months. The defendants may redact all information the disclosure of which is prohibited by federal, state or local privacy law. Fair Housing of Marin shall not disclose to any person or entity, including any governmental agency, any confidential information which is provided under this record keeping provision without the defendants' written consent.

8. During the term of this Consent Decree, if the defendants receive any requests for information from monolingual Spanish speaking prospective tenants and there is no one present who is able to interpret for the Spanish speaking prospective tenant, the defendants shall offer the prospective tenant the use of an interpreter by telephone. Fair Housing of Marin shall provide the defendants with a list of persons who are available to translate by telephone. The cost of the translation shall be paid by the defendants but shall not exceed $25.

9. Within sixty (60) days of entry of this Consent Decree, the defendants shall provide to any employee or agent of defendants having any responsibility for the rental of spaces at Golden Gate Trailer Park a copy of Golden Gate Trailer Park's rental guidelines which contain a statement of Golden Gate Trailer Park's non-discrimination policy and procedures.

10. This order shall be in effect for a period of three years from the date of entry. The court shall retain jurisdiction for purposes of enforcement.

It is so ordered.

STIPULATION OF DISMISSAL WITH COURT TO RETAIN JURISDICTION TO ENFORCE TERMS OF CONSENT DECREE; ORDER
Pursuant to Rule 41(a)(1)(ii) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the parties by their respective counsel of record, hereby stipulate that the above-entitled action is dismissed with prejudice, except that the court will retain jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of the Consent Decree filed in this case.

[PROPOSED] ORDER

Pursuant to stipulation, it is hereby ordered that the above-entitled action is dismissed with prejudice. The court shall retain jurisdiction for purpose of enforcing the provisions of the Consent Decree.

Pursuant to stipulation, it is so ordered.

20030416

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