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Fair Housing Council of Central California v. Henry D. Nunez

January 23, 2012

FAIR HOUSING COUNCIL OF CENTRAL CALIFORNIA, INC., ET AL.,
PLAINTIFFS,
v.
HENRY D. NUNEZ, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Dennis L. Beck United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT HENRY NUNEZ TO COMPLY WITH DISCOVERY ORDER AS MOOT (Document 49)

ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT (Document 46)

ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO MODIFY SCHEDULING ORDER AS MOOT (Document 51)

ORDER VACATING SCHEDULING ORDER AND SETTING STATUS CONFERENCE

Plaintiffs Fair Housing Council of Central California, Inc., Nelida Mendiola, Martha Lemos and Maria Nava ("Plaintiffs") filed the present motions (1) to compel Defendant Henry Nunez to comply with the Court's November 3, 2011 discovery order, (2) for leave to file a first amended complaint, and (3) to modify the scheduling order. The matters were heard on January 13, 2012, before the Honorable Dennis L. Beck, United States Magistrate Judge. Elizabeth Brancart appeared telephonically on behalf of Plaintiffs. Daniel Harralson appeared on behalf of Defendant Henry Nunez. Henry Nunez appeared as counsel on behalf of Defendant Minnie Avila.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiffs Nelida Mendiola, Martha Lemos and Maria Nava are current or former tenants of the Cypress Estates apartment complex ("Cypress Estates"), each of whom resided there with minor children. Defendant Henry Nunez controls the management of Cypress Estates. Complaint, ¶¶ 8-9. Cypress Estates claims to be a housing complex for older persons under the Housing for Older Persons Act ("HOPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 3607(b)(2).

Plaintiffs and other residents complained of discrimination at Cypress Estates to the Fair Housing Council of Central California, a nonprofit corporation ensuring compliance with fair housing laws throughout the Central Valley. Complaint, ¶¶ 4-7. Plaintiffs allege that Defendants enforced unreasonable and discriminatory rules against them and their children, served them with eviction notices because of their protected familial status, and made derogatory statements about their national origin that interfered with the enjoyment of their tenancy. Complaint, ¶¶ 12-22.

Plaintiffs assert violations of the Fair Housing Act (42 U.S.C. §§ 3601, et seq.), the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (Government Code §§ 12955,et seq.), the California Civil Code §§ 1714, 1927, 1940.2, 44-46, and the California Code of Civil Procedure §§ 1159 and 1160. Plaintiffs seek monetary damages, including punitive damages, along with declaratory and injunctive relief.

I. MOTION TO COMPEL DEFENDANT HENRY NUNEZ TO COMPLY WITH DISCOVERY ORDER On January 10, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a reply stating the motion to compel is now moot.

Doc. 71. At the hearing, the parties confirmed that the motion to compel was resolved. Accordingly, Plaintiffs' motion to compel Defendant Henry Nunez to comply with discovery order is DENIED AS MOOT.

II. MOTION FOR LEAVE TO FILE FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

A. Introduction

On November 10, 2011, Plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file a first amended complaint. Plaintiffs seek to add two new defendants, Joy Nunez and Cypress Estates, Inc., and seek to add factual allegations (1) that defendant Henry Nunez holds a partial ownership interest in the Cypress Estates apartments, (2) that his use of the corporate form should be disregarded and (3) that defendants Henry Nunez, Joy Nunez and Cypress Estates, Inc. knew or should have known that Minnie Avila was an unfit manager and their continued employment of Ms. Avila as their agent was in reckless disregard of the rights of plaintiffs and other tenants of the Cypress Estates to live in an environment free of housing discrimination.

On December 30, 2011, Defendant Henry Nunez filed an opposition to Plaintiffs' motion to amend. Doc. 61.

On June 6, 2011, Defendant Herminia (Minnie) Avila filed an untimely opposition to the motion to amend. Doc. 66.

On January 6, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a reply to Defendant Nunez. Doc. 65. On January 10, 2012, Plaintiffs filed a reply to Defendant Avila. Doc. 69. With leave of court, Plaintiffs also filed a supplemental reply to Defendant Nunez on January 11, 2012. Doc. 73.

On January 12, 2012, Defendants Henry Nunez and Herminia Avila filed an opposition to Plaintiffs' reply brief, a supporting memorandum and a request for judicial notice in ...


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