University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Balvage v. Ryderwood Improvement and Service Association FH-WA-0001
Docket / Court 3:09-cv-05409-BHS ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Case Summary
On July 8, 2009, a class made up of owners and residents of Ryderwood, an area of Cowlitz County, Washington filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Western Washington against Ryderwood Improvement and Service Association, Inc. (RISA), alleging that RISA violated the Federal Fair Housing ... read more >
On July 8, 2009, a class made up of owners and residents of Ryderwood, an area of Cowlitz County, Washington filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Western Washington against Ryderwood Improvement and Service Association, Inc. (RISA), alleging that RISA violated the Federal Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq. The FHA prohibits discrimination based on "familial status," which refers to families having one or more persons who have not attained the age of 18 years. Ryderwood consists of approximately 270 single family homes that here devised by deeds and subject to identical covenants and restrictions. RISA's rules required that the owner or purchaser must be "a bona-fide recipient of an annuity or a pension;" that such person "must not be less than fifty-five years of age"; and that there must be "no additional, permanent occupants of the home (other than the spouse) who do not meet the above requirements." The plaintiffs claimed that RISA's rules violated the federal Fair Housing Act (FHA) by limiting sales to persons who are 55 years of age or older and have no family members less than 18 years old.

An exemption exists for the compliance with certain aspects of the Fair Housing Act based on the Housing for Older Persons Amendment ("HOPA"), as stated in 42 U.S.C. § 3607. In order for a 55 and older community to qualify for the HOPA exemption, it must adopt, publish, and adhere to policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent required under HOPA. Once a housing facility or community adopts rules and regulations consistent with HOPA, the facility or community must regularly audit its members to insure it is complying with the age requirement.

Plaintiffs sought relief for violations of the FHA, for fraudulent concealment by RISA in failing to disclose that RISA was not HOPA compliant, and for violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act in misleading a large portion of the consuming public about the legality of its occupancy restrictions. Plaintiffs also sought declaratory and injunctive relief ordering RISA to rescind its occupancy restrictions.

On November 11, 2009, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint that no longer included the fraudulent concealment or Washington Consumer Protection Act charges.

On June 4, 2010, the Western District of Washington denied RISA's motion for partial summary judgment and granted in part and denied in part Plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment. The Court held that RISA was not entitled to the HOPA exception because it had not shown compliance with the regulations governing the HOPA. The court also granted the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction, ordering RISA to cease enforcement of the age restrictions.

On January 14, 2011, the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and vacated in part the district court's grant of partial summary judgment to the plaintiffs. The court found that RISA had been HOPA compliant since 2007. However, this compliance did not shield the community from liability for discrimination occurring before compliance was achieved. The court remanded to the district court to determine whether RISA's 2007 survey satisfied the HOPA statutory and regulatory criteria.

David Priddy - 06/16/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Family discrimination
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
Defendant(s) Ryderwood Improvement and Service Association, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Homeowners in a residential community that restricted residency to persons fifty-five years of age and older.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
3:09-cv-05409 (W.D. Wash.) 08/08/2014
FH-WA-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 07/08/2009
FH-WA-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 03/11/2010
FH-WA-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 03/29/2010
FH-WA-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Plaintiffs' Reply in Support of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 04/01/2010
FH-WA-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment 04/05/2010
FH-WA-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
District Court Opinion 06/04/2010 (2010 WL 2292825 / 2010 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 99338) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction 06/17/2010
FH-WA-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Defendant's Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction 07/06/2010
FH-WA-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Plaintiffs' Reply in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction 07/09/2010
FH-WA-0001-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Ninth Circuit Opinion 01/14/2011 (642 F.3d 765)
FH-WA-0001-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Order on Parties' Motions for Summary Judgment 07/20/2012 (2012 WL 2977981) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0013.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Amended Complaint 11/02/2012
FH-WA-0001-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment Re: Retaliation Claims 04/18/2013
FH-WA-0001-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment 05/28/2013 (2013 WL 2319404) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0015.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Denying Motion for Reconsideration 06/10/2013 (2013 WL 2483839) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0016.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Denying Defendant's Motion to Exclude Plaintiff's Expert Huffer 06/19/2013 (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0017.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Denying Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment 07/09/2013 (2013 WL 3456920) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0018.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Denying Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration 07/24/2013 (2013 WL 3865109) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0019.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Stipulation and Order 08/12/2013 (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting and Denying Defendant's Motions for Summary Judgment 03/04/2014 (2014 WL 868804) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0021.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Granting Stipulated Motion to Dismiss and to Show Cause 07/07/2014 (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0022.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Requestion Joint Status Report 08/12/2014 (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0023.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report 08/21/2014
FH-WA-0001-0024.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Dismissal 08/28/2014 (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0025.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Fisher, Raymond C. (Ninth Circuit)
FH-WA-0001-0001
Settle, Benjamin Hale (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0002 | FH-WA-0001-0013 | FH-WA-0001-0015 | FH-WA-0001-0016 | FH-WA-0001-0017 | FH-WA-0001-0018 | FH-WA-0001-0019 | FH-WA-0001-0020 | FH-WA-0001-0021 | FH-WA-0001-0022 | FH-WA-0001-0023 | FH-WA-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Leatham, Stephen Garrett (Washington)
FH-WA-0001-0020 | FH-WA-0001-9000
Lorber, Abraham K (Washington)
FH-WA-0001-0003 | FH-WA-0001-0005 | FH-WA-0001-0007 | FH-WA-0001-0009 | FH-WA-0001-0012 | FH-WA-0001-9000
Lynam, Joseph E (Washington)
FH-WA-0001-0003 | FH-WA-0001-0005 | FH-WA-0001-0007 | FH-WA-0001-0009 | FH-WA-0001-0010 | FH-WA-0001-0012 | FH-WA-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Goldstein, Steven (Washington)
FH-WA-0001-0003 | FH-WA-0001-0004 | FH-WA-0001-0006 | FH-WA-0001-0008 | FH-WA-0001-0014 | FH-WA-0001-0020 | FH-WA-0001-0024 | FH-WA-0001-0025 | FH-WA-0001-9000
Ross, Richard D (Washington)
FH-WA-0001-0004 | FH-WA-0001-0006 | FH-WA-0001-0008 | FH-WA-0001-0014 | FH-WA-0001-0024 | FH-WA-0001-0025 | FH-WA-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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