University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States v. Stonecleave Village Association, Inc. FH-MA-0001
Docket / Court 1:10-cv-10294 ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On February 19, 2010, the United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against a condominium association, on behalf of residents claiming familial status discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3601. DOJ ... read more >
On February 19, 2010, the United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against a condominium association, on behalf of residents claiming familial status discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3601. DOJ sought injunctive, declaratory, and compensatory relief, along with civil penalties.

Specifically, the U.S. claimed that the defendants enforced their "no organized sports" policy in a way that unlawfully discriminated against families with children. Defendants hired an attorney to levy fines against parents of children who played games such as whiffle ball and tag on the premises, and then charged those families attorneys' fees. The "no sports" policy was not enforced against adults.

On December 6, 2010, District Judge Tauro approved a two year Consent Order negotiated by the parties. In addition to generally prohibiting discrimination on the basis of familial status, the decree includes policy relating to rules infractions, an employee training program, prohibition against threats and intimidation of families whose children play in the common areas, and damages in the amount of $150,000 to the complainants and aggrieved persons.

The case was terminated on November 17, 2010.

- 12/10/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Discrimination-basis
Family discrimination
General
Housing
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
Defendant(s) Stonecleave Village Association, Inc.
Plaintiff Description United States, on behalf of families complaining of familial status discrimination in housing.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2010 - 2012
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Insurer Must Pay $100.5 Million in Redlining Case
The New York Times
Written: Oct. 27, 1998
By: Joseph B. Treaster
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Nationwide Settles Virginia Redlining Suit
Property Casualty 360
Written: May. 06, 2000
By: Amanda Levin
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Written: Dec. 04, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:10-cv-10294 (D. Mass.) 12/06/2010
FH-MA-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 01/19/2010
FH-MA-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Dep't of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement
Consent Order 12/06/2010
FH-MA-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Tauro, Joseph Louis (D. Mass.)
FH-MA-0001-0002 | FH-MA-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ortiz, Carmen M. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0001-0001 | FH-MA-0001-0002
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
FH-MA-0001-0001 | FH-MA-0001-0002
Serafyn, Jennifer A. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0001-0001 | FH-MA-0001-0002 | FH-MA-0001-9000
Singer, Elizabeth A (District of Columbia)
FH-MA-0001-0001 | FH-MA-0001-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Duane, III, James J. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0001-0002 | FH-MA-0001-9000
Walls, Joshua B. (Massachusetts)
FH-MA-0001-0002 | FH-MA-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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