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Case Name United States v. Genesis Designer Homes, LLC FH-GA-0010
Docket / Court 4:06-cv-00096 ( S.D. Ga. )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Attorney Organization NDRN/Protection & Advocacy Organizations
U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On April 12, 2006, the Savannah-Chatham County Fair Housing Council, Inc. filed a lawsuit under the Fair Housing Act 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C), against the Defendants, owners, operators, designers, homeowners association, and builders of two condominium developments, in the United States District ... read more >
On April 12, 2006, the Savannah-Chatham County Fair Housing Council, Inc. filed a lawsuit under the Fair Housing Act 42 U.S.C. §3604(f)(3)(C), against the Defendants, owners, operators, designers, homeowners association, and builders of two condominium developments, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. The Plaintiff, represented by private counsel, claimed the Defendants engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of disability in its design, construction, sale and operation of the two multi-family housing developments. The Plaintiff sought injunctive, declaratory, and monetary relief.

On September 26, 2008, the United States Department of Justice filed its own case against the same defendants, adding as defendants an engineering firm, a construction firm, and a property owners association, in the same court. The United States similarly claimed the Defendants engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of disability in the design, construction, sale and operation of the covered multi-family dwellings and asked the Court for the same relief as the Savannah-Chatham County Fair Housing Council, Inc. On November 11, 2008, the two cases were consolidated for all purposes.

Plaintiffs claim that the multi-family dwellings were designed, built and operated in such a way as to be inaccessible to persons with disabilities in their common and public use areas, passage in and out of the premises, and in the interiors of the units, all in violation of the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (the "Fair Housing Act"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 - 3619.

At some point, several of the Defendants went out of business. During the last two weeks of June 2011, the Court (Judge William T. Moore) approved five-year Partial Consent Orders between the United States and these Defendants, requiring Defendants to notify the Department of Justice within 15 days of re-entering the business of designing and constructing multi-family house.

On June 13, 2011, the Court entered a Consent Order between the United States and the designers. On June 22, 2011, the Court entered a Consent Order between the Plaintiffs and the construction company. On June 30, 2011, the Court entered a Consent Order between the Plaintiffs and the real estate group, and on July 5, 2011, the Court entered a Consent Order between SCFHC and other individual defendants. In the orders, these Defendants were not required to pay any money for retrofits or penalties, due to their insolvency. As of October 26, 2011, the civil engineering firm was the only original defendant still operating as a viable entity, but the ownership and operation of the two housing developments had been transferred to new entities. These entities were brought into the lawsuits as necessary parties.

On October 26, 2011, after five years of litigation and negotiation, the plaintiffs entered and the Court approved a Consent Order between the plaintiffs, the engineering firm and the current owner/operators. The Decree requires extensive retrofits to the subject properties' common areas and to the 194 ground-floor units covered by the Fair Housing Act, along with training and education requirements, strict time frames, and monitoring by an independent inspector. The Decree also provided for a $227,000 "retrofit" fund, a $50,000 settlement fund, and $158,375.00 in damages, including attorney fees to the fair housing council.

The Consent Order extended to 2014.

On December 24, 2014, the Defendants entered a report claiming compliance with the Consent Order and asking the court to dismiss the case with prejudice.

Stacey McClurkin - 02/04/2012
Asma Husain - 01/31/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
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) Genesis Designer Homes, LLC
Genesis Real Estate Group
Malphrus Construction Company
Stonelake Townhomes Property Owerns Association, Inc.
Thomas and Hutton Engineering Co.
Plaintiff Description Local fair housing council and the United States.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NDRN/Protection & Advocacy 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 2011 - 2016
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing Yes
Docket(s)
4:06-cv-00096 (S.D. Ga.) 12/24/2014
FH-GA-0010-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 04/12/2006
FH-GA-0010-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third-Party Complaint Of Thomas & Hutton Engineering, Co. Against Richard A. Fitzer, II 12/13/2007
FH-GA-0010-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant Richard A. Fitzer, II's Answer and Counterclaim to Third-Party Complaint Filed By Thomas & Hutton Engineering Company 02/04/2008
FH-GA-0010-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint 11/12/2008
FH-GA-0010-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/10/2011 (S.D. Ga.)
FH-GA-0010-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Partial Consent Order Resolving The United States' Claims Against Defendant Genesis Designer Homes, Inc. 06/13/2011
FH-GA-0010-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Partial Consent Order Resolving Plaintiff's Claims Against Defendant Malphrus Construction Co., Inc. 06/22/2011
FH-GA-0010-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Partial Consent Order Resolving Plaintiffs' Claims Against Defendant Genesis Real Estate Group, LLC 06/30/2011
FH-GA-0010-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Partial Consent Order Resolving Plaintiff Savannah Chatham County Fair Housing Council's Claims Against Defendant Richard Fitzer II 07/05/2011 (S.D. Ga.)
FH-GA-0010-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Order Resolving Plaintiffs' Claims Against Defendant Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. [and new owners of properties] 10/26/2011
FH-GA-0010-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 12/06/2011 (S.D. Ga.)
FH-GA-0010-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 12/06/2011 (S.D. Ga.)
FH-GA-0010-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Report of Thomas & Hutton Engineering Co. 12/24/2014
FH-GA-0010-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Moore, William Theodore Jr. (S.D. Ga.)
FH-GA-0010-0002 | FH-GA-0010-0003 | FH-GA-0010-0005 | FH-GA-0010-0006 | FH-GA-0010-0007 | FH-GA-0010-0010 | FH-GA-0010-0011 | FH-GA-0010-0012 | FH-GA-0010-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berlon, John Paul (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-0004 | FH-GA-0010-0006 | FH-GA-0010-9000
Booth, Edmund A. Jr. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-0001 | FH-GA-0010-9000
Brancart, Christopher (California)
FH-GA-0010-0004 | FH-GA-0010-0006 | FH-GA-0010-9000
Cass, Jennifer (District of Columbia)
FH-GA-0010-0001 | FH-GA-0010-0002 | FH-GA-0010-0006 | FH-GA-0010-9000
Cosmiac, Rena J. (District of Columbia)
FH-GA-0010-9000
Kennebrew, Delora L. (District of Columbia)
FH-GA-0010-0001 | FH-GA-0010-0002 | FH-GA-0010-9000
Keveney, Sean R. (District of Columbia)
FH-GA-0010-0002 | FH-GA-0010-0006 | FH-GA-0010-9000
Lapertosa, Max (Pennsylvania)
FH-GA-0010-0001 | FH-GA-0010-0002 | FH-GA-0010-0006 | FH-GA-0010-9000
Maurer, Michael S. (District of Columbia)
FH-GA-0010-0001
Mukasey, Michael B. (New York)
FH-GA-0010-0001
Steele, Michalyn (District of Columbia)
FH-GA-0010-0001
Tarver, Edward J. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-0002 | FH-GA-0010-0006
Defendant's Lawyers Baiad, Todd M. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-0006 | FH-GA-0010-0013
Darbyshire, Glen M. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-9000
Dickinson, Jennifer J. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-9000
Fleming, Thomas Mills (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-0009 | FH-GA-0010-9000
Fulcher, Eric S. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-0008
Fulcher, W. M. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-9000
Glass, William G. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-0002
Holliday, Leamon Roy III (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-0006 | FH-GA-0010-0013 | FH-GA-0010-9000
Hooks, Kevin E. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-9000
Lamar, Sarah H. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-0009 | FH-GA-0010-9000
Madison, Ashleigh Ruth (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-9000
Paul, Roy E. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-0008 | FH-GA-0010-9000
Pedigo, Susannah Rogers (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-9000
Savage, Brent J. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-9000
Thompson, William C. (Georgia)
FH-GA-0010-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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