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Case Name Central Alabama Fair Housing Center v. Magee FH-AL-0008
Docket / Court 2:11-cv-982-MHT ( M.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Attorney Organization ACLU National (all projects)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Case Summary
On November 18, 2011, two undocumented Mexican immigrants and three Alabama fair housing groups filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the State of Alabama. ... read more >
On November 18, 2011, two undocumented Mexican immigrants and three Alabama fair housing groups filed this class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the State of Alabama.

The plaintiffs, represented by the National Immigration Law Center, the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, LatinoJustice, and private counsel, sought injunctive relief, declaratory relief, compensatory damages, and attorneys' fees, alleging that an Alabama law violated the Fair Housing Act and the Supremacy and Due Process Clauses of the U.S. Constitution, and threated to leave families across the state homeless. Specifically, Alabama HB 56 prohibited any individual from entering into a business transaction with the State without proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful immigration status. A separate Alabama law required that owners of mobile homes obtain annual registration tags from the State. Together, these two laws put undocumented immigrant mobile home owners in a difficult position: renew the tags and be subject to a felony prosecution under HB 56, or refrain from renewing the tags and risk other civil and criminal penalties.

On November 23, 2011, the District Court (Judge Myron H. Thomson) granted the plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order and temporarily enjoined the State from enforcing HB 56 against mobile home owners. Cent. Alabama Fair Hous. Ctr. v. Magee, 2011 WL 5878363 (M.D. Ala. Nov. 23, 2011).

Two weeks later, after denying the State's motion to dissolve the temporary restraining order and granting the plaintiffs' motion to extend the order, the District Court imposed a preliminary injunction on the State. Cent. Alabama Fair Hous. Ctr. v. Magee, 835 F. Supp. 2d 1165 (M.D. Ala. 2011). The Court held that the plaintiffs were substantially likely to prevail on their claims that the enforcement of HB 56 against individuals seeking to renew their mobile home registrations intentionally discriminates against and has an unlawful disparate impact on Latinos, in violation of the Fair Housing Act. The Court further held that the plaintiffs demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on their claim that federal immigration laws preempted HB 56, and that they would suffer irreparable harm in the absence of an injunction.

Based on this holding, the District Court (Judge Thompson) enjoined the State from: (1) requiring any person who attempts to pay the annual mobile home registration fee to prove his or her U.S. citizenship or lawful immigration status; and (2) refusing to issue mobile home registration tags to any person because that person cannot prove his or her U.S. citizenship or lawful immigration status. The Court further declared that it is not a criminal violation of HB 56 for an individual to obtain a registration decal without providing proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful immigration status.

On December 21, 2011, the State appealed the preliminary injunction. While this appeal was pending in the Eleventh Circuit, the parties conducted discovery. On May 17, 2013, the Eleventh Circuit (Judges Gerald Tjoflat, Charles Wilson, and Beverly Martin) dismissed the appeal as moot because in May 2012 the Alabama legislature amended HB 56 to exclude mobile home registrations. Cent. Alabama Fair Hous. Ctr. v. Comm'r, Alabama Dep't of Revenue, 2013 WL 2372302 (11th Cir. May 17, 2013). The Court also vacated the preliminary injunction and remanded the case to the District Court for further proceedings.

With the claims for declaratory and injunctive relief rendered moot by the amended statute, the parties turned to the issue of attorneys' fees and costs. On December 27, 2013, the plaintiffs filed a motion for attorneys' fees and expenses, which was resolved after the State agreed to pay the plaintiffs' attorneys $230,000 in a private settlement. The District Court dismissed the case on May 6, 2014, upon stipulation of the parties.

Perry Miska - 03/10/2014
Robert Lake - 06/22/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Due Process
Supremacy Clause
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Housing
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) State of Alabama
Plaintiff Description Two undocumented Mexican immigrants and three fair housing groups
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU National (all projects)
Southern Poverty Law Center
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2014
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)
2:11-cv-982-MHT (M.D. Ala.) 05/08/2014
FH-AL-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 11/18/2011
FH-AL-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint 11/21/2011
FH-AL-0008-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order granting temporary restraining order 11/23/2011 (2011 WL 5878363 / 2011 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 135537) (M.D. Ala.)
FH-AL-0008-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order denying motion to dissolve temporary restraining order 12/02/2011 (2011 WL 6010501 / 2011 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 138056) (M.D. Ala.)
FH-AL-0008-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order granting extension of temporary restraining order 12/07/2011 (2011 WL 6090125 / 2011 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 140808) (M.D. Ala.)
FH-AL-0008-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order granting preliminary injunction 12/12/2011 (835 F.Supp.2d 1165) (M.D. Ala.)
FH-AL-0008-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Preliminary Injunction 12/12/2011 (M.D. Ala.)
FH-AL-0008-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Protective Order 03/05/2012 (2012 WL 705675 / 2012 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 28630) (M.D. Ala.)
FH-AL-0008-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
COA remand order 05/17/2013 (M.D. Ala.)
FH-AL-0008-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 04/14/2014 (M.D. Ala.)
FH-AL-0008-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation of Dismissal 05/04/2014
FH-AL-0008-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 05/08/2014 (M.D. Ala.)
FH-AL-0008-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Coody, Charles S. (M.D. Ala.) [Magistrate]
FH-AL-0008-0008
Martin, Beverly Baldwin (Eleventh Circuit, N.D. Ga.)
FH-AL-0008-0007
Thompson, Myron Herbert (N.D. Ala., M.D. Ala.)
FH-AL-0008-0003 | FH-AL-0008-0004 | FH-AL-0008-0005 | FH-AL-0008-0006 | FH-AL-0008-0009 | FH-AL-0008-0011 | FH-AL-0008-0012 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (M.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit, Fifth Circuit)
FH-AL-0008-0007
Wilson, Charles R. (M.D. Fla., Eleventh Circuit) [Magistrate]
FH-AL-0008-0007
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bauer, Mary C. (Alabama)
FH-AL-0008-0001 | FH-AL-0008-0002 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Brooke, Samuel (Alabama)
FH-AL-0008-0001 | FH-AL-0008-0002 | FH-AL-0008-0010 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Cox, Justin Bryan (Georgia)
FH-AL-0008-0001 | FH-AL-0008-0002 | FH-AL-0008-0010 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Crook, Jamie L. (District of Columbia)
FH-AL-0008-0001 | FH-AL-0008-0002 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Dane, Stephen M. (District of Columbia)
FH-AL-0008-0001 | FH-AL-0008-0002 | FH-AL-0008-0010 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Gelernt, Lee (New York)
FH-AL-0008-0001 | FH-AL-0008-0002 | FH-AL-0008-0010 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Graunke, Kristi L. (Georgia)
FH-AL-0008-0002 | FH-AL-0008-0010 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Huerta, Alvaro M. (California)
FH-AL-0008-9000
Joaquin, Linton (California)
FH-AL-0008-0001 | FH-AL-0008-0002 | FH-AL-0008-0010 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Maer, Foster (New York)
FH-AL-0008-0001 | FH-AL-0008-0002 | FH-AL-0008-0010 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Sen, Diana S. (New York)
FH-AL-0008-0001 | FH-AL-0008-0002 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Tumlin, Karen C. (California)
FH-AL-0008-0001 | FH-AL-0008-0002 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Clements, Fred Lee Jr. (Alabama)
FH-AL-0008-0010 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Davis, James William (Alabama)
FH-AL-0008-0010 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Fairbanks, Misty S (Alabama)
FH-AL-0008-0010
Fleming, Margaret L. (Alabama)
FH-AL-0008-0010 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Messick, Misty Shawn Fairbanks (Alabama)
FH-AL-0008-9000
Parker, William G. Jr. (Alabama)
FH-AL-0008-0010 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Payne, Joshua Kerry (Alabama)
FH-AL-0008-9000
Strange, Luther J (Alabama)
FH-AL-0008-0010
Webb, Kendrick E. (Alabama)
FH-AL-0008-0010 | FH-AL-0008-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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