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Case Name United States v. University of Nebraska at Kearney ED-NE-0001
Docket / Court 4:11-cv-03209-JMG-CRZ ( D. Neb. )
State/Territory Nebraska
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Education
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On November 23, 2011, the United States filed this lawsuit in this US District Court for the District of Nebraska on behalf of a college student with disabilities. The US sued under the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 against the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The plaintiff, represented by ... read more >
On November 23, 2011, the United States filed this lawsuit in this US District Court for the District of Nebraska on behalf of a college student with disabilities. The US sued under the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 against the University of Nebraska at Kearney. The plaintiff, represented by the Department of Justice, asked the court to declare that the defendant had violated the Fair Housing Act and to enjoin the defendant from pursuing discriminatory practices in the future. The plaintiff also sought monetary damages and civil penalties against the defendant.

The plaintiff claimed that a student had been denied reasonable accommodation for her service animal through university housing. The student, who suffered from anxiety and depression, lived with a small dog that helped her manage her panic attacks. Despite numerous oral and written requests for reasonable accommodation, the student was denied permission to live with her service animal in the university's housing.

On April 19, 2013, the Court (Judge John M. Gerrard) ruled on the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment. The Court ruled that the Fair Housing Act did apply to the University of Nebraska at Kearney, even though the university's housing could be considered temporary for most residents. 940 F. Supp. 2d 974 (D. Neb. 2013).

The parties settled the case, and on September 4, 2015, the Court (Judge John M. Gerrard) approved the consent order. In the settlement, the defendant did not concede liability, but agreed to discontinue its discriminatory housing practices against students with disabilities. The university adopted a "University Housing Reasonable Accommodation Policy" and agreed to pay $140,000 to a settlement fund for effected students. The court retained jurisdiction of the case for two years to enforce the settlement.

Asma Husain - 10/26/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Reasonable Accommodation
Defendant-type
College/University
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
General
Housing
Mental Disability
Depression
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 3601 et seq.
Defendant(s) University of Nebraska at Kearney
Plaintiff Description The United States, on behalf of a former university student with disabilities.
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 2015 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Courts and Kids: Pursuing Educational Equity Through the State Courts
By: Michael Rebell (Columbia University, and Campaign for Educational Equity)
Citation: (University of Chicago Press, 2009)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  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 ]

Docket(s)
4:11-cv-03209-JMG-CRZ (D. Neb.) 09/04/2015
ED-NE-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 11/23/2011
ED-NE-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Motion for Summary Judgment 04/19/2013 (D. Neb.)
ED-NE-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Order 09/04/2015 (D. Neb.)
ED-NE-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment 09/04/2015 (D. Neb.)
ED-NE-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Gerrard, John Melvin (D. Neb.)
ED-NE-0001-0002 | ED-NE-0001-0003 | ED-NE-0001-0004 | ED-NE-0001-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Hahn, Mary J. (District of Columbia)
ED-NE-0001-0001 | ED-NE-0001-9000
Hayat, Norrinda B. (District of Columbia)
ED-NE-0001-9000
Kelly, Laurie A. (Nebraska)
ED-NE-0001-0001 | ED-NE-0001-9000
Martinson, Alan A. (District of Columbia)
ED-NE-0001-9000
McEachin, Onjil T. (District of Columbia)
ED-NE-0001-9000
Melody, Colleen (District of Columbia)
ED-NE-0001-9000
Shore, Elise S. (District of Columbia)
ED-NE-0001-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Balus, Allison Dana (Nebraska)
ED-NE-0001-9000
Basye, Alison A. (Nebraska)
ED-NE-0001-9000
McCue, Sara A. (Nebraska)
ED-NE-0001-9000
Moore, Scott P. (Nebraska)
ED-NE-0001-9000
Todero, Anthony D. (Nebraska)
ED-NE-0001-9000
Wiltse, John C. (Nebraska)
ED-NE-0001-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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