University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
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 this lawsuit 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 this lawsuit 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 under the age of 18.

An exemption existed 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 adopted rules and regulations consistent with HOPA, the facility or community must regularly audit its members to ensure it was complying with the age requirement.

The 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. The plaintiffs also sought declaratory and injunctive relief ordering RISA to rescind its occupancy restrictions.

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

On June 4, 2010, Judge Benjamin H. Settle denied RISA's motion for partial summary judgment and granted in part and denied in part the plaintiffs' motion for partial summary judgment. He held that RISA was not entitled to the HOPA exception because it had not shown compliance with the regulations governing the HOPA. 2010 WL 2292825. On August 11, 2010, Judge Settle granted the plaintiffs' motion for preliminary injunction requiring RISA to cease any enforcement of age-restrictions at its homes. He denied the motion for attorneys' fees, holding that the issue should be decided at the conclusion of the case. 2010 WL 3211701. RISA moved to appeal these orders and to stay the case pending the appeal on August 13. Judge Settle granted the motion to file a discretionary appeal and in part granted the motion to stay the proceedings on August 14th. 2010 WL 3490191.

On January 14, 2011, the Ninth Circuit (Susan P. Graber, Raymond C. Fisher, and Consuelo B. Marshall) heard oral argument on the appeal. On April 27, the Circuit Court 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.

Back in the district court, the parties filed a joint status report on June 14, 2011, indicating they wanted the court to determine if RISA became HOPA compliant beginning or after September 2007 and if the 2007 survey was adequate.

The plaintiffs then moved for partial summary judgment on April 12, 2012, arguing that the 2007 survey was inadequate as a matter of law. The defendants also moved for summary judgment that day, arguing that the claim regarding the survey's adequacy should be dismissed. The court denied both motions on July 20, 2012.

The plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint on November 2, 2012, adding new language to its claim, stating that the defendants had violated 42 U.S.C. § 3617 by coercing, threatening, or intimidating the plaintiffs.

The parties then issued a series of motions for summary judgment. On April 18, 2013, the defendants moved for partial summary judgment on the claims of retaliation, which the court granted in part and denied in part as to various alleged actions on May 28, 2013. The next day, the defendants moved for summary judgment as to the the issue of the plaintiffs' unpaid dues, asking the court to enter judgment against the plaintiffs for these dues. The court denied the motion on July 9, 2013. On November 7, 2013, the defendants moved for summary judgment for the outstanding retaliation claims, which the court granted on March 4, 2014. On December 19, 2013, the defendants moved for summary judgment as to the plaintiffs' punitive damages claims, which the court denied on March 4, 2014. On January 2, 2014, the defendants filed a renewed motion for summary judgment as to the unpaid dues, which the court denied on March 4, 2014. Finally, on January 15, 2014, the defendants moved for summary judgment as to the plaintiffs' claims that they were currently not compliant with HOPE, which the court granted on March 4, 2014.

On April 22, 2014, the parties stipulated that they had settled all claims except for those pertaining to two individual plaintiffs while they were in bankruptcy proceedings. The parties therefore jointly moved to dismiss the settled claims, which the court granted on July 7, 2014. The court dismissed the claims as to the two remaining plaintiffs on August 28, 2014. Any private settlement agreement does not appear to be publicly available at this time.

The case is now closed.

David Priddy - 06/16/2011
Virginia Weeks - 11/13/2017


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Family discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Housing
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.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Voluntary Dismissal
Filing Year 2009
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Date: Dec. 4, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis Law Student)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:09-cv-05409 (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/28/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
FH-WA-0001-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/08/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
FH-WA-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/11/2010
Source: LexisNexis
Defendants' Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
FH-WA-0001-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/29/2010
Source: LexisNexis
Plaintiffs' Reply in Support of Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
FH-WA-0001-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/01/2010
Source: LexisNexis
Defendants' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment
FH-WA-0001-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/05/2010
Source: LexisNexis
District Court Opinion (2010 WL 2292825 / 2010 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 99338) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/04/2010
Source: Westlaw
Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction
FH-WA-0001-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/17/2010
Source: LexisNexis
Defendant's Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Injunction
FH-WA-0001-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/06/2010
Source: LexisNexis
Plaintiffs' Reply in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Preliminary Injunction
FH-WA-0001-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/09/2010
Source: LexisNexis
Ninth Circuit Opinion (642 F.3d 765)
FH-WA-0001-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/14/2011
Order on Parties' Motions for Summary Judgment [ECF# 146] (2012 WL 2977981) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0013.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/20/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Amended Complaint [ECF# 169]
FH-WA-0001-0012.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/02/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment Re: Retaliation Claims [ECF# 186]
FH-WA-0001-0014.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/18/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (2013 WL 2319404) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0015.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 05/28/2013
Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Denying Motion for Reconsideration (2013 WL 2483839) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0016.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/10/2013
Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Denying Defendant's Motion to Exclude Plaintiff's Expert Huffer (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0017.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/19/2013
Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Denying Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment (2013 WL 3456920) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0018.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/09/2013
Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Denying Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration (2013 WL 3865109) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0019.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/24/2013
Source: Bloomberg Law
Stipulation and Order [ECF# 240] (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0020.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/12/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting and Denying Defendant's Motions for Summary Judgment (2014 WL 868804) (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0021.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/04/2014
Source: Bloomberg Law
Order Granting Stipulated Motion to Dismiss and to Show Cause [ECF# 288] (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0022.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/07/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Requestion Joint Status Report [ECF# 292] (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0023.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/12/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Status Report [ECF# 295]
FH-WA-0001-0024.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/21/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation and Order of Dismissal [ECF# 297] (W.D. Wash.)
FH-WA-0001-0025.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/28/2014
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
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

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -