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Case Name Fortune Society v. Sandcastle Towers Housing Development Fund Corp. FH-NY-0023
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-06410-VMS ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Criminal Justice (Other)
Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Attorney Organization Relman, Dane & Colfax
Case Summary
On October 30, 2014, the Fortune Society, a non-profit organization that provides temporary and permanent housing to hundreds of formerly incarcerated individuals each year filed this suit in the U.S. District for Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued Sandcastle Towers Housing ... read more >
On October 30, 2014, the Fortune Society, a non-profit organization that provides temporary and permanent housing to hundreds of formerly incarcerated individuals each year filed this suit in the U.S. District for Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs sued Sandcastle Towers Housing Development Fund Corp under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and New York law. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiffs alleged that in the summer of 2013 and early 2014, Fortune tried to rent apartments for its clients at The Sand Castle, a multi-building apartment complex that the defendants own and manage in Queens, New York. When defendants learned that Fortune serves formerly incarcerated individuals who would live in the apartments Fortune wanted to rent, they refused to rent apartments per the defendants' policy prohibiting anyone with a criminal record from renting an apartment or living at The Sand Castle. This ban, Fortune alleged, is discriminatory and has a unlawful disparate impact on the basis of race and color.

Fortune sought declaratory injunctive and monetary relief.

This case was assigned to the Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon.

The court set up a discovery schedule, which proceeded for about a year. The defendants requested a delay due to family medical emergency, which was granted by the court.

On June 25, 2015, the court ordered the parties to meet and discuss settlement in light of the recent Supreme Court decision, Inclusive Communities Project v. Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs. (Available here in the Clearinghouse).

After additional discovery and delays due to the defendants, on October 15, 2015 the court ordered that defendants must meet deadlines or force sanctions, including possible monetary sanctions, for failure to comply with the court's deadlines. The court ultimately declined the motion for sanctions.

On February 2, 2016, the court granted in part and denied in part a motion for extended discovery filed by the plaintiffs. The court issued an unusually long docket entry explaining the order.

On September 30, 2016, the defendant filed a motion for partial summary judgment and to exclude expert reports, This is currently pending before the court.

In addition, on October 18, 2016, a Statement of Interest of the United States was entered, suggesting a three-step legal test that the court should use to evaluate the plaintiff's claims (Department of Justice press release available here.

As of January 2017, the case is ongoing.

MJ Koo - 01/22/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Multi-family housing provider
Single family housing provider
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Housing
Housing assistance
Poverty/homelessness
Racial segregation
Plaintiff Type
Non-profit NON-religious organization
Race
Black
Race, unspecified
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 3601 et seq.
Defendant(s) Rental apartment complex
Plaintiff Description A non-profit organization that helps formerly incarcerated individuals to find housing.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Relman, Dane & Colfax
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Date: Dec. 4, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:14-cv-6410 (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0023-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/01/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
FH-NY-0023-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/30/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 30]
FH-NY-0023-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/01/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
United States of America's Statement of Interest [ECF# 102]
FH-NY-0023-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/18/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff's Lawyers Burgess, Margaret (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0023-9000
Cobb, Jia (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0023-0001 | FH-NY-0023-0002 | FH-NY-0023-9000
Downer, Ryan Chasce (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0023-0001 | FH-NY-0023-0002 | FH-NY-0023-9000
Relman, John Peter (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0023-0001 | FH-NY-0023-0002 | FH-NY-0023-9000
Schlactus, Glenn (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0023-0001 | FH-NY-0023-0002 | FH-NY-0023-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Brent, Jann S. (New York)
FH-NY-0023-9000
Shanahan, Thomas D. (New York)
FH-NY-0023-9000
Walsh, Richard T. (New York)
FH-NY-0023-9000
Other Lawyers Goldberger, Michael J. (New York)
FH-NY-0023-0003 | FH-NY-0023-9000

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