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Case Name Mhany Management Inc. v. County Of Nassau FH-NY-0025
Docket / Court 2:05-cv-02301-ADS-WDW ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Case Summary
On May 12, 2005, individual New York residents and the New York ACORN local chapter filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Easter District of New York. The plaintiffs sued Nassau County and the Village of Garden City under 42 U.S.C. §1983, the Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights Act ... read more >
On May 12, 2005, individual New York residents and the New York ACORN local chapter filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Easter District of New York. The plaintiffs sued Nassau County and the Village of Garden City under 42 U.S.C. §1983, the Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, citing violations of these acts as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. The plaintiffs asked the court to enjoin the defendants from proceeding with discriminatory zoning practices; to order Garden City to approve a proposed zoning that would allow for affordable housing; and to order the defendants to take all actions necessary to assure that the Social Service Site be redeveloped to maximize the availability of affordable and integrated housing.

The plaintiffs claimed that Nassau County and Garden City had engaged in discriminatory zoning with regard to the "Social Service Site" in Garden City. While there had initially been plans to develop affordable housing on the site, residents of Garden City strongly objected to such plans at a public hearing. Garden City acquiesced to the demands of the public and granted zoning that would allow for luxury, single-family housing rather than integrated affordable housing units. The plaintiffs claimed that this continued a practice of segregated housing in Garden City and denied individual plaintiffs the opportunity to live in integrated housing within Garden City.

On November 30, 2005, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to include New York ACORN Housing Company (NYAHC) as a plaintiff. NYAHC was a non-profit community developer of affordable housing that had attempted to develop affordable housing in Nassau County for many years. NYAHC had submitted a proposal for affordable housing at the social services site.

On March 10, 2006 both Defendants submitted motions to dismiss the amended complaint. On July 21, 2006, Judge Joseph F. Bianco denied these motions to dismiss, finding that the plaintiffs did have standing in court and had not failed to state a claim.

The parties engaged in discover for several years. In late 2009, ACORN began facing organizational issues as a result of heavily edited videos that garnered public opposition to the organization. As a result, ACORN lost much of its funding and effectively closed. On June 15, 2010, Judge Arthur D. Spatt ordered that the New York Communities for Change (NYCC) would intervene as the practical, but not legal, successor to NY ACORN as plaintiff.

On July 29, 2011, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. On February 15, 2012, Judge Arthur D. Spatt granted defendant County's motion for summary judgment dismissing all claims against it. Judge Spatt found that the county lacked the legal power over the zoning of the Social Services Site. Further, Judge Spatt found that the County's stated goals for the site were to increase profits, and a zoning that allowed for luxury single-family homes allowed the County to meet this stated goal.

In the same order, Judge Spatt dismissed Garden City's motion for summary judgement and granted Intervenor-Plaintiff (NYCC) motion to amend the intervenor complaint to include the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. 1983, and the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.

The parties continued with discovery. On December 6, 2013, Judge Spatt found that the plaintiffs had failed to establish liability on the part of the defendants under 42 U.S.C. 1982. Judge Spatt did find that the plaintiffs had established liability on the part of the defendant on its other charges:
(1) the FHA, 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq., based on a theory of disparate treatment and disparate impact;
(2) 42 U.S.C. § 1981;
(3) 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and
(4) the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Specifically, Judge Spatt found that in eliminating R-M zoning, which would have allowed for affordable housing units, and endorsing R-T zoning, which did not allow for affordable housing units, Garden City had acted with discriminatory intent. He based this finding on the discriminatory and racist language used by residents of Garden City at the public hearing about the housing development and based on the disparate impact of the zoning decision on minority communities. Judge Spatt directed the plaintiffs to submit a proposed remedial plan.

On April 22, 2014, Judge Spatt issued a final order stating:
(1) Garden City cannot discriminate or interfere with fair housing opportunities;
(2) Garden City must adopt a fair housing resolution for zoning and other land use process;
(3) If the County decides to sell the Social Services Site, then Garden City will begin rezoning the site as an R-M site so as to allow for a residential multi-family development
(4) Garden City must meet an Affordable Housing Requirement in which 10% of newly constructed residential developments of five units or more will be reserved for affordable housing
(5) The city will develop Fair housing trainings for all elected Garden City officials.
The judgment was set to last for five years.

The parties then began litigation over attorney's fees. On September 11, 2014 Judge Spatt ordered a temporary denial of attorney's fees because the case was going up on appeal.

Garden City appealed Judge Spatt's judgment that it had violated the Fair Housing Act, Section 1981, Section 1983, and the Equal Protection Clause. The Plaintiffs appealed the 2012 grant of Summary Judgement dismissing claims against Nassau County.

On March 23, 2016, the Second Circuit affirmed the lower court's decision with regard to Garden City's violations. The Court of Appeals vacated the lower court's decision with regard to the defendant's liability as to disparate impact and remanded for further proceedings to determine whether the plaintiff met their burden of proving that "substantial legitimate, nondiscriminatory interests supporting the challenged practice could be served by another practice that has a less discriminatory effect."

The Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's finding that the County did not have legal responsibility over Garden City's zoning. The Court of Appeals remanded for the district courts to address Nassau County's steering of affordable housing to certain, predominately non-white, communities in violation of the Civl Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act.

The case remains in the court on remand.

Gabriela Hybel - 02/17/2017

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Provide antidiscrimination training
Housing Authority
Housing Sales/Rental
Race discrimination
Disparate Impact
Racial segregation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
42 U.S.C. § 1982
42 U.S.C. § 1983
Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Defendant(s) Nassau County
Village of Garden City
Plaintiff Description Individuals and the New York Association of Community Organizations alleging discriminatory housing practices
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Order Duration 2014 - 2019
Filing Year 2005
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 Law Student)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

2:05-cv-2301 (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0025-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/29/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 1]
FH-NY-0025-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/12/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 24]
FH-NY-0025-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/30/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 246] (270 F.R.D. 123) (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0025-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/15/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Decision and Order [ECF# 315] (843 F.Supp.2d 287) (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0025-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 02/15/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint in Intervention for Declaratory Judgment and Injunctive Relief [ECF# 318]
FH-NY-0025-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/29/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum of Decision and Order [ECF# 413] (985 F.Supp.2d 390) (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0025-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/06/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Judgment [ECF# 431] (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0025-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/22/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendants' Notice of Appeal [ECF# 436]
FH-NY-0025-0009.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/05/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Short Order [ECF# 468] (44 F.Supp.3d 283) (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0025-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/11/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion [Ct. of App. ECF# 219-1] (819 F.3d 581)
FH-NY-0025-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/23/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [Ct. of App. ECF# 1818488]
FH-NY-0025-0011.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/18/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Droney, Christopher Fitzgerald (Second Circuit, D. Conn.)
FH-NY-0025-0010 | FH-NY-0025-0011
Lohier, Raymond Joseph Jr. (Second Circuit)
FH-NY-0025-0010 | FH-NY-0025-0011
Pooler, Rosemary S. (Second Circuit, N.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0025-0010 | FH-NY-0025-0011
Spatt, Arthur Donald (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0025-0003 | FH-NY-0025-0004 | FH-NY-0025-0006 | FH-NY-0025-0007 | FH-NY-0025-0008
Plaintiff's Lawyers Birch, Nicole (District of Columbia)
Brandriss, Chava (New York)
Brewington, Frederick K (New York)
FH-NY-0025-0001 | FH-NY-0025-0002 | FH-NY-0025-0005 | FH-NY-0025-9000
Bridges, Kim Frances (New York)
FH-NY-0025-0001 | FH-NY-0025-0002 | FH-NY-0025-9000
Brown, Stanley Joseph (New York)
Cheng, Caroline H. (New York)
Cochet, Sabrina Helene (New York)
Dennin, Peter Joseph (New York)
DeSario, Nicole J. (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0025-0001 | FH-NY-0025-0002
Dorsainvil, Cynthia (New York)
Feinberg, Ira M. (New York)
Fleming, Benjamin Andrew (New York)
Gregory, Sarah Joy (New York)
Henriquez, Luz Maria (New York)
Hooks, Jonathan P. (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0025-0001 | FH-NY-0025-0002
Mesidor, Marjorie (New York)
Mullenbach, Linda H. (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0025-0005 | FH-NY-0025-9000
Rich, Joseph D. (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0025-0005 | FH-NY-0025-9000
Robertson, Jenny Rubin (New York)
FH-NY-0025-0001 | FH-NY-0025-0002 | FH-NY-0025-9000
Sakae, Megumi (Hawaii)
FH-NY-0025-0001 | FH-NY-0025-9000
Sein, Andrew Jaan (New York)
Shafroth, Abigail E. (District of Columbia)
Silverstein, Thomas S. (District of Columbia)
Smith, Toby William (New York)
Starr, Michael (New York)
FH-NY-0025-0001 | FH-NY-0025-0002 | FH-NY-0025-9000
Sweeney, Paul B. (New York)
FH-NY-0025-0001 | FH-NY-0025-0002 | FH-NY-0025-9000
Wasick, Joanna F. (New York)
Defendant's Lawyers Asadullah, Sardar Mohammad (New York)
Augello, Cynthia Ann (New York)
Bohn, Douglas J. (New York)
Carvin, Michael Anthony (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0025-0009 | FH-NY-0025-9000
Goldin, David B. (New York)
Kreppein, Scott J. (New York)
Lynch, Karen (New York)
McLaughlin, Jennifer A. (New York)
Miller, Esther D. (New York)
O'Neill, Bethany Bresnaider (New York)
Podlesak, Gerald R. (New York)
Reissman, Ralph J. (New York)
Ronneburger, Ariel E. (New York)
Ryan, James G. (New York)
Savino, William M. (New York)
Scott, Andrew Reginald (New York)
Smirti, Stephen J. Jr. (New York)
Wassel, Thomas B. (New York)

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