Filed Date: July 17, 2008
Closed Date: 2011
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On July 17, 2008, the United State filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Middle District Court of Alabama under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§3601-3619, against Defendants, rental property owners and their property manager. The U.S. Department of Justice alleged the Defendants discriminated in their rental business against women. Specifically, DOJ claimed that beginning in 2005 or earlier, the defendants' property manager subjected actual and prospective female tenants to unwanted verbal sexual advances, unwanted sexual touching, and adverse action when they refused or objected to his sexual advances. (For example, he would, the DOJ claimed, send false notices of rent owed to tenants who spurned his advances.) The complaint sought declaratory, injunctive and monetary relief and an assessment of civil penalties.
The property manager's request for a stay due to a pending bankruptcy was denied (after the bankruptcy was dismissed), and he eventually sought summary judgment. The court denied that motion on November 23, 2009. Additional litigation led to a motion for summary judgment by another individual defendant, which was largely denied on September 9, 2010. (The court did note that this individual would not be held vicariously liable for any punitive damages related to the property manager.) Considerable discovery and other disputes followed, and the case was eventually set for trial on May 23, 2011. In the meantime, however, the property manager whose conduct was at the center of the case had died.
Between May 12, 2011, and July 20, 2011, the Court (Judge Mark E. Fuller) approved separate five-year Consent Decrees agreed to by the Plaintiff and the various Defendants. The decrees generally enjoined the Defendants from discriminating in their housing rental practices on the basis of sex, and required them to pay monetary damages into a fund established for the persons aggrieved by their conduct and civil penalties. Each of the Consent Decrees required non-discrimination in advertising, rental showing, employee EEO training, reporting and recordkeeping.
On August 16, 2011, the Court entered a default judgment against the remaining defendants, after an extensive evidentiary hearing on damages and civil penalties. But after that hearing, the chief remaining defendant -- the owner of two apartment buildings -- sought relief from its default judgment of $27,000. This the Court denied, finally closing out the case, on April 19, 2012.
For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5458620/parties/united-states-v-bahr/
Becker, Grace Chung (District of Columbia)
Beck, George (Alabama)
Biggs, Terrie Scott (Alabama)
Boyle, Michael David (Alabama)
Brittain, William Evens (Alabama)
Fuller, Mark E. (Alabama)
See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5458620/united-states-v-bahr/
Last updated July 10, 2023, 3:11 a.m.
State / Territory: Alabama
Filing Date: July 17, 2008
Closing Date: 2011
Case Ongoing: No
United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Public Interest Lawyer: Yes
Filed Pro Se: No
Class Action Sought: No
Class Action Outcome: Not sought
Causes of Action:
Prevailing Party: Plaintiff
Nature of Relief:
Source of Relief:
Form of Settlement:
Amount Defendant Pays: $99,750
Order Duration: 2008 - 2011
Affected Sex or Gender: