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Case Name Vargas v. Town of Smithtown FH-NY-0008
Docket / Court 2:07-cv-05202-JS-WDW ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Case Summary
On December 13, 2007, low-income minority individuals in need of affordable housing filed a lawsuit under the Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against the Town of Smithtown in the United States District ... read more >
On December 13, 2007, low-income minority individuals in need of affordable housing filed a lawsuit under the Fair Housing Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against the Town of Smithtown in the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York. The plaintiffs, represented by both private counsel and public interest attorneys, asked the court for injunctive and monetary relief, claiming that Smithtown operated its voucher program with a residency preference that discriminated on the basis of race, color, and national origin. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed that they and others similarly situated were intentionally excluded from participation in the Town's voucher program.

The plaintiffs moved for class certification and also sought for the parties' proposed settlement agreement to be approved on May 6, 2009.

On August 28, 2009, the court (Joanna Seybert) entered an order and final judgment approving the parties' settlement agreement. The final certified class consisted of "all African-American and Hispanic individuals who do not live or work in Smithtown, New York and who applied to the Smithtown Section 8 Voucher Program in 2002 or 2006 when the waitlist was opened and who subsequently were or would have been determined not eligible for the Section 8 Voucher Program because they did not live or work in Smithtown." Under the terms of the settlement the Town of Smithtown agreed to implement an anti-discrimination educational program for its employees, to affirmatively market the Section 8 Program to minority persons, to inform the public of its non-discriminatory policies, to maintain and preserve records for purposes of recordkeeping and reporting, and to pay $925,000 to the plaintiffs. This settlement remains in effect until 2019.

This case is closed.

Gregory Pitt - 08/01/2012
Hope Brinn - 05/26/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Comply with advertising/recruiting requirements
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Provide antidiscrimination training
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Housing
Racial segregation
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 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) Town of Smithtown
Plaintiff Description All African-American and Hispanic individuals who do not live or work in Smithtown, New York and who applied to the Smithtown Section 8 Voucher Program in 2002 or 2006 when the waitlist was opened and who subsequently were or would have been determined not eligible for the Section 8 Voucher Program because they did not live or work in Smithtown.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se 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 2009 - 2019
Filed 12/13/2007
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Date: Dec. 4, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis Law Student)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
E.D.N.Y.
09/27/2011
2:07-cv-05202-JS-WDW
FH-NY-0008-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
not recorded
12/13/2007
Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against the Town of Smithtown, New York to Halt a Discriminatory Residency Preference in its Section 8 Housing Voucher Program
FH-NY-0008-0002.pdf | Detail
E.D.N.Y.
12/13/2007
Complaint [ECF# 1]
FH-NY-0008-0001.pdf | Detail
E.D.N.Y.
03/04/2009
STIPULATION OF SETTLEMENT AND CONSENT DECREE [ECF# 31]
FH-NY-0008-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D.N.Y.
07/01/2009
PRELIMINARY ORDER FQR APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION [ECF# 42]
FH-NY-0008-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
E.D.N.Y.
08/29/2009
ORDER AND FINAL JUDGMENT [ECF# 49]
FH-NY-0008-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Seybert, Joanna (E.D.N.Y.) show/hide docs
FH-NY-0008-0003 | FH-NY-0008-0005
Plaintiff's Lawyers Birch, Nicole (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FH-NY-0008-0001 | FH-NY-0008-9000
Friedman, Stacy R. (New York) show/hide docs
FH-NY-0008-0001 | FH-NY-0008-0004 | FH-NY-0008-9000
Graham, Philip L. (New York) show/hide docs
FH-NY-0008-0001 | FH-NY-0008-0004 | FH-NY-0008-9000
Nunn, Robin (New York) show/hide docs
FH-NY-0008-0001 | FH-NY-0008-0004 | FH-NY-0008-9000
Rich, Joseph D. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FH-NY-0008-0001 | FH-NY-0008-0002 | FH-NY-0008-0004
Smith, Tyler J. (New York) show/hide docs
FH-NY-0008-0001 | FH-NY-0008-0004 | FH-NY-0008-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Arntsen, David H (New York) show/hide docs
FH-NY-0008-0004 | FH-NY-0008-9000
Dejong, Jeltje (New York) show/hide docs
FH-NY-0008-0004 | FH-NY-0008-9000

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