September 21, 2023


Future Depends on What You Do

Justice Section Secures Settlement in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Michigan Landlord | OPA

The Justice Division introduced today that it has secured an arrangement to take care of a lawsuit alleging that landlord Darrell Jones of Muskegon, Michigan, violated the Truthful Housing Act by sexually harassing female tenants. The settlement also resolves claims versus Fatima Jones and Jones Investing, LLC, which, alongside with Jones, owned the properties where by the alleged harassment occurred.

“The Truthful Housing Act guards the legal rights of tenants to stay in peace and stability without the panic that their housing service provider will sexually harass them,” claimed Assistant Lawyer General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Justice Section is fully commited to holding housing vendors accountable for their unlawful habits and in search of aid for survivors.”

“The sexual harassment of tenants is an intolerable abuse of electrical power that violates federal civil legal rights laws,” mentioned U.S. Legal professional Mark A. Totten for the Western District of Michigan. “No a single must have to endure harassment and discrimination, specifically in their own homes. My office environment is fully commited to guarding the legal rights of susceptible tenants and will carry on to vigorously enforce the Truthful Housing Act to overcome discrimination and protected justice for victims.”

Under the settlement, which continue to must be accredited by the U.S. District Court docket for the Western District of Michigan, defendants are necessary to pay back $155,000 to compensate individuals harmed by the harassment and fork out a $10,000 civil penalty to the United States. The consent get also necessitates the defendants to:

  • Retain an independent home manager to control their rental attributes for the length of the buy
  • Acquire truthful housing training and
  • Apply non-discrimination guidelines and complaint procedures to prevent sexual harassment at their homes in the future.

The lawsuit, filed in June 2020, alleged that given that at the very least 2008, Jones subjected woman tenants to harassment that included producing repeated and unwelcome sexual remarks, touching tenants’ bodies without the need of their consent, demanding sexual exercise in trade for lease and housing-relevant advantages and taking adverse steps towards tenants who resisted his sexual innovations or complained about the harassment.

This scenario was referred to the Justice Department by the Truthful Housing Center of West Michigan and was litigated by lawyers in the department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office environment for the Western District of Michigan.

The Justice Department’s Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative is led by the Civil Legal rights Division, in coordination with U.S. Attorney’s Workplaces throughout the nation. The goal of the department’s initiative is to address and raise awareness about sexual harassment by landlords, house administrators, upkeep workers, loan officers, or other folks who have control over housing. Given that launching the initiative in October 2017, the office has filed 28 lawsuits alleging sexual harassment in housing and recovered additional than $9.8 million for victims of these types of harassment.

The Justice Department’s Civil Legal rights Division enforces the Reasonable Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination in housing based mostly on race, color, religion, countrywide origin, sex, incapacity and familial standing. Additional facts about the Civil Rights Division and the legal guidelines it enforces is available at People may possibly report sexual harassment or other sorts of housing discrimination by contacting the Justice Department’s Housing Discrimination Suggestion Line at 1-833-591-0291, or publishing a report online. Individuals may possibly also report this kind of discrimination by contacting HUD at 1-800-669-9777 or by filing a complaint on-line