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Belcher v. The Grand Reserve MGM, LLC

United States District Court, M.D. Alabama, Northern Division

September 11, 2017

KIMBERLY BELCHER, PLAINTIFFS
v.
THE GRAND RESERVE MGM, LLC, DEFENDANTS

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          KEITH STARRETT UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         For the reasons below, the Court grants in part and denies in part Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [62] and denies Plaintiffs' Amended Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [56].

         I. Background

         This case involves claims under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), [1] the Alabama Fair Housing Law (“ALFHL”), [2] and Alabama common law. Defendants own and rent apartments at the Grand Reserve Pike Road apartment complex in Montgomery, Alabama. Plaintiffs are an African-American family that moved in to the Grand Reserve in August 2014. Plaintiff Dedric Belcher moved out in January 2016, and the remaining Plaintiffs moved out in the summer of 2016.

         Plaintiffs claim that Defendants created and enforced rules that were designed to discriminate against African-American residents, residents with children, and residents with disabilities. Plaintiffs also claim that the rules had a disparate impact on African-American residents, residents with children, and residents with disabilities. Specifically:

• From March 2015 to September 2015, Defendants enforced a rule (the “Adult Supervision Rule”) which required that “[c]hildren 17 and under . . . be supervised by an adult older than 19 years of age . . . when out on the property; excluding traveling to and from the school bus area.”[3]
• From March 2015 to September 2015, Defendants enforced a rule (the “Curfew Rule”) which required that “[a]ll children under 18 years of age unless unaccompanied by an adult must be inside of their apartment no later than 8:30 pm CST.”[4]
• From March 2015 to September 2015, Defendants enforced a rule (the “Playground Rule”) which provided that “[t]he use of the playground is only for elementary children, grades K-6. It is not a spot to hangout or loiter.”[5]
• From May 2012 to present, Defendants have enforced a rule (the “Pool Rule”) which provided that “children under 19 years of age cannot be at the pool without the accompaniment of an adult, ” and that “everyone in the apartment home must wear a wristband at the pool.”[6]
• Finally, from the spring or summer of 2015 to September 2015, Defendants enforced a rule (the “Gym Rule”) which provided that the “Gym/Sauna is off limits to anyone below the age of 19. The Gym is not a place to hangout. Any resident in the facility below the proper age will be subject to a minimum $200 fine.”[7]

         Plaintiffs also claim that Defendants retaliated against them with harassment, threats, and fines when they complained about these rules and/or attempted to enjoy the complex's facilities. Finally, Plaintiffs contend that Defendants steered African-American residents to apartments at the back of the apartment complex, while reserving apartments in the front for white residents.

         Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit, claiming that Defendants violated the FHA's prohibitions of discrimination on the basis of race, familial status, and disability, and of retaliation for the enjoyment of rights secured by the FHA, as provided by 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a)-(c), 3617. Plaintiffs also claim that Defendants violated the ALFHL's similar prohibitions of discriminatory housing practices, provided by Ala. Code §§ 24-8-4(1)-(2), 24-4-8. Finally, Plaintiffs asserted common-law claims of negligence per se, breach of contract, and breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, compensatory damages, punitive damages, costs, and attorney's fees. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, which the Court now addresses.

         II. Standard of Review

         Rule 56 provides that “[t]he court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); see also Alexandra H. v. Oxford Health Ins. Inc., 833 F.3d 1299, 1306 (11th Cir. 2016). “A genuine issue of material fact does not exist unless there is sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a reasonable [fact-finder] to return a verdict in its favor.” Fla. Int'l Univ. Bd. of Trs. v. Fla. Nat'l Univ., Inc., 830 F.3d 1242, 1252 (11th Cir. 2016). “In deciding whether a material disputed fact precludes summary judgment, a court generally must view all evidence and make all reasonable inferences in favor of the party opposing summary judgment.” Id. But “conclusory allegations without specific supporting facts have no probative value. One who resists summary judgment must meet the movant's [evidence] with opposing [evidence] setting forth specific facts to show why there is an issue for trial.” Leigh v. Warner Bros., 212 F.3d 1210, 1217 (11th Cir. 2000). “In practice, cross motions for summary judgment may be probative of the nonexistence of a factual dispute . . . .” Ga. State Conf. of the NAACP v. Fayette County Bd. of Comm'rs, 775 F.3d 1336, 1345 (11th Cir. 2015). But “the mere filing of cross motions for summary judgment d[oes] not warrant the entry of summary judgment.” Id.

         III. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment [62]

         In their motion, Defendants seek summary judgment on numerous issues. The Court will address each in turn.

         A. Sham Affidavits

         Defendants argue that Plaintiffs filed “sham affidavits” that contradict testimony provided in their depositions, and that the Court should disregard the affidavits accordingly. Plaintiffs did not respond to this argument.

         “The Eleventh Circuit, in limited circumstances, allows a court to disregard an affidavit as a matter of law when, without explanation, it flatly contradicts his or her own prior deposition testimony for the transparent purpose of creating a genuine issue of fact where none existed previously.” Furcron v. Mail Ctr. Plus, LLC, 843 F.3d 1295, 1306 (11th Cir. 2016). However, every discrepancy does not create a sham affidavit. Tippens v. Celotex Corp., 805 F.2d 949, 953-54 (11th Cir. 1986). For example, where the “apparent contradiction derives not from purposeful fabrication but instead from dialectical misunderstanding, ” the “contradiction becomes an issue of credibility or goes to the weight of the evidence.” Strickland v. Norfolk S. Ry., 692 F.3d 1151, 1162 (11th Cir. 2012). Likewise, a “failure of memory . . . create[s] an issue of credibility as to which part of the testimony should be given greatest weight if credited at all.” Tippens, 805 F.2d at 954. “An affidavit may only be disregarded as a sham when a party has given clear answers to unambiguous questions which negate the existence of any genuine issue of material fact . . . and that party attempts thereafter to create such an issue with an affidavit that merely contradicts, without explanation, previously given clear testimony.” Id.

         First, Defendants contend that the minor Plaintiffs' affidavits should be stricken because they testified at deposition that they do not know the meaning of certain words used in the affidavits, such as “harass” and “premises.” This alleged contradiction is not sufficient to strike their affidavits as “sham affidavits, ” particularly in light of the fact that the affiants in question are minors. If the minor Defendants testify at trial, Defendants will be free to cross-examine them as they deem necessary.

         Next, Defendants argue that minor Plaintiff A. S.'s affidavit testimony that she had a dream about Brittany Allen, Defendants' employee, should be stricken because A. S. directly testified at deposition that she never had a dream about Allen. Defendants are correct that A. S. “flatly contradict[ed] his or her own prior deposition testimony” on this minor issue, but they have not demonstrated that A. S. did so “for the transparent purpose of creating a genuine issue of fact where none existed previously.” Furcron, 843 F.3d at 1306. Again, the Court notes that the affiant is a minor. The Court declines to strike the affidavit testimony, but if A. S. testifies at trial, Defendants will be free to cross-examine her as they deem necessary.

         These are the only specific examples of “sham affidavit” testimony Defendants outlined in briefing, despite claiming that “Plaintiffs' affidavits are rife with statements that were later contradicted or controverted in their deposition testimony.” See Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment at 33, Taylor v. Hughes, No. 2:15-CV-834-KS-TFM (M.D. Ala. Oct. 28, 2016), ECF No. 63. The Court declines to sift through Plaintiffs' affidavits and deposition transcripts and make Defendants' arguments for them. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is denied as to this issue.

         B. Injunctive Relief

         Defendants argue that Plaintiffs lack standing to seek injunctive relief because they are no longer residents at the Grand Reserve apartments. Plaintiffs did not respond to this argument.

         The Court already addressed this issue as it relates to Mr. Belcher. In his Report and Recommendation of February 24, 2016, the Magistrate Judge noted that Mr. Belcher had moved out of the Grand Reserve. Belcher v. Grand Reserve MGM, LLC, No. 2:15-CV-834, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31848, at *7-*8 (M.D. Ala. Feb. 24, 2016). Accordingly, the Magistrate Judge concluded that Mr. Belcher lacked standing to seek prospective injunctive relief. Id. at *8. The Court adopted the Report and Recommendation on March 10, 2016. See Order, Belcher v. Grand Reserve MGM, LLC, No. 2:15-CV-834-KS-TFM (M.D. Ala. Mar. 10, 2016), ECF No. 47. The same reasoning applies here.

         A plaintiff's standing to seek injunctive relief “depends on whether he is likely to suffer future injury.” Houston v. Marod Supermarkets, Inc., 733 F.3d 1323, 1334 (11th Cir. 2013). “That requires a real and immediate - as opposed to a merely conjectural or hypothetical - threat of future injury.” Id. “[P]ast exposure to illegal conduct does not in itself show a present case or controversy regarding injunctive relief . . . if unaccompanied by any continuing, present adverse effects.” City of Los Angeles v. Lyons, 461 U.S. 95, 102, 103 S.Ct. 1660, 75 L.Ed.2d 675 (1983). It is undisputed that all Plaintiffs moved out of the Grand Reserve. Therefore, Defendants' alleged FHA violations pose no real and immediate threat of future injury to them. Accordingly, Plaintiffs do not have standing to seek prospective injunctive relief. See Forziano v. Indep. Group Home Living Program, 613 F. App'x 15, 17 (2nd Cir. 2015) (disabled couple's request for injunctive relief under FHA was dismissed for lack of standing where they had already moved into a different facility).[8]

         C. Steering

         Defendants argue that Plaintiffs have not alleged or provided any evidence of facts to support a claim of steering under 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a). Plaintiffs did not directly address the steering claim in any of their briefs.

         The FHA makes it unlawful “[t]o refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.” 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a). “Section 3604(a) prohibits blatant refusals to rent or sell, as well as actions that have the effect of limiting the availability of housing to members of protected classes.” Hall v. Lowder Realty Co., 160 F.Supp.2d 1299, 1319 (M.D. Ala. 2001) (punctuation omitted) (citing Secretary, United States Dep't of Housing and Urban Dev. v. Blackwell, 908 F.2d 864 (11th Cir. 1990); Jackson, 21 F.3d at 1542.

         Plaintiffs' steering claim arises from their allegation that Defendants “have been steering and continue to steer black and other minority applicants and residents to apartments at the back or rear of the Grand Reserve while steering white applicants and residents to apartments at the front of the Grand Reserve.” First Amended Complaint at 8, Belcher v. Grand Reserve MGM, LLC, No. 2:15-CV-834-KS-TFM (M.D. Ala. Jan. 4, 2016), ECF No. 24. But Plaintiffs did not direct the Court to any evidence of such steering practices. In fact, Plaintiffs did not even address this issue in briefing. The Court declines to search through the record and make Plaintiffs' arguments for them. Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment is granted as to this issue.

         D. Discrimination, Race - FHA

         Plaintiffs claim that Defendants discriminated against them because of their race in violation of the FHA by creating rules that had a disparate effect on the African-American residents of the Grand Reserve and by enforcing the rules in a discriminatory manner. Defendants contend that Plaintiffs presented no evidence of intentional discrimination on the basis of race.

         The FHA makes it unlawful to “discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.” 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b). To evaluate a claim of discrimination under the FHA, the Court applies the burden-shifting framework from McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 93 S.Ct. 1817, 36 L.Ed.2d 668 (1973). Molina v. Aurora Loan Servs., LLC, 635 F. App'x 618, 625 (11th Cir. 2015).

First, the plaintiff has the burden of proving a prima facie case of discrimination by a preponderance of the evidence. Second, if the plaintiff sufficiently establishes a prima facie case, the burden shifts to the defendant to articulate some legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its action. Third, if the defendant satisfies this burden, the plaintiff has the opportunity to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the legitimate reasons asserted by the defendant are mere pretext.

Blackwell, 908 F.2d at 870. “The ultimate question in cases like this one - whether a plaintiff has been unlawfully discriminated against - can be resolved only in the light of the specific facts of each case.” Woodard v. Fanboy, LLC, 298 F.3d 1261, 1267 (11th Cir. 2002).

         “To prove intentional discrimination, a plaintiff has the burden of showing that the defendants actually intended or were improperly motivated in their decision to discriminate against persons protected by the FHA.” Bonasera v. City of Norcross, 342 F. App'x 581, 584 (11th Cir. 2009). “[A] plaintiff may meet this burden by presenting evidence that the decision-making body acted for the sole purpose of effectuating the desires of private citizens, that racial considerations were a motivating factor behind those desires, and that members of the decision-making body were aware of the motivations of the private citizens.” Id.

         Plaintiffs presented ample evidence that Defendants' actions were motivated, at least in part, by a discriminatory purpose. First, Kimberly Belcher provided an affidavit in which she testified that Defendants' apartment manager, Brittany Allen, told her that children waiting for the bus were “blocking traffic . . . and being loud and using profanity . . . .” Exhibit 1 [50-1], at 6. Allen allegedly told Belcher that “she will not allow that type of behavior [and] we are not the ghetto . . . .” Id. According to Belcher, Defendants' assistant manager, Khelsi Harvest told her that “she felt that the manager was being biased because it was only the white residents that called to complain on the black children within the complex, ” and that “an incident had occurred where a white family called them because too many black children where [sic] at the pool.” Id. Finally, Belcher stated in her affidavit:

I have seen white children and adults several times sun bathing, using the pool areas, and the grounds and facilities at the Grand Reserve without adult supervision and without being harassed, threatened or fined while my husband and I, our children, other black children and black families are harassed, threatened, and fined. I have seen white children use the gym, washing clothes, walking dogs at the Grand Reserve without being harassed threatened or fined while my husband and I, our children, other black children and black families are harassed threatened and fined.

Id. at 7.

         During her deposition, Kimberly Belcher testified that she heard Brittany Allen “say things like there's too many black kids walking around on the property.” Exhibit 15 to Amended Motion for Partial Summary Judgment at 133-34, Belcher v. Grand Reserve MGM, LLC, No. 2:15-CV-834-KS-TFM (M.D. Ala. Sept. 16, 2016), ECF No. 57. Additionally, she testified that Allen “questioned the black children more than the white children on the property.” Id. at 134. While Belcher saw maintenance workers question black children at the pool, she “never saw maintenance harass the white tenants at the pool.” Id. at 135. Finally, Allen allegedly told Belcher, “you pay too much money for this place to be a ghetto, and your children need to conduct themselves as such.” Id. at 140.

         Khelsi Harvest, an employee at the Grand Reserve during the relevant time period, provided an affidavit that includes the following relevant testimony:

. . . Brittany Allen was the property manager during the time I worked at the Grand Reserve. I was told by Brittany Allen . . . that the reason for the rules restricting the activities of children was that she was receiving complaints from white residents that the . . . value of the property was going down because of the type of tenants wandering the property. Black children very often wandered around the complex in groups. Few white children wandered in groups.
Brittany Allen is wrong when she states that there were many complaints about the activities of children on the property being the reason for the new rules restricting and prohibiting some of the activities of children. There were not many complaints about the inappropriate activities of children on the grounds of the complex. I can only recall about two minor incidents involving children the whole time I worked there.
Brittany Allen told me that two tenants called her and asked if the property was turning into Section 8 Housing because of the increased number of blacks on the property. White people complained that there were too many blacks moving into and living at the Grand Reserve thereby reducing the value of the property. Brittany Allen told me that she got two calls from white residents complaining and asking her whether Grand Reserve did background checks on applicants and what kind of procedures were used on applicants.
* * *
. . . Brittany told me that Savannah Cox in upper management had told Brittany that a well-maintained El Camino car owned by a black male resident looked “thuggish.” Brittany told the man that he had to put the well-maintained El Camino automobile in a storage unit on the property (at a reduced rate) because its presence devalued the property. A white resident complained about how the children of cleaning staff member Shakenya Perry looked and dressed out on the property.
* * *
Brittany Allen told me that she received complaints about kids hanging out at the pool. Older black kids hung out at the pool without supervision prior to the new rule being imposed. Brittany Allen changed the pool rule to require that any children age 18 and under must have adult supervision.
With regard to the curfew rule prohibiting children outside after 8 p.m., I was told by Brittany Allen that the owner frequently rode through the property at night and would see kids outside and heard residents complaining about the black kids hanging-out outside at night. It was the black kids that hung out together at night not the white kids. The curfew rule was imposed to stop the black kids from hanging out at night on the property. . . .
With regard to the gym and sauna rules prohibiting use by children under age 18, Grand Reserve gym rules prior to the new rules imposed by Brittany Allen allowed children age 16 and older to use the gym without supervision. A lot of young black high school athletes - mostly males - started to and continued to use the gym. I saw them frequently in the gym without supervision and their numbers increased as the number of black residents increased. I neither received nor heard of any complaints about the older black athletes misusing the gym. After seeing the number of black athletes starting to use the gym, Brittany Allen changed the rules to prohibit anyone under age 18 from using the gym. Grand Reserve sauna policies and rules prior to the new rules implemented by Brittany Allen allowed older kids to use the sauna. I never heard any complaints about the misuse of the sauna by children.

Exhibit 18 to Amended Motion for Partial Summary Judgment at 6-9, Belcher v. Grand Reserve MGM, LLC, No. 2:15-CV-834-KS-TFM (M.D. Ala. Jan. 10, 2017), ECF No. 79. Harvest provided the following opinion regarding the disputed rules:

I believe that the new rules at the Grand Reserve prohibiting and restricting the activities of children were targeted at children and especially targeted black children. I believe that the new rules were imposed and targeted at black children being out on the property in the daytime ant [sic] at night and using the amenities and facilities on the property. I believe that these new rules were targeted at and discriminated against black children and black tenants. I believe that the new rules were implemented in a way that treated black kids differently than white kids were treated.

Id. at 10-11.

         All of this evidence is sufficient to meet Plaintiffs' initial “burden of showing that the defendants actually intended or were improperly motivated in their decision to discriminate against persons protected by the FHA.” Bonasera, 342 F. App'x at 584. Therefore, the burden shifts to Defendants to articulate a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason for its actions. Blackwell, 908 F.2d at 870. Defendants' burden is one of production, rather than persuasion. Tex. Dep't of Cmty. Affiars v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 253, 101 S.Ct. 1089, 67 L.Ed.2d 207 (1981). For the purpose of addressing Defendants' motion, the Court will assume that Defendants have met this burden. Therefore, the burden shifts back to Plaintiffs “to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the legitimate reasons asserted by the defendant are mere pretext.” Blackwell, 908 F.2d at 870.

         “A showing that a defendant has lied about the reasons for his acts - that he had a ‘dishonest belief' in the reasons - can be strong evidence that a defendant has acted with discriminatory intent.” Woodard, 298 F.3d at 1265.

A plaintiff trying to show pretext based on a defendant's dishonest belief of the grounds the defendant gave for his decision does not succeed by presenting evidence that the defendant was mistaken about the facts upon which he based his alleged non-discriminatory decision. Instead, a plaintiff must present evidence from which a reasonable jury could find that the defendant did not honestly believe the facts upon which he allegedly based his non-discriminatory decision.

Id. “One way to prove dishonest belief” is “to present evidence that no reasonable person, in the exercise of impartial judgment, could have believed” the alleged non-discriminatory reason for the disputed action. Id. at 1266.

         As noted above, Khelsi Harvest testified via affidavit that there “were not many complaints about the inappropriate activities of children on the grounds of the complex.” Exhibit 18 [79], at 6. In fact, she said that Brittany Allen told her that white tenants were complaining about the African-American tenants, id., and that the rules were promulgated by management to “project the kind of image [they] wanted to project.” Id. at 7. Harvest also testified that she never “received nor heard of any complaints about the older kids interfering with younger kids on the playground before the new rules were imposed, ” id., and that Allen changed the pool rule after receiving complaints about African-American kids at the pool. Id. at 8. Harvest also testified that Allen told her that the owner was responding to “residents complaining about the black kids hanging-out outside at night.” Id. Finally, with respect to the gym rule, Harvest testified that she never “received nor heard of any complaints about the older black athletes misusing the gym, ” or “complaints about the misuse of the sauna by children.” Id. at 8-9. She testified that Allen changed the rules “[a]fter seeing the number of black athletes starting to use the gym . . . .” Id. at 8.

         Harvest's testimony is sufficient to create a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether Defendants' alleged reasons for the disputed rules were pretext for discrimination. The Court denies Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment as to Plaintiffs' claim of racial discrimination under the FHA.

         E. Discrimination, Race - ALFHL

         The ALFHL makes it unlawful to “discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with it, because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.” Ala. Code § 24-8-4(1). For the reasons provided in the Court's discussion of Plaintiffs' FHA claims, the Court likewise denies Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment as to Plaintiffs' claim of racial discrimination under the ALFHL.[9]

         F. Discrimination, Disability - FHA

         Defendants offer two arguments as to Plaintiffs' claims of discrimination on the basis of disability. First, Defendants note that Plaintiffs alleged disability discrimination under 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b), but § 3604(b) does not prohibit discrimination because of disability. See 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b). Rather, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability, and Plaintiffs did not plead a claim under that subsection of the FHA. See 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(2). Plaintiffs did not respond to this argument in briefing.

         Moreover, Defendants argue that Plaintiffs have no evidence of discrimination on the basis of disability. To prove a claim of disability discrimination under the FHA, a plaintiff must provide evidence that “defendants actually intended or were improperly motivated in their decision to discriminate against persons protected by the FHA.” Bonasera, 342 F. App'x at 584. In the disability context, the FHA also bars discrimination by “refusing to make reasonable accommodations when necessary to afford the person equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling.” 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(B). To prove a “failure-to-accommodate” claim, a plaintiff must demonstrate that “(1) he is disabled within the meaning of the FHA, (2) he requested a reasonable accommodation, (3) the requested accommodation was necessary to afford him an opportunity to use and enjoy his dwelling, and (4) the defendants refused to make the accommodation.” Bhogaita v. Altamonte Heights Condo. Ass'n, 765 F.3d 1277, 1285 (11th Cir. 2014).

         In their briefs, Plaintiffs did not cite any evidence that Defendants discriminated against them because of a disability. In fact, Plaintiffs did not even address their disability-based claims. They did not direct the Court to evidence satisfying the elements listed above, and the Court declines to search the record for evidence to prove their case. Accordingly, the Court grants Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment as to Plaintiffs' claim of disability discrimination under the FHA.

         G. Discrimination, Disability - ALFHL

         For the same reasons provided in the Court's discussion of Plaintiffs' disability discrimination claims under the FHA, the Court grants Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment as to Plaintiffs' claim of disability discrimination under the ALFHL.

         H. Discrimination, Familial Status - FHA

         Plaintiffs' familial status discrimination claims arise from the promulgation and enforcement of five rules, as discussed above. Defendants contend that these rules were not established for the purpose of discriminating against families, but, rather, “to promote a more family-friendly environment, to address an increasing number of resident complaints, to further the objectives of safety, and to deter objectively offensive conduct, excessive noise, and unreasonable disturbances.” Brief in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment [63], at 45.

         The FHA makes it unlawful to “discriminate against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of . . . familial status . . . .” 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b). “‘Familial status' means one or more individuals (who have not attained the age of 18 years) being domiciled with . . . a parent or another person having legal custody of such individual or individuals . . . .” 42 U.S.C. § 3602(k). Therefore, the FHA “prohibits discrimination against families with children.” Fair Hous. Ctr. of the Greater Palm Beaches, Inc. v. Sonoma Bay Comm. Homeowners Ass'n, Inc., 682 F. App'x 768, 770 (11th Cir. 2017) (citing 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604, 3602(k)). “To prove familial-status ...


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