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Did the Town of Parsippany Housing Department Force You to Leave Your Home Because You Had a Child? You May Have Been a Victim of Discrimination

Regarding housing dept ordinance.

Did the Town of Parsippany Housing Department force you to leave your home because you had a child? You may have been a victim of discrimination!

There is the federal Fair Housing Act is contained in Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968. It was amended in 1974 and again in 1978. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination against a person who falls in any of the following seven groups. Anyone treated unfairly because of: race, color, religion, national origin, sex, families with children and people with disabilities. These seven groups are considered “protected classes” under the act and its amendments. "Protected classes" mean the categories of discrimination that are covered by the law.

You can file a Housing Discrimination complaint with HUD online here at this link!

http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=%2Ftopics%2Fhousing_discrimination&fb_source=message

If your case goes to an administrative hearing HUD attorneys will litigate the case on your behalf. You may intervene in the case and be represented by your own attorney if you wish. An Administrative Law Judge (ALA) will consider evidence from you and the respondent. If the ALA decides that discrimination occurred, the respondent can be ordered:

To compensate you for actual damages, including humiliation, pain and suffering.
To provide injunctive or other equitable relief, for example, to make the housing available to you.
To pay the Federal Government a civil penalty to vindicate the public interest. The maximum penalties are $16,000 for a first violation and $65,000 for a third violation within seven years.
To pay reasonable attorney's fees and costs.

Remember this is PER family and there are several families both at present and in the past who were affected by this ordinance.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

clyde donovan September 18, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Good job, Paul!
Harland September 18, 2012 at 11:59 AM
Hi Paul, Are you a lawyer? I am curious to understand you interest in this situation.
clyde donovan September 18, 2012 at 02:28 PM
What's your interest? Are you a landlord?
Harland September 18, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Hi Clyde, No I'm not a landlord. I'm a taxpaying citizen of Parsippany, and as such, I would be impacted by any lawsuits against Parsippany. So if the legal advice that Paul is handing out is incorrect and results in frivilous lawsuits against Parsippany, then it's wasted money for our town and it impacts everyone who lives and pays taxes here. I'm also a parent with kids in the school system. So if the anti-stacking ordinance isn't upheld, the quality of my kid's education will be impacted more than it already has been by the overdevelopment of our town and overcrowding of the apartment complexes. The Patch recently published an article about the need to expand the number of classes in some of the schools due to the high number of students. I know there's been alot of debate that "a family having a baby doesn't constitute stacking", but the reality is that the more people we cram into apartments, the more stress we put on all the services our township provides (schools, sanitation, police, roads, etc.). It directly impacts the quality of our lives. My other point of interest is that, as a voter, I want to understand if our Township is passing legal ordinances. We pay alot of money to have a town attorney to consult in these matters. If he's reviewing these ordinances, and we later find out that they violate the Fair Housing Act, then he needs to go (along with the township officials who hired him).
clyde donovan September 18, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Harland, if you're concerned about Parsippany getting sued, then replace the politicians who support politices that cause legal action.
Paul Musolino September 18, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Listen discriminating against families with children or the disabled is not frivolous its against federal law. Town of Parsippany ought not to discriminate against anyone for that matter. Maybe that kind of attitude is the whole problem here? I did not do this to the town of Parsippany they did it to my family and other families. Did they discuss it with their lawyer or not how would I know? To call throwing multiple families out on the street with no recourse or relocation money and call it frivolous is disturbing but telling about how some town employees may view this situation.
Paul Musolino September 18, 2012 at 05:58 PM
If the town of Parsippany did no wrong then they have nothing to fear from my post which urges them to file a complaint if they feel their rights have been violated (and they may very well have been)! There are laws which protect our right to protest unfair treatment from those governing us. In fact congress can pass no law which will deny anyone such a complaint. Know your rights!
Paul Musolino September 18, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Maybe the township ought to give more thought before amending and passing ordinances that could be harmful to its citizens or discriminatory? They have the opportunity to fix this or let it become a federal case. Maybe they didnt anticipate that happening? I can see if it was more than 3 people in a one bedroom apartment but 2 parents and a 7 month old? Parents and a disabled child? Selective enforcement for only lower income families and apartment dwellers? Sounds like discrimination to me.
Paul Musolino September 18, 2012 at 06:31 PM
Conisidering Parsippany has some of the highest property taxes in the state I would think they have adequate schooling for their residents also. Whether or not someone pays property taxes in a town doesnt make them a second class citizen either. It just means they dont own the property, their landlord owns the property and pays the taxes.
Paul Musolino September 18, 2012 at 07:06 PM
This disabled person for example filed against their town and housing authority and it was determined they were discriminating. Federal laws about discrimination dont just apply to landlords they apply to everyone. The town is supposed to provide fair housing to ALL disabled persons (not some) just like they are required to provide fair housing to ALL families with children, all colors, all sexual orientations, etc etc. The law to me seems very clear. http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/July/10-crt-777.html
clyde donovan September 18, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Lawsuits against Parsippany seem to be rather common. If the voters knew this, they might wake up: 1) http://www.nj.com/news/local/index.ssf/2010/08/parsippany_settles_falso_arres.html 2) http://parsippany.patch.com/articles/parsippany-police-officer-claims-undue-humiliation-in-lawsuit-against-township 3) http://www.nj.com/news/local/index.ssf/2010/03/parsippany_settles_suit_agains.html 4) http://parsippany.patch.com/articles/council-votes-to-settle-with-former-municipal-clerk 5) http://parsippany.patch.com/articles/testimony-underway-in-former-employee-s-suit-against-boe
clyde donovan September 18, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Here' a discrimination action against three Parsippany apartment complexes: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/1999/June/264cr.htm And some context on the Parsippany's housing division: http://www.justice.gov/usao/nj/Press/files/pdffiles/2008/seib0519%20rel.pdf
clyde donovan September 18, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Ed Kopelson, an attorney in Montclair, might be a good place for Paul to start: http://www.adadisabilitylawyer.com/contact.php Info: http://www.northjersey.com/news/73228437.html?c=y&page=1
Paul Musolino September 18, 2012 at 08:13 PM
Thanks Clyde like the saying goes: "The whole world cant be wrong." Thank you for bringing those other lawsuits to my attention.
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