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Archive for Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Judge orders landlord to pay damages for refusal to rent

October 25, 2005

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A judge has ordered a Lawrence landlord to pay more than $110,000 for refusing to rent to an interracial couple.

In a ruling filed this morning in District Court, Judge Stephen Six ordered Rex Youngquist to pay $75,000 in punitive damages for refusing to rent to Adrienne Morales and Wayne Jackson in 2002 at Villa 26 Townhomes, 2109 W 26th St.

In addition to the punitive damages, Six ordered Youngquist and his co-defendants a co-owner and an apartment manager who are both his daughters to pay $35,000 in attorneys' fees.

And, he ordered Youngquist to pay a $1,000 sanction for failing to turn over information about his finances. Youngquist "refused to comply with the Court's order requiring him to provide information, testimony and documents on his financial condition," Six wrote.

A jury in May found that Youngquist committed illegal housing discrimination against Jackson and Morales. They awarded the couple $3,390 at the time but also found the couple was eligible to collect punitive damages.

Comments

Confrontation 8 years, 12 months ago

Finally! This Judge actually makes sense.

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princess 8 years, 12 months ago

Wow, I am happy that this landlord is being punished and all, but damn if that is not a whole hell of a lot of money. Ouch.

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nomorebobsplease 8 years, 12 months ago

suppose the rent in his buildings will go up?

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cellogrl 8 years, 12 months ago

Okay, I have to say to macon47 that it is true that the goverment sets rules for you to follow and sometimes they are out of control, but that is not the case here. Discrimination is flat wrong whether you own the business or not. They SHOULD be fined for it and the judge was right. It's not a matter of what you can and can't do with your business, but a matter of what you can or can't do to other people.

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Steve Jacob 8 years, 12 months ago

Come on macon47. You pretty much have to rent to anyone that has the money and did not destroy and get kicked out of a former apartment. If an owner doesn't understand that you should get out of the business.

I guess the only legal discrimination in town is those "women only" health clubs. Honestly, if I opened a men's only health club, there would be a protest.

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Todd 8 years, 12 months ago

I don't know... seems like a men's only health club would go over pretty well in Lawrence.

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Sigmund 8 years, 12 months ago

Judges order: $110,000 Attorney Contingency Fee: 40% Look on the faces of new and current tenants as landlord raises his rent to cover the cost of judgement: Priceless.

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bangaranggerg 8 years, 12 months ago

I wonder if the Boardwalk owners will see a wrongful death suit or anything at all, I mean there's always a way to sue.

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samsnewplace 8 years, 12 months ago

ReachAround I agree with you...and those that don't follow the law, must face the consequences. You wouldn't expect such closed minds here in Lawrence, but I guess it still exists. Way to go judge, hold them accountable for their actions.

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samsnewplace 8 years, 12 months ago

one_more_bob just whom are you scoffing at? not that it matters

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christie 8 years, 12 months ago

$100 says that Landlord takes all the tax breaks the government allows. You can't have it both ways folks. The government sets rules. You either live with them or get out. I'm delighted these people have to pay up. I wonder if they ever will.

Wouldn't it be funny if they ended up having to sell those properties to pay up and ended up having to live in an apartment.

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optimist 8 years, 12 months ago

Discrimination based on anything other than ones character should never be accepted or for that matter tolerated by society. However that said individuals are entitled to be bigots, racists or just plain discriminate. A truly free society accepts that individuals behave this way toward one another and if we use the courts and cops to enforce social standards on how people think or behave then those who display socially unacceptable behavior are denied their free speech rights or their ever coveted "freedom of expression".

Individuals and the community as a whole should chastise people who behave this way by exposing them and shunning them as a community. Don't do business with them! Those in the community offended can protest them and repudiate them in a public manner; that is our first amendment right.

We are entitled to our beliefs and we have a right to act in accordance with those beliefs so long as we don't cause harm to another or deprive them of their rights. The plaintiffs did not have "right" to live in that apartment whether we agree with it or not. It's unfortunate that they were treated the way they were but there is no Constitutional protection from being offended or embarrassed. The authority the courts have been granted or taken, depending on your viewpoint, exceed the Constitutional intent. Just because we happen to agree with the outcome of this case should detract from the fact that without limits the courts can penalize anyone for expressing their first amendment rights if enough people agree with them:scary proposition.

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Will Babbit 8 years, 12 months ago

Christie made the perfect point Macon47 - yes, he can discriminate if he wants, for example, do you think the KKK would let in a black person?

However, the minute he applies for tax breaks for being a rentor, he is required to adhere to the Equal Housing Law.

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