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Lawsuit alleges city violated Fair Housing Act

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The United States has filed a lawsuit against the city of Columbus accusing it of violating the Fair Housing Act because it refused to grant a permit to a nonprofit group that wanted to operate a group home for men recovering from drug and alcohol addiction.

The Department of Justice on Wednesday filed the suit, United States of America v. The City of Columbus, Ind., No. 1:09-CV-1225, in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division.

In the civil complaint, the federal government says the Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals refused to grant a special use application to Bethesda House in 2007 because of discriminatory attitudes toward recovering addicts among neighboring property owners. The house would hold up to 11 men at a time who are considered "handicapped" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. Section 3602(h).

Bethesda House filed timely complaints with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, alleging discrimination on the basis of disability. HUD referred the cases to the Department of Justice after conducting an investigation.

The United States is asking the court to enjoin Columbus from violating the Fair Housing Act and refusing to allow the operation of Bethesda House. It also asks for monetary damages against each person aggrieved by the city's discriminatory housing practices and a civil penalty.

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  1. Can I get this form on line,if not where can I obtain one. I am eligible.

  2. What a fine example of the best of the Hoosier tradition! How sad that the AP has to include partisan snark in the obit for this great American patriot and adventurer.

  3. Why are all these lawyers yakking to the media about pending matters? Trial by media? What the devil happened to not making extrajudicial statements? The system is falling apart.

  4. It is a sad story indeed as this couple has been only in survival mode, NOT found guilty with Ponzi, shaken down for 5 years and pursued by prosecution that has been ignited by a civil suit with very deep pockets wrenched in their bitterness...It has been said that many of us are breaking an average of 300 federal laws a day without even knowing it. Structuring laws, & civilForfeiture laws are among the scariest that need to be restructured or repealed . These laws were initially created for drug Lords and laundering money and now reach over that line. Here you have a couple that took out their own money, not drug money, not laundering. Yes...Many upset that they lost money...but how much did they make before it all fell apart? No one ask that question? A civil suit against Williams was awarded because he has no more money to fight...they pushed for a break in order...they took all his belongings...even underwear, shoes and clothes? who does that? What allows that? Maybe if you had the picture of him purchasing a jacket at the Goodwill just to go to court the next day...his enemy may be satisfied? But not likely...bitterness is a master. For happy ending lovers, you will be happy to know they have a faith that has changed their world and a solid love that many of us can only dream about. They will spend their time in federal jail for taking their money from their account, but at the end of the day they have loyal friends, a true love and a hope of a new life in time...and none of that can be bought or taken That is the real story.

  5. Could be his email did something especially heinous, really over the top like questioning Ind S.Ct. officials or accusing JLAP of being the political correctness police.

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