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In re Grandoit

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

July 28, 2014

IN RE: ENJOINED LITIGANT GERARD D. GRANDOIT

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

WILLIAM G. YOUNG, District Judge.

Movant Gerard D. Grandoit, [1] has been found by a judge of this Court to be an abusive litigant.[2] As a result, he has been enjoined from filing civil actions in this Court without first obtaining permission from a judicial officer.

Now before the Court is a motion from Grandoit seeking permission to add new facts and claims "to the proposed Complaint that he petitioned to file against Cambridge Housing Authority." See Docket No 1. Grandoit avers that he has not received a response "from the Court" concerning a 12/13/2013 "letter asking permission for leave to file a Complaint against the Cambridge Housing Authority.[3] Id. at ¶¶ 1, 2. Grandoit states that he "attached a Memorandum of Law in support of his Motion to file the Complaint against CHA on the genuine issue of material facts involved." Id. at ¶ 3. With his motion, Grandoit filed a Memorandum of Law in Support of Motion to Show Good Cause, see Docket No.2, as well as the proposed complaint against the Cambridge Housing Authority, a motion for leave to file attachments in support of the complaint and a notice to file under seal.

PLAINTIFF'S PROPOSED COMPLAINT

Gerard D. Grandoit, a self-described African American man, alleges that on September 6, 2011, he applied for emergency housing from the Cambridge Housing Authority. See Proposed Complaint ("Prop. Compl."), p. 2. At that time, Grandoit was facing eviction from his condominium after foreclosure by Wells Fargo. Id. at p. 3. Grandoit contends that he was qualified for emergency housing because he was able to demonstrate that he was not evicted due to nonpayment of rent and that he was found not to be at fault for the eviction. He contends that although he met the written criteria for emergency housing, the defendant found he could not qualify based upon his financial obligation. Id. at p. 4. Grandoit complains that the final decision denying his application was based upon the alleged impermissible ground that he had previously "moved back into his condominium knowing that he could not keep up with the mortgage payments" Id. at p. 3. In addition, Grandoit also alleges that his application was denied because his "mortgage payment had been more than 50% of his income." Id.

Grandoit alleges that the defendant housing authority violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3631 and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. § 1691. Id. at ¶ 1. In support of this Court's jurisdiction, plaintiff references 28 U.S.C. § 1331; 28 U.S.C. § 1367; 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b); and 42 U.S.C. § 1982. Id. at ¶ 2. Grandoit complains that the defendant discriminated against him and refused to grant him emergency housing "on the basis of his national origin, race, color, [and] familial status. Id. at p. 11. Plaintiff seeks equitable relief. Id. at p. 10.

REVIEW

To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint "must give the defendant fair notice of what the... claim is and the grounds upon which it rests, ' and allege a plausible entitlement to relief.'" Decotiis v. Whittemore , 635 F.3d 22, 29 (1st Cir. 2011) (quoting Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550U.S. 544, 555, 559 (2007)).

To determine whether the factual allegations in the complaint are sufficient to survive a motion to dismiss, the Court "employ[s] a two-pronged approach." Soto-Torres v. Fraticelli , 654 F.3d 153, 158 (1st Cir. 2011). "The first prong is to identify the factual allegation and to identify statements in the complaint that merely offer legal conclusions couched as facts or are threadbare or conclusory." Id . The second prong is to assess whether the factual allegations "allow [ ] the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged.'" Id. at 159 (quoting Ashcroft v. Iqbal , 129 S.Ct. 1937, 1949 (2009)). If they do, "the claim has facial plausibility." Ocasio-Hernández v. Fortuño-Burset , 640 F.3d 1, 12 (1st Cir. 2011). "The make-or-break standard... is that the combined allegations, taken as true, must state a plausible, not a merely conceivable, case for relief." Soto-Torres , 654 F.3d at 159 (quoting Sepúlveda-Villarini v. Dep't. of Educ. of P.R. , 628 F.3d 25, 29 (1st Cir. 2010)).

As a pro se, Grandoit, is entitled to a liberal reading of his allegations, no matter how inartfully pled. See Haines v. Kerner , 404 U.S. 519, 520-21 (1972); Rodi v. New Eng. Sch. of Law , 389 F.3d 5, 13 (1st Cir. 2004).

DISCUSSION

I. THE FAIR HOUSING ACT

The Fair Housing Act makes it unlawful "[t]o discriminate against any persons 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). The Fair Housing Act ("FHA") confers a private right of action on one aggrieved by an occurrence of housing discrimination. 42 U.S.C. § 3613(a). A plaintiff can allege three causes of action under Section 3604 of the FHA: intentional discrimination (or disparate treatment), disparate impact, or failure to make reasonable accommodation. S. Middlesex Opportunity Council, Inc. v. Town of Framingham , 752 F.Supp.2d 85, 95 (D. Mass. 2010) (Woodlock, J.) (citations omitted).

Although the FHA also provides an alternate avenue of administrative enforcement by filing a complaint with the Secretary of HUD, 42 U.S.C. § 3610, [4] the FHA doesn't require that an aggrieved person exhaust his administrative remedies before filing a civil action, nor does it require that plaintiff select one avenue to the exclusion of the other. See Mitchell v. Walters , 2010 WL 3614210 (D. N.J. 2010) (citing 42 U.S.C. § 3613(a)(2) ("An aggrieved person may commence a civil action under this subsection ...


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