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Utah Antidiscrimination & Labor Division v. Duchesne County

Utah Antidiscrimination & Labor Division v. Duchesne County

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Published by Geoff Liesik
Third District Judge Keith A. Kelly's June 29, 2011, ruling that Duchesne County officials violated the state and federal Fair Housing acts when it refused to issue permits to the owners of Uintah Mountain Housing LLC in 2005.
Third District Judge Keith A. Kelly's June 29, 2011, ruling that Duchesne County officials violated the state and federal Fair Housing acts when it refused to issue permits to the owners of Uintah Mountain Housing LLC in 2005.

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Published by: Geoff Liesik on Jul 01, 2011
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11/18/2014

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tan
JUN29PM12:25
FILED8
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INTHEDISTRICTCOURTOFTHE
THIR.D
JUDICIALDISTRICT
IN
ANDFORSUMl\1ITCOUNTY,STATEOFUTAH
UTAHLABORCOMMISSION-UTAHANTIDISCRIMINATION
&
LABORDIVISION,Plaintiff,
U1NTAH
MOUNTAINHOUSING,LLC,aUtahlimitedliabilitycompany,et
al.,
Plaintiff-UintahHousing,
v.
DUCHESNECOUNTY,etaI.,Defendants.
ME:MO~DUMDECISION,FlNDINGSOFFACTANDCONCLUSIONSOFLAW
Case
No.090500074
Judge
Keith
A.
KellyTheUtahLaborCommission-UtahAntidiscrimination
&
LaborDivision(the"State"or"Plaintiff')broughtthislawsuitagainstDuchesneCountyandcertainindividuals(collectivelythe"County").TheStateclaimsthattheCountyviolatedstateandfederalfairhousinglawsbydiscriminatingagainstfamily/grouplivinghomesforindividualswithdisabilitiesproposedbyUintahMountainHousing.LLC("UintahHousing"),Joiningthiscaseasplaintiff-intervenors
are
JohnD.Hancock,TysonB.Hancock,BrookeStevens(collectivelythe''Hancocks'')andUintahMountainHousing,LLC("UintahHousing")(TheHancocksandUintahHousingare
collectivel
y
"Plaintiff-Intervenors".)OnJuly28
&
29,
2010,
theStateandUintahHousingeachbroughtmotionsforpartialsummaryjudgment,assertingthatportionsofkeyCountyordinances;DuchesneCountyOrdinances
#01-193,
#04-230
and
#05-240,
are
faciallydiscriminatoryinviolationof
the
federalFairHousingAct("FHA")andtheUtahFairHousingAct
(''UFHA'').
See,e.g.,
42
USC§
3604(f)(l)(B);
UtahCodeAnn.§
57-2i-5.
TheCourtgrantedbothmotions,rulingfromthebenchonOctober
14,2010,
andthenissuingadetailedMemorandumDecisiononNovember5~2010.
 
ThismatterwenttotrialonremainingissuesinthecasefromFebruary28throughMarch
17,2011,
whilepost-trialbriefmgwascompleteonMay
5,2011.
Asdiscussedbelow,afterhearingandweighingtheevidence,theCourtfindsthattheCounty'sFHAandUFHAviolationswereintentional,weresuccessfulinexcludingpersons
with
disabilitiesfromobtaininghousingintheCounty,weredirectedatUintahHousingandtheHancocks,andcausedsignificantdamagestoUintahHousing.TheCourtdoesnotfindthattheHancockssufferedindividualdamagesotherthantheattorneyfeesandcostsincurredinthisaction.TheCourtholdsthatpunitivedamagesandacivilfinearenotawardableagainstagovernmentalentitysuchastheCounty.
In
additiontodeterminingthatdamagesshould.beawarded-infavorofUintahHousing,theCourtdeterminesthatinjunctivereliefagainsttheCountyisappropriateundertheFHAandUFHA.1.PROCEDURALHISTORY.
A.CaseHistoryPriortoSummaryJudgmentRuling
OnoraboutFebruary1,2005,UintahHousingfiledthreeapplicationstoDuchesneCountyrequestingaconditionalusepermitfor"housinginDuchesneCountyforindividualsconsidereddisabledasdefinedundertheFederalFairHousingAct...whowilllive
in
afamilystructuredlivingenvironmentandarerecognizedasafamilywritundertheFHA."JAfteranexchangeoflettersbetweentheparties,onMarch
17,2005,
MikeHyde,onbehalfofDuchesneCountyPlanning,Zoning
&
CommunityDevelopmentstated"thecounty
has
rejectedyourapplicationsofFebruary1,
2005,
becausethestateandcountyhaveclassifiedyourproposedfacilityasaResidentialTreatmentFacilityandsuchfacilitiesarenotapermitteduse
in
the
A-'-5
AgriculturallResidentialZone.,,2UintahHousingtimelyfiledanappeal
with
theUtahLaborCommissionchallengingthatdecision.OnMarch18,2008,theUtahLaborCommissionissuedaFinalDeterminationandOrder,baseduponaninformaladministrativeproceeding,statingthattheevidenceshowedthatUintahHousinghadmadeoutaprimafaciecaseofhousingdiscriminationunderboththeFederalandStateFairHousing
Acts.'
TheCountyappealedthatDeterminationandOrderandrequesteda
denovo
reviewindistrictcourt..
ISomeofthepersonsassociatedwithUintahHousingpreviouslyappliedto
the
Countyforpermissionthroughapriorcompany,UintahMountainRTC,toestablishasimilarfacility
in
2003.Approvalforthoseplanswasultimatelydeniedandthatdenialbecamethesubjectofapriorlawsuit,namely
UintahMountainRTC.
UC
v.DuchesneCo.,
2005UTApp565,127P.3d1270.2TheCourtnotes
that
thepartiesstrenuouslydebatethefactssurroundinghowthatdeterminationwasmade.However,therecordisundisputed
that
theCountycategorizedUintahHousing'sapplicationsasResidentialTreatmentFacilitiesandthattheCountydeniedconditionalusepermitsforsucbfacilities.3InitsMarch18,2008DeterminationandOrder,theLaborCommissionawardedmore
than
$15millionindamagesagainsttheCountybaseduponthefindingofdiscrimination.
(See
UFHANo.05.H0035,HUDCaseNo.08-05-0103·8).Becausetheinstantcaseinvolvesa
denovo
review,noneoftheevidencebeforeordecisionsQftheUtahLaborCommissionareconsideredby
this
Courtinreachingitsdecision.
2
 
Thecase,originallyfiledinDuchesneCounty,wastransferredtothisCourt
in
May2008.Overaprotractedcourseoflitigation,thepartiesfilednumerousmotionsforsummaryjudgment.OnMarch15,2010,JudgeBruce
C
Lubeckissuedanorderregardingtheoutstandingmotionsforsummaryjudgment.
In
thatOrder,JudgeLubeckdisposedofallgroundsforsummaryjudgment(withtheexceptionofcertainclaimsagainstDefendantHyde)andrequestedthatthepartiesre-brieftheissueofwhetherthehousingordinanceswerediscriminatoryontheirface.SoonthereafterthecasewastransferredtoJudgeKeithKellyinconnectionwithJudgeLubeck'sre-assignmenttotheWestJordanDepartmentoftheUtahThirdDistrictCourt.OnJune24,2010,thepartiesarguedtheissueoftheallegedlydiscriminatoryordinancesbeforeJudgeKelly.Atthathearing,thisCourtnotedthattheformofbriefingdidnotconformtoeitherRule7orRule56,compromisingtheCourt'sabilitytodeterminewhethermaterialfactualdisputesexistedintherecord.Becauseofthis,thisCourtenteredaRulingandOrderonJuly13,2010.statingthattheCourtwoulddenywithoutprejudiceanyunresolvedpriormotions.wouldnotre-hearmotionsruleduponbyJudgeLubeck,andwouldallowanypartytoresubmitmotionsforpartialsummaryjudgmentontheissueofwhethertheordinancesarediscriminatoryontheirface.SuchmotionswerefiledJuly28
&
29,2010.
B.·ConclusionReachedinSummaryJiIdgmentRuling
OnSeptember8,2010,theCourtheardoralargumentontheJuly28
&
29,2010Motions.OnOctober14,2010,theCourtruledfromthebench.grantingtheseMotions.ThewrittenMemorandumDecisionwasissuedonNovember5,2010,whichstatedinitsconclusion:
In
conclusion.theCourtholdsthatOrdinance#01-193violatestheFHAandUFHAbecausethedefinitionoffamilycontainedinOrdinance#01-193excludesfromthedefinitionoffamilyindividualsnotrelatedby"blood,marriageoradoption,"includingindividualsinaDisabilityResidence["residencesforpersons
with
disabilities"]situationsimilartothoseproposedbyUintahHousing[UintahMountainHousing.LLC].TheCourtspecificallyisnotrulingonwhetherOrdinance#01-193wasthebasisforthedenialofUintahHousing'sFebruary1,2005housingapplications.TheCourtalsoholdsthatOrdinances#01-193.#04-230and#05-240,ontheirface,violatetheFHAandUFHAbecausetheydiscriminateagainstdisabledindividualsbydenyingthemhousingonanequalfootingwithnon-disabledindividuals.Specifically.theydonotpermitdisabledindividuals
in
DRS-licensedDisabilityResidencesproviding"residentialtreatment"inZoneA-5,whilenon-disabledindividualsmaybehousedtherewithoutrestriction.TheseviolationsalsoconstituteaviolationofCLUDMA[CountyLandUse,Development,andManagementAct,UtahCodeAnn.
§
17-27-605(1)-(3)(2004)(amendedandrenumberedin2?05asUtahCodeAnn.
§
17-27a-519(2010)1.3

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