PHA Not Liable for Discrimination
Facts: A Section 8 resident sued her local PHA and an employee for discrimination against her due to her race, religion, and an undisclosed learning disability. The basis of the lawsuit stemmed from a conversation the resident had with the employee. The resident didn’t say when the conversation took place or provide any context for the exchange that occurred. At some point, however, the employee reportedly said that she would “do [her] best” to take away the resident’s Section 8 housing voucher because the resident had filed a complaint against her in “both state and federal court.” The employee then allegedly used a racial epithet and said the resident didn’t deserve to have a Section 8 voucher.
Ruling: A Wisconsin district court dismissed the resident’s complaint for failure to state a claim.
Reasoning: The court stated that the resident’s complaint failed because she didn’t provide any details about the status of her Section 8 housing voucher. She neither alleged that her Section 8 housing voucher was actually terminated nor that any particular defendant was responsible for that termination.
And although the resident referenced discrimination based on religion and a learning disability in her complaint, she provided no facts in support of these allegations. Likewise, she provided no facts showing that anyone other than the employee was personally involved in the incident that formed the basis of her complaint.
In addition, the court noted that although the resident claimed that the employee retaliated against her because of a prior lawsuit in both state and federal court, she provided no information about those cases and no other facts showing that her housing voucher was terminated on account of any particular complaint against the employee.
- Briggs-Muhammad v. CDA Housing Authority, December 2013