DFEH Settles Familial Status Discrimination Case on Behalf of Four Families

April 30, 2018

For Immediate Release

San Mateo landlord and former manager who imposed overly restrictive rules on children settle DFEH lawsuit for $135,000

Sacramento – The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has reached a settlement in a familial status discrimination case with defendants 1441 Bellevue Associates, LLC, its owner, and its manager, involving a rule that prohibited children from playing outside in the evenings.

Eight complainants, representing four families in the San Mateo apartment building, filed complaints with DFEH in November 2015. These complaints alleged that defendants issued a house rule that prohibited children from playing outside after 8 p.m., and harassed and threatened the tenants and their minor children on the protected bases of national origin, gender/sex, ancestry, and familial status.

DFEH found cause to believe a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act had occurred and filed a civil complaint against the defendants on November 18, 2016 in San Mateo County Superior Court (case number 16CIV02477). In settling the case, the defendants agreed to pay a total of $135,000, with $17,500 to each household, and $65,000 to DFEH for attorneys’ fees.

“Overly restrictive rules limiting the activities of daily life for families with children violate the California Fair Employment and Housing Act,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “DFEH is committed to protecting California’s families with children from such discrimination.”

In addition to a monetary settlement, the defendants agreed to participate in fair housing training and develop and implement an anti-discrimination policy and a written procedure for tenants to report incidents of discrimination.

Denise Levey and Grace Shim, DFEH Staff Counsels, represented DFEH in this proceeding.


The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. CRD’s mission is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-funded programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.

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