Civil Rights Department Obtains $20K Settlement to Resolve Alleged Fair Housing and Anti-Black Hate Violence Complaint in San Diego County
SACRAMENTO – The California Civil Rights Department (CRD) today announced obtaining a $20,000 civil rights settlement as a result of a lawsuit filed by the department over the alleged unlawful actions of an individual who was the de facto manager of a property in San Diego County. In the lawsuit filed in 2022, CRD alleged that the property manager subjected a tenant to the threat of violence, discrimination, harassment, and retaliation because of his race, in violation of the state’s civil hate violence, fair housing, and public accommodations laws. In addition to monetary compensation, the settlement requires the property manager to complete fair housing and anger management training to help prevent any future violations of the state’s antidiscrimination protections.
“Whether it’s in housing, employment, or anywhere else, hate and discrimination will not be tolerated in our state,” said CRD Director Kevin Kish. “Anti-Blackness is not just a challenge of yesterday, it remains a current and persistent threat. If you believe your civil rights have been violated, report it. Every report makes a difference. I’m grateful to the tenant who bravely came forward and to our team at the Civil Rights Department for their commitment to justice.”
From 2021 to 2022, CRD investigated an administrative complaint from a tenant renting a single bedroom in San Diego County alleging severe anti-Black discrimination and harassment by the manager. CRD then filed a lawsuit with the Los Angeles County Superior Court seeking relief on behalf of the tenant. According to the lawsuit, the complainant, among other things, was allegedly subjected to verbal anti-Black harassment, fees not charged to white tenants, and threat of physical violence. After one alleged incident, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call for assistance by the complainant at the rental property and the property manager allegedly attempted to have the tenant arrested instead. However, the responding deputy refused to do so based on the statements of other tenant witnesses. Eventually, the treatment became so intolerable that the tenant was constructively evicted.
As a result of the settlement announced today, the property manager is required to:
- Comply with all federal and state fair housing laws.
- Attend fair housing and anger management training.
- Provide current and prospective tenants information on the state’s fair housing laws
- Pay $20,000 to the complainant.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of discrimination, CRD may be able to assist you through its complaint process. General information about CRD’s complaint process and how to file a complaint is available here. General information regarding California’s protections against discrimination in housing is available here.
In addition, individuals who have been impacted by a hate crime or incident can report to get support through CA vs Hate, a non-emergency, multilingual reporting hotline and online portal. The hotline may also be able to assist individuals who wish to file a civil rights complaint with CRD.
The settlement announced today was litigated by Senior Counsel Azadeh Hosseinian and Staff Counsel Dagmawi Teshale. The plaintiff-intervenor was represented by the Legal Aid Society of San Diego.A copy of the settlement is available here. A copy of the lawsuit is available here.
CRD is the state agency charged with enforcing California’s civil rights laws. Formerly known as the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), the mission of CRD is to protect the people of California from unlawful discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and state-fund programs and activities, and from hate violence and human trafficking. For more information, visit calcivilrights.ca.gov.