682 Fed.Appx. 768 (11th Cir. 2017), 16-11248, Fair Housing Ctr. of the Greater Palm Beaches, Inc. v. Sonoma Bay Community Homeowners Ass'n., Inc.

Docket Nº:16-11248, 16-16092
Citation:682 Fed.Appx. 768
Opinion Judge:HULL, Circuit Judge
Party Name:FAIR HOUSING CENTER OF THE GREATER PALM BEACHES, INC., Plaintiff-Cross Claimant - Cross Defendant-Appellant, v. SONOMA BAY COMMUNITY HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., a Florida non-profit corporation, Defendant-Cross Defendant-Appellee, M.R.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, LEANN CARR, A.M., By and through his parent, Golda Muselaire, ...
Attorney:For FAIR HOUSING CENTER OF THE GREATER PALM BEACHES, INC. (16-11248, 16-16092), Plaintiff - Appellant: Cyrus Mehri, Ellen Eardley, Joanna Wasik, Pia M. Winston, Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, WASHINGTON, DC; Neil L. Henrichsen, Henrichsen Siegel, JACKSONVILLE, FL; Theodore C. Miloch, II, Infante Zumpano H...
Judge Panel:Before HULL, MARTIN, and EBEL,[*] Circuit Judges. MARTIN, Circuit Judge, dissenting:
Case Date:March 15, 2017
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
 
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Page 768

682 Fed.Appx. 768 (11th Cir. 2017)

FAIR HOUSING CENTER OF THE GREATER PALM BEACHES, INC., Plaintiff-Cross Claimant - Cross Defendant-Appellant,

M.R.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, LEANN CARR, A.M., By and through his parent, Golda Muselaire, N.N., By and through his Mother, Heather Abrams, JANET JACKSON, TA'JENAE WILLIAMS, J.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, BRENDA HILL-BLUNTSON, R.L., By and through his parent, Janet Jackson, MEGHAN GARDNER, Z.M., By and through his parent, Golda Muselaire, M.J.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, I.M., By and through his parent, Golda Muselaire, GOLDA MUSELAIRE, Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

SONOMA BAY COMMUNITY HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., a Florida non-profit corporation, Defendant-Cross Defendant-Appellee,

MARSH HARBOUR MAINTENANCE ASSOCIATION, INC., a Florida corporation, PRESTIGE QUALITY MANAGEMENT, LLC, et al., KIMBERLY JACKSON, JAMES NYQUIST, Defendants-Appellees,

JONATHAN MERRIGAN, individually, EMANUEL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, LLC, et al., Defendants,

JEANNE KULICK, Defendant-Cross Defendant-Appellee,

HI-TEK SECURITY SERVICES, INC., Defendant-Cross Claimant-Cross Defendant.

FAIR HOUSING CENTER OF THE GREATER PALM BEACHES, INC., Plaintiff-Cross Claimant - Cross Defendant-Appellant,

M.R.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, LEANN CARR, A.M., By and through his parent, Golda Muselaire, N.N., By and through his Mother, Heather Abrams, JANET JACKSON, TA'JENAE WILLIAMS, J.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, BRENDA HILL-BLUNTSON, R.L., By and through his parent, Janet Jackson, MEGHAN GARDNER, Z.M., By and through her parent, Golda Muselaire, M.J.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, I.M., By and through his parent, Golda Muselaire, GOLDA MUSELAIRE, Plaintiffs-Appellants

v.

SONOMA BAY COMMUNITY HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., a Florida non-profit corporation, et al., Defendants-Cross Defendants-Appellees,

EMANUEL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, LLC, JONATHAN MERRIGAN, individually, MARSH HARBOUR MAINTENANCE ASSOCIATION, INC., a Florida corporation, PRESTIGE QUALITY MANAGEMENT, LLC, et al., Defendants-Appellees,

MARSH HARBOUR 1 CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC. et al., Defendants,

JEANNE KULICK, Defendant-Cross Defendant,

HI-TEK SECURITY SERVICES, INC., a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Florida, Defendant-Cross Claimant-Cross Defendant

Nos. 16-11248, 16-16092

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

March 15, 2017

Page 769

Editorial Note:

DO NOT PUBLISH. (See Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure Rule 32.1)

Appeals from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. D.C. Docket No. 9:14-cv-80667-RLR.

Fair Hous. Ctr. of the Greater Palm Beaches, Inc. v. Sonoma Bay Cmty. Homeowners Ass'n, 164 F.Supp.3d 1375, (S.D. Fla., 2016)

For FAIR HOUSING CENTER OF THE GREATER PALM BEACHES, INC. (16-11248, 16-16092), Plaintiff - Appellant: Cyrus Mehri, Ellen Eardley, Joanna Wasik, Pia M. Winston, Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, WASHINGTON, DC; Neil L. Henrichsen, Henrichsen Siegel, JACKSONVILLE, FL; Theodore C. Miloch, II, Infante Zumpano Hudson & Miloch, LLC, CORAL GABLES, FL; Ayesa Phillips, Henrichsen Siegel, PLLC, MIAMI, FL.

For M.R.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, A.M., By and through his parent, Golda Muselaire, N.N., By and through his Mother, Heather Abrams, JANET JACKSON, TA'JENAE WILLIAMS, J.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, BRENDA HILL-BLUNTSON, R.L., By and through his parent, Janet Jackson, MEGHAN GARDNER, Z.M., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, I.M., By and through his parent, Golda Muselaire, GOLDA MUSELAIRE, M.J.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, Plaintiffs - Appellants (16-11248): Ellen Eardley, Joanna Wasik, Pia M. Winston, Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, WASHINGTON, DC; Neil L. Henrichsen, Henrichsen Siegel, JACKSONVILLE, FL; Ayesa Phillips, Henrichsen Siegel, PLLC, MIAMI, FL.

For SONOMA BAY COMMUNITY HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., a Florida non-profit corporation, Defendant - Appellee (16-11248): Daniel Marc Schwarz, Cole Scott & Kissane, PA, FT LAUDERDALE, FL; Ron Martin Campbell, Cole Scott & Kissane, PA, BONITA SPRINGS, FL; Scott Allan Cole, Cole Scott & Kissane, PA, MIAMI, FL; Julia Dawn Kornfield, Cole Scott & Kissane, PA.

For M.R.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, N.N., By and through his Mother, Heather Abrams, TA'JENAE WILLIAMS, R.L., By and through his parent, Janet Jackson, I.M., By and through his parent, Golda Muselaire, Plaintiffs - Appellants (16-16092): Ellen Eardley, Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, WASHINGTON, DC; Neil L. Henrichsen, Henrichsen Siegel, JACKSONVILLE, FL; Ayesa Phillips, Henrichsen Siegel, PLLC, MIAMI, FL.

For LEANN CARR, A.M., By and through his parent, Golda Muselaire, JANET JACKSON, J.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, BRENDA HILL-BLUNTSON, MEGHAN GARDNER, Z.M., By and through her parent, Golda Muselaire, M.J.G., By and through his parent, Meghan Gardner, GOLDA MUSELAIRE, Plaintiffs - Appellants (16-16092): Cyrus Mehri, Ellen Eardley, Mehri & Skalet, PLLC, WASHINGTON, DC; Neil L. Henrichsen, Henrichsen Siegel, JACKSONVILLE, FL; Theodore C. Miloch, II, Infante Zumpano Hudson & Miloch, LLC, CORAL GABLES, FL; Ayesa Phillips, Henrichsen Siegel, PLLC, MIAMI, FL.

For SONOMA BAY COMMUNITY HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC., a Florida non-profit corporation, Defendant - Appellee (16-16092): Daniel Marc Schwarz, Cole Scott & Kissane, PA, FT LAUDERDALE, FL; Ron Martin Campbell, Cole Scott & Kissane, PA, BONITA SPRINGS, FL; Julia Dawn Kornfield, Cole Scott & Kissane, PA.

For EMANUEL MANAGEMENT SERVICES, LLC, Defendant - Appellee (16-16092): Kyle Berglin, James K. Parker, Boyd Richards Parker & Colonnelli, PL, MIAMI, FL; Ron Martin Campbell, Cole Scott & Kissane, PA, BONITA SPRINGS, FL; Scott Allan Cole, Cole Scott & Kissane, PA, MIAMI, FL.

Before HULL, MARTIN, and EBEL,[*] Circuit Judges.

OPINION

Page 770

HULL, Circuit Judge

The plaintiffs are the Fair Housing Center of the Greater Palm Beaches, Inc. (the " Center" ) and a number of current or former residents of the Sonoma Bay and Marsh Harbour condominium developments (collectively, the " Plaintiffs" ). The Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit against Sonoma Bay Community Homeowners Association, Inc. (" Sonoma Bay HOA" ), Marsh Harbour Maintenance Association, Inc. (" Marsh Harbour HOA" ) (together, the " Associations" ), and other related parties (collectively, the " Defendants" ). The Plaintiffs claim that the Defendants discriminated against families with children in violation of the Fair Housing Act (" FHA" ), 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq. Following a seven-day trial, a jury rendered a verdict in favor of the Defendants.

The Plaintiffs appeal the district court's denial of their motion for a new trial, primarily challenging the verdict form and the district court's refusal to give a jury instruction the Plaintiffs requested. Because the Plaintiffs have not demonstrated prejudicial and reversible error in the trial, we affirm.

I. THE ASSOCIATIONS' RULES AND PLAINTIFFS' COMPLAINT

The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against families with children. See 42 U.S.C. § 3604 (prohibiting housing discrimination on the basis of " familial status" ); id. § 3602(k) (defining " familial status" as " one or more individuals (who have not attained the age of 18 years) being domiciled with" a parent or legal guardian).

The Plaintiffs' operative complaint alleged familial status discrimination under two different provisions of the FHA: § § 3604 (b) and (c).1 Section 3604(b) makes it unlawful " [t]o discriminate against any person 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 . . . familial status." Section 3604(c) makes it unlawful to " make, print, or publish . . . any notice, statement, or advertisement, with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on . . . familial status."

The Plaintiffs' suit alleged the two Defendant Associations had four policies that discriminated against families with children in

Page 771

violation of § § 3604(b) and (c) and the Florida Fair Housing Act, Fla. Stat. § 760.20 et seq. The parties refer to these four policies as the " Curfew Rule," the " Loitering Rule," the " Proper Attire Rule," and the " Report Card Requirement" (collectively, the " Rules" ). These Rules state as follows: o The Curfew Rule - " All persons under the age of 18 must be in their home or back patio after sunset." 2

o The Loitering Rule - " There will be no loitering--congregating on the streets of [the development] [--] at any time. After dark all children should be in their home or on their patio."

o The Proper Attire Rule - " All Residents must wear proper clothing when walking on the streets of [Sonoma Bay and Marsh Harbour]. No Boys should be shirtless and...

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