Karim-Panahi v. 4000 Mass. Apartments, Civil Action No. 17–cv–00605 (TSC)

CourtU.S. District Court — District of Columbia
Writing for the CourtTANYA S. CHUTKAN, United States District Judge
Citation302 F.Supp.3d 330
Decision Date27 March 2018
Docket NumberCivil Action No. 17–cv–00605 (TSC)
Parties Parviz KARIM–PANAHI, Plaintiff, v. 4000 MASSACHUSETTS APARTMENTS et al., Defendants.

302 F.Supp.3d 330

Parviz KARIM–PANAHI, Plaintiff,
v.
4000 MASSACHUSETTS APARTMENTS et al., Defendants.

Civil Action No. 17–cv–00605 (TSC)

United States District Court, District of Columbia.

Filed March 27, 2018


302 F.Supp.3d 331

Parviz Karim–Panahi, Washington, DC, pro se.

Debra Fischer Leege, Roger David Luchs, Richard W. Luchs, Greenstein Delorme & Luchs, P.C., Amy Miller, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, PC, Jarren Neil Ginsburg, Melinda F. Levitt, Foley & Lardner LLP, Brian P. Donnelly, Kenneth John Nichols, Nixon Peabody LLP, Washington, DC, Brandon K. Moore Pro Hac Vice david g. sommer, Gallagher Evelius & Jones, LLP, Kerry Raymond, Carrie V. O'Brien, Ralph Louis Arnsdorf, Franklin & Prokopik, P.C., Baltimore, MD, Michael E. Barnsback, O'Hagan Meyer, PLLC, Alexandria, VA, Jack L. Wuerker, Fisherbroyles, LLP, McLean, VA, for Defendant.

W.H.H. Trice & Co., pro se,

Mount Vernon Plaza Apartments, pro se

Elaine Thomas, pro se.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

TANYA S. CHUTKAN, United States District Judge

302 F.Supp.3d 332

Plaintiff, appearing pro se , has sued more than twenty defendants for what appears to be housing discrimination and other alleged wrongs. He has divided the defendants into eight groups, and each group has moved to dismiss under Rules 8 and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons explained below, Defendants' motions will be GRANTED.

I. BACKGROUND

Plaintiff's "Civil & Criminal Complaint" is neither "short" nor "plain." Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). He describes the Defendants as an "assorted conglomerate of landlords, property management companies, and /or credit reporting agencies," who "by personal meetings and/or search of credit and legal actions ... committed alleged conspiracies/violations had actual and/or constructive knowledge of Plaintiff's national-origin, race, religion, age, to create terror-horror, intentionally and forcing people to resolve their grievances, not by laws/ judiciary/ courts, but by violence." (Compl. At 4).

Distilled to its core, the Complaint accuses the Defendants of a vast conspiracy to discriminate and retaliate against Plaintiff in his quest to secure housing at several apartment complexes in the District of Columbia under the voucher program governed by Section 8 of the National Housing Act of 1937 ("Section 8"), as amended. 42 U.S.C. § 1437f(o).

The voucher program is described as follows:

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program was created by Congress under Section 8 of the Housing and Urban–Rural Recovery Act of 1983, which amended the United States Housing Act of 1937. 42 U.S.C. § 1437f (2006). The purpose of the Section 8 program is to aid "low-income families in obtaining a decent place to live and [to] promot[e] economically mixed housing" by providing such families with subsidies to enable them to rent units in the private rental housing market. Id. The federal government allocates funds to local public housing agencies through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"), and the local public housing agencies enter into housing assistance payment contracts with property owners when the agencies agree to subsidize the rent of eligible families. Id.

The [local] Authority is the public housing agency for the District of Columbia. D.C. Code § 6–202 (2004). The Authority is governed by federal regulations promulgated by HUD, 24 C.F.R. § 982 (2004), as well as by local regulations, see generally D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 14, § 8900 (2004). A participant accepted into the voucher program by the Authority must be in compliance with the requirements of the program,
302 F.Supp.3d 333
24 C.F.R. § 982.551, and may be denied benefits or have his or her benefits terminated for non-compliance with any of eleven enumerated events[.]

Robinson v. D.C. Hous. Auth. , 660 F.Supp.2d 6, 8–9 (D.D.C. 2009). A voucher participant's obligations include the following:

(b) Supplying required information—

(1) The family must supply any information that the PHA or HUD determines is necessary in the administration of the program, including submission of required evidence of citizenship or eligible immigration status (as provided by 24 CFR part 5). "Information" includes any requested certification, release or other documentation.

(2) The family must supply any information requested by the PHA or HUD for use in a regularly scheduled reexamination or interim reexamination of family income and composition in accordance with HUD requirements.

(3) The family must disclose and verify social security numbers (as provided by part 5, subpart B, of this title) and must sign and submit consent forms for obtaining information in accordance with part 5, subpart B, of this title.

(4) Any information supplied by the family must be true and complete.

24 C.F.R. § 982.551.

Plaintiff alleges the following relevant facts. On June 3, 2016, the D.C. Housing Authority issued him a Section 8 voucher, which would expire in six months, on December 3, 2016. (Compl. ¶ 45). The "payment standard [was] set at $1,823.00 for one-/1–Bedroom." (Id. ¶ 46). On June 4, 2016, Plaintiff responded to Defendant 4000 Massachusetts Apartments' ("4000 Mass.") advertisement of a one-bedroom apartment. A leasing agent showed Plaintiff Unit–901 and indicated that it was available for immediate occupancy. (Id. ¶ 52). "[U]pon promise of immediate move-in by the leasing-agent, Plaintiff chose" that apartment on June 6, 2016, which, with a monthly rent of $1,775.00, including utilities, was "within DCHA rental-standard payment for the area." (Id. ¶ 54). Plaintiff provided a copy of the Section 8 voucher "but still was asked and forced to pay $70.00 (as non-refundable application fee), and $500.00 (as holding fee)[.]" (Id. ¶ 55). Plaintiff paid both amounts by two separate checks after being "assured by the agent that he would be approved and move in immediately[.]" (Id. ). The leasing agent, "interested to have Plaintiff ... move in ASAP and to finalize renting process ... demanded that Plaintiff ... provide Originals of DCHA Package, (Request Tenancy Approval/RTA), to be filled, signed by both side, and immediately submitted to DCHA[.]" (Id. ¶ 57). In light of the leasing agent's assurances, Plaintiff provided "originals" of the package "and stopped looking for any other apartment unit." (Id. ).

Plaintiff alleges that at the time of his inquiry about the apartment at 4000 Mass., he "was unaware that [defendant] Polinger [and supposedly other defendant landlords and property management companies] had created red-lining in D.C. NW areas not to rent to minorities, low income applicants with ‘Governmental Source of Income’/HUD Section–8 rental subsidy, minorities and with plaintiff's national origin, race, religion, color[.]" (Id. ¶ 53). Plaintiff learned from DCHA a "few days" after providing the requested package "that the Polinger/property-management company, (after becoming knowledgeable of the Plaintiff's ethnicity, national-origin, race, religion, and legal actions to protect his rights), had ordered" the leasing agent "to contact and ask the DCHA officials to guarantee in writing that HUD Section–8 would pay 100% of the rent as rental subsidy; knowing that DCHA could not legally provide such guarantee, intended as an

302 F.Supp.3d 334

excuse to deny Plaintiff the provisions of Fair Housing Act." (Id. ¶ 58). On June 16, 2016, "Polinger leasing office ... mailed an ‘adverse-action’ letter" to plaintiff at his former residence in Orange County, California, which "denied renting the apartment[,] [and] "in [a] few days/weeks" the leasing agent was terminated. (Compl. ¶ 59).

Allegedly upon receiving "verbal notice of intention of legal actions," Polinger's Senior Vice President, defendant Petrine Squires, contacted Plaintiff and on August 23, 2016, "e-mailed the Adverse–Action letter," which was "based on a credit report provided by [defendant] CoreLogic Safe–Rent agency." (Id. ¶ 60). The next day, on August 24, 2016, Plaintiff contacted CoreLogic, which allegedly refused to e-mail the credit report to Plaintiff" and eventually "forced plaintiff to send his picture ID" and "to provide [the] residence address of an acquaintance to be able to receive the Report[.]" (Id. ¶ 61). "Pages 4 & 5 of the Credit Report, based on which the [rental] application was denied ... claimed: ‘Insufficient Income and Tax Lien Information Found.’ " (Id. ¶ 62). The latter stemmed from tax liens "fraudulently filed by California Franchise Tax Board," which, despite Plaintiff's legal actions, have not been removed. (Id. ¶¶ 65–66).

Meanwhile, on July 16, 2016, Plaintiff contacted the leasing office of defendant Chesapeake & Saratoga Apartments on Connecticut Avenue, N.W., which Plaintiff alleges is owned and managed by Horning Brothers. Plaintiff was shown a one-bedroom apartment, which rented for $1,725 per month. Allegedly, DCHA approved Plaintiff for the rental and he submitted the DCHA package to the leasing office. Plaintiff paid an application fee of $75.00 "and another $550.00 ... Facilities Fee," both non-refundable. (Compl. ¶¶ 72–75). Nevertheless, Plaintiff "mentioned" that the application fee was "unreasonable" and the...

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  • Bozgoz v. James, Civil Action No. 19-0239 (ABJ)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 14 août 2020
    ...events occurred as a result of a conspiracy are insufficient as a matter of law.'" Karim-Panahi v. 4000 Massachusetts Apartments, 302 F. Supp. 3d 330, 337-38 (D.D.C. 2018), aff'd, No. 18-7054, 2018 WL 6167393 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 1, 2018), citing Lemon v. Kramer, 270 F.Supp.3d 125, 142-43 (D.D.C......
  • Estate of Campagna v. Pleasant Point Props., LLC, DOCKET NO. A-2989-18T1
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court — Appellate Division
    • 17 juin 2020
    ...but do not require, landlords "to deny admission" to drug-involved or violent criminal offenders); Karim-Panahi v. 4000 Mass. Apts., 302 F. Supp. 3d 330, 337 (D.D.C. 2018) (explaining that landlords who participate in the Section 8 program "may screen prospective tenants and reject them if ......
  • Henyard v. MV Transp. & Pace Suburban Bus Serv., No. 15 C 10835
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • 28 mars 2019
    ...or procedural right enforceable by law ... in any civil proceeding."); see also Karim-Panahi v. 4000 Massachusetts Apartments, 302 F. Supp. 3d 330, 338 (D.D.C. 2018), aff'd, No. 18-7054, 2018 WL 6167393 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 1, 2018). Lastly, the Defendants seek to dismiss both of Henyard's claim......
  • Brown v. Pa. Higher Educ. Agency, Civil Action No. 19-979 (CKK)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 2 mars 2020
    ...by Section 8 of the National Housing Act of 1937, as amended. 42 U.S.C. § 1437f(o). See Karim-Panahi v. 4000 Massachusetts Apartments, 302 F. Supp. 3d 330, 332-33 (D.D.C. 2018), aff'd, No. 18-7054, 2018 WL 6167393 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 1, 2018) (for a comprehensive discussion of the voucher progr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Bozgoz v. James, Civil Action No. 19-0239 (ABJ)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 14 août 2020
    ...events occurred as a result of a conspiracy are insufficient as a matter of law.'" Karim-Panahi v. 4000 Massachusetts Apartments, 302 F. Supp. 3d 330, 337-38 (D.D.C. 2018), aff'd, No. 18-7054, 2018 WL 6167393 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 1, 2018), citing Lemon v. Kramer, 270 F.Supp.3d 125, 142-43 (D.D.C......
  • Estate of Campagna v. Pleasant Point Props., LLC, DOCKET NO. A-2989-18T1
    • United States
    • New Jersey Superior Court — Appellate Division
    • 17 juin 2020
    ...but do not require, landlords "to deny admission" to drug-involved or violent criminal offenders); Karim-Panahi v. 4000 Mass. Apts., 302 F. Supp. 3d 330, 337 (D.D.C. 2018) (explaining that landlords who participate in the Section 8 program "may screen prospective tenants and reject them if ......
  • Henyard v. MV Transp. & Pace Suburban Bus Serv., No. 15 C 10835
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • 28 mars 2019
    ...or procedural right enforceable by law ... in any civil proceeding."); see also Karim-Panahi v. 4000 Massachusetts Apartments, 302 F. Supp. 3d 330, 338 (D.D.C. 2018), aff'd, No. 18-7054, 2018 WL 6167393 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 1, 2018). Lastly, the Defendants seek to dismiss both of Henyard's claim......
  • Brown v. Pa. Higher Educ. Agency, Civil Action No. 19-979 (CKK)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
    • 2 mars 2020
    ...by Section 8 of the National Housing Act of 1937, as amended. 42 U.S.C. § 1437f(o). See Karim-Panahi v. 4000 Massachusetts Apartments, 302 F. Supp. 3d 330, 332-33 (D.D.C. 2018), aff'd, No. 18-7054, 2018 WL 6167393 (D.C. Cir. Nov. 1, 2018) (for a comprehensive discussion of the voucher progr......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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