Beveridge & Diamond
 
Related Practices
Related Practices

B&D Secures Favorable Settlement in Manassas Case

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., October 24, 2008

Litigators from the firm’s Washington, D.C. office recently secured extensive monetary and injunctive relief for a group of pro bono clients in federal court in Virginia.  Last Fall, the firm filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria alleging that the City of Manassas and the Manassas School Board discriminated against Hispanic residents in violation of federal and state fair housing and privacy laws.  The complaint alleged that the City of Manassas had discriminated against Hispanic residents in the enforcement of its zoning laws by, among other things, targeting Hispanic homes for unnecessary or improper investigations and citations and adopting a zoning ordinance defining the term “single family” in an unconstitutional manner that had a disproportionate effect on Hispanic families.  The School Board was alleged to be complicit in the City’s discriminatory efforts by turning over confidential student records to the City to trigger inspections of Hispanic households.

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. was asked by the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (WLC) and the Equal Rights Center to investigate allegations about the City’s misconduct as soon as they surfaced in December 2005.  Our investigation led to the filing of administrative complaints with the federal Departments of Housing and Education and ultimately the filing of a federal complaint.  After engaging in an initial round of motions practice, the parties were referred to a federal magistrate for mediation, during which Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. obtained settlement terms that were extremely favorable for our clients.  The City and School Board agreed to pay a total of $775,000 in monetary relief and acquiesced to broad reforms of their zoning inspection and student record procedures.  The settlement was approved by the Court on September 30, 2008, which will maintain continuing jurisdiction over the matter through 2011.  Please click here for a pdf of a feature article in the WLC's Fall newsletter 

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