INDIANA – Lawsuit claims an Indiana HOA discriminated against disabled
Is it legal to ban group homes for the disabled?
That question pierces the heart of an ongoing civil lawsuit among a Lafayette couple, the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana and the Brookfield Farms Homeowners Association, which governs the suburban subdivision on the city’s east side.
The case even caught the eye of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which represents the Fair Housing Center and Benjamin and Jennifer Hendrickson — the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The suit is a rare occurrence given the ACLU of Indiana each month receives 800 to 1,000 complaints for legal assistance — a vast majority of which do not reach attorneys’ desks.
“We have a long history of fighting against discrimination at all levels, and this is a type of discrimination against persons with disabilities that is certainly not unique here, and that is troubling to say the least,” said Gavin Rose, the ACLU of Indiana attorney who represents the plaintiffs.
Brookfield Farms Homeowners Association has declined to comment due to pending litigation. But it has denied any allegations of discrimination, according to court documents.
Both parties, however, continue to argue the case in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. The proceedings are stalled while the parties wait for the judge’s decision whether to grant partial summary judgment — a move that typically occurs when the facts in a case are not disputed.
“Lawsuits do not move as quickly as anyone would like them to, so it may be some time before we receive a decision,” Rose said.
The homeowners association’s attorney, Michael Parkinson, who is based in Lafayette, has not returned the Journal & Courier’s phone calls or emails. Read more: