Miami Valley Fair Housing Wins Appeal
The local nonprofit group has won a new trial in a federal discrimination lawsuit over an Ohio apartment listing for a "bachelor pad" for men looking to "hook up."
On Monday, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower judge's ruling denying a new trial for Miami Valley Fair Housing Center.
MVFH first sued Dayton-based Connor Group in 2010 over a Craigslist ad for a Centerville apartment. The ad read: "Our one-bedroom apartments are a great bachelor pad for any single man looking to hook up."
The Connor Group argued that the ad did not state a preference, and only indicated that the apartment was ideal for single men. But, Jim McCarthy with Miami Valley Fair Housing says the ad amounts to discrimination against families and women.
McCarthy says “[MVFH's] position is that any time that you try and target a specific group, it could be problematic and that, in this particular ad, when it said ‘perfect for a single man, that it is it was clear that they were favoring single men over families, children, or other folks who may want to live there, and that is inappropriate under the Fair Housing Act.”
After an earlier court sided with the Connor Group, the Fair Housing Center filed an appeal saying jury’s instructions in the first trial were flawed and left them little choice but to side with the Connor Group. The circuit court agreed, unanimously.
The center says they began monitoring housing ads after hurricane Katrina when numerous “discriminatory” ads began appearing on Craig’s List.