Harrah et al v. Julia Gardens Property Owners Association, Inc.
ORDER granting 13 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Plaintiffs shall file a Second Amended Complaint in conformance with this Order on or before July 29, 2021. Signed by Judge Rodolfo A. Ruiz, II on 7/15/2021. See attached document for full details. (as03)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
CASE NO. 21-CV-60599-RAR
HUA HARRAH, et al.,
JULIA GARDENS PROPERTY
OWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC.,
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISS
THIS CAUSE comes before the Court upon Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs’
Amended Complaint [ECF No. 13] (“Motion”). The Court held a hearing on the Motion on July
15, 2021 (“Hearing”). See Paperless Minute Entry [ECF No. 31]. Having reviewed the Motion,
Response [ECF No. 20], and Reply [ECF No. 29], heard from the parties, and being otherwise
fully advised, it is hereby
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the Motion is GRANTED with leave to amend as
As discussed at the Hearing, Count I of the Amended Complaint [ECF No. 6] is
dismissed because Plaintiffs have insufficiently alleged that their applications for residency were
rejected as required to state a prima facie case of housing discrimination. See Gonzalez v. Sunrise
Lakes Condo. Apartments Phase III, Inc. 4, No. 06-61575, 2007 WL 2364050, at *2 (S.D. Fla.
Aug. 14, 2007) (“To establish a prima facie case of housing discrimination a plaintiff must show:
(1) that he or she was a member of a protected class; (2) that he or she applied for and was qualified
to rent or purchase certain property or housing; (3) that he or she was rejected; and (4) that the
housing or rental property remained available thereafter.”); see also Lowman v. Platinum Prop.
Mgmt. Servs., Inc., 166 F. Supp. 3d 1356, 1360 (N.D. Ga. 2016).
Counts III and IV of the Amended Complaint are dismissed because Plaintiffs have
not pleaded sufficient facts to support an interference claim under 42 U.S.C. section 3617. As
explained on the record, “[c]ourts have interpreted ‘interfere’ as extending ‘only to discriminatory
conduct that is so severe or pervasive that it will have the effect of causing a protected person to
abandon the exercise of his or her housing rights.’” Paulk v. Georgia Dep’t of Transportation,
No. 16-00019, 2016 WL 3023318, at *9 (S.D. Ga. May 24, 2016) (quoting Lawrence v. Courtyards
at Deerwood Ass’n, Inc., 318 F. Supp. 2d 1133, 1144 (S.D. Fla. 2004)). Plaintiffs do not allege
conduct that satisfies this standard—indeed, Plaintiffs’ allegations relating to interference are
Plaintiffs shall file a Second Amended Complaint in conformance with this Order
on or before July 29, 2021. The Second Amended Complaint shall address the deficiencies
discussed above and withdraw Count II and Plaintiffs’ demands for punitive damages and
injunctive relief per Plaintiffs’ Response. Additionally, as discussed at the Hearing, if Plaintiffs
replead Count IV, their Second Amended Complaint shall address the former owner’s standing to
bring that claim.
DONE AND ORDERED in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, this 15th day of July, 2021.
RODOLFO A. RUIZ II
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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