NEW ORLEANS – The owner of a low-income housing development recently a setback in a legal dispute with a renter when the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana recently denied the owner's motion for a partial summary judgment.
The plaintiff, Kendall Willis, is suing First Emanuel Homes of New Orleans (First Emanuel Homes), alleging that the low-income housing provider ignored his requests to fix electrical wiring and remove and replace flooring that was aggravating his allergies.
The plaintiff sent a letter to the property owner, First Emanuel Homes, requesting the upgrades beginning in November 2014 and a second letter in January 2015, both of which were allegedly ignored, the court filing said.
In May 2016, another letter was sent by the renter to the property owner requesting accommodation of his disability and removal of the carpeting in his unit, again to no avail, the filing said.
Willis sought help from the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center in June 2016, and staff attorney Peter Theis sent a letter to First Emanuel Homes on behalf of Willis. A final letter was sent by the plaintiff to the property owner in July 2016 after which an attempt by the plaintiff to renew his lease was denied by First Emanuel Homes, the filing said.
After sending a demand letter again and allegedly getting no response, Willis filed suit against First Emanuel Homes on June 27, 2017.
First Emanuel Homes moved for a partial summary judgment, a finding in the defendant’s favor without going to trial.
The court concluded in its May 29 ruling that a partial summary judgment did not apply because the defendant's move to dismiss the case was not based on a single alleged act with a time limits expiration period, but instead a recurring set of allegations continuing from November 2014 into 2016.
The defendant’s motion for partial summary judgment was denied.