Not what you're
looking for? Try an advanced search.
Buy This Entire Record For
SPORN v. OCEAN COLONY CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION
October 29, 2001
LEONARD SPORN, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
OCEAN COLONY CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Irenas, District Judge.
Presently before the Court is the Motion for Summary Judgment
of Defendants Ocean Colony Condominium Association, Carol
Ramchandani, Charles Haines, Betsy Beaver, Fred Shoyer and Frank
Pisaturo. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion is
Plaintiffs Leonard Sporn ("Mr.Sporn"), Dolores Sporn
("Mrs.Sporn"), Amelia Thomas ("A.Thomas") and Rosemarie Thomas
("R.Thomas") were unit owners at the Ocean Colony Condominium in
Ocean City, New Jersey. The dispute out of which this action
arose began in January 1998 when Defendant Ocean Colony
Condominium Association ("the Association"), through its Board of
Trustees, a number of whom are named as defendants in this case,
issued a regulation in which an "Adult Lounge", inaccessible to
children, was created at Ocean Colony. (Compl. ¶ 15). In response
to this regulation, Plaintiffs filed, in January 1999, a petition
with the United States Department of Housing and Urban
Development ("HUD") seeking a ruling on whether the exclusion of
children from the adult lounge violated the provisions of the
Fair Housing Act ("FHA"), 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq. According
to Plaintiffs, Defendants allegedly responded to this complaint
by engaging in "a campaign to discredit the plaintiffs with other
unit owners" and "shunning" and "ostracizing" Plaintiffs. (Compl.
at ¶ 17).
In addition, Plaintiffs assert a number of claims related to
the Defendants' treatment of Leonard Sporn. Mr. Sporn suffers
from severe spinal stenosis and is confined to a wheelchair.
Plaintiffs assert that Defendants failed, in a number of ways, to
comply with their obligations under the FHA and New Jersey law to
"reasonably accommodate" Mr. Sporn's handicap. Specifically,
Plaintiffs claim that Defendants refused to honor Mr. Sporn's
request that he be provided with a handicapped parking space
adjacent to a wheelchair-accessible entrance to the Condominium,
and failed, in connection with renovations to the Condominium
made in 1999, to provide handicapped access to the building and
to the common area restrooms. (Compl. ¶¶ 22-26).
Plaintiffs' final claim is that the actions of the Defendants
constitute intentional and negligent infliction of emotional
This Court has jurisdiction over the matter pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1331, 1367.
"[S]ummary judgment is proper `if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with
the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law.'" Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986) (quoting
The Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3601, et seq., passed as
Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 and amended by the
Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA) of 1988 to protect handicapped
persons, provides that it is unlawful "to discriminate against
any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or
rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services in
connection with such a dwelling, because of the handicap of that
person. . . ." 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(2). The relevant provisions of
the FHA's definition of "discrimination" make unlawful:
(B) A refusal to make reasonable accommodations in
rules, policies, practices, or services, when such
accommodations may be necessary to afford such person