Complaint Alleges Retaliatory and Constructive Eviction, Discrimination under ADA
SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y., Oct. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Donus v. US Autism Homes Inc. (2:23-cv-05838) was filed by Christian Killoran, attorney, on behalf of client, Dimitri Donus, a congenial 21-year-old man with autism after he was evicted 6 months early from his rental unit in Southampton, NY. According to Dimitri’s parents, Dimitri was evicted after they raised concerns about his overnight safety, the home’s appropriation of his government-issued funds, and requested a reasonable accommodation.
US Autism Homes brands itself as a “faith-based” not-for-profit utilizing a non-certified housing model, a term in the NYS OPWDD portfolio of services allowing qualified participants to receive a housing subsidy while self-directing additional individualized services. “Non-certified housing is not what’s commonly known as a group home. It’s simply a Landlord leasing a unit to a tenant who happens to have a disability. USAH claims to operate housing and seems to have a list of mandated non-published rules as a condition for tenancy, most of which are an infraction of Fair Housing regulations” according to Mr. Killoran. The complaint also raises questions surrounding ADA, retaliatory eviction, and constructive eviction.
The complaint, filed on August 1, alleges that the Landlord commandeered Dimitri’s benefits including a requirement to attend community classes designed by the Landlord, utilization of their leadership team to control his staff, adherence in following a uniform schedule, and adoption of a meal plan without his input. In addition, it alleges that the Landlord orchestrated Dimitri’s eviction because he profiles as a disabled person who became unwilling to allow his budget of services commandeered in a manner desired by them.
According to a sworn affidavit signed by the Landlord, justification to terminate a tenant’s lease is not required. The affidavit also states that the house operates under a collaborative model, not mentioned as a requirement in his lease. Specifically, the affidavit referenced that Dimitri, who relies on his family for transportation, was often late to return to his rental unit after spending time with family or at appointments and that he neglected to pay for food for 6 months.
Dimitri also has 2 brothers with autism and is a whiz at folding pizza boxes. On Saturdays, when living at his rental unit in Southampton, he could be found at his volunteer job at Slice of the Hamptons.
The complaint, case #:2:23-cv-05838, is overseen by the US District Court for the Eastern District of NY (Nature of Suite/Civil Rights – Housing/Accommodations, Cause of Action – 42:405 Fair Housing Act)
Melanie Donus, Your Choice Consulting, 1 5164171108, [email protected], None
SOURCE Your Choice Consulting