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Two Year Statute of Limitations for FHA Claims

Telesca v. The Village of Kings Creek Condominium Association, Inc.,
No. 09-13910, U.S. App. Ct., 11th Cir., Aug. 2, 2010

The Telescas bought a condominium unit in Florida, which they used as a vacation home for over fifteen years.  Parking at the condominium, pursuant to the condominium’s policy, was on a first come first serve basis.  Several handicap spaces were available at the complex, but none were relatively close in proximity to the Telescas’ unit.
In 2004, the Telescas asked the association for an assigned parking space based on their declining health conditions, but their request was denied.  They repeated this request in 2005 and again in 2007, and were rejected twice more based on association policies.  Once in 2005, Mrs. Telesca’s car was towed when she parked in a resident space while visiting their unit. This incident, according to the court, was the only specific injury alleged in the complaint filed in 2008.
The complaint against the association alleged harassment, retaliation and discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act.  The district court found that the Telescas complaint failed to plead a particularized injury within the two-year statute of limitations period. The trial court also determined that the Telescas did not have standing to bring their FHA claim for violations relating to a property that was not a full-time residence.
On appeal, the court held that while the Telescas did have standing to bring their claim,  they did not state an injury within the statute of limitations period.  The appeals court found that a vacation home can be considered a dwelling under the FHA, which meant that they had standing to bring a claim based on discrimination “in the provision of services or facilities in connection with [a] dwelling because of a handicap.”  The Act requires “reasonable modifications” of existing premises for handicap persons.  However, because the only particularized injury asserted occurred three years prior to filing suit, the appeals court affirmed the dismissal of the suit based on the statute of limitations.
This site and any information contained herein is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.  Seek a competent attorney for advice on any legal matter.

Authors: Ryan McCabe

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