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Colvin v. Parker's Lake Apartments

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

October 29, 2019

Brenda Calloway Colvin, Plaintiff,
Parker's Lake Apartments, [1]Defendants.





         This matter is before the Court on Plaintiff Brenda Calloway Colvin's Motion to Reconsider the Court's June 28, 2019 Order and for an Extension of Time [Doc. No. 60], and her Motion for Relief from Judgment [Doc. No. 66]. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motions are denied and denied as moot.

         I. BACKGROUND

         The facts of this case are set forth in the Court's June 28, 2019 Order [Doc. No. 59] (“the Order”), incorporated by reference here. In brief, Plaintiff Brenda Colvin first applied for an apartment at Parkers Lake Apartments (“Parkers Lake”) in March 2018. (Order at 2.) Prior to applying, Colvin informed the Parkers Lake manager that she had credit concerns and was attempting to expunge a prior eviction. (Id.) Because the prior eviction appeared on her housing records, Parkers Lake's automated tenant screening software initially recommended the denial of Colvin's rental application. (Id.) After the apartment's management company, Timberland Partners, gave her application additional consideration, it was denied. (Id.)

         In May 2018, Colvin successfully expunged her prior eviction, and she reapplied to Parkers Lake. (Id.) In June 2018, Parkers Lake approved Colvin's application for the rental of Unit 1112, with a nine-month lease of $2, 085 per month. (Id. at 3.) Colvin signed a lease agreement, (id.) and she and her children moved in.

         Between June 2018 through at least January 2019, Plaintiff reported problems with the refrigerator in her unit. (Skemp Decl., Ex. 2 (Myss Decl.) ¶ 12 [Doc. No. 39-1].) Defendants' records reflect that they responded to her complaints. (Id.) In December 2018, Colvin filed an administrative complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”) concerning much of the conduct at issue here, including the alleged inadequacy of Parkers Lake's response to her maintenance requests. (R&R [Doc. No. 52] at 3 n.4.) Eventually, Defendants replaced the refrigerator in March 2019, after a police officer who had been in Plaintiff's apartment contacted the Parkers Lake management office, expressing concern about Colvin's children, who were without a functioning refrigerator. (Skemp Decl., Ex. 2 (Myss Decl. ¶ 13).)

         In January 2019, Parkers Lake required Colvin to pay all future rent with a money order or cashier's check, or a form otherwise approved by Parkers Lake, stating that two of Colvin's rent checks had been returned for insufficient funds. (Id. ¶ 14.) Parkers Lake subsequently commenced eviction proceedings against Colvin in Minnesota state court, asserting that she owed $7, 502.67 in past-due rent, fees, and other charges. (R&R at 3.) On May 20, 2019, the state court entered judgment for Parkers Lake, but stayed the issuance of a Writ of Recovery of Premises until May 27, 2019. (Id.)

         As eviction proceedings were underway, Colvin filed the instant suit on April 16, 2019. She alleges violations of the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), 42 U.S.C. § 3601, generally asserting that she received disparate treatment due to race and familial status. (Second Am. Compl. [Doc. No. 6] ¶¶ 3, 14-17.) She then filed several motions, including the motion for injunctive relief [Doc. No. 17].

         Magistrate Judge Schultz found that although Colvin sufficiently demonstrated the threat of irreparable harm absent the issuance of an injunction, she failed to show that she was likely to succeed on the merits of her FHA disparate treatment claim. (R&R at 5-6.) Accordingly, he recommended the denial of her motion for injunctive relief.

         Colvin objected to the R&R, arguing that the magistrate judge failed to consider alternative forms of relief, her mental health, and Defendants' timeline of repairs. (Pl.'s Objs. [Doc. No. 53] at 12.) In the Order, the Court addressed Colvin's objections to the R&R. The Court found that the magistrate judge properly considered the issues that formed the basis of her objections, as well as the factors necessary to obtain injunctive relief. (Order at 5-10.) The Court therefore overruled Colvin's objections and adopted the R&R. (Id. at 10.)

         On July 12, 2019, Colvin filed the pending Motion to Reconsider and for an Extension of Time, requesting reconsideration of the Order, as well as additional time in which to submit evidence. Five days later, she filed the pending Motion for Relief from Judgment, along with additional evidence. Defendants oppose her motions, arguing that Colvin does not appear to have obtained the Court's permission to move for reconsideration, and the newly submitted evidence was previously available to Colvin when she filed her motion for injunctive relief. (Defs.' Opp'n to Pl.'s Mots. [Doc. No. 70] at 1.) In addition, Defendants assert that the evidence in question is not relevant to Colvin's allegations that Parkers Lake discriminated against her in violation of the Fair Housing Act. (Id. at 2.)

         II. ...

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