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Karim-Panahi v. 4000 Massachusetts Apartments

United States District Court, District of Columbia

March 27, 2018

4000 MASSACHUSETTS APARTMENTS et al., Defendants.



         Plaintiff, appearing pro se, has sued more than twenty defendants for what appears to be housing discrimination and other alleged wrongs. He has divided the defendants into eight groups, and each group has moved to dismiss under Rules 8 and 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons explained below, Defendants' motions will be GRANTED.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff's “Civil & Criminal Complaint” is neither “short” nor “plain.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a). He describes the Defendants as an “assorted conglomerate of landlords, property management companies, and /or credit reporting agencies, ” who “by personal meetings and/or search of credit and legal actions . . . committed alleged conspiracies/violations had actual and/or constructive knowledge of Plaintiff's national-origin, race, religion, age, to create terror-horror, intentionally and forcing people to resolve their grievances, not by laws/ judiciary/ courts, but by violence.” (Compl. At 4).

         Distilled to its core, the Complaint accuses the Defendants of a vast conspiracy to discriminate and retaliate against Plaintiff in his quest to secure housing at several apartment complexes in the District of Columbia under the voucher program governed by Section 8 of the National Housing Act of 1937 (“Section 8”), as amended. 42 U.S.C. § 1437f(o).

         The voucher program is described as follows:

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program was created by Congress under Section 8 of the Housing and Urban-Rural Recovery Act of 1983, which amended the United States Housing Act of 1937. 42 U.S.C. § 1437f (2006). The purpose of the Section 8 program is to aid “low-income families in obtaining a decent place to live and [to] promot[e] economically mixed housing” by providing such families with subsidies to enable them to rent units in the private rental housing market. Id. The federal government allocates funds to local public housing agencies through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”), and the local public housing agencies enter into housing assistance payment contracts with property owners when the agencies agree to subsidize the rent of eligible families. Id.
The [local] Authority is the public housing agency for the District of Columbia. D.C. Code § 6-202 (2004). The Authority is governed by federal regulations promulgated by HUD, 24 C.F.R. § 982 (2004), as well as by local regulations, see generally D.C. Mun. Regs. tit. 14, § 8900 (2004). A participant accepted into the voucher program by the Authority must be in compliance with the requirements of the program, 24 C.F.R. § 982.551, and may be denied benefits or have his or her benefits terminated for non-compliance with any of eleven enumerated events[.]

Robinson v. D.C. Hous. Auth., 660 F.Supp.2d 6, 8-9 (D.D.C. 2009). A voucher participant's obligations include the following:

(b) Supplying required information-
(1) The family must supply any information that the PHA or HUD determines is necessary in the administration of the program, including submission of required evidence of citizenship or eligible immigration status (as provided by 24 CFR part 5). “Information” includes any requested certification, release or other documentation.
(2) The family must supply any information requested by the PHA or HUD for use in a regularly scheduled reexamination or interim reexamination of family income and composition in accordance with HUD requirements.
(3) The family must disclose and verify social security numbers (as provided by part 5, subpart B, of this title) and must sign and submit consent forms for obtaining information in accordance with part 5, subpart B, of this title.
(4) Any information supplied by the family must be true and complete.

24 C.F.R. § 982.551.

         Plaintiff alleges the following relevant facts. On June 3, 2016, the D.C. Housing Authority issued him a Section 8 voucher, which would expire in six months, on December 3, 2016. (Compl. ¶ 45). The “payment standard [was] set at $1, 823.00 for one-/1-Bedroom.” (Id. ¶ 46). On June 4, 2016, Plaintiff responded to Defendant 4000 Massachusetts Apartments' (“4000 Mass.”) advertisement of a one-bedroom apartment. A leasing agent showed Plaintiff Unit-901 and indicated that it was available for immediate occupancy. (Id. ¶ 52). “[U]pon promise of immediate move-in by the leasing-agent, Plaintiff chose” that apartment on June 6, 2016, which, with a monthly rent of $1, 775.00, including utilities, was “within DCHA rental-standard payment for the area.” (Id. ¶ 54). Plaintiff provided a copy of the Section 8 voucher “but still was asked and forced to pay $70.00 (as non-refundable application fee), and $500.00 (as holding fee)[.]” (Id. ¶ 55). Plaintiff paid both amounts by two separate checks after being “assured by the agent that he would be approved and move in immediately[.]” (Id.). The leasing agent, “interested to have Plaintiff . . . move in ASAP and to finalize renting process . . . demanded that Plaintiff . ...

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