United States District Court, W.D. Kentucky, Louisville Division
STEPHEN H. COLLINS, Plaintiff,
PRG REAL ESTATE, et al., Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
J. Hale, Judge.
Stephen H. Collins is a former resident of River Oak
Apartments, an apartment complex owned and operated by
Defendants PRG Real Estate and New River Oak Associates, LLC.
(Docket No. 1, PageID # 384-85) Although Collins was
initially able to climb the stairs to his second-floor
apartment with the help of his wife, his disability made
access difficult after his wife moved out. (Id.,
PageID # 385) Collins requested that the defendants make
accommodations for his disability, but they refused.
(Id., PageID # 385-86) As a result, Collins
terminated his lease and moved out of the apartment. The
defendants later attempted to collect remaining rent from
Collins and reported his default to credit reporting
agencies. (Id., PageID # 386)
alleges that PRG and River Oak discriminated against him in
violation of the Fair Housing Act by failing to provide
reasonable accommodations for his disability. (Id.,
PageID # 387) He further asserts that their collection
efforts constitute retaliation under the Act. (Id.,
PageID # 387-88) The defendants have moved to dismiss, or in
the alternative for summary judgment, arguing that the
statutes relied on by Collins are inapplicable here. (D.N.
65) The Court agrees and will therefore grant the
defendants ask the Court to consider matters outside the
pleadings in deciding their motion. (See D.N. 65-1,
PageID # 396 & n.2) To consider these documents, the
Court must treat the motion as one for summary judgment, and
Collins “must be given a reasonable opportunity to
present all material pertinent to the motion.”
Gavitt v. Born, 835 F.3d 623, 640 (6th Cir. 2016)
(citing Wysocki v. Int'l Bus. Mach. Corp., 607
F.3d 1102, 1104 (6th Cir. 2010)). Collins offers evidence of
his own in response to the defendants' motion but asserts
that summary judgment would be premature because discovery is
not complete. (D.N. 66, PageID # 412-13; see D.N.
66-1) However, he provides no affidavit showing that
“for specified reasons, [he] cannot present facts
essential to justify [his] opposition, ” as required by
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(d);
see Murphy v. Grenier, 406 F. App'x 972, 976
(6th Cir. 2011) (explaining that “[t]he non-movant . .
. has the burden of informing the district court of his need
for discovery” by filing an affidavit pursuant to Rule
56(d) (citing Vance v. United States, 90 F.3d 1145,
1149 (6th Cir. 1996))). And the only additional discovery
described by Collins- anticipated deposition testimony by
employees of the defendants corroborating his claim that he
made requests for accommodations (see D.N. 66,
PageID # 413)-would not save his claims. See Local Union
369, Int'l Bhd. of Elec. Workers v. ADT Sec. Servs.,
Inc., 393 F. App'x 290, 295 (6th Cir. 2010) (finding
no abuse of discretion in grant of summary judgment prior to
any discovery where requested discovery would not have
changed outcome of case). Accordingly, the Court will treat
the defendants' motion as one for summary judgment.
judgment is required when the moving party shows, using
evidence in the record, “that there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a);
see 56(c)(1). For purposes of summary judgment, the
Court views the facts in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party. Loyd v. Saint Joseph Mercy Oakland,
766 F.3d 580, 588 (6th Cir. 2014) (citing Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986)). But if
the nonmoving party “fails to properly support an
assertion of fact or fails to properly address another
party's assertion of fact as required by Rule 56(c),
” the fact may be deemed undisputed for purposes of the
motion. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). To survive a motion for summary
judgment, the nonmoving party must establish a genuine
dispute of material fact with respect to each element of each
of his claims. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322-23 (1986) (noting that “a complete failure of
proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving
party's case necessarily renders all other facts
immaterial”). Collins fails to make this showing.
Design and Construction
first cause of action is for discrimination under the Fair
Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3). (D.N. 64, PageID #
387) Although the complaint does not specify which subsection
of § 3604(f)(3) forms the basis of this claim (see
id.), Collins's response to the defendants'
motion indicates that he relies on § 3604(f)(3)(C).
(See D.N. 66, PageID # 412-13) That subsection
prohibits the following type of discrimination:
in connection with the design and construction of covered
multifamily dwellings for first occupancy after the date that
is 30 months after September 13, 1988, a failure to design
and construct those dwellings in such a manner that--
(i) the public use and common use portions of such dwellings
are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons;
. . .
(iii) all premises within such dwellings contain the
following features of adaptive design: (I) an accessible
route into and through the dwelling . . . .
42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
to the defendants, Collins's claim under subsection (C)
fails because the River Oak Apartments were not first
occupied after March 13, 1991 (i.e., “30 months after
September 13, 1988, ” id.). (D.N. 65-1, PageID
# 396) Attached to their motion is an affidavit by PRG's
chief executive officer, who avers that “River Oak
was built in 1988 and first occupied in 1989.” (D.N.
65-3, PageID # 402) Collins maintains that the defendants are
nevertheless subject to liability “because renovations
were completed [at River Oak] after” March 13, 1991.
(D.N. 66, PageID # 413) In support, he offers records from