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Hardy v. Broadway Estates Mobile Home Park LLC

United States District Court, D. Arizona

November 5, 2019

Carrie Hardy, Plaintiff,
v.
Broadway Estates Mobile Home Park LLC; JPK Management LLC; and Annie Martinez, Defendants.

          ORDER

          David G. Campbell Senior United States District Judge

         This case arises out of Plaintiff's eviction from a mobile home park. Although the complaint is not entirely clear, Plaintiff appears to allege retaliation under the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”) for making a disability-related complaint. Defendants move for summary judgment. Doc. 56. The motion is fully briefed (Docs. 65, 66) and oral argument has not been requested. The Court will grant the motion.

         I. Summary Judgment Standard.

         A party seeking summary judgment “bears the initial responsibility of informing the district court of the basis for its motion, and identifying those portions of [the record] which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Summary judgment is appropriate if the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, shows “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). Rule 56 further provides:

If a party fails to . . . properly address another party's assertion of fact as required by Rule 56(c), the court may . . . consider the fact undisputed for purposes of the motion [or] grant summary judgment if the motion and supporting materials - including the facts considered undisputed - show that the movant is entitled to it[.]

Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e)(3). Thus, the party opposing summary judgment “may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of [the party's] pleadings, but . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.” Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586 n.11 (1986) (emphasis added); see LRCiv 56.1(b) (requiring the party opposing summary judgment to present evidence that establishes a genuine issue of material fact or otherwise precludes judgment in favor of the moving party).

         II. Background.[1]

         Defendants moved for summary judgment on March 15, 2019. Doc. 56. Although Plaintiff responded, she did not comply with Local Rule of Civil Procedure 56.1. Despite being warned to do so, Plaintiff has not filed a separate statement of facts with numbered paragraphs corresponding to the separate statement of facts that has been filed by Defendants. See Doc. 63 at 2. The Court informed Plaintiff of her burden:

[Y]ou must set out specific facts in declarations, depositions, answers to interrogatories, or authenticated documents, as provided in Rule 56(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, that contradict the facts set forth in the declarations and documents filed by Defendant(s), and show that there is a genuine issue of material fact for trial. If you do not submit your own evidence in opposition, summary judgment, if appropriate, may be entered against you. If summary judgment is granted, your case will be dismissed and there will be no trial.

Id. Despite including some evidence in her response (see Doc. 65 at 5), Plaintiff provides no declarations, depositions, answers to interrogatories, or authenticated documents as provided in Rule 56(e). Nevertheless, the Court will consider the evidence that Plaintiff has provided and will address the motion on the merits. Based on Defendants' supporting evidence (Doc. 57) and Plaintiff's cursory statement of facts (Doc. 65 at 5), the following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted.

         Plaintiff has a number of medical conditions that significantly affect her mobility, including lupus, coronary artery disease, congenital heart failure, diabetes, blindness, COPD, asthma, and kidney disease. Doc. 57 ¶ 1. Plaintiff rented a mobile home lot at the Broadway Estates Mobile Home Park (“the Park”) and owned the mobile home that occupied the lot. Doc. 56 at 1. The lot frequently flooded around Plaintiff's driveway, with the flooding so severe that it covered the back stairs and the metal ramp she used for her electric wheelchair. Doc. 65 at 2. This affected her ability to come and go from her mobile home. Id. In September 2015, Plaintiff complained to the park manager about the flooding and threatened to file an Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) complaint if it was not resolved. Doc. 57 ¶ 3. The Park attempted to fix the problem by placing gravel around her property and the City of Mesa cleared some drainage. Id. ¶ 4.

         Plaintiff paid the monthly rent for her lot by check in July, August, September, and October of 2015. Id. ¶¶ 2, 5. In November, however, Plaintiff requested the Park to withdraw her rent directly from her bank account. Id. ¶ 6. The electronic withdrawal was declined for insufficient funds and she did not attempt to pay by check. Id. ¶¶ 7-8. Plaintiff disputes that there were insufficient funds in her account to pay the November rent. Doc. 65 ¶ 1. In November and December, Plaintiff went to stay with her daughter, a state-licensed caregiver, for the holidays. Doc. 57 ¶¶ 9-10. In January 2016, Plaintiff was hospitalized for ten days and thereafter went to live with her daughter full-time. Id. ¶¶ 11-12. During this time Plaintiff moved out of the Park and did not return. Id. ¶ 13.

         In February 2016, Plaintiff informed Defendants that she would not make any further payments. Id. ¶ 14. The Park then brought an eviction action in justice court alleging that Plaintiff had failed to pay rent as agreed. Id. ¶ 17. Plaintiff failed to appear and the court entered default judgment against her on February 18, 2016. Id. ¶¶ 16-17.

         In April 2016, Plaintiff filed a state court complaint seeking to reverse the eviction judgment, which was dismissed as untimely and with prejudice in June 2016. Id. ΒΆΒΆ 18- 19. In October 2016, Plaintiff filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development and with the Civil Rights Division of the Arizona Attorney ...


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