Legal Question in Discrimination Law in California

My partner and I are a gay couple residing in Orange County (and my husband uses a wheelchair) and we are being subjected to verbal abuse from our apartment manager. We have two major instances in which she has approached us, screaming and cursing at us, and has even left voicemails in which she is screaming and cursing. We also had an instance in which she was screaming and called us "faggots" and she consistently calls my husband a "cripple" when talking to other tenants RIGHT OUTSIDE OUR BEDROOM WINDOW! All we asked for as reasonable accommodation was to be able to have an additional parking permit so that we could make sure that there is always a car my husband can get into. We also found out that the manager has been sharing our personal information with other residents in the complex and that tenants are charged an additional $50 a month when they use a wheelchair because "people in wheelchairs are harder on the walls and carpets." We have informed the property management company, and they have refused to answer our calls and have even told us that we are "not allowed" to visit their main office. Are there ways to force the company to release us from the terms of our lease and/or fire the complex manager? Our apartment is also within 100 feet of her office. Are we able to file a restraining order against her? What would be the procedures for pursuing legal action?

Asked on 3/13/14, 12:52 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Terry A. Nelson Nelson & Lawless

For starters, you are not entitled to demand your own or additional handicap space, and the facility is only obligated to provide the number and location of handicap spaces specified in the building codes, plans and permits. As long as the facility is in compliance with them, that is the end of the discussion.

However, the rest of your claim regarding harassment seems well founded. iF you can prove the facts you allege, through independent witnesses or other credible evidence, then you have grounds under federal and state law for a discrimination lawsuit against the facility.

Theoretically, you could seek a restraining order against the 'harassment' if you can show that breach of your 'peace' is threatened by physical or verbal threats or actions.

If serious about hiring counsel to help in this feel free to contact me. Iíve been doing such discrimination cases for many years.

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Answered on 3/13/14, 1:24 pm

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