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Business Owners May Be Personally Liable

Here's a case that MIPTC will be following. As a business owner as well as a lawyer.

The Ninth Circuit frequently gets overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. It happened in this case, and now the 9th Circuit has sent it back to District Court for further proceedings consistent with its opinion.

Judge Procter Hug, Jr. issued the opinion of the Circuit Court.

In the case of Holley v. Meyer, previously styled as Meyer v. Holley in the Supreme Court, the 9th Circuit was reversed in its position that the Fair Housing Act imposed personal liability on business owners.

But the Supreme Court left a door open, and the 9th Circuit has walked right in. The Supremes said that the Circuit Court didn't consider whether the "right to control" exercised by an owner over his employees might trigger strict (or absolute) liability under the FHA.

So, they did. And, since they're a court superior to the District Court, they ordered the District Court to give it some thought, too. In this case, the Holleys, an interracial couple, wanted to buy a home listed through Triad Realty. The realtors allegedly used racial epithets in the process of denying the Holleys the right to buy a home. The Holleys sued, and this battle began.

Now, we wait to find out whether Triad Realty of Twentynine Palms' owner, David Meyer, can be held personally liable for the actions of his employee, Grove Crank.

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Thursday, October 28, 2004 at 12:11 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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