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The Firm

Relman, Dane & Colfax is a civil rights law firm based in Washington, D.C., with additional offices in Ohio and New Mexico.  We litigate civil rights cases in the areas of housing, lending, employment, public accommodations, education, and police accountability.  Our national practice includes individual and class action lawsuits on behalf of plaintiffs who have suffered discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, sex, disability, age, familial status, source of income, and sexual orientation.

The firm also provides legal counsel to progressive companies that demonstrate a commitment to best practices in the way they conduct business.  Such counsel includes representation of financial institutions in reporting to their regulators on fair lending and fair servicing issues.   We conduct investigations and provide counseling regarding consumer protection, privacy, lending, employment, whistleblower, and federal regulatory matters.  Our practice also includes analysis and strategy regarding public policy issues and proposed legislation affecting civil rights.

In the News

Deaf Plaintiffs Settle Effective Communication Case Against D.C. Housing Authority; Secure Monetary Relief of $350,000
On February 28, 2015, Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia approved a settlement agreement requiring the D.C. Housing Authority (DCHA) to revamp its policy for providing American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters and other aids to ensure that people with hearing impairments can secure equal access to DCHA programs, like the Housing Choice Voucher and public housing. The agreement also requires DCHA to pay $350,000 in monetary relief. To read more and review the Complaint and Stipulation of Settlement, click here.

Relman, Dane & Colfax Files Affirmatively Further Fair Housing Complaint Against Township of Whitehall, Pennsylvania
On February 25, 2015, Relman, Dane & Colfax filed a HUD complaint on behalf of PathStone Housing Corporation of Pennsylvania, against the Township of Whitehall, Pennsylvania, and the Whitehall Zoning Hearing Board. The complaint alleges that the Township maintains a discriminatory zoning ordinance that discourages the development of affordable, multifamily housing in high-opportunity areas, despite being a recipient of Federal funds and thus under an obligation to Affirmatively Further Fair Housing. The complaint further alleges that the Zoning Hearing Board denied zoning relief for the construction of The Lofts at Fullerton Mill, an affordable, multifamily rental development proposed by PathStone, on the basis of the race, color, national origin, familial status, and disability status of the prospective residents of the housing. To review the Complaint, click here.

Relman, Dane & Colfax Files Two Amicus Briefs in Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project
Relman, Dane & Colfax has filed two briefs in the closely watched case, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Case No. 13-1371. The Supreme Court is expected in that case to decide whether the Fair Housing Act allows for disparate impact liability. To read more and review the briefs, click here.

Relman, Dane & Colfax and Department of Justice Settle Housing Discrimination Claims for $850,000
Plaintiffs in a major housing discrimination case against an Akron-Canton, Ohio area landlord have settled their claims for $850,000 and extensive injunctive relief. The Plaintiffs had filed the case under the federal and Ohio fair housing laws alleging that John Ruth, who owns and operates more than one hundred apartments in the Northeast, Ohio area, regularly discriminated against both African Americans and families with children. To read more and review the Proposed Consent Order click here.

Court of Appeals Upholds Class Certification in Race Discrimination Case Against Secret Service
On August 1, 2014, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit held unanimously that race discrimination claims against the U.S. Secret Service may proceed as a class action. Judge Douglas Ginsburg, writing for the appeals court, rejected various attempts by the Secret Service to challenge the District Court’s 2013 opinion granting class certification. Click here to read more.

Relman, Dane & Colfax Wins First Appellate Decision Holding that Intent not Required to Prove FHA Reasonable Accommodation and Reasonable Modification Claims
In the first appellate decision squarely addressing the issue, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has held that evidence of intent or pretext is not required to establish reasonable accommodation or reasonable modification claims under the Fair Housing Act. To read more about the case and the Opinion and Judgment click here.

Advocacy Groups Settle Civil Rights Complaint Against State of New Jersey Involving Superstorm Sandy
Relman, Dane & Colfax is pleased to announce the resolution of an administrative complaint filed with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which alleged that the State of New Jersey violated civil rights laws in the administration of its Superstorm Sandy recovery program. The Firm represented Latino Action Network, Fair Share Housing Center (FHSC) and NJ NAACP, and co-counseled the matter with FSHC. To read more about the case and the Settlement click here.