The Fortune Society, a leading reentry organization, is challenging the exclusionary practices of a New York City-based affordable housing provider with a demonstrated history of banning applicants with a record of criminal legal involvement.
On August 15, 2022, Relman Colfax filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland against real estate appraiser Shane Lanham, real estate appraisal company 20/20 Valuations, LLC, and residential mortgage lender loanDepot.com, LLC, on behalf of Baltimore homeowners Drs. Nathan Connolly and Shani Mott, alleging racial discrimination in a home appraisal.
On October 6, 2021, Relman Colfax filed a lawsuit in Indiana federal court alleging that Old National Bank engaged in lending discrimination in Indianapolis in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
This Fair Housing Act case challenged a Brooklyn apartment complex's refusal to rent units to formerly incarcerated individuals, under the complex's policy prohibiting anyone with a criminal record from living there, as racially discriminatory.
In 2013, in the first reverse redlining case filed against a for-profit school in the country for engaging in deceptive practices to encourage low-income African-American students to take out large federal student loans for an education that the school knew was inadequate, the firm obtained a $5 million settlement for a class of over 4,000 members.
Multiple challenges to attempts to prevent construction of affordable, multi-family housing within St. Bernard Parish, New Orleans. After three evidentiary hearings in less than one year, the Court found that the Parish acted with racially discriminatory intent and that its actions had a discriminatory effect on African Americans.
In 2008, Relman Colfax obtained a $10.8 million jury verdict for 67 plaintiffs challenging the refusal to provide water services to a predominately African-American community by the City of Zanesville and Muskingum County, Ohio.
Housing Discrimination Practice Manual, West Group (updated annually)
J. Relman and S. Samberg-Champion, “At the Intersection of Criminal Justice and Fair Housing,” in The Fight for Fair Housing (G. Squires, ed.) (2018)
M. Allen, J. Crook, & J. Relman, Assessing HUD's Disparate Impact Rule: A Practitioner's Perspective, 49 Harv. C.R-C.L. L. Rev 155 (Spring 2014)
J. Relman, G. Schlactus, and S. Goel, "Creating and Protecting Pro-Integration Programs Under the Fair Housing Act," in The Integration Debate: Competing Futures for American Cities (2009)
Foreclosures, Integration, and the Future of the Fair Housing Act, 4 Ind. L. Rev. 629 (2008)
In the Media
- Best Lawyers, 01.28.2021
- Fortune’s Fate: Landmark $1.1875 million settlement reached in civil rights suit / El destino de Fortune: Trascendental acuerdo de $1,1875 millones de dólares alcanzado en demanda de derechos civilesManhattan Times, 11.13.2019
- New York Times, 10.30.2014
J.D., University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
A.B., Harvard University, cum laude
- District of Columbia
- Massachusetts (inactive)
- Hon. Sam J. Ervin III, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- Hon. Joyce Hens Green, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
News & Updates
- Equity: Predatory Lending, A Conversation with John Relman (Fairfax County Channel 16)
- Saint-Jean v. Emigrant Mortgage Co.
(This video was created in 2016. Subsequent proceedings have occurred that are not reflected here.)
- St. Bernard Parish
- Coal Run: Kennedy v. City of Zanesville
- Fair Housing Advocates Speech 2017