Trouble Brewing Over Trick-or-Treat Lawsuit

November 14, 2013
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A federal lawsuit has been filed involving discrimination allegations by homeowners in the upscale Blackhawk community of Contra Costa County, Calif. The owners, who are the only couple in the community with young children, say that the HOA has banned their children from playing outside their home, accessing common areas, or trick-or-treating in the neighborhood on Halloween.

According to the lawsuit, the couple was told that their children were not welcome in common areas that adult residents frequented freely, and if the children played outside, a lien would be placed on their house. The lawsuit alleges that the HOA and its management company discriminate against families by targeting them with these rules.

The owners say that the rules violate the Fair Housing Act (FHA), which protects families with children from being treated differently than adult-only households. The couple also says they’re the victims of racial discrimination since they were told that some residents were upset that they’re a mixed-race couple. In addition to the rules restricting their children, they assert that rules surrounding parking, landscaping, and light fixtures have appeared to apply only to them. A hearing is set for February.