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Latino Plaintiffs Win FHA Appeal Supported by Paul, Weiss Amicus Brief

Vacating a lower court decision in the Eastern District of Virginia, the Fourth Circuit ruled that the Fair Housing Act (FHA) barred a trailer park from requiring its predominantly Latino residents to provide proof of legal status as a condition of living at the park.

In a decision echoing arguments in an amicus brief in support of the Latino plaintiffs filed by Paul, Weiss on behalf of four law and history professors, the Fourth Circuit held that the lower court was wrong to conclude that disparate impact claims are only available under the FHA where there is long-entrenched history of discrimination against a particular group. The panel held that the district court erred in concluding that the plaintiffs had failed to make a case that the policy in question had a disparate impact on Latinos. In correcting the district court’s “grievous error in concluding that the [undocumented] Plaintiffs’ legal status precluded them from making a prima facie showing of disparate impact,” the Circuit remanded the case, De Reyes, et al. v. Waples Mobile Home Park Limited Partnership, to determine whether the trailer park could show a valid business interest that could not be served by a policy with a less discriminatory effect.

 

The Paul, Weiss team included litigation partner Gregory Laufer and associates Andrew Markquart and Paul Brachman.

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