A federal lawsuit against the Andover Forest Homeowners Association over a therapeutic playhouse built for a disabled child has been dismissed, and attorneys for the association say it’s because medical documents provided in the case were not authentic.
In April 2011, Dr. George and Tiffiney Veloudis installed a 12-foot by 8-foot enclosed playhouse on their property in Andover Forest for their son Cooper, who has cerebral palsy.
But the homeowners association said the structure violated deed restrictions.
The family filed a federal fair housing complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 2012.
The U.S. Department of Justice sued the homeowners association in December 2014, alleging that the association had violated the Fair Housing Act, and discriminated and retaliated against the family by refusing to make accommodations.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Karen Caldwell issued an order dismissing the case with prejudice.
Attorneys for the justice department and for the homeowners association and its management company had asked for the case to be dismissed, stating in a court document that “the evidence does not support the United States’ claims.”
A news release issued Monday by the homeowners association’s attorneys stated that “it was discovered that multiple medical documents that had been used to support the Veloudises’ request for an accommodation were not authentic.”
Attempts to reach the Veloudis family Monday night were not successful.
“After more than a year of litigation, attorneys for the association found evidence that certain documents that the Veloudises, through their attorney, had supplied to the association and relied upon to support their claim that ‘Cooper’s House’ was medically necessary for their son’s therapy were in fact fraudulent,” the news release stated.
Christopher Thacker, an attorney for Andover Forest Homeowners Association, said Monday that the documents “had been altered or never prepared by the person whose name was on them.”
“I have no way of knowing who made the alterations to the documents,” he said.
They were from three medical providers, according to the news release.
The family has since moved, and they removed the playhouse, Thacker said.
Ernie Stamper, president of the homeowners association, said in the news release that he was was pleased the association had been “vindicated” of “false and unfair accusations.”
“From the beginning of this matter, we’ve acted in good faith seeking to discharge our obligation to apply the deed restrictions applicable to all homes in the neighborhood fairly and equally, while being responsive to any legitimate request for accommodation,” Stamper said. “Unfortunately, in this case, our good faith was not reciprocated.”