Madison County

Kentucky Commission on Human Rights accepts 3 settlement agreements

The Kentucky Commission on Human Rights last week publicly accepted three conciliation agreements in fair housing cases, including one in Madison County.

The conciliation agreements were negotiated during complaint investigations, the commission said in a prepared statement. The commission is a state agency that enforces state and federal civil rights laws.

Jonathan and Tiffany Ratliff alleged that Foxglove Management LLC of Richmond discriminated against them by questioning whether Tiffany Ratliff's service dog was a "true" service animal intended to help her with a disability, the commission said. Foxglove Management denied discrimination and said the Ratliffs failed to provide requested documents to verify the dog's status as a service animal.

Before the commission issued a determination in the case, the two sides resolved the matter, the commission said. Under their agreement, the Ratliffs can keep the dog at their rented residence; they will have the option to renew their lease until they choose to move; and they won't have to pay the standard $300 pet fee.

In another complaint, Bruce and Maria Boerner said Hamilton Housing Rental LLC in Shelbyville discriminated against them on the basis of national origin, because Maria Boerner is of Hispanic descent. The couple said the company falsely denied the availability of housing at its property and made discriminatory statements. The company denied any violation of the law.

The commission issued a probable cause finding stating that there was sufficient evidence to believe discrimination occurred. In a settlement, Hamilton Housing Rental affirmed that it complies with civil rights laws, and it agreed to pay $700 in compensation to each complainant. The company also agreed to undergo fair housing training and compliance monitoring by the commission for three years.

Finally, Jeannie Burbridge alleged that the Hilltop Homeowners Association of Owensboro discriminated against her biracial sons. Burbridge said the association denied her sons access to a swimming pool and other common areas, treating them differently than the children of other residents. Hilltop denied any violation of the law.

Before the commission finished its investigation, the two sides resolved the matter. The association said that it complies with the Kentucky Civil Rights Act and the U.S. Fair Housing Act and does not discriminate against people based on race or any protected class. It also agreed to pay $935 in compensation to Burbridge.