Cases | Ken Hauge | First Liberty

History

Ken and Liv Hauge, both in their mid-80s, have resided at the Evergreens at Smith Run, a 55+ apartment community, since 2017. In the spring of 2019, First Liberty Institute filed a federal lawsuit on their behalf alleging religious discrimination in violation of federal and state fair housing laws after the Evergreens adopted a policy prohibiting religious activities in the apartment building’s community room. At the behest of other senior residents, Ken had been leading a small Bible study in his personal capacity.

The Community Room is a space available for residents to reserve for various social events, such as birthday parties, anniversary parties, baby showers, bingo, bridge, and poker games, and a monthly social dinner. In early 2018, Ken reserved the Community Room for a resident Bible study on Wednesday nights.

However, in July of 2018, the Evergreens instituted a community room policy that prohibited using the Community Room for “religious services or for other religious purposes.” Ken and Liv also received a 21/30 Notice that threatened to evict them unless Ken ceased the Bible study.

First Liberty Legal Action

Attorneys with First Liberty Institute initially sent a demand letter alleging that the actions of the Evergreens and its management company, Community Realty Company (“CRC”), constitute religious discrimination in housing, a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act.

In May 2019, First Liberty and attorneys with Hunton Andrews Kurth, LLP filed a federal lawsuit against the Evergreens at Smith Run and CRC alleging religious discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

Settlement

Just before Christmas 2019, the Hauges settled the federal civil rights lawsuit against the Evergreens and CRC.  The settlement lifts the restriction on religious activities and allows the Hauges to resume hosting the Bible study.  The settlement also rescinds the Notice the Hauges received that threatened eviction.  In early January 2020, the Bible study met for the first time in nearly two years!

“I am thankful to First Liberty Institute and Hunton Andrews Kurth for fighting on my behalf and look forward to meeting once again with my friends and neighbors to pray and study God’s word together,” said Ken Hauge.

“We commend the Evergreens and CRC for resolving the case and recognizing our clients’ religious liberty,” said Lea Patterson, Counsel at First Liberty.  “Our clients are thrilled that they can use the community room just like all the other residents.”

Reclaiming Faith in the Home | Support First Liberty

News Release
For Immediate Release: 1.10.20
Contact: Lacey McNiel, media@firstliberty.org
Direct: 972-941-4453

Religious Liberty Law Firm Announces Settlement of Fair Housing Lawsuit with Virginia Apartment Community and Management Company
Residents granted access to community facilities for Bible study previously prohibited because of its religious content. 

Fredericksburg, VA—Attorneys with First Liberty Institute and Hunton Andrews Kurth, LLP announced their clients have settled the federal civil rights lawsuit against the Evergreens at Smith Run (“the Evergreens”), a senior apartment community, and its management company, Community Realty Company (“CRC”).  Financial terms of the settlement were undisclosed.

“We commend the Evergreens and CRC for resolving the case and recognizing our clients’ religious liberty,” said Lea Patterson, Counsel at First Liberty.  “Our clients are thrilled that they can use the community room just like all the other residents.”

Ken and Liv Hauge, both in their mid-80s, have resided at the Evergreens since 2017. Last year, they filed a federal lawsuit alleging religious discrimination in violation of federal and state fair housing laws after the Evergreens adopted a policy prohibiting religious activities in the apartment building’s community room. At the behest of other senior residents, Ken had been leading a small Bible study in his personal capacity.  The settlement lifts the restriction on religious activities and allows the Hauges to resume hosting the Bible study.  The settlement also rescinds the Notice the Hauges received that threatened to evict the Hauges.

“I am thankful to First Liberty Institute and Hunton Andrews Kurth for fighting on my behalf and look forward to meeting once again with my friends and neighbors to pray and study God’s word together,” said Ken Hauge.

###

About First Liberty Institute

First Liberty Institute is a non-profit public interest law firm and the largest legal organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to defending religious freedom for all Americans.

To arrange an interview, contact Lacey McNiel at media@firstliberty.org or by calling 972-941-4453.


Press Releases

Press Release – 5/22/19

Press Release – 10/11/2018

First Liberty Press Release – 08/15/2018

Social Facebook Social Instagram Social Twitter Social Youtube Social Linkedin Social Soundcloud

Terms of UsePrivacy PolicySitemap • © 2020 Liberty Institute® is a trademark of First Liberty Institute