Tyus v Fairway Trails
After living in Fairway Trails Apartments for three months Harry Tyus asked if, instead of the first week of the month, he could pay his rent after his Social Security disability check arrived. The former tow-truck driver liked the location and convenience of the apartment but not the monthly $50 late fee on his rent. FHC staff made a written request for accommodation on behalf of Mr. Tyus. Instead of an accommodation, Mr. Tyus received an eviction notice. Legal Services attorney Henry Wolfe responded to the eviction with fair housing counter claims. In October 2004 Washtenaw County Judge John B. Collins ordered the complex to accommodate Mr. Tyus’ request, then the complex refused to renew his lease forcing him to move to a less convenient location. FHC-Southeast worked with Mr. Tyus to file a HUD complaint. When Fairway Trails was contacted by HUD they initially offered Mr. Tyus $300 to settle the claim. HUD gave Mr. Tyus the option of taking his case to the Department of Justice. On May 8, 2006 Judith Levy, Assistant US Attorney in Detroit, filed suit claiming retaliation against Mr. Tyus. FHC cooperating attorney Mark Finnegan represented Mr. Tyus. The case was assigned to Judge John C. O’Meara of the US Federal District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division.