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On October 30th, 2023, Kennedy Hunt P.C. filed its second complaint against the City Of Springfield, Missouri, over allegations the City prohibited our client, New Beginning Sanctuary, from operating a recovery home for residents in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction, in violation of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

According to the lawsuit, New Beginning Sanctuary began operation in 2013 and operates 25 recovery homes across the state of Missouri. New Beginning Sanctuary signed a lease to occupy a private residence in Springfield in 2018. The lawsuit alleges the City of Springfield discriminated against our client and the residents solely because of their handicap and disability. 

Per the lawsuit:

The City prohibited Plaintiffs from operating a recovery home for residents in recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. The City claimed its zoning ordinance prohibited the home from operating in an R-SF Zone because it is a “group home” under the City’s zoning code and there is another “group home” located within 1⁄4 mile. The City classified the home as a group house because the residents who occupy the home are in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse. This determination substantially limits the operation of supported housing for persons with the disability of substance use disorder from living, if not all, single-family residential districts in the City. 

The lawsuit continues:

… the City discriminated based on disability, including refusing to provide a reasonable accommodation, violating the FHA. Further, the City’s zoning ordinance discriminates on its face and disparately impacts disabled individuals. Defendant’s aforementioned actions now threaten Plaintiffs and the residents of the recovery home, who are disabled pursuant to the FHA and ADA, with eviction based on discriminatory means. 

The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, monetary damages, including compensatory and punitive damages, costs, and reasonable attorneys’ fees. 

This case is ongoing. For more information, contact attorneys Sarah Jane Hunt and Michelle Faron at info@kennedyhuntlaw.com. If you or someone you know has had their housing and/or disability rights violated, our skilled attorneys at Kennedy Hunt, P.C. may be able to help you. Fill out a questionnaire so we can understand your claim.