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Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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Question related to a Fair Housing & Disability Discrimination

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Question related to a Fair Housing & Disability Discrimination Case -- How to calculate the STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS under Fair Housing laws?? If I filed an administrative complaint RE: my housing discrimination case with HUD as of Feb. 12, 2013 and HUD transferred it to the DFEH/Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing Office (to conduct a formal investigation to my claims) as of April 22, 2013, what does it mean that the (2-year) statue of limitations for my case is "TOLLED" during this time? I have documented all discriminatory violations by the landlord against my disability and living assistive needs that began in April 2011 (April 21-28, 2011)and continued on 'til December 2012 (and is technically still "pending")? HELP SOS RE: SOL! I do not "get" SOL RE: FHA :( Thank you for your time and knowledge. Best, EMX
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

I am sorry to hear about your situation. The statute of limitations runs from the last time that the "cause of action" accrues. What that means is that if the discriminatory violations occurred up to December 2012, that would be the start of the statute of limitations time period (assuming one single course of conduct). If there were multiple claims that arose during this time period, then each claim would "accrue" and the time period starting from when that action occurs.

JACUSTOMER-hxj4x6p5- :

Hello? anyone there?

ScottyMacEsq :

As for "tolling", that means that the statute of limitations is put on "hold".

ScottyMacEsq :

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ScottyMacEsq :

If you're having trouble seeing this response, please let me know...

JACUSTOMER-hxj4x6p5- :

I'm sorry these window frames for this live chat session is barely readable!

JACUSTOMER-hxj4x6p5- :

one moment as I review your answer please

ScottyMacEsq :

I will switch to Q&A if you want me to...

ScottyMacEsq :

As for tolling, that means that during the investigation and complaint, the statute of limitations does not run.

JACUSTOMER-hxj4x6p5- :

the chat box is barely one line! i cannot see your answer in its entirety! :(

ScottyMacEsq :

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Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
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Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
I have switched to Q&A because of technical difficulties you have informed me you were having.

I am still responding regarding tolling, so please be patient as I type out that answer...
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
Regarding tolling, that means that the statute of limitations does NOT run during the investigation. That means that even if the investigation takes 5 years (which it won't, but this is for illustrative purposes) then after the investigation process is complete and they issue a "right to sue" letter, you can still sue and the statute of limitations will only resume after that investigation is complete. Tolling means that what would normally be 2 years will be longer, not shorter, and it gives you greater rights, not fewer.

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!
Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
Did you have any other questions before you rate this answer?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Oh my gosh, I still do not understand the concept of SOL? I am wondering if I still have the right to sue a private affirmative complaint for the most critical discriminatory conduct & violations the property owner and management enacted against me due to my disability and failure to grant reasonable accommodation, which technically began 11/30/2010, but jump started a series of atrocious harassing and retaliatory acts against me starting 04/21/2011 --- and continued all throughout the rest of that year (2011) and onwards (07/11/2012, 12/04/2012). HUD/DFEH already explained that they are not able to substantiate claims that are outside of the 1-year period based on the date I filed my claim so they are overseeing disability discrimination acts that took place from 02/12/2012 to 02/12/2013 only! Hence, I am seeking a private attorney to file a private complaint but not even sure if the earlier events will matter and if I am wasting my time with my case summary/timeline of events! :( Help!

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
Yes, you would still have the right. Again, tolling means that the statute of limitations is put on "pause". The statute of limitations, if it was outside of that time period, would be a "defense" to a lawsuit by you against the management. But if it's tolled, that means that you will have longer to sue.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello! OK, Wait, so if DFEH started the administrative complaint and formal investigations on 04/22/2013... then as of that date which is on the certified confirmation letter, my housing discrimination case has been put on "pause"? So since I basically have a two-year deadline per the SOL under fair housing laws, does this mean that any affirmative action I take as the aggrieved victim --- would have to be taken (for all discriminatory acts against me that occurred within the last 2 years of 04/22/2013? meaning from the earliest possible (?) date of 04/22/2011-??? (The discrimination was persistent and has surpassed even a two-year mark by this time as the landlord never granted my reasonable accommodation requests submitted by 3 different physicians on 7 different occasions. Also, a lot of the delay here is due to my specific disability amongst other things such as denial of tenant abuse and victimization, etc. Thanks...Frowntitle="Frown" width="18" height="18"/> )

Expert:  ScottyMacEsq replied 1 year ago.
No, the latest date, if they were all part of the same "course of conduct". So if, for instance, they did not grant reasonable accommodations and they should have, that was a continuing injury to you, and the statute of limitations would start on the LAST day of the conduct, not the first. You mentioned it continued through December 2012, so that is when it would start (meaning that even if not tolled, the lawsuit for a 2 year statute of limitations would need to be brought by December 2014.... if it is tolled, that would be pushed back the number of months or years that it was tolled). The fact that they open the investigation in April 2013 doesn't mean anything in terms of when the statute of limitations starts. That was still December 2012. But that would have a basis when the tolling period starts (and the 2 year statute of limitation period is put on "pause")
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