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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
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Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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FHA question about how SOL are to be "tolled"? RE: An individual

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FHA question about how SOL are to be "tolled"? RE: An individual 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. pls do not reply if you are not available for Live CHAT as this may require back and forth short responses :-/ Thank you. Best, EMX
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking. Forgive me but due to technical issues our chat seems to be causing errors and I apologize for any of these technical matters, but just use reply to expert and I will get to you as fast as possible.

Tolling means that the statute of limitations stops running from the date you filed your complaint with the agency until you receive a letter from the agency with their final determination on your complaint at which time the statute of limitations starts to run again.

IF your complaint first started on April 21, then you filed on April 28 (for example) you would have used 7 days of the statute of limitations, but then the statute stopped running and as long as the case is with an agency pending their action, the statute stops and will not start up again until that agency issues its ruling to you.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your immediate reply!

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 (until 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! :(

IN SHORT, what if the SOL started on 04/22/2013 - the day HUD and DFEH confirmed that my discrimination complaint was official, so to speak - What do I make of the very early events that instigated a series of discriminatory acts against me/my disability, which took place on 11/30/2010 then spiked up and jump-started on 04/21/2011? Crytitle="Cry"/>

Thank you for your response.

If you have not received any ruling from the government agencies yet, then you are still within the SOL to file your complaint as it is 2 years from the date you get that ruling and if it was 4/22/13 then you have two years from that date. You would include the 2010 events and 2011 events because you reported them to the governmental agencies and were awaiting their ruling before suing and now you have their determination your statute of limitations starts over again.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello, I'm so sorry I did not realize this was a separate question and needed to be answered / closed!

Because I had filed my administrative complaint to HUD on 02/12/2013, they were not able to look into the fair housing violations that took place in 2010 and 2011 but they informed me that they made note of it in their records to better illustrate the context of my situation. However, they are only able to investigate into the past year since I filed (02/12/2012 to 02/12/2013) and they found at least two valid claims even within this time period (when there were no direct, aggressive and threatening discriminatory acts against me as there were throughout April to Dec. of 2011*)...

So I guess I'm going in circles here, I'm so sorry! But I highlighted the part of your last message that I am wondering about now -- Can you remind me why it is that I should await the HUD/DEFH ruling before filing a private suit? I think I missed that point --- but if it's about the fact that an admin and private civil case (trials) cannot overlap, please do let me know.

The DEFH case has only just begun and could take months to a year or two years from this point forward! so I'm not understanding your last statement (pasted as text below).

I would appreciate one last reply when you get a chance IF poss, but
THANK YOU anyhow
for bearing with me helping to figure out this crazy SOL deal!

>>>Your last reply quoted here:
You would include the 2010 events and 2011 events because you reported them to the governmental agencies and were awaiting their ruling before suing andnow you have their determination your statute of limitations starts over again.

Thank you for your response and follow up.

If you did not file your complaint until 2013, then you would not have stopped the statute of limitations for the 2010 or 2011 complaints, however, that is really not a big issue if they are finding violations in 2012, as a violation is a violation. Also, even though the old violations cannot be ruled on by HUD, if you sue in court, you can still argue it was a continuing pattern of conduct and it was not one event that started the statute of limitations, but an ongoing and continuous course of conduct, which is also grounds for continuing the statute of limitations.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello again,


Thank you so much for the reminder per your last message that the discrimination was an ongoing pattern of conduct. I was afraid that due to the statute of limitations in regards XXXXX XXXXX housing laws, I may not be able to present to the court vital information documenting earlier events to substantiate my case. I do believe a violation is a violation just like you said, and seek to present -as thoroughly as possible- the whole context of my housing discrimination since 11/30/2010! I still can't believe it has been that long, but the irony is that the discrimination becomes more apparent as time passes, escalating around my UD court date.


I had read the SOL for administrative state and federal complaints on this site -- and wanted to ask you about this part RE: the SOL: One year from date of injury to file complaint with DFEH, two years to file private action (which is tolled while with DFEH)

Am I interpreting this sentence correctly when applying it towards my complaint? – > That since 04/22/2013 (the date my administrative complaint with DFEH became official, so to speak) my case has been put on PAUSE – therefore, it is currently on PAUSE and pending?



Thank you for your response.

You are interpreting it correctly, except that the statute begins from the LAST date of the discriminatory conduct and if it is continuing and ongoing, your argument is that the last occurrence of the conduct still is going on which extends the statute of limitations.
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