Agency Sues Neighborhood Association For Rights Violations
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 14, 2003
JACKSON, TENNESSEE--St. John's Community Services has filed suit in Tennessee federal court against a group that fought to keep three women with mental retardation from moving into the neighborhood.
According to the Jackson Sun, the Bethany Area Neighborhood Association had obtained a temporary restraining order in Madison County Chancery Court last year to keep the women from moving into the home. The order was later dismissed and the women moved in shortly before Thanksgiving.
St. John's filed suit against the neighborhood association last week claiming that the restraining order violated the program's rights to encourage the women to exercise their rights under the Fair Housing Act and their entitlement to receive services under the Tennessee Human Rights Act.
Thomas Wilds, St. John's president, said the agency filed the suit to ensure the best living arrangement for the women, and "to ensure that all people with disabilities are treated legally and fairly, as they increasingly move into community settings."
The neighborhood association's attorney declined to comment.