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Justice Dept. files suit against Texas RV park in transgender discrimination case

Friday, October 11, 2013
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The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against a Texas recreational vehicle park for alleged discrimination against a transgender woman.

The suit, filed Oct. 3 in the Eastern District of Texas, alleges George Toone and his company In Toone Services, discriminated against and evicted a Roxanne Joganik and her partner Darlina Anthony, reported Courthouse News.

Roxanne Joganik

via: Facebook
Roxanne Joganik

According to the complaint, Joganik and Anthony had lived in the park for more than a year before Toone and his company took over Texan RV Park in May 2012. Joganik says that she asked Toone’s permission to dress as a woman in the park’s common areas.

“During the same conversation, defendant Toone denied Ms. Joganik’s request and stated that he did not want Ms. Joganik to wear female clothing in the park because ‘there are children around the pool’ and it is ‘not the type of atmosphere we want to promote on private property,’ or words to that effect,” the complaint states. “Defendant Toone stated that Ms. Joganik would have to keep wearing her female clothing only inside of her RV.”

Though Joganik followed that instruction, Toone handed her a new set of rules that said management reserved the right to refuse entrance to anyone for any reason other than “race, religion, handicapped, color or national origin.”

The rule did not include sex or famililial status, which are protected classes under the Fair Housing Act, the complaint stated.

Joganik says she refused to sign unless those protected classes were added.

Toone then put a notice on Joganik’s and her roommate’s door stating the service agreement would not be renewed and that the five days remaining on the lease would be refunded if they left immediately, the complaint alleges.

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Toone initiated eviction proceedings on June 11, 2012, at which time Joganik filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Toone later told HUD officials that he would “do everything legally and morally possible” to remove Joganik from the park.

Joganik and Anthony were evicted Aug. 18, 2012.

HUD officials conducted an investigation of Joganik’s complaint and a year later, on Aug. 15, 2013, the regional director of HUD’s Fort Worth Regional Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity issued a charge of discrimination, stating that “reasonable cause exists to believe the defendants engaged in discriminatory housing practices.”

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