CIVIL RIGHTS-SEX DISCRIMINATION-SWIMMING POOLS RULES

April 30th, 2019 by Rieders Travis in Civil Rights

Marie Curto, Diana Lusardi, Steve Lusardi v. A Country Place Condominium Association, Inc.2019 3rd Cir. 2019 (April 22, 2019) Ambro, C.J.-Marie Curto wanted to swim with her family after work. Steve Lusardi wanted to swim with his wife, who had disabilities after a series of strokes and needed pool therapy to recover. But they lived a A Country Place, and its Condominium Association had adopted rules segregating use of the communal pool by sex. By 2016 over two-thirds of all swimming hours throughout the week were sex-segregated. After they were fined for violating this policy, Curto and the Lusardis sued, alleging violations of the federal Fair Housing Act (sometimes referred to as the “FHA”), 42 U.S.C. §§3601 et seq., and New Jersey state law. The District Court granted summary judgment to the Condominium Association because, in its words, “the gender-segregated schedule applies to men and women equally.” Curto v. A Country Place Condominium Assoc., 2018 WL 638749, at 4 (D.N.J. 2018). We disagree. On the facts before us, the pool schedule discriminates against women in violation of the FHA. We need not determine whether sex-segregated swimming hours necessarily violate the FHA, or whether a sufficiently limited and more even-handed schedule might be justifiable, because the schedule actually adopted by the Condominium Association is plainly unequal in its allotment of favorable swimming times. Thus, we reverse.