Vet denied apartment because of military service?
Legal panel weighs in on the case
- Duration 5:41
- Date Jun 5, 2012
Legal panel weighs in on the case
Also in this playlist...
This transcript is automatically generated
Kelly -- back in session on the docket today from the battlefield to a legal battle on the home front as a vet.
Now -- a Boston landlady claiming she refused to rent to him because of his military service.
Sargent Joseph Morgan served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Than two months ago he sought to better McCartney thought will be a perfect fit for him.
But the owner is a peace activists.
And refuse to read to him she claims that had nothing to do with her refusal.
But the vet Morgan tells a very different story.
It's going to be a conflict of interest for me to move in that.
It's going to be uncomfortable.
You know she's a part of this political activist group and she wouldn't be comfortable for me to to to -- I'm not going to be able to rent an apartment because I I'm a comment that.
-- It really.
I was sort of suffering from a peak yesterday -- -- sort of the reopen some some.
Turning now Joey Jackson former prosecutor now defense attorney and Anna Sega nickel Ozzie -- -- a district attorney here in New York.
Charming charming isn't -- landlord just charming and let me start with you.
Does she have the right under the law in Massachusetts to deny a rental.
-- someone's veteran status now Massachusetts has a really tough flock had their fair housing -- actually is specifically states.
That veterans are protected class and you cannot forget what -- she rejected him you cannot even discourage someone from in this case are renting -- encourage them.
To go elsewhere based on that status and it.
You know the big -- here forgetting that her views are horrible.
She left a -- -- that basically said that she talked about how uncomfortable it would be and how he'd be better to look elsewhere.
And under Massachusetts -- it is a pretty clear cut case the only one thing they'll have to know is.
How many units does this place -- because under Massachusetts law you have to have.
-- -- are more units which I'm guessing this has or else I don't think they went prophecy but she's -- gonna -- a little less money this month.
Joey what is her defense if the law is so clear and they have a voice mail which I should say editing with the Boston Herald.
Got to listen to -- And transcribe for us talking as Anna -- points out that she says it's just not gonna be comfortable for us.
You'll probably be better for you to look for a place that's a little bit less politically active and controversial.
And saying we are very adamant about our beliefs I mean doesn't -- dead -- rights.
I don't think so -- and here's why first of all we have to honor and support our veterans a performance night I mean just so let's say I'm quiet of yeah absolutely it's true.
But this is about more than just a a person who's a veteran it's about other things that she may or may not have -- Now here's the point Megan there -- number of other criteria that -- evaluated in deciding not to rank them number one there with thirty applicants that he had to choose from.
Number two she expressed concerns as to his ability to pay.
Number three she there was an issue was to whether he had problems with his former landlord.
Number four there were questions about whether or not and some noise complaint against his neighbors he might give you some remarks against a racial group that she found to be inappropriate and so there's a lot of other things that she was focused on and let's also be clear -- in the fair housing law -- a points out very rightfully it does exist and we need it.
But the fair housing law does not -- -- preference to any one group what it says is that you cannot discriminate on bad.
They say well what's the story like that and it can if she denied him the rental because.
She didn't like his experience -- the prior landlord she thought there was -- racial incidents.
And he served our country in Iraq and Afghanistan has she violated the law.
Yes because that cannot be a factor however a lot of what Joseph is talking about it's too little too late that was all what she put her 23 page affidavit that.
-- serve when she got these papers what she left on the voice now.
Was about his veteran status and how that.
Differed from her political views and that is why she is going to be a lot of trouble aren't I mean it's going to -- in the pocket but I don't see how she can get.
You can't use.
Anything any discriminatory practice as one of your factors the rest are all and isn't just just for a look under -- mindset Joey she writes the cheese artist that -- rights group called garden of enlightenment.
And she -- -- quote.
What someone -- -- Morgan who apparently fought so valiantly misspelled.
In wars in which she believed want to even choose to subject himself to renting an apartment from people like myself who were so vigorously seeking an end -- the Iraq War.
-- -- you know she expressed things it certainly should not have been expressed and she certainly did not indicate that she'd be comfortable and -- to him but let's also be clear about another thing -- and there was no application before her.
These were things that she did in fact state but he never presented the application to our attention so I would even have concerns as to whether or not this is right for a lawsuit -- -- -- I did he ever apply for the rental.
I thought it doesn't matter under massive slug it specifically states just a word they -- is discouraging if you discourage someone from renting that is enough so I think to only the -- -- -- someone you know was interested in your unit.
And make it clear that the reason that you are discouraging them that they should look elsewhere.
Is based on their military.
I -- that it does he do it -- -- form but but he.
But then he got the voice mail and he says it wasn't until -- heard your -- found no I wasn't gonna submitted yet that.
I got a -- quickly want to ask you the stats he says that he can get punitive damages how much she could she could she be looking to pay -- she gets found they'll.
I'll listen hundreds of thousands if not more people a lot about -- support -- veterans that if people find that this is the basis upon which she discriminated and that the other criteria I laid out -- -- nothing to do with it then certainly it would be a lot of -- should say she's found liable panel thank you both great job and my.