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On July 7, 2016, the United States had filed a statement of interest, arguing that a plaintiff may maintain a retaliation claim even in the absence of an underlying discrimination claim and that evidence that defendants imposed fines on a unit owner for allowing a tenant the requested accommodation supported a prima facie case of retaliation under the Fair Housing Act.

The court ruled, consistent with the statement of interest, that plaintiff’s retaliation claim was not dependent upon his reasonable accommodation claim and that a reasonable jury could conclude that the fines were imposed in retaliation for allowing his tenant to live in the condo unit with her dog and assisting his tenant in exercising her fair housing rights.

However, the jury declined to award the couple any compensatory damages, even a nominal amount.The judge then refused to let the jury consider whether to grant punitive damages.The plaintiffs appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and on June 3, 1999, the Civil Rights Division filed an amicus brief arguing that the judge should have allowed the jury to decide whether to award punitive damages.On March 22, 2000, the appellate court reversed the district courts' judgment for the defendants by holding that "in a case alleging discrimination under the Fair Housing Act the discrimination itself is the harm," and directed the district court to enter judgment for the plaintiffs and to hold a new jury trial on whether the plaintiffs should be awarded punitive damages.The Supreme Court denied The plaintiffs, homeowners insurance trade associations, filed a lawsuit on June 26, 2013, alleging HUD violated the Administrative Procedure Act in its February 2013 regulation formalizing that the Fair Housing Act provides for disparate impact liability.

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