Pregnant Woman Sues Apartment Complex

Jerry Urban. Galveston County Daily News. December 3, 2002

Galveston-A legal assistance organization has filed suit against a federally subsidized apartment complex in Galveston, alleging it unfairly denied a pregnant woman a place to live.

Lone Star Legal Aid contends the Sandpiper Cove apartments in July reneged on an agreement to provide an apartment to Kaletha Coleman, 21.

The lawsuit, filed last week in Galveston County Court at Law No.2, says the complex has “a duty to use good faith and deal fairly” with people seeking an apartment.

The lawsuit argues that the complex had a special obligation because it receives federal tax dollars through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program to help the poor. The complex is located in the 3900 block of Winnie.

The manager of the complex declined to comment about the lawsuit, which claims Sandpiper Cove failed to give Coleman a written explanation as to why they reversed a decision to rent her an apartment. The lawsuit also says management of the complex didn’t give her a chance to contest the decision.

Stephen C. McIntyre, managing attorney for Lone Star Legal Aid, said the complex management apparently reneged on the agreement after learning the father of the woman’s expected child had been banned from the complex. However, McIntyre said the man didn’t intend to live with Coleman.

Coleman was told she couldn’t move in on the very day she was scheduled to move after she made arrangements to have the utilities turned on, McIntyre said.

The lawsuit asks that Coleman be put on a waiting list for an apartment. Requested relief also includes actual damages to exceed $500 but less than $250,000, and court and attorney fees.