On February 14, 2016, the Mississippi Business Journal featured an article on a federal suit against Ridgeland, MS filed by the Mississippi Center for Justice and Venable alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act. Specifically, the suit accuses the city of attempting to eliminate, through rezoning, five apartment complexes that are occupied by predominantly African-American and Latino residents. The suit seeks to have the rezoning provisions declared invalid and to prohibit the city from enforcing them.
"Ridgeland is using its land use authority to deprive hard-working people of their homes because of their race and national origin. The fact that the City's actions might be more subtle than other forms of discrimination does not make then any less unlawful," Venable partner Jamie Barnett said in a statement.
In addition to Barnett, partner Seth Rosenthal, counsel Thomas Welling, and associate Melissa O'Toole-Loureiro are working with the Mississippi Center for Justice on the suit.