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Sokker v. Rizon East Association, Inc.

United States District Court, S.D. Florida

December 13, 2017

ANAN SOKKER, Plaintiff,
v.
RIZON EAST ASSOCIATION, INC., PHILLIP BAYER & CHRIS POURRIS, Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS

          ROBIN L. ROSENBERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         THIS CAUSE is before the Court on Defendants' Motion to Dismiss at docket entry 11. The Motion has been fully briefed. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion is granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff is an African-American woman of the Muslim faith. DE 1 at 1. Plaintiff was a tenant leasing a certain condominium in the town of Palm Beach. Id. The homeowner's association for that condominium, Rizon East Homeowner's Association, Inc. (“Rizon”), is a Defendant in this case. Id. at 2. Plaintiff's lease expired on November 15, 2015. Id. Although Plaintiff's landlord approved Plaintiff for a renewal of her lease, Rizon did not. Id. at 3. Rizon's authority to deny Plaintiff an extension of her lease was derived from the terms of the lease itself. Specifically, paragraph twenty of Plaintiff's lease (which is attached to her complaint) is conditioned upon Rizon's approval. Compare DE 1-1 at 9 (conditioning the lease upon Rizon's approval, “if applicable, ” with DE 1-4 at 2 (stating that a person who leases a unit must have board approval). Plaintiff alleges that she was denied a renewal of her lease because she is African-American and because she is of the Muslim faith. See generally DE 1. Rizon's asserted reasons for denying Plaintiff a renewal are attached to Plaintiff's complaint and include the following:

1. Excessive noise complaints from Plaintiff's neighbors.
2. Cans and cigarettes being “tossed” from Plaintiff's balcony down onto a pool deck.
3. Plaintiff's boyfriend's status as an undocumented resident.
4. Aggressive language that Plaintiff's boyfriend used towards another tenant on multiple occasions.
5. The contention that Plaintiff and her boyfriend had an argument in a stairwell, observed by a Rizon board member, in which Plaintiff and her boyfriend “slapped” each other and made “quite a commotion” which, as Rizon contends, could have resulted in law enforcement action.

DE 1-2 at 2. After Rizon denied Plaintiff's renewal, Plaintiff filed the instant case.

         Plaintiff has brought the following counts: Violation of the Fair Housing Act against Defendant Rizon (Count I), Violation of the Fair Housing against individual Rizon board members (Count II), Violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1982 against Rizon (Count IV), [1] violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1982 against individual Rizon board members (Count V), Intentional Interference with a Contractual Relationship against Rizon (Count VI), Intentional Interference with a Contractual Relationship against individual board members (Count VII), Intentional Interference with an Advantageous Business Relationship against Rizon (Count VIII), and Intentional Interference with an Advantageous Business Relationship against individual board members (Count IX).

         II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

         In considering a motion to dismiss, the Court must accept the allegations in a complaint as true and construe them in a light most favorable to the plaintiffs. See Resnick v. AvMed, Inc., 693 F.3d 1317, 1321 (11th Cir. 2012). At the pleading stage, the Complaint need only contain a “short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2). All that is required is that there are “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 547 (2007).

         III. ...


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