Habitat Files Suit in Pinebluff Dispute
Attorneys from the UNC Center for Civil Rights and Habitat for Humanity filed a lawsuit Friday over a deal in which property in Pinebluff was bought out from under Habitat last year.
They are suing the town, the mayor and council and town attorney, both in their official capacity and personally, as well as the sellers and buyers of the property. The suit claims Mayor Earlene McLamb and the Town Board worked together to interfere with a contract Habitat had to buy land along Thunder Road for new homes and that town attorney William Morgan helped them do it.
In addition to seeking actual damages, the plaintiffs want the court to make an example of Pinebluff and award Habitat "without limitation, compensatory, consequential, exemplary and punitive damages in an amount to be determined at trial, plus interest, as allowed by law" plus costs and attorneys fees, documents filed Friday say. The suit seeks treble damages and the property as well, asking for an order for conveying the property to Habitat and an injunction ordering Pinebluff "to issue all necessary permits and make all necessary zoning changes to allow" Habitat to construct "no fewer homes than originally proposed."
Habitat is represented by Dudley Humphrey, of Winston-Salem, and by Julius Chambers and two other attorneys from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. The suit asks the court to declare fair housing violations and seeks all the defendants "their agents, employees, and successors be permanently enjoined from discriminating on the basis of racial and familial status" and be ordered to take "appropriate affirmative actions to ensure that the activities complained of above are not engaged in again by them."
For more on this story, see Sunday's print edition of The Pilot.
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