Havens Realty Corp. v. Coleman

455 U.S. 363 (1982)


D owned and operated two apartment complexes in Virginia. Coles (P) was a black 'renter plaintiff' who, attempted to rent an apartment from D. D was falsely told that no apartments were available. Coleman (P) and Willis (P), were tester plaintiffs' who were employed by HOME (Housing Opportunities Made Equal) to determine whether D practiced racial steering. Coleman, who is black, and Willis, who is white, made inquiries regarding the availability of apartments. Coleman was told that no apartments were available. Willis was told that there were vacancies. HOME is 'a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Virginia' whose purpose was to make equal opportunity in housing a reality. All three Ps averred that they had been injured by the discriminatory acts Ds. HOME also alleged injury. It asserted that the steering practices of Ds had frustrated the organization's counseling and referral services, with a consequent drain on resources. HOME asserted that its members had been deprived of the benefits of interracial association arising from living in an integrated community free of housing discrimination. The District Court dismissed the claims of Coleman, Willis, and HOME because they lacked standing and that their claims were barred by the Act's 180-day statute of limitations, 42 U. S. C. § 3612(a). They lacked standing as they had no intention of living at the complexes. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded for further proceedings. It held that the allegations of injury by Willis and Coleman, both as testers and as individuals who were deprived of the benefits of residing in an integrated community, sufficed to withstand a motion to dismiss. It held that HOME's allegations of injury to itself and its members were sufficient, at the pleading stage, to afford the organization standing both in its own capacity and as a representative of its members. The court held that the allegations were not time-barred, because Ds' conduct constituted a 'continuing violation.' The Supreme Court granted certiorari.