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Lath v. Oak Brook Condominium Owners' Association

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

March 30, 2017

Sanjeev Lath
v.
Oak Brook Condominium Owners' Association, Cheryl Vallee, Perry Vallee, William Quinn Morey, Gerald Dufresne, Christos Klardie, Vickie Grandmaison, Patty Taylor, Betty Mullen, Scott Sample, John Bisson, and Warren Mills Opinion No. 2017 DNH 065

          ORDER

          Landya McCafferty United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Sanjeev Lath owns a unit in the Oak Brook Condominium (“Oak Brook”). He has asserted multiple claims against the Oak Brook Condominium Owners' Association (“Association”) and eleven individual defendants: six present or former members of the Association's board of directors, two present or former Oak Brook employees, two other unit owners, and the Association's attorney. Before the court is a motion to intervene as a plaintiff, filed by another Oak Brook unit owner, Barbara Belware, who is appearing pro se. An objection to Belware's motion has been filed or joined by eleven of the twelve defendants. The twelfth defendant, unit owner Gerald Dufresne, who is also appearing pro se, has filed a “reply” to Belware's motion. Belware, in turn, has moved to strike Dufresne's reply. For the reasons that follow, Belware's two motions are both denied.

         I. Motion to Intervene

         The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Federal Rules”) provide for two types of intervention, intervention as of right and permissive intervention. Belware argues that she is entitled to intervene under both theories. The court does not agree. In this section, the court considers each form of intervention in turn, but begins by describing the claims in this case, as a baseline for evaluating Belware's motion.

         A. Background

         In an order dated March 20, 2017, the court dismissed some of the claims that Lath asserted in his second amended complaint (“SAC”), but permitted him to continue pursuing these nine claims:

Count 1: a claim under the federal Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), against Warren Mills and the Association, for creating a hostile housing environment based upon Lath's sexual orientation, race, and national origin.
Count 2: an FHA claim against the Association, for handicap based housing discrimination resulting from a constructive failure to grant Lath an exception to Oak Brook's “no dogs” policy so that he could have an emotional support dog.
Count 4: an FHA claim against the Association, for publishing a notice indicating a preference for handicapped people who need true service dogs over those who need emotional support dogs.
Count 9: an eavesdropping claim under N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 570-A:11 against Betty Mullen, for installing cameras in and/or around Lath's residence.
Count 10: a common law invasion of privacy claim against Perry Vallee, for installing a camera in Lath's unit.
Count 11: a common law false light invasion of privacy claim against Dufresne, for making statements about Lath in filings in the Superior Court.
Count 12: a common law defamation claim against Dufresne, for introducing statements about Lath in an action in the Superior Court.
Count 13: a breach of contract claim against the Association, for failing to accept mail addressed to Lath.
Count 14: a common law civil conspiracy claim against Mullen, Cheryl Vallee, Perry Vallee, William Morey, Christos Klardie, Vickie Grandmaison, Patty Taylor, Scott Sample, and John Bisson, for conspiring to violate the FHA by retaliating against Lath.

         In addition, the court informed plaintiff that if he were able to show cause why they should not be dismissed, he would be permitted to continue pursuing these additional claims:

Counts 3(a)-(i): claims that various defendants retaliated against him, in violation of the FHA, for filing a discrimination claim against Mills, Grandmaison, and the Association's board of directors with the Equal Employment Opportunity ...

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