An arbiter has decided that the Chaumont Villas apartment complex wrongly discriminated against six Muslim tenants based on their religion.

The parties in the lawsuit, filed in September 2005, agreed to binding arbitration.

In his decision on March 9, Orange County Arbiter Jay Cordell Horton said the Unruh Civil Rights Act and the Fair Employment and Housing Act were violated.

Horton has ordered the owner of the West Broadway apartment complex to pay monetary damages to the tenants.

The initial lawsuit said that the apartment complex’s manager, Bridgett Phillips, showed a pattern of discrimination, including refusing to make repairs, chasing away Muslim children from playing in common areas and forbidding a tenant from switching apartments claiming there were no vacancies.

“As Americans, all we want is respect and fair treatment,” plaintiff Tawfieq Mousa said in a statement last week.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations lauded the arbiter’s decision.


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