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Perkins-Bey v Housing Authority of St Louis County

3-14-2011 Missouri:

Perkins-Bey v Housing Authority of St Louis County
Case No. 4:11CV310 JCH.

This case is about Section 8 Vouchers which are used to pay a person's rent in Public Housing. Apparently there are MANY formerly convicted sex offenders in Public Housing LEGALLY; their convictions predate any state registry law, hence they did not have to reveal them on applications (Way back when), or management felt they were so old as to not be of concern.

The essence of this case is, Perkins-Bey was convicted prior to 1979 and under Missouri's registry was not required to register when he first sought Section 8 housing; then he was GRANTED Section 8 assistance.

Along comes the Adam Walsh Act and the Missouri Supreme court makes registration retroactive. Perkins-Bey then registers and completes a renewal "Application" and now disclosing his way back conviction, this causes the Public Housing Management to reject his Application because NOW he is required to register for a LifeTime. Why Lifetime? Some states, Missouri is one, require ALL registrants to register for a LifeTime. HUD Rules require rejecting applications if a person is required to register for a LifeTime on a State Registry.

As best I can guess, the court held, that, federal benefits legally obtained cannot be retroactively terminated. It appears the court used the date of conviction in its analogy.

Finally, according to the court this case is not over, a hearing for a Permanent Injunction is yet to occur.

Now from the case:

Plaintiff Alton Perkins-Bey is a fifty-five year old male, who recently had a cancerous bladder tumor removed. (Joint Stipulation of Uncontroverted Facts ("Facts"), ¶ 1). In 1975, Plaintiff was convicted of two counts of rape in Jackson County, Missouri. (Facts, ¶ 6). Plaintiff served time in prison for approximately fourteen years, and was released on parole in 1988. (Id., ¶ 7). Plaintiff's parole completion date is July 22, 2049. (Id., ¶ 9).1

In or around 2004, Plaintiff submitted an application for Section 8 housing assistance with Defendant Housing Authority of St. Louis County2 ("HASLC"), and was placed on a waiting list. (Facts, ¶¶ 2, 11). Plaintiff completed an Application Update packet, and signed a Criminal History and Activity Disclosure Statement on or about November 19, 2008. (Id., ¶ 12). Neither the information provided by Plaintiff in his initial application, nor the results of any background checks which may have been performed, is known, as those documents were destroyed by HASLC in accordance with its Administrative Plan. (Id., ¶¶ 11, 12).

After holding two meetings with Plaintiff in November, and December, 2008, and conducting a full background check, HASLC approved Plaintiff's application for the Section 8 Voucher Program. (Facts, ¶ 13). Plaintiff was admitted to the Section 8 Voucher Program in or around January, 2009, and began receiving Section 8 Voucher assistance from HASLC. (Id., ¶ 14). HASLC currently pays Plaintiff's entire rent, and until recently paid Plaintiff $74 each month to help defray the cost of utilities for his apartment. (Id., ¶¶ 2, 17).

In 2006, Congress passed the Adam Walsh Child Protection Safety Act of 2006, codified as 42 U.S.C. § 16913, and known as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, or SORNA. SORNA requires that certain sex offenders register with the state sex offender registry system where the sex offender resides. See 42 U.S.C. § 16913(a).3 By regulation, SORNA was made applicable to all sex offenders, including those convicted of the offense for which registration is required prior to the enactment of the Act. See 28 C.F.R. § 72.3. Upon learning of SORNA's requirements from his parole officer, Plaintiff registered as a sex offender in August, 2009. (Facts, ¶ 19). Plaintiff did not list his rape conviction on his October 22, 2009, "Personal Declaration," completed as part of his annual recertification process with HASLC. (Id., ¶ 16). He did list the conviction on his October 7, 2010, Personal Declaration. (Id.).

On October 8, 2010, HASLC sent Plaintiff a notice entitled "Proposed Termination of Rental Assistance." (Facts, ¶ 20). The Notice advised that HASLC was considering terminating Plaintiff's assistance under the Section 8 Voucher Program effective November 30, 2010, because he:
(x) 4. Violated one or more family obligations by:
(x) c. criminal activity or substance abuse (see enclosed report)
(x) 1) lifetime registration under state sex offender registration program.
(Id., ¶ 21). A hearing on the proposed termination was held on October 21, 2010. (Id., ¶ 22). On October 28, 2010, the HASLC hearing officer issued a decision affirming the termination of Plaintiff's Section 8 Voucher Program assistance. (Id., ¶¶ 22, 23). As grounds for her ruling, the hearing officer stated as follows: "The Authority must deny assistance if any household member is subject to a lifetime registration requirement under a state sex offender registration program. 24 CFR 982.553 (Administrative Plan page 11-12)." (Id., ¶ 23).


CONCLUSION Accordingly,

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff Alton Perkins-Bey's Motion for Preliminary Injunction Order (Doc. No. 3) is GRANTED.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants Housing Authority of St. Louis County and Susan Rollins are hereby enjoined and restrained from terminating Plaintiff's Section 8 Voucher assistance until there is a hearing on Plaintiff's request for a permanent injunction.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendants HASLC and Susan Rollins shall immediately take all steps necessary to continue to make rental assistance payments to Plaintiff's landlord, until there is a hearing on Plaintiff's request for a permanent injunction.

This Order shall continue in full force and effect until the Court issues a final ruling on the merits of this case.

Note: Later he also won attorney fees and costs

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