Neighbor Allegedly Calls Black Woman the N-word And Forces Her to Move.


Renter Files Lawsuit against Fayette County Housing Authority for Race Discrimination

Cheryl, a black woman, rented a home from Fayette County Housing Authority (FCHA). In April 2015, her next door neighbor, Maryann, violated her lease terms by feeding feral cats in her front yard. Because the cats often defecated in Cheryl’s yard, she requested permission from FCHA to use cat repellant on her property. Immediately after Cheryl’s first use of cat repellant, Maryann called the police, accusing Cheryl of “disturbing the peace.” Cheryl claims that she double-checked with FCHA for permission to use the cat repellant. FCHA allegedly gave her permission and promised to speak with Maryann. Cheryl shares that she filed a complaint about the incident.

Unfortunately, the story doesn’t stop there. In June, according to Cheryl, Maryann’s friend physically blocked Cheryl’s entrance into her house, demanding that she admit to spraying rat poison in Maryann’s yard. When Cheryl made it safely into her house, she noticed that a group of people were gathering outside her house. She shares that she and her son stepped out of the house to ask if they could help resolve a problem. The simple request awoke an onslaught of yells and racial slurs. Cheryl details that Maryann screamed, “You nigger! You black whore, you know you did it!”

When the group advanced toward Cheryl, her son placed himself between them and his mother. A woman ripped his shirt while Maryann threw a cup filled with alcohol in Cheryl’s face. The woman who assaulted Cheryl’s son also knocked Cheryl to the ground. Fearful for their safety, Cheryl and her son retreated into the house and called the police. When the police arrived, they photographed the evidence, cited Maryann, and reported the incident. Once the officers were gone, Cheryl explains how Maryann toed the line between their properties and allegedly proclaimed, “You’re gonna move and I’m gonna make you move! I ain’t livin’ next to no nigger!”Once the officers were gone, Cheryl explains how Maryann toed the line between their properties and allegedly proclaimed, “You’re gonna move and I’m gonna make you move! I ain’t livin’ next to no nigger!”

An employee from FCHA contacted Cheryl and allegedly blamed her for the fight. Soon after, another friend of Maryann’s banged a baseball bat against Cheryl’s front door, demanding that “you niggers bring your asses out here now!” Cheryl called the police. Despite reporting this incident as well, FCHA forced Cheryl to move to another building in the complex. Cheryl continued to deal with Maryann’s harassment. And then, in September 2015, Cheryl received an eviction notice.

Cheryl only wants a safe place to live with her family. But Fayette County Housing Authority allegedly forced Cheryl to move and blamed her for the neighborhood unrest. No resident deserves this type of racist treatment. KM&A fights for people like Cheryl who are unjustly disciplined for the racist actions of others.

Full text of this complaint, as filed with the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, is available at docket no: 2:17-cv-01061-CRE

Kraemer, Manes & Associates LLC is an employment law firm with principal offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, serving all counties in Pennsylvania, focusing on employment law, business law, litigation, and civil issues. KM&A clients include employees, small businesses, parties in litigation, and people with a variety of legal issues.

For more information about this case, contact Attorney Martell Harris at 412-626-5585 or at

NOTICE: All information contained in this statement comes from the Complaint which has been filed as a public record with the court. As dedicated civil rights attorneys, we strongly believe in the public value of telling our clients’ stories: violators can be held accountable, and other silent victims can feel empowered to stand up for their legal rights. Although we make every attempt to verify our clients’ claims, note that the defendant is expected to oppose our client’s position, and the court has not ruled one way or the other as of the date of this statement.