Discriminatory housing policy lawsuit in Sunnyside dismissed

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing the city of Sunnyside of using its crime-free rental policy to discriminate.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports State Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed the lawsuit July 30 in U.S. District Court.

The city's crime-free rental program was the focus. It's intended to allow landlords to evict tenants who commit crimes at or near their residence.

Ferguson highlighted three instances in his lawsuit. One involved police evicting a Latina mother, a grandmother and seven children without a court order. The woman refused her landlord's sexual advances and he accused her and her son of stealing and had them evicted, the lawsuit said.

Another case cited accused police of evicting a pregnant Latina woman with three children who had been living in low-income housing without incident. The third incident accused police of requiring a landlord to evict a couple after their residence had been searched by authorities.

Justice Rosanna Malouf Peterson said Friday the state failed to provide enough evidence to show any widespread discrimination against any particular group.

The lawsuit was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the matter could be heard again in the future.