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'Whites Only' Deed Sparks Lawsuit
cbsnews ^ | 4 22 05 | Dionne Walker

Posted on 04/22/2005 10:54:48 PM PDT by freepatriot32

The modest brick house, with its yard full of wilting tulips and rusted old cars, isn't a candidate for the pages of Better Homes and Gardens.

But on a spring day in 2002, it was just what Nealie Pitts had in mind. She approached the owner, Rufus T. Matthews, and asked the price.

According to court documents, Matthews said the house was selling for $83,000 - but that a deed restriction meant only whites were eligible to buy it.

"I was hurt and angry, like he had slapped me in the face," Pitts, who is black, said in an e-mail.

Nearly three years later, the Virginia Office of the Attorney General said it will soon take Matthews to court for the alleged fair housing law violation.

It's a bittersweet victory for fair housing proponents, who wonder how many other people are turned away by racially restrictive deed covenants.

"We very rarely encounter anybody who believes they can be enforced," said Connie Chamberlin, president of Housing Opportunities Made Equal (HOME). "We are aware they're certainly out there."

In milder forms, covenants can be used to control things like the color homeowners can paint their houses.

But in the Jim Crow South, they were often used to keep neighborhoods white. Racially restrictive covenants were ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in 1948.

"Many people don't even know they're in their deeds," Chamberlin said, adding would-be homebuyers can ask to have the racist language removed. "That can't be used as a reason to stop a sale."

According to court documents, Matthews told Pitts his house in suburban Richmond was "not for colored. We decided we are going to keep this area right here all white."

The next day she contacted HOME, which sent out a black test buyer.

"Precisely the same thing happened," Chamberlin said. "We have it on tape."

On Thursday, Matthews told The Associated Press that he would sell his home only to a white buyer. But he denied the house was for sale, saying a sale sign he had was for items in his yard. "The house has never been for sale," he said.

Matthews is accused of violating the Virginia Fair Housing Law. The same code says officials can attempt an out-of-court settlement in cases where the law has been violated.

At an April 13 meeting, the Virginia Fair Housing Board rejected a settlement offer. Board Chairman David Rubinstein declined to detail why it refused the proposal from the attorney general's office.

But Thomas Wolf, an attorney representing Pitts, said the offer would have required Matthews take two hours of class on fair housing law, at taxpayer expense.

"That is not a serious settlement proposal given the facts of the case," Wolf said. "Were they planning to pass out Happy Meals with little Confederate flags?"

Emily Lucier, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Judith Williams Jagdmann, could not explain how the proposal was formulated, but said settlement is not unheard of in discrimination cases.

Pitts is seeking $100,000 in damages in a separate case against Matthews. Lucier said because Pitts has gotten her own lawyer, the office cannot legally seek monetary damages in the civil matter.

Instead, she said, the office will continue pressing for injunctive relief and education. A court date has not been set


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: afrocentricity; attorneygeneral; constitutionlist; culturewar; deed; dixie; dixielist; fakehatecrimes; govwatch; housing; kkk; lawnhockies; lawsuit; libertarians; only; porchswingers; propertyrights; skinhead; sparks; virginia; whites
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Nealie Pitts, seen here with her husband James outside their home in Richmond, Va., is suing Rufus Matthews for damages because he allegedly told her his home could be sold only to white people. (Photo: AP)
1 posted on 04/22/2005 10:54:49 PM PDT by freepatriot32
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To: Annie03; Baby Bear; BJClinton; BlackbirdSST; blackeagle; BroncosFan; Capitalism2003; dAnconia; ...
Libertarian ping.To be added or removed from my ping list freepmail me or post a message here.
2 posted on 04/22/2005 10:57:35 PM PDT by freepatriot32 (If you want to change goverment support the libertarian party www.lp.org)
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To: freepatriot32
Rufus Matthews, standing in front of his home, allegedly told a black buyer the house was $83,000, but for whites only.
3 posted on 04/22/2005 10:59:31 PM PDT by freepatriot32 (If you want to change goverment support the libertarian party www.lp.org)
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To: freepatriot32
Racially restrictive covenants were ruled illegal by the Supreme Court in 1948.

The correct way to state it is the covenants were ruled 'unenforceable' by a court.

4 posted on 04/22/2005 11:02:19 PM PDT by ClintonBeGone (Malvone = MMP)
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To: freepatriot32
Lucier said because Pitts has gotten her own lawyer, the office cannot legally seek monetary damages in the civil matter.

Oooooooooops.

5 posted on 04/22/2005 11:04:05 PM PDT by ClintonBeGone (Malvone = MMP)
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To: freepatriot32

What kind of idiot would try to enforce a racial covenant in this day and age?


6 posted on 04/22/2005 11:23:09 PM PDT by seacapn
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To: seacapn
What kind of idiot would try to enforce a racial covenant in this day and age?

Senator Robert Byrd?

7 posted on 04/22/2005 11:26:32 PM PDT by taxesareforever
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To: freepatriot32

All your private property are belong to us (da gubmint).


8 posted on 04/22/2005 11:27:16 PM PDT by BenLurkin (O beautiful for patriot dream - that sees beyond the years)
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To: mhking

BC/JD?


9 posted on 04/22/2005 11:31:12 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows ("You would have to double your IQ to be stupid. " --zip)
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To: freepatriot32

Ruffus is an idiot, but should he lose his house or life savings? Why smack a little dumb guy and put him down for a long count? The Pitts look to already have a better home than Ruffus, should they get all his money too?


10 posted on 04/22/2005 11:33:44 PM PDT by RicocheT
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To: seacapn
"What kind of idiot would try to enforce a racial covenant in this day and age?"

A seller, ignorant of it's unenforceability, afraid of getting sued.

11 posted on 04/22/2005 11:36:51 PM PDT by oprahstheantichrist (...rethinking the Oprah thing. Watch Soros closely.)
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To: freepatriot32
Isn't the covenant part of the deed? Wouldn't that be revealed in a title search? What better way to shop for a home than to find some old cracker who didn't know the covenant was unenforceable and sue him for more than the price of the house?

It looks like they live in such a pit now. / Sarc.

12 posted on 04/22/2005 11:38:04 PM PDT by Smokin' Joe (Grant no power to government you would not want your worst enemies to wield against you.)
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To: All

As one of the greast jurists in American history, Judge Wapner, used to say, "What are her damages?"


13 posted on 04/22/2005 11:41:16 PM PDT by jimboster
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To: BenLurkin
Where in the world did you ever get the idea that a private citizen can actually own real property? A citizen can only pay a lease contract fee, in this case $83,000, then a yearly rent usually called a school tax or property tax or some such tax to the true owner of the real property. Try not paying this yearly rent and you will find out who really owns the property that you foolishly claim to own.
14 posted on 04/22/2005 11:49:55 PM PDT by fella
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To: freepatriot32

Talk about a no-brainer.....


15 posted on 04/22/2005 11:52:15 PM PDT by Banjoguy (Don't be brain dead.)
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To: everyone

What a ridiculous waste of taxpayer dollars. Send out a mailing telling homeowners that these restrictive covenants can no longer be enforced and leave it at that. Jesus.


16 posted on 04/23/2005 12:02:36 AM PDT by California Patriot
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To: oprahstheantichrist

He told them about the covenant out front and didn't attempt to hide it.

By the look of his house he doesn't have the money to take chances with a lawsuit over the sale of his house.

By his age and the look of his house he needs the money and just wants a quick sale.

He may be under the impression that by agreeing to the covenant when he purchased the house he is liable for the conditions of sale and he can't afford legal advice to determine if he is liable or not.

The Pitts house is many times more expensive, lavish even, compared to Rufus' humble digs.

This looks like a case of a comportable middle class Afro American professional couple taking advantage of a not too bright but decent poor white guy to get some publicity and a cheap revenue property.

Lord I never thought I'ld live to see the day when I would say something like that.


17 posted on 04/23/2005 12:03:49 AM PDT by beaver fever
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To: freepatriot32
If it were a Hispanic or 'Blacks' only deed would this even be in the news?

Hell, it would probably be celebrated as 'diversity'.
18 posted on 04/23/2005 12:11:58 AM PDT by KoRn (~Halliburton Told Me......)
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To: beaver fever

I bet you're right. I'd be interested to know if the black couple were actually in the market to buy a house. It sounds like they heard about the curmudgeonly old fart with a racist bent and decided to try and make a quick buck.


19 posted on 04/23/2005 12:12:39 AM PDT by jimboster
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To: jimboster

I don't even think he's racist.

I think he's probably being honest to a fault and he's financially strapped and not very knowledgeable about contract law. Which means he's like 90% of working class people.

I'm not familiar with the property values where the Pitts live but in my neighborhood they're house is $1.5 Million on the low side.

His house has mock brick duroid shingles on the side of it and a chain link garden fence!!!!

His front yard is 10 ft deep and theirs has room to build a guest house and a double wide driveway!!! The miracle is they don't even see the incongruity.

Where's the law that says rich black people are less venal and self interested than rich white people.

I think the guy is being beaten with two clubs, class and race. Unfortunately he's on the wrong side of both.


20 posted on 04/23/2005 12:29:50 AM PDT by beaver fever
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To: freepatriot32

I don't buy that Rufus is an innocent idiot at all. You're trying to sell your house and find that clause. Black person comes to buy the house and what, in the year 2005, do you say? Gee black person I can't sell you this house because some bigot long dead says I can't. Spare me. How about gee black person, maybe after all that civil rights stuff we might be able to find a way around this.

I'd bet rufus is just an ass that enjoyed jacking with people. Whatever the lady doesn't get I hope the lawyer gets the rest.


21 posted on 04/23/2005 12:36:13 AM PDT by bad company (fish tremble at the mention of my name)
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To: KoRn

"If it were a Hispanic or 'Blacks' only deed would this even be in the news?

Hell, it would probably be celebrated as 'diversity'."

No... that would be illegal too.


22 posted on 04/23/2005 12:37:57 AM PDT by rwilson99 (South Park (R)
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To: seacapn

"What kind of idiot would try to enforce a racial covenant in this day and age?"

Yes, that's a completely indefensible position, not enlightened like giving minorities entry points for their ethnicity in the contest to enter Univ of Michigan Law School, or giving favortism to minorites over whites for plum jobs, etc., etc.


23 posted on 04/23/2005 12:44:08 AM PDT by Chu Gary (USN Intel guy 1967 - 1970)
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To: Chu Gary
Yes, that's a completely indefensible position, not enlightened like giving minorities entry points for their ethnicity in the contest to enter Univ of Michigan Law School, or giving favortism to minorites over whites for plum jobs, etc., etc.

LOL! So how is affirmative action different than a racial covenant? Hint: all men are created equal, but some are [viewed by the government as] more equal than others

24 posted on 04/23/2005 12:52:06 AM PDT by zipper ("The fear of God makes heroes, the fear of man makes cowards."-- Sgt Alvin C. York)
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To: freepatriot32
Such deeds are NOT enforceable in the courts. You can't specify a home can be sold only to people of a certain race, color, nationality or creed. If the contract contains offending (and illegal) language, a court will hold the buyer is due damages in full due to the inability to consummate an otherwise valid business transaction.

(Denny Crane: "Sometimes you can only look for answers from God and failing that... and Fox News".)
25 posted on 04/23/2005 12:55:29 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: seacapn
I do not agree with this idiot, BUT I believe if you don't want to sell your home to a green man, it should be your choice as long as you do not use violence against another person. As a Christian I don't want to rent properties to non-married couples or same sex couples because it is against my personal beliefs and it would go against my conscience, HOWEVER if I spoke this out loud, the ACLU would sue the crud out of me.
26 posted on 04/23/2005 1:08:56 AM PDT by ThisLittleLightofMine
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To: freepatriot32
This story had me going for a while until I came to this.

"...Pitts is seeking $100,000 in damages in a separate case against Matthews...[sic]"

27 posted on 04/23/2005 1:17:28 AM PDT by expatguy (http://laotze.blogspot.com/)
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To: jimboster

She don't look that damaged to me. She looks like some white hating black woman with a chip on her shoulder hoping to win first prize at the judicial jackpot of injustice.


28 posted on 04/23/2005 1:21:31 AM PDT by expatguy (http://laotze.blogspot.com/)
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To: expatguy

sounds like a job for a certain org to put the smack down....


29 posted on 04/23/2005 1:32:41 AM PDT by Schwaeky (Attention Liberal Catholics---The Caffeteria is officially and permanently CLOSED!)
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To: expatguy

expatguy wrote:
She don't look that damaged to me. She looks like some white hating black woman with a chip on her shoulder hoping to win first prize at the judicial jackpot of injustice.



Your so racist!/Sarc


30 posted on 04/23/2005 1:34:33 AM PDT by 1FASTGLOCK45 (FreeRepublic: More fun than watching Dem'Rats drown like Turkeys in the rain! ! !)
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To: freepatriot32

Only in Richmond! Glad I escaped to Louisa County.


31 posted on 04/23/2005 2:26:49 AM PDT by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: RicocheT

Because when you slam one poor schmuck, you then are able to cower every other poor schmuck.

Witness the homosexual radicals.


32 posted on 04/23/2005 3:10:52 AM PDT by mlmr (The Culture of Death will get a lot more deadly before it's done.)
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To: fella

That is excellent. You are absolutely correct.


33 posted on 04/23/2005 3:35:01 AM PDT by Banjoguy (Don't be brain dead.)
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To: taxesareforever
What kind of idiot would try to enforce a racial covenant in this day and age?

Senator Robert Byrd?

Yes, but only against "white n$$$$rs".

34 posted on 04/23/2005 3:56:29 AM PDT by Hardastarboard
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To: expatguy
Indeed. Pitts can evidently smell "payday" and expects Matthews should lose everything and then some.

I don't see it this way. Considering we're talking private property (in theory) and considering more especially all the weighted elements in favor of minorities in education, jobs, legal protections and so forth... I cannot find a liberty-loving argument against a person being selective with whom they choose to do business.

I live an a neighborhood which has been part of mass shift in ethnic makeup. Property values have risen thanks to market forces *however* the attractiveness, cleanliness and basic community itself has degraded. Sure, this reflects the usual tenant apathy vs. owner-occupied self-interest but the fact of the matter is, why would I want to sell or rent to person who do not value the property and community within which they're asking to become a part?

On the flip side, this "multicultural" fascism is quite dangerous. Language is becoming a problem when a longtime English native-speaking resident cannot communicate with the neighbors, with employees of neighborhood shops or read signage of the neighborhood services. Culture is becoming a problem when older men drop their pants and make use of the neighbor's lawn like they did in the old country. Neighborhood residents and children be damned.

I grow increasingly tired of seeing unfinished food thrown on the ground because it's too much of a burden to carry the rest of the sandwich across the street with you. I grow tired of watching half-chewed food being spat-out into a gutter because you ran out of your softdrink. I'm tired of shopping carts become the lawn-ornament de rigeur.

And that's just based on what I've seen this week.

I'm not saying I agree with the concept of a "whites only" deed but I question the strictness of limitations put upon owners by judicial activism or liberal social experimentation. The more excuses made under "multiculturalism" and "tolerance" for coarse, intrusive, and bad behavior the more balkanized our nation will become until eventually we will live in a cities, towns and neighborhoods antithetical to the values and traditions which have made America great. We need more assimilation, not less and I believe property owners should have the right to insist on assimilation rather than allowing defacto occupation by foreigners and fostering reconquista movements.

35 posted on 04/23/2005 4:51:23 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Demand Mexico Turnover Fugitive Murderers: http://www.escapingjustice.com)
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To: goldstategop
You can't specify a home can be sold only to people of a certain race, color, nationality or creed.

Are you saying the courts have ruled you can't *not* sell to illegals?

36 posted on 04/23/2005 4:53:00 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Demand Mexico Turnover Fugitive Murderers: http://www.escapingjustice.com)
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To: fella

ping


37 posted on 04/23/2005 4:55:57 AM PDT by kingsurfer
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To: rwilson99

It might be illegal but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen in effect. We all know how neighborhoods organize in cities into ethnic ghettos. Ever wonder how it is that these aren't broken up by the diversity police? Oh, of course... the diversity police depend upon these ghettos to get elected and maintain power.


38 posted on 04/23/2005 4:57:27 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Demand Mexico Turnover Fugitive Murderers: http://www.escapingjustice.com)
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To: freepatriot32

The sellers mistake was being stupid enought to say something like that.


39 posted on 04/23/2005 4:58:45 AM PDT by JarheadFromFlorida (Ooorahhhh........Get Some! Semper Fi')
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To: beaver fever
I think the guy is being beaten with two clubs, class and race. Unfortunately he's on the wrong side of both.

Excellent points made.

40 posted on 04/23/2005 5:04:48 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Demand Mexico Turnover Fugitive Murderers: http://www.escapingjustice.com)
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To: freepatriot32

They finally found one idiot biggot to howl about. No One has a problem with hard working people trying to get ahead (except this one seller).How about the degradation of entire communities that goes on every day when they jam "low income" or PROJECT housing into the area where your house (which you've worked so hard for all your life) resides. Not a peep. Just more complaints about a non-problem. People will always want to be with their own kind, same as in the animal kingdom.It's not gonna stop just because some aclu types want it to.


41 posted on 04/23/2005 5:06:59 AM PDT by Rocketwolf68
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To: newzjunkey

Thanks. I tend to have a soft spot for the underdog.


42 posted on 04/23/2005 5:08:18 AM PDT by beaver fever
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To: freepatriot32

Here, HUD pays for a house when blacks move into a white neighborhood--3 over $100,000 to the relative of the man who is head of the local HUD funds. The median cost of a home here is about $50,000.


43 posted on 04/23/2005 5:14:12 AM PDT by lonestar (Me, too!--Weinie)
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To: freepatriot32
When we lived in Baltimore (Homeland neighborhood), we had what they called "additive deeds" when all of the deeds from prior owners were stapled to your deed.

The original deed from the builder in 1935 restricted ownership not only to whites, but said only Presbyterians and Episcopalians could own our house. Catholics were singled out as not permitted.

Subsequent deeds had notations that certain prior paragraphs were no longer valid and there was a statement concerning the Fair Housing Act.
44 posted on 04/23/2005 5:15:15 AM PDT by Andy from Chapel Hill
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To: seacapn

There's a difference in the court enforcing the covenant and the owner respecting the covenant.


45 posted on 04/23/2005 5:17:39 AM PDT by Cvengr (<;^))
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To: goldstategop
You can't specify a home can be sold only to people of a certain race, color, nationality or creed

I think you might want to say "national origin" here, not nationality. Ownership of land by aliens is something that is quite within the realm of regulation or exclusion.

If that weren't true, we wouldn't have a country. China could just buy up whatever it needed and erect housing for its millions right there.

Of course, we hardly have a country now. I have no idea where there is any legality in selling property to illegal aliens, but apparently banks and mortgage lenders think it's all just fine and dandy. Be interesting to see what would happen if someone were to challenge property rights involving an illegal alien "landowner".

46 posted on 04/23/2005 5:20:15 AM PDT by Regulator
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To: freepatriot32
....Ahhhh what the heck, I'll kick this anthill.....

If it's the person's private property, doesn't he have the right to sell (or not to sell) to whomever he chooses?

If someone wants to stand up and loudly announce that they're a racist, who are we to stop them?

47 posted on 04/23/2005 5:45:31 AM PDT by wbill
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To: beaver fever
Where's the law that says rich black people are less venal and self interested than rich white people.

Oh, I believe it's right next to the one decreeing expectation(s) of civilized behavior vary from group to group, nation to nation, and political belief to political belief.

48 posted on 04/23/2005 5:54:13 AM PDT by yankeedame ("Born with the gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.")
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To: freepatriot32
OK, I'll bite. Why would this woman ask this man about buying his dump when she lives in such a nice house?

Something not quite adding up. It almost sounds like a setup.

Since it is his property, why doesn't he have to right to sell to whom ever he pleases.

I don't care what the courts ruled, it is his property and he should be able to sell to whomever he pleases.

49 posted on 04/23/2005 5:54:50 AM PDT by Dustbunny (The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist)
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To: freepatriot32

"It's a bittersweet victory for fair housing proponents, who wonder how many other people are turned away by racially restrictive deed covenants."

Rest assured, dear people, that no one else has been "turned away" because you would have heard about each and every case (loud and clear -as it should be)


50 posted on 04/23/2005 6:05:23 AM PDT by whereasandsoforth (Stamp out liberals with the big boot of truth)
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