My name is Harry Davis. I am physically severely disabled, my feet, both of them, are amputated and my hands are basically permanently broken all because of bacterial meningitis which I caught in 2001. I almost died because of this illness and I spent 51 weeks in the hospital, 3 months in Strong Hospital, 9 months in Monroe Community Hospital, both in Rochester, NY. I am in pain 24/7.
I have a small tuxedo kitten/cat. He has been declared an “emotional support animal”.
I rent an apartment in Rochester with help of Section 8. My landlord is High Falls Property Management (HFPM). HFPM said I am not allowed to keep this cat and has petitioned the court to terminate my tenancy and evict me. I am poor. I receive SSI & SSD for a total of $840 per month. I have a long time friend who is by trade an attorney and has done excellent work for me in the past. He is far from well off also, but he is an excellent attorney. I need to pay my attorney some money to defend me in court so I will not be evicted this week. If I am evicted, my Section 8 will be permanently terminated and I will be out on the street, homeless. I am scheduled for court this Wednesday, June 15.
You see homeless people on the street all the time. I really do not want to be one of them. Please give what you can and when I get back on my feet once again, I will pay you back what money you donated.
I will be so grateful for $1, $10, $20 or whatever you can spare.
You can see more here:
Hello, All you GoFundMe friends who helped out with funds for the attorney. Although it was determined by the court that High Falls Property Management (HFPM) can “legally” make me homeless by July 31, 2016, I will not let that happen. There is still a lot of fight left in me and some very major issues to be dealt with.
This case is about much more than the rejection of HFPM refusing me reasonable accommodation for an emotional support animal, but, the issue of the emotional support animal is central and primary to this case. As such, this past week, we have filed a discrimination complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) against High Falls Property Management (HFPM) because HFPM failed to show me “reasonable accommodation” for an “emotional support animal”. In fact, HFPM has specifically terminated my lease because of my “emotional support animal” and attained a court order for me to vacate the premises by July 31, 2016.
The reason we are asking for $10,000 now is to expose ALL the illegal actions HFPM has perpetrated on myself, and probably all of their many tenants, that is, they are completely dishonest, engage in fraudulent bookkeeping an in general, try to take as much money from me as the can, much of it based upon nothing but lies. And I want to continue paying my attorneys so we can expose HFPM for the criminal front it actually is. These involve:
Not paying for heat for three years, requiring me to use three space heaters and a gas oven turned on to provide me heat in all of the past three winters.
Charging HEAP and DSS in excess of $2,000 for my heat that HFPM was supposed to pay.
Charging me for sending maintenance out to my apartment to flip the circuit breakers.
Charging me for fixing the bedroom doorknob that never worked and locked me in my bedroom at 1AM.
But this post is not going to get into these details right now. These will be dealt with in a separate post. This post will detail the status of the rejection, and subsequent filing of a notice “Termination Of Tenancy” on my on June 2, 2016. I am confident that HUD will find my complaint of discrimination valid. The question is, what to do after that?
Here is the time line regarding my situation with the emotional support animal:
March, 2016: I am told by HFPM that my cat must go.
May 24, 2016: Request is made by letter from Steven I. Cooper, social worker, to HFPM for “reasonable accommodation for emotional support animal”, i.e., my cat which has received all shots and is spayed.
May 31, 2016: Michelle Wheeler, owner of HFPM replies re, “reasonable request for emotional support animal.”: “Your option at this point is to pay rent and late fees including June in full to avoid eviction court AND remove the cat to avoid lease termination.Thank you.”
June 1,2016: I Harry Davis, post this Facebook page entitled: “High Falls Property Management Denies Tenant’s Emotional Support Animal” https://www.facebook.com/EmotionalSupportAnimal/
June 1, 2016: Mr. John Nacca, ESQ, attorney for HFPM, admittedly has “one hour telephone conversation with Michelle Wheeler” concerning Ms. Wheeler apparent rage over the posting of the Facebook Page, https://www.facebook.com/EmotionalSupportAnimal/ . This conversation was told in person to myself, Harry Davis by Mr. Nacca in the presence of Douglas Fisher, ESQ, my attorney, while taking a break in eviction court on June 15, 2016. If Mr. Nacca tells the truth, under oath, he will state that this was the probable cause for Ms. Wheeler to terminate my tenancy on June 2, 2016. Mr. Fisher will testify to the validity of this conversation. Also, in this same conversation, Mr. Nacca told me, Harry Davis, that he would act as a reference for me if and when I am in need of future housing.
June 2, 2016: I am served with a notice stating: Termination of Tenancy.” “This letter serves as formal written notification that you are hereby required within 30 days, or at the end of your next monthly rent period, to remove from and deliver up possession of the above-described premises, which you currently hold and occupy. You have until July 31, 2016 by 12pm to vacate the premises.” signed by Colleen Porata.
June 6, 2016: I am served papers to appear in eviction court on June 15, 2016 to pay rent for May, 2016, $296; June 2016, $371; late fees, $50.
June 15, 2016: Without any words by me and the judge, and without presentation of my written answer, I am ordered by Judge Crimi to pay May & June rent by June 22; July rent by July 5, 2016. I am ordered to pay attorney’s fees of $285 by August 1, 2016.
June 20, 2016: The web site, www.HighFallsPropertyManagement-rip-off.com is online.
June 21, 2016: Another day, another reason for HFPM to enter false, fraudulent numbers on my ledger. On the advice of my attorney, Douglas Fisher, I am documenting today’s blatant attempt of High Falls Property Management to do fraudulent bookkeeping. At approximately 3PM today, June 20, 2016, I rode the bus to HFPM office on Lyell Avenue in Gates, NY. I arrived with money orders totaling $717. This was to satisfy a court action. The breakdown of what I owed was $296 for May rent plus $25 late fee=$321. June rent, $371 plus late fee, $50=$396; $321+396=$717 As I rode the bus, I saw the front desk attendant, “Nancy” standing outside the office with another bleached blonde female HFPM employee whose name I do not know. I arrived in the office and handed “Nancy” 2 money orders totaling $717. Usually, I am given a receipt within a minute or two. Today, I waited, I waited, waited. About 5 minutes later I asked f there was a problem. Nancy said no. Then the telephoned the back office. Then she got up and went to the back office. Then she came back out and I still waited. Still no receipt. I asked if there was a problem. Finally, after I had been standing there for 23 minutes, Nancy handed me a receipt. It was for a total of $717 but instead of applying the $50 total to my later fees, AS REQUIRED BY THE COURT AGREEMENT BETWEEN MY ATTORNEY DOUGLAS FISHER AND HFPM ATTORNEY JOHN NACCA, HFPM wrote me and gave me a receipt for $667 with a total of $50 applied to”Professional Legal Services.”
I know it was 3:33PM because I immediately telephoned my attorney Douglas Fisher at 3:33PM. I know it is 3:33 because the time is on my telephone for this call.I told Mr. Fisher that HFPM was fraudulently giving me a wrong receipt so they could say to the court that I did not pay what was agreed and therefore, HFPM could ask the court to evict me within 72 hours. I waited there 23 minutes, only to be given a fraudulent receipt. Mr. Fisher asked me to speak with “Nancy.” Nancy would not speak to Mr. Fisher. Mr Fisher told me he was reporting this incident to the HFPM attorney. Mr.John Nacca. This is just another attempt of criminal, fraudulent “bookkeeping” that HFPM has used against me to take my security deposit since I became their tenant on February 9, 2013, to make my “money owed” way too high to justify sending me to court. In short, HFPM is a criminal racket that can be proved to be in violation of the RICO Act.
June 22, 2016: I received a letter from attorney John Nacca.
RE: Cease and Desist Notification for High Falls Property Management, LLC
Dear Mr. Davis:
Over the last week or so it has come to our attention that you have been repeatedly attacking the professionalism, integrity and honesty of High Falls Property Management and its employees. This has been primarily undertaken via your use of the Internet and Facebook. and generally consists of exaggerations, falsehoods, distortions of the truth and blatant lies. You have taken it upon yourself to utilize photos of High Falls Property management, LLC employees in support of your distortions and attacks. Up to this point High Falls has allowed you to continue with this irrational attack hoping that once the eviction proceeding settled in Court that you would stop. I am sure you are aware that the eviction proceeding brought against you was for non-payment of your rent and nothing else. High Falls Management and the owner of Meigs Street were well within their rights to bring this proceeding on. It has nothing to do with your pet.
I have specifically mentioned to your attorney that these outrageous attacks needed to stop. Since they have not I am sending you this letter to formally put you on notice that any further lies or distortions of the truth relative to High Falls property Management, LLC or its employees will no longer be tolerated. In point of fact we demand that your web site(s) be taken down immediately and that any disparaging remarks on Facebook or any other social media channels cease immediately. In the event that you persist in thee attacks I have been instructed to commence legal action against you seeking not only damages for your lies but a Restraining order from a court of competent jurisdiction prohibiting you from making disparaging remarks against the Company its employees o the owners of the property which would negatively impact the reputation and integrity of the company. In point of fact we will be seeking a complete Restring Order prohibiting you from spewing the lies and exaggerations you have become so expert and creating (sic). Hopefully I will not have to do so but rest assured that I will not hesitate should you persist.
Very truly yours,
On May 24, 2016, myself & Michelle Wheeler received this letter from Steven I. Cooper, LCSW-R, BCD:
May 24, 2016
High Falls Property Management
Michelle Wheeler, Property Manager
2255 Lyell Avenue, Suite #201
Rochester, NY 14606
Re: Harry Davis
Dear Ms. Wheeler:
I am a NYS licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of New York and have been in an independent private practice for over 15 years. My practice is limited to assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of adults and couples who are struggling with various mental health concerns. I am writing on behalf of Mr. Davis who has been seen by me for evaluation of his mental health concerns. He contacted me presenting with depressive and anxiety sx., as well as physical limitations from near total foot amputations as a result of p/ bacterial meningitis. He has a generalized anxiety disorder. Mr. Davis suffers from a broad range of symptoms as a result of this. These include feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, chronic fatigue, inability to experience pleasure in his life, early and middle insomnia, appetite changes, worry, nervousness, tension and irritability.
Mr. Davis has had a previous existing rel with a cat of his that has served as a companion and for emotional support. In situations like Mr. Davis’s a beloved pet provides the comfort and relief from isolation and other symptoms that result from his conditions. This pet would also enhance his ability to use and enjoy the dwelling you provide for him as well as support his own independence as he will be caring for the cat. I believe a cat may meet the criteria of an emotional support animal under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Thus I am asking for your consideration in providing him reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing and Rehabilitation Act as well as the ADA, and permitting him to have his cat back as an emotional support animal.If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to call.
Steven I Cooper, LCSW-R, BCD
NYS Licensed Clinical Social Worker
In response to the letter from Steven Cooper, I received this email from Michelle Wheeler on May 31, 2016:
May 31 at 6:05pm ·
Michelle Wheeler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
4:13 PM (1 hour ago)
to Alex, me, Colleen, Julie, Nicole
This will be my last email to you regarding this, there is no point is emailing back and forth with no resolution. I stated that the eviction filing is for unpaid rent and late fees plus what ever the judge allows for court fees.
Regarding the maintenance items, you are billed per your lease regardless of whether you agree or not. Section 8 would not allow you to remain in the unit if there was not adequate heat. That is irreverent at this point. It is May 31st and your portion of May rent is unpaid. June rent is due tomorrow.
On another note while all parties are copied in, regardless of the outcome of eviction court, the cat is not approved. We are required to allow service animals not therapy animals. You signed a no pet policy and we are not approving the pet. If the pet is not removed you will be in continued violation of your lease and we will have no choice but to terminate your lease agreement.
There is no need to reply further. Your option at this point is to pay rent and late fees including June in full to avoid eviction court AND remove the cat to avoid lease termination.Thank you.
Michelle Wheeler states: “I stated that the eviction filing is for unpaid rent and late fees plus what ever the judge allows for court fees.”
At this point I only owe HFPM May rent, $296.
At this point, Michelle Wheeler & collections agent Colleen Porata told me I owed them $800.73. $250 of this amount was billed to me for having a cat!
As evidence of this, we have Michelle Wheeler stating this to me in an email dated May 31, 2016: court approved legal fees). The maintenance and repairs are a separate matter.
For this discrimination complaint to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, (HUD), I will present relevant details showing complete dis-honesty on the part of HFPM.
I will document these false charges below. You can see them by logging into my High Falls Property Management account here:
go to “tenants”
pw: Aspen81611 (capital “A”)
I receive a total income of $840 per month from SSI & SSD. Section 8 pays 3/4 of my rent. I do not have and will not have the necessary funds available to find and rent a new home come July 31. I learned today that my Section 8 housing voucher is in real jeopardy because of this incident. I am very scared and I cannot do any other work that I need to do to support myself because of this. Again, my feet are amputated. I am not expecting ANY of my $750 deposit returned by HFPM. I am truly looking at living in the streets come August 1, 2016.
My rent when I moved into HFPM was $750 per month. My SSI & SSD income has basically not been raised more than $10 since February, 2013 but my HFPM rent has gone from $750 to $925! They know I get $840 per month, where do they expect the rest to come from? And just as I predicted, they now hold $643.73 for false fees, one being $250 for possessing an “emotional support animal”, i.e., my cat.
|Pet Deposit||03/09/2016||NOT APPROVED||CAT FOUND IN APT NOT APPROVED||$250.00||$800.73|
Other fees they are holding are for:
|Repairs||08/06/2015||Glass door knob||$10.33||$204.73|
|After Hours Service Call||08/04/2015||Tenant locked in bedroom|