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North Dakota Fair Housing Council v. Peterson

Supreme Court of North Dakota
625 N.W.2d 551 (2001)


Before they married, Robert and Patricia Kippen (plaintiffs) sought to rent property from David and Mary Peterson (defendants). The Petersons refused to rent to the Kippens because they planned to cohabit while being unmarried. Since its statehood, North Dakota has declared it unlawful for unmarried persons to openly cohabit as though they were married. The Kippens, along with the North Dakota Fair Housing Council (Council) (plaintiff), sued the Petersons for violating the North Dakota Human Rights Act (HRA), which prohibits discrimination in housing on account of a person’s “status with respect to marriage,” among other categories. The trial court dismissed the Council’s claim for lack of standing and awarded summary judgment to the Petersons with respect to the Kippens’ suit. The Kippens and the Council appealed. The Supreme Court of North Dakota considered the Kippens’ appeal.

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Holding and Reasoning (Sandstrom, J.)

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