Victoria Sutton, who filed a lawsuit against her landlords for evicting her for inviting black guests to her home, has settled the lawsuit for $150,000.
In September 2018, Sutton invited her black co-worker and his 5-year-old son over to her home to play with her two daughters.
Sutton had been renting the house in Adairsville, Georgia for about a year. After the visit, her landlord, Allen McCoy allegedly knocked on her door, called her a “n—– lover” and told her she had two weeks to move out.
Sutton called the Suttos later that day and recorded the conversation with Patricia McCoy.
“I don’t want them in my property. Maybe you like black dogs, but I don’t,” she said on the call, according to the lawsuit. “So just get your stuff and get out.”
Sutton was served an eviction notice the next day and appeared in court Oct. 4, 2018. During the hearing, Patricia said they were evicting her for destruction of property. Sutton argued that there was no damage.
Approximately two months later, Sutton and her family moved out of the house.
“My landlord’s behavior was not just immoral, it was also illegal,” Sutton said in a statement. “I’m glad to see the McCoys are being held accountable and hope this settlement brings us one step closer to creating a more just society where people of all races can live together without fear.”
When Patricia was reached by telephone for her comment, she said the settlement “was reached for her (Sutton’s) lies and that’s all I’ve got to say.”
Sutton’s lawyer, Brian Corman, said the eviction violated the Civil Rights Act and the Georgia Fair Housing Act, which prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants and their guests based on race.
“It’s the kind of case that many people might think would have happened generations ago,” Corman said. “But it really shows how persistent racial intolerance has been in the country.”
Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia also represented Sutton in the case.
“Almost 60 years ago, Dr. King dreamed aloud of little girls and boys playing together without regard to the color of their skin,” ACLU of Georgia staff attorney Kosha Tucker said. “We’re inspired by people who courageously fight for what’s fair and just so that all children can live in the America that Dr. King dreamed of.”