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JIMMY HALL v. HOUSING AUTHORITY OF PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY

Adminstrative law — Disability accommodation — Arbitrary and capricious

Jimmy Hall, appellant, is a participant in the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Housing Choice Voucher Program (“HCV”), administered locally by the Housing Authority for Prince George’s County (“HAPGC”), appellee. Due to a disability, Mr. Hall’s sole source of income is a Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) payment of $1,040 per month, which most months he receives on the third day of the month. On August 19, 2017, Mr. Hall notified the HAPGC that he wanted to move to a different apartment complex. Although this request initially was approved for a move date of October 1, 2017, Mr. Hall informed the HAPGC that he was unable to move on the first day of the month because he would not receive his SSDI payment until the third day of the month, and therefore, he could not afford the associated moving costs. On November 2, 2017, he notified the HAPGC that he was requesting a moving date of November 5 as a reasonable accommodation of his disabilities. The HAPGC denied his request, citing a lack of nexus between the request and his disability. Mr. Hall requested a hearing, and on December 24, 2017, the Hearing Officer upheld the denial of the request to modify the move date. Mr. Hall then filed a Petition for Judicial Review in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County, which upheld the decision denying Mr. Hall’s accommodation request. On appeal, appellant presents the following questions for this Court’s review, which we have rephrased slightly, as follows:

1. Did HAPGC commit an error of law by substituting its own analytical standard rather than following clearly established case law in analyzing Mr. Hall’s reasonable accommodation request? 2. Were HAPGC’s findings of fact based on impermissible or unreasonable inferences and conclusions from undisputed evidence, and therefore, due no deference? 3. Was HAPGC’s decision arbitrary and capricious in that it failed to articulate a reasoned analysis for a deviation from HAPGC policy? 4. Did HAPGC err in denying Mr. Hall’s reasonable accommodation request? HAPGC presents the following additional question for the Court’s review: Is this appeal moot such that the appeal should be dismissed? For the reasons set forth below, we conclude …

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