Editorial: Black NJ Woman Sues Home Developer Because Of Racist Neighbor
Cyndee Phoenix thought she had found the perfect home in a Hamilton County, NJ, residential community to live in with her elderly parents and sister. But what Phoenix did not know and now claims was not revealed to her by the developer, Lennar Homes Corp, who promoted promises of a "wonderful lifestyle," was that she and her family would be tormented by a neighbor who would threaten, intimidate and make racist remarks.
She is suing the developer for "knowingly concealing" that her future neighbor was a "dangerous individual," according to NewsOne.
Phoenix closed on her home last October and moved in a month later. Lennar Homes reportedly warned the neighbor in question, Kevin Elville Potter, about his alleged harassing behavior, requesting that he cease his hostile conduct.
The 53-year-old recent home buyer says she met Potter before she actually moved into her home. She was visiting the developer's sales office one day and happened upon Potter when he was ranting about the lack of landscaping services to a sales rep. The rep later told Phoenix that Potter was no longer entitled to services because his home's coverage period had expired. After Phoenix had closed on the home, she discovered that Potter was in fact no longer receiving services because of his alleged aggression towards the workers who showed up to perform their duties.
According to documents filed in Atlantic County Court, Potter began his harassing ways soon after Phoenix moved in. Potter allegedly made "death threats to plaintiff's sister, spit in the direction of Phoenix's family members, made snide and racist comments about plaintiff, has taken pictures of plaintiff's guests and stared them down in attempts to intimidate them and continued blocking plaintiff's driveway with his parked cars."
The complaint also describes how Phoenix is so "afraid to leave her home" and "is constantly living in fear" that she was forced to hire a security guard because the family was also allegedly stalked by Potter. Phoenix claims that her security guard was even harassed by Potter, who once reportedly followed the employee for 15 miles on the freeway.
Phoenix is reportedly seeking damages for fraud, consumer fraud, misrepresentations and omissions, and violations of New Jersey's Planned Real Estate Development Full Disclosure Act.