INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge has ordered a woman who was caught on video attacking and threatening her Black and Latino neighbors to pay more than $226,000.
A federal lawsuit filed in April 2020 alleges Vicki New "engaged in a pattern and practice of harassing, taunting and threatening" others in the Twin Creeks Drive subdivision based on race and national origin.
The lawsuit was filed by the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana and Donata Banks, one of New's former neighbors.
New was a resident of a home on Twin Creeks Drive, which is on the city's northwest side, before she put the home up for sale in September 2018.
Earlier that year, New was captured on video attacking neighbors with a "No Trespassing" sign and threatening their lives over a property line dispute.
That confrontation was part of a string of alleged racially-motivated incidents involving New. The Twin Creeks Homeowners Association previously said it had received complaints of harassment by New from more than 20 residents.
Following a criminal investigation, New was charged with criminal trespass, battery and criminal mischief. Those charges were later dismissed.
A default judgment was entered on New's behalf on April 16. New could not be reached for comment.
As part of a decision filed June 16, Banks will receive $150,000 in punitive and compensatory damages while the FHCCI will receive about $50,000 total in punitive and compensatory damages and attorney fees.
Also named as defendants in the lawsuit are Kirkpatrick Management Company and the Twin Creeks Homeowners Association. As part of a separate settlement, they agreed to pay $262,500 in damages, attorney fees and costs.
No admission of liability or wrongdoing were made in connection with the allegations, according to the FHCCI.
The lawsuit alleges the companies "failed to take prompt action to correct and end the News' discriminatory harassment and interference with residents of Twin Creeks."
WRTV has reached out to Kirkpatrick and the Twin Creeks HoA.
Wyatt Smith, the president of the HoA, released the following statement to WRTV:
Twin Creeks is a culturally and racially diverse community with a diverse Board of Directors. The community and homeowners' association welcome residents of all races, ethnicities, cultures, beliefs, sexual orientations, and identities. The settlement was not an admission of liability, and the Twin Creeks HOA continues to deny liability for the unfortunate actions of a former homeowner, who was never on the HOA Board, was never a HOA officer, and in no way was a representative of the Twin Creeks HOA. The Board took a number of steps to intervene in this matter, up to and including a formal letter to Ms. New, from the HOA attorney ordering that cease all communications with her neighbors and sell her home, which she did shortly after receiving the letter. No judicial ruling has been entered against the association and we wholeheartedly dispute that the HOA and its Board violated any fair housing laws. Nevertheless, for the sake of avoiding lengthy and expensive litigation, the Board, acting under the advice of legal counsel, believed it was in everyone's best interest, to settle claims without taking the matter to trail.
Dan Quigley, Kirkpatrick Management Company community association manager and vice president of associations, provided the following statement:
Vicki New has never been an agent or representative of Kirkpatrick Management Company or Twin Creeks HOA at any time.
Plaintiffs, Defendant Kirkpatrick Management Company, Inc., and Defendant Twin Creeks Homeowners Association, Inc. (the 'Settling Defendants') have agreed that in order to avoid protracted and costly litigation, the controversy between them should be resolved without a trial and therefore have consented to the entry of this decree.
However, by entering into this consent decree, the Settling Defendants make no admission of liability or wrongdoing in connection with the allegations and claims made by the plaintiffs.
Because this Consent Decree is not an admission on behalf of the Settling Defendants, all parties agree to include a statement that the Settling Defendants deny liability in all press releases and written communications regarding the settlement.
Kirkpatrick Management was not a part of this most recent ruling against Ms New and have no comment about these separate proceedings.
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