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Group home files lawsuit against town of Slaughterville

SLAUGHTERVILLE, Okla. - A group home is filing a lawsuit against an Oklahoma community, claiming it has been discriminated against.

Tanner’s House has been opened since May 2017 for men recovering from opioid abuse.

As of lately, many residents have voiced their concern in town hall meetings or on social media.

“They don't follow the rules,” said George Kruger.

Kruger has lived along Banner Road in Slaughterville for a few years.

He said he's never had many problems until the spring of last year.

“One day, I called the sheriff because two people were jumping the fence. Sheriff got here and ended up hauling one of them away in handcuffs,” Kruger said.

Kruger said he called police on the men he claims live at Tanner's House.

“I was probably the first ones to report,” Kruger said.

Since then, several people have voiced their concerns about the group home.

So much so, the town looked into it and found the property doesn't fit the criteria to be zoned under residential and agriculture.

“Saying that they have to cease and desist operating as a group home because the area is not zoned for a group home,” said attorney Aaron Stiles.

Stiles represents the owners of the group home. He said the town told them that zoning for residential housing means a husband, wife and children.

“Why is the town of Slaughterville discouraging people from getting the help that they need?” Stiles said.

News 4 went to ask town hall but an employee couldn't comment.

“Because it's a lawsuit and there's pending litigation, we can't comment, We're not allowed to,” said a town hall employee.

Stiles said they faced harassing emails and bogus complaints. Now, he's filed a lawsuit on grounds of discrimination.

“The Fair Housing Act says, communities, you cannot discriminate, you cannot tell people with disabilities where they can live,” Stiles said.

Stiles said the group is asking for $75,000 in damages.

As for the man who was arrested, that was for a traffic warrant, and not because of Tanner’s House.