In May of 2008, William Jerry Hadden and his son Jamey Hadden — owners of two Cardinal Valley apartment complexes — were charged with harboring 60 illegal immigrants in KY and “encouraging” them to stay in the United States. The federal government was using the harboring law in such a way as to twist its meaning and intent. The objective was to imprison the Haddens, take their property and destroy their lives simply to make them an example to the American people!
Jerry Hadden hired Tucker Richardson and Russell Baldani, both founding partners at Baldani Law Group, to defend him on the charges. (Jamey lived outside the U.S.)
From the start, it was clear that the Haddens were not in violation of a single housing law. It is not illegal to rent to illegal immigrants. It is, however, illegal to discriminate based on race or origin. Ironically, had the Haddens denied the applicants, they would then have been in violation of the law!
The nature of the harboring law’s wording allowed Mr. Richardson and Mr. Baldani to argue that, because the law is written in such a confusing and generalized way, it was not the Haddens’ fault for breaking the law. This was a very unique defense.
Only a very select few types of cases allow a defendant to use “not understanding the law” as a defense for breaking it. Russ and Tucker knew this would be one of them.
Why This Win is Important for All Americans
A win for the federal government would have been hugely detrimental to the American people.
First, even Hispanic-Americans with legal status would likely have faced discrimination from landlords in the housing application process. Were the feds successful in ruining the Haddens, every landlord in America would have been on the razor’s edge, fearful of the same fate.
Secondly, a huge issue would have been a looming increase in homelessness created by staggering numbers of immigrants not able to find affordable housing.
Finally, and most importantly for Americans, the federal government has an annoying tendency to overstep its bounds in regards to power. In this case, it took a law intended for a certain circumstance — a different circumstance — and used it to attack the Haddens!
The federal government was overreaching simply to make an example of the Haddens, to destroy their lives even though they had actually broken no laws! The feds attempted to twist the wording of the law to frame Jerry Hadden, a law-abiding, tax-paying productive small business owner with a family.
The Haddens were in the right. Thanks to Russ Baldani’s and Tucker Richardson’s courtroom experience, as well as their ability to recognize what the feds were up to and how they were going about it, the Haddens were able to prove their innocence and return to their lives.
This was an important win for all concerned: for the Haddens, for Russ and Tucker, and for the American people. If you or anyone you know has been discriminated against by a government agency, call us at (859) 259-0727 or contact us online. Let Baldani Law Group win for you!