Lawsuit filed against house in Fairfield
(This story has been revised since its original publication)
Delta Zeta sorority has filed a lawsuit against a house in Fairfield for allegedly falsely advertising itself as a Delta Zeta chapter.
The house is on Fourth Street near Maharishi University of Management. According to the Associated Press, the national Delta Zeta organization, based in Oxford, Ohio, claims the house in Fairfield is luring young women to rent at the home under false pretenses.
Delta Zeta is seeking a court order to bar the landlord from using its trademark materials.
The house is owned by Frederick and Oksana Shaddock. Frederick Shaddock said the “Delta Zeta” moniker is simply done to honor the Delta Zeta chapter affiliated with Parsons College. He said he does not tell renters of the home they are joining the national Delta Zeta organization.
Before 2006, a family lived in the home. When Shaddock bought the home that year, he began calling it the Delta Zeta House. In July, the national sorority contacted Shaddock about what it perceived was a trademark violation. At that time, Shaddock changed the name of the house to the “Delta Nu Zeta House.”
The website for the house, cicorp.com/iowa/house/rent/, lists the home’s full name as “Delta Nu Zeta - the Sidha Sorority House.” Shaddock said the house has five bedrooms and houses three or four women, usually students at M.U.M.
Shaddock said the renters do not have to be students at M.U.M. He said there was interest at one time of joining the national Delta Zeta organization but the tenants decided not to.
Shaddock said he was shocked to learn this morning Delta Zeta had filed a lawsuit against him. He found out by being contacted by The Ledger.
“Why didn’t they give me a call or write me a letter?” Shaddock asked about Delta Zeta. “Instead of hiring an attorney they should have hired a reporter.”
Shaddock said he is not trying to violate the sorority’s copyright and that he is willing to take down any Delta Zeta signage. However, he wonders how far he will have to go. For instance, he wondered whether he would have to prevent his tenants from wearing clothing with the Delta Zeta insignia on it.
Shaddock said the home used to have a Delta Zeta flag, but he took that down this summer after he was contacted by the national organization the first time.
Delta Zeta had not returned requests for comment from The Ledger by press time.