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HOLLINS v. KRAAS

December 17, 1973

CALVIN HOLLINS AND THERESA HOLLINS, HIS WIFE, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
WILHELM KRAAS ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bauer, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

This cause comes on the motion of certain defendants, the Cosmopolitan National Bank of Chicago, Elmer A. Calvert, Jr., and Valerie Calvert to dismiss the instant complaint.

This is an action seeking to redress the alleged deprivation of the plaintiff's civil rights by the defendants alleged refusal to rent an apartment to the plaintiffs. This action arises under the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1982, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. § 3604. Jurisdiction is allegedly conferred on this Court by 28 U.S.C. § 1343(3), (4) and § 2201, and 42 U.S.C. § 3612.

The plaintiffs, in their complaint, allege, inter alia, the following facts:

  1. Plaintiffs are Negro citizens of the United States
     who reside in Forest Park, Illinois.
  2. Upon information and belief, defendants Wilhelm
     Kraass and Amanda Kraass, his wife, are and at all
     times relevant hereto were the rental agents
     and/or owners of an apartment building located at
     7222 Dixon, Forest Park, Illinois.
  3. Upon information and belief defendant Elmer and
     Valerie Calvert are and at all times relevant
     hereto were the owners of an apartment building
     located at 7222 Dixon, Forest Part, Illinois.
  4. On information and belief, defendant Cosmopolitan
     National Bank of Chicago holds the property
     located at 7222 Dixon, Forest Park, Illinois, in
     trust.
  5. On April 24, 1973 defendants refused to lease the
     plaintiffs a unit in said building solely because
     plaintiffs are Negroes. Defendants represented to
     plaintiffs, because of their race, that the unit
     was not available for rent, when in fact at the
     time of the refusal, the unit was available for
     rent. At the time of the refusal, plaintiffs were
     ready, willing and able to rent said unit at the
     rental price set by the defendants.
  6. Plaintiffs have no adequate remedy at law, or
     otherwise, for the harm done by the defendants;
     and plaintiffs have and will continue to suffer
     great and irreparable damage and injury as a
     proximate result of defendants' acts unless these
     acts and this conduct of defendants are enjoined.
     The defendants have acted maliciously and are
     guilty of willful and wanton disregard of the
     rights and feelings of plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs seek: (1) that an injunction be granted permanently restraining and enjoining the defendants from refusing, on the grounds of race, to rent to plaintiffs the unit in question or any other unit managed or owned by the defendants; (2) that the Court grant actual damages of $50,000 from each and every defendant, plus reasonable attorneys fees and costs; (3) that the Court grant $25,000 exemplary and punitive damages from each defendant.

The defendants, in support of their instant motion, contend:

  2. On August 22, 1969, Cosmopolitan, the Calverts and
     defendants Wilhelm Kraass and Amanda Kraass
     (hereinafter together referred to as "the
     Kraasses") entered into Articles of Agreement for
     Trustee's Deed, by reason of which the Kraasses
     have thereafter had and still have sole and
     exclusive rights of possession, management, ...

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