United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, E.D
November 7, 1974
DOROTHY GAUTREAUX ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
CHICAGO HOUSING AUTHORITY AND JAMES T. LYNN, SUCCESSOR TO GEORGE W. ROMNEY, SECRETARY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Austin, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION and REFERENCE ORDER
These consolidated cases come before me now on Plaintiffs'
motion to appoint a Commissioner to formulate plans for the
expeditious construction of new public housing units in the
City of Chicago. Since it has not been established that
Defendants Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) and United States
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) have
directly contravened my prior judgments and since Plaintiffs'
request is overbroad, the motion cannot be granted as
tendered. However, to pinpoint responsibility for Defendants'
apparent lack of diligence and to develop methods for
achieving compliance with my orders, reference of this case to
a Master is appropriate.
Fed.R.Civ.Pro. 53(a). See LaBuy v. Howes Leather Co.,
352 U.S. 249, 256, 77 S.Ct. 309, 1 L.Ed.2d 290 (1957); Schwimmer v.
United States, 232 F.2d 855, 865 (8th Cir.), cert. den.
352 U.S. 833, 77 S.Ct. 48, 1 L.Ed.2d 52 (1956).
The history and substance of these lawsuits are extensive
and complicated. For an excellent background discussion of
this controversy, see Gautreaux v. Romney, 457 F.2d 124, 129 et
seq. (7th Cir. 1971) (Sprecher, J., dissenting). After
carefully examining the legal contentions and factual proofs of
the parties, I entered a Memorandum Opinion on February 10,
1969, holding that Defendant CHA intentionally and
unconstitutionally discriminated, on the basis of race, in its
public housing site selection and tenant assignment procedures
in Chicago. Gautreaux v. Chicago Housing Authority, 296 F. Supp. 907
(N.D. Ill. 1969). On September 10, 1971, a similar finding
was made against Defendant HUD by the United States Court of
Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Gautreaux v. Romney,
448 F.2d 731 (7th Cir. 1971). Each Defendant was ordered to use its
"best efforts" to reverse the effects of its prior unlawful
conduct. Gautreaux v. Chicago Housing Authority, 304 F. Supp. 736
(N.D. Ill. 1969) aff'd 436 F.2d 306 (7th Cir. 1971);
Gautreaux v. Romney, 363 F. Supp. 690 (N.D. Ill. 1973), rev'd on
other grounds, 503 F.2d 930 (7th Cir., 1974). To that end, on
July 1, 1969, I enjoined the further construction of public
housing in any "non-white" section of Chicago, unless such
action was accompanied by the simultaneous construction of at
least 75 percent of all proposed units in "white" areas of the
City. Gautreaux v. Chicago Housing Authority, 304 F. Supp. 736
(N.D. Ill. 1969), aff'd 436 F.2d 306 (7th Cir. 1971).
For the past five years and four months, no public housing
construction has been completed by any party. Both HUD and CHA
contend that they have employed their "best efforts" to
fulfill the mandate of my orders and attribute this inordinate
delay to "normal bureaucratic procedures." For their part,
Plaintiffs have refrained from charging Defendants with "bad
faith" but maintain that additional Court assistance is
necessary to bring these cases to a prompt and just
conclusion. I agree. For reasons entirely unclear to me, the
effect and import of my orders have been avoided and
frustrated for over five years. During this period of time,
the citizens of this City have been deprived of increased
low-income housing. In light of these exceptional
circumstances, in view of the unusually complex issues
presented here, and in the interests of justice, I conclude
that this matter must be referred to a Master for immediate
attention and proposals. Fed.R.Civ.Pro. 53(a); 5A Moore's
Federal Practice § 53.05.
ORDER OF REFERENCE
Pursuant to the discretion vested in me by Fed.R.Civ.Pro.
53(a) and in exercise of my judicial authority, this matter is
hereby referred to a United States Magistrate to serve as a
Master. See 5A Moore's Federal Practice § 53.05. See also Ex
Parte Peterson, 253 U.S. 300, 312, 40 S.Ct. 543, 64 L.Ed. 919
(1920), cited with approval in LaBuy, supra, 352 U.S. at 256,
77 S.Ct. 309. The Magistrate shall be selected according to the
The Master is directed to study and review the existing
patterns of racial segregation in Chicago public housing, to
determine and identify the precise causes of the five-year
delay in implementing my judgment orders, and to recommend a
plan of action that will expedite the realization of my
various orders and judgments. In so doing, the Master shall
not be limited to determining whether HUD and CHA have
employed their "best efforts", but shall examine all
possibilities to expedite the mandate of this Court that the
supply of dwelling units in Chicago be increased as rapidly as
possible, including, without limitation, utilization of new
housing programs established by the Housing
and Community Development Act of 1974.
Defendants shall render their complete cooperation to the
Master. By way of example and not as a limitation, the Master
shall have full access to maps, drawings, reports, statistics,
computer studies, and all other information which may be
necessary to accomplish the purposes of this order. He shall
be supplied with any studies, plans, and partial plans for
desegregation of the public housing system which Defendants
individually or collectively may possess.
Defendants shall provide the Master with whatever
professional, technical, and other assistance he may require
to familiarize himself with the Chicago public housing system
and the problems to be resolved in effectuating my orders and
judgments and to otherwise comply with his delegated
responsibilities. The full cooperation of Defendants' staffs
is requested and will be appreciated.
At such time as the Master shall complete a final draft of
his recommendations and comments, he shall furnish copies of
the same to the parties. The Master shall then meet in
executive session with the Secretary of HUD or his designees,
the Board of CHA or their designees, and Plaintiffs' counsel
or their designees, and review the same and discuss any
suggested revisions. After such session or sessions, the final
Report, as determined by the Master, shall be submitted to the
Court for its review and possible use. Until the Master's
Report is presented to the Court, it shall be deemed to
constitute "work papers." All such work papers, and the
contents thereof, shall be confidential; such papers shall not
be disclosed to others, except as the Court may direct and
except that the Master, with the Court's approval, may employ,
and consult with, such persons as he deems necessary for the
performance of his prescribed duties, including particularly
persons not affiliated with any of the parties, who possess
specialized knowledge concerning federal-subsidized housing
The Court retains jurisdiction over these cases for the
entry of such further orders as may be appropriate.
Plaintiffs' motion to appoint a Commissioner granted as
modified herein. Matter referred to a Master, according to the
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