The opinion of the court was delivered by: Roszkowski, District Judge.
This cause comes before the court on defendants' motion to
dismiss the first amended complaint. For the reasons set forth
below, that motion is granted in part and denied in part.
Plaintiffs' motion to certify the class is granted, as is
their motion to communicate with class members.
Plaintiffs' first amended complaint sets forth six causes of
action against defendants for discrimination on the basis of
race in the terms and conditions of plaintiffs' tenancies and
in the provision to plaintiffs of services and facilities.
Briefly stated, the complaint alleges that when the population
of Indian Trails Apartments was predominantly white, quality
services were provided to white tenants by the defendants.
When the population of the project became predominantly black,
the services previously provided the white tenants disappeared
and the apartment project began to physically deteriorate.
Plaintiffs allege that these actions of the defendants
violated: (a) Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968,
42 U.S.C. § 3601 et seq. (Count 1); (b) Title VI of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq. (Count 2); (c)
Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1982 (Count 3); (d) the
Equal Protection Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments
to the United States Constitution (Count 4); (e) Article I,
Section 17 of the Illinois Constitution (Count 5); (f)
contracts between HUD and the defendants (Count 6).
II. GENERAL PLEADING OBJECTIONS
The defendants argue that the first amended complaint should
be dismissed for failure to plead injury to the plaintiffs.
Three categories of plaintiffs are identified in the
complaint: (1) the tenants' association; (2) individually
named tenants; (3) un-named members of a purported class.
The defendants next contend that the allegations concerning
the individually named plaintiffs have failed to satisfy the
requirements of Rule 12(b)(6). In considering the sufficiency
of a complaint to withstand a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss,
it must appear "beyond doubt that the plaintiff can prove no
set of facts in support of his claim which would entitle him
to relief." Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S.Ct. 99,
102, 2 L.Ed.2d 80 (1957). The court must accept as true all
material facts well pleaded in the complaint, and must view the
alleged facts and make all reasonable inferences in the light
most favorable to the plaintiff. City of Milwaukee v. Saxbe,
546 F.2d 693, 704 (7th Cir. 1976). See also, Mescall v. Burrus,
603 F.2d 1266 (7th Cir. 1979). The complaint is sufficiently
specific to withstand defendants' motion.
Defendants find fault in the fact that the complaint does
not restate the relief requested after each cause of action.
There is no question that relief in the alternative or of
several different types may be demanded. F.R.Civ.Pro. Rule
8(a)(3). Also, a pleader need only make one demand for relief
regardless of the number of claims he asserts. Wright &
Miller, Federal Practice and Procedure: Civil § 1255. The
plaintiffs have properly pled the remedies they seek.
III. EXTENT OF TITLE VIII
The defendant contends that a claim for relief under Title
VIII of The Civil Rights Act of 1968 has not been stated. The
defendants' basic argument is that Title VIII does not
prohibit the type of racial discrimination of which plaintiffs
complain. Section 804 of Title VIII, 42 U.S.C. § 3604, makes it
(b) to discriminate against any person in the
terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or
rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of
services or facilities in connection therewith,
because of race, color, religion, sex, or national
origin. (Emphasis added).
The defendants argue that the emphasized phrase in § 3604(b)
only relates to activities that bear upon the availability of
housing, and that there are no allegations that the defendants
did anything to cause, promote, condone or prolong segregation.
They feel that for § 3604(b) to have applicability, the
complaint must allege that the defendants conduct was "intended
to keep the blacks out and the whites in."
Such a tortured interpretation of the application of §
3604(b) is ludicrous and runs counter to the plain and
unequivocal language of the statute. Quite clearly, the
plaintiffs have alleged that they are not getting the kinds of
services and facilities that were available to tenants when the
project was predominantly white, and that this differential
treatment existed because they are black. Extensive arguments
are presented by both sides as to this issue. This court can
but note that there need be no argument when the statutory
language is so clear. "The starting point in every case
involving construction of a statute is the language itself."
Ernst & Ernst v. Hochfelder, 425 U.S. 185, 96 S.Ct. 1375, 1383,
47 L.Ed.2d 668 (1976); Blue Chip Stamps v. Manor Drug Stores,
421 U.S. 723, 95 S.Ct. 1917, 1935, 44 L.Ed.2d 539 (1975); FTC
v. Bunte Bros., Inc., 312 U.S. 349, 61 S.Ct. 580, 85 L.Ed. 881
(1941). The plaintiffs have stated a claim under Title VIII of
the Civil Rights Act of 1968, specifically under
42 U.S.C. § 3604(b).*fn3
IV. EXHAUSTION OF ADMINISTRATIVE REMEDIES
The defendants contend that the plaintiffs have failed to
exhaust administrative remedies because they have not followed
enforcement procedures set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 3610.
Exhaustion of administrative remedies is not a necessary
prerequisite to bringing a lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 3612.
Gladstone Realtors v. Village of Bellwood, 441 U.S. 91, ...