Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

CONCERNED TENANTS ASS'N v. INDIAN TRAILS APARTMENTS

July 22, 1980

CONCERNED TENANTS ASSOCIATION OF INDIAN TRAILS APARTMENTS, ALTHEA EDMUNDSON, HERMELIA JACKSON, RHUETTA MORGAN, GWENDOLYN WOODS, SONIA NAILS, REBECCA HENDERSON, JACQUILINE GRANT, JANICE ROBERTS, RODNEY AND PHYLLIS MCCARROL, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHER PERSONS SIMILARLY SITUATED, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
INDIAN TRAILS APARTMENTS, AN ILLINOIS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, WESTERN ENTERPRISES, INC., AN ILLINOIS CORPORATION, MIDLAND MANAGEMENT COMPANY, KENNETH RINGBLOOM, DAVID JULIANO AND ALL UNKNOWN BENEFICIAL OWNERS, DEFENDANTS.



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

  ORDER

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.

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

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.

A.

It is argued that the Concerned Tenants Association of Indian Trails Apartments was never a tenant at Indian Trails, and thus could not have been damaged. However, the Association is comprised only of tenants who suffered the injuries of which plaintiffs complain. The Association itself necessarily suffers injury when its members are injured. The defendants' contention that the Association could not have been a victim of discrimination because it was not in existence prior to 1975 is simply without merit.*fn1 The violations alleged in the complaint are continuing ones,*fn2 and the Association was in existence when the actions complained of occurred.

B.

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.

C.

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 unlawful:

  (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, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.