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GORSKI v. TROY

June 5, 1989

JEROLD M. GORSKI and PEGGY J. GORSKI, Plaintiffs,
v.
STANLEY TROY and SHIRLEY TROY, d/b/a S & S RENTALS, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROSZKOWSKI

 STANLEY J. ROSZKOWSKI, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 This action comes before the court on the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction and the defendant's motion to dismiss. For the reasons set forth below, the court dismisses the complaint and the instant cause of action.

 DISCUSSION

 The plaintiffs, Gerald and Peggy Gorski ("Gorskis") are presently tenants in the defendants Stanley and Shirley Troy's, apartment complex at 4550 Trevor Circle, Rockford, Illinois. According to the complaint, by letter dated March 22, 1989, the defendants notified the plaintiffs that their lease would expire as of April 30, 1989. A second letter dated April 3, 1989 was sent to the plaintiffs by the defendants to confirm that the plaintiffs would be evicted if the Gorskis did not vacate the premises by April 30, 1989. The plaintiffs protest that they are to be evicted due to their desire to house [a] foster child[ren]. Accordingly, the plaintiffs filed a suit pursuant to the "Fair Housing Act" 42 U.S.C. § 3601 et. seq. (West Supp. 1989). In particular, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants refusal to continue renting to the plaintiffs is due to the Gorskis' request to have foster children occupying their apartment, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a). Secondly, the plaintiffs cite the defendants' April 6, 1989 letter as a communication designed to threaten the plaintiffs and interfere with the enjoyment of their rights under the Fair Housing Act in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3617. The complaint further requests declaratory and injunctive relief along with actual and punitive damages and fees and costs. Presently, the plaintiffs move for a preliminary injunction halting their impending eviction.

 The defendants counter with a motion to dismiss the complaint pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b). The court heard the parties on both motions on May 19, 1989. The parties agreed to suspend any further actions pending the court's decision on the injunction.

 Before it becomes necessary to delve into the merits of the plaintiffs' contentions, the court must determine whether the plaintiffs lack standing to sue under the Fair Housing Act as the defendants suggest in their motion to dismiss.

 Newly amended 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a) provides as follows:

 
. . . it shall be unlawful -- (a) To refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny, a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin.

 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a) (West Supp. 1989).

 "Familial status" is defined in § 3602 (k) as follows:

 
"Familial status" means one or more individuals (who have not attained the age of 18 years) being domiciled with --
 
(1) a parent or another person having legal custody of such individuals; or
 
(2) the designee of such parent or other person having such custody, with the written permission of ...

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