items might be argued to create issues of fact (something that has been answered chapter and verse by Inland's reply memorandum), none of those matters can qualify as outcome-determinative and hence as "material" in the legal sense that is required to defeat summary judgment. It is therefore unnecessary to lengthen this opinion by addressing any of those matters in detail.
What was said in the draft Opinion that had been transmitted to the parties before they made their further submissions on the summary judgment motions remains true. There is no genuine issue of material fact, and both Inland and Levin are entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. This action is dismissed with prejudice.
Milton I. Shadur
Senior United States District Judge
Date: February 25, 1994
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS, EASTERN DIVISION
BETTYE YEATMAN, et al., Plaintiffs, v. INLAND PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, INC., et al., Defendants.
No. 91 C 5101
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Both Inland Property Management, Inc. ("Inland") and Joyce Levin ("Levin") have moved under Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 56 for summary judgment in this fair housing action brought against them by Bettye and Reginald Yeatman ("Yeatmans"). Although this Court has granted the extension that Yeatmans requested for filing a response to the summary judgment materials tendered by Inland,
Yeatmans have submitted nothing to challenge the motions. For the reasons briefly stated here, both motions are granted and this action is dismissed with prejudice.
Yeatmans have asserted, and this Court accepts as true, that on February 14, 1991 Mrs. Yeatman was specifically asked--by someone who had telephoned her, the caller representing herself as "Joyce Leven"--about Mrs. Yeatman's color (both Yeatmans are black) and that Mrs. Yeatman was told in the same telephone conversation that the Country Club Apartments (the "Apartments") in Arlington Heights do not rent to blacks. It is uncontradicted that Inland was then the manager of the Apartments, that Levin was then the site manager of the Apartments for Inland and that the woman who called Mrs. Yeatman did identify herself as "Joyce Leven" (sic).
That of course would not only entitle Yeatmans to go to trial on their claims but, if Levin had in fact been the offending (and offensive) caller, could even support summary judgment as to liability in Yeatmans' favor. But the fatal flaw in Yeatmans' case is that no evidence whatever supports any reasonable inference that the caller was indeed Levin:
1. Mrs. Yeatman was unable to authenticate the identity of the caller so as to render her account of the contents of the telephone conversation admissible (Fed. R. Evid. 901(a) and 901(b)(5)). She could not identify Levin's voice, and she said at her own deposition that she did not know if she would recognize the caller's voice if she heard it again.