United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Robert Blakey United States District Judge.
Adana Finch, Ramon Finch,  and Coya Shorter, acting pro se, sued
the Housing Authority of Cook County (HACC) and several of
its employees, alleging disability discrimination in
violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act,
retaliation, and a denial of procedural due process.
Defendants moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. For
the reasons explained below, this Court grants the motion.
The Complaint's Allegations
and her two children, Ramon and Shorter, previously lived in
a three-bedroom apartment through a Section 8 housing voucher
from the HACC.  at 8. This living arrangement allowed
each person to have their own bedroom. Id. The exact
timing remains unclear, but at some point in 2017 the HACC
told Plaintiffs that they were no longer eligible to continue
receiving a three-bedroom voucher due to a decrease in
funding. Id. Accordingly, the HACC switched
Plaintiffs from a three-bedroom voucher to a two-bedroom
voucher, meaning that Plaintiffs would have to move to a
two-bedroom unit when their lease expired. Id.
allege that the HACC did not apply its new voucher
restrictions equally to all families, but rather targeted
Plaintiffs for downsizing.  at 2, 6.Specifically,
Plaintiffs point to the situation of two other families
living nearby: the Watson family and the Williams family.
Id. The Watsons are a family of three, including one
female adult, one minor female child, and one adult male with
a learning disability; they live in a three-bedroom unit.
Id. The Williams family, consisting of one female
adult and one minor female child, resides in a two-bedroom
unit. Id. The HACC allowed these families to remain
in their current units after the policy change even though,
Plaintiffs say, consistently applying the new policy would
have required each family to receive vouchers for smaller
response to the new voucher policy, Adana requested a
“reasonable accommodation” in May 2017.  at
8. Adana asked the HACC to continue providing her family with
a three-bedroom housing voucher to accommodate Ramon and
Shorter's disabilities. Id. Ramon suffers from
asthma and has Autism Spectrum Disorder.  at
Plaintiffs initially alleged Shorter's disability as
generally affecting her emotional and learning abilities,
id. at 5, but allege in their response that Shorter
was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder-which impairs her
ability to care for herself-at some point after Plaintiffs
moved to their current home in August 2017,  at 2. Adana
presented medical documents in support of her request for a
three-bedroom voucher to Defendant Jackie Hodges, who works
as a disability coordinator for the HACC. Id. Hodges
denied Adana's request in May 2017. Id.
2017, Plaintiffs appealed Hodges' denial.  at 9.
Defendant Candice Grimes, a paralegal for the HACC, denied
Plaintiffs' appeal. Id. Plaintiffs filed another
appeal to Grimes later in June; Grimes rejected that appeal
without a hearing. Id.
August 2017, Plaintiffs received a letter from Defendant Jon
Duncan, the HACC's general counsel, advising them of
their right to seek judicial review of the denial of
accommodation within 35 days of the letter's date.
Id. Plaintiffs do not specify when they received the
letter-only that it came “too late to file the
writ.”  at 2. The letter's arrival was delayed
because it was addressed to the wrong unit in Plaintiffs'
building.  at 9. Plaintiffs allege that Duncan
intentionally mailed the letter to the wrong address hoping
they would never receive the letter and thus deprived them of
the right to seek judicial review. Id. Adana
believes that Duncan sent the letter to the wrong address in
retaliation for claims she previously filed against the
Housing Authority of Elgin and its employees. Duncan shares a
last name with an employee (or former employee) of the Elgin
Housing Authority, but Plaintiffs do not allege any other
connection between the organizations. Id.
August 2017, Defendant LaTrice Gamble, a move specialist at
the HACC, denied Plaintiffs' request to move into their
new unit early a few days early. Id. at 9-10.
Plaintiffs allege that this denial forced them to stay in a
hotel for several days and cost them $600 in expenses,
including spoiled food.  at 5. Plaintiffs further allege
that their HACC caseworker, Defendant Cassy Williams,
generally treated them unkindly and did not help them. 
survive a motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6), a complaint
must provide a “short and plain statement of the
claim” showing that the pleader merits relief,
Fed.R.Civ.P. 8(a)(2), so the defendant has “fair
notice” of the claim “and the grounds upon which
it rests, ” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550
U.S. 544, 555 (2007) (quoting Conley v. Gibson, 355
U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). A complaint must also contain
“sufficient factual matter” to state a facially
plausible claim to relief-one that “allows the court to
draw the reasonable inference” that the defendant
committed the alleged misconduct. Ashcroft v. Iqbal,
556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (quoting Twombly, 550 U.S.
at 570). This plausibility standard “asks for more than
a sheer possibility” that a defendant acted unlawfully.
Williamson v. Curran, 714 F.3d 432, 436 (7th Cir.
evaluating a complaint on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, this Court
accepts all well-pled allegations as true and draws all
reasonable inferences in Plaintiffs' favor.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678. This Court does not,
however, accept legal conclusions as true. Brooks v.
Ross, 578 F.3d 574, 581 (7th Cir. 2009). On a motion to
dismiss, this Court may consider the complaint itself,
documents attached to the complaint, documents central to the
complaint and to which the complaint refers, and information
properly subject to judicial notice. Williamson, 714
F.3d at 436.
claim that Defendants unlawfully discriminated against them
in violation of § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act by
denying their request for a three-bedroom voucher. Plaintiffs
also claim that the HACC's denial of a three-bedroom
voucher constituted retaliation against Adana for her
previous case against the Elgin Housing Authority. Finally,
Plaintiffs allege that Duncan intentionally violated ...