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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
URBANA DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

                      Plaintiff,

        v.                          Case No. ________________

JAMES P. BRAY and CARTER DOYLE,
individually and d/b/a as DOYLE
AND DOYLE ARCHITECTS, a
proprietorship,

COMPLAINT

Defendants.

The United States of America alleges:

INTRODUCTION

1. This action is brought by the United States to enforce the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 (Fair Housing Act), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619.

2. The United States brings this action on behalf of Andrew Schmidt, pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o). The United States also brings this action pursuant to Section 814(a) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

3. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1345, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o), and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).

4. Venue is proper in the Urbana Division of the Central District of Illinois under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b), for the events giving rise to this claim occurred in Champaign County, Illinois, which is in the Urbana Division of the Central District of Illinois.

THE SUBJECT PROPERTY

5. The John Randolph Atrium Apartments (Building) is a residential dwelling complex located at 609-611 South Randolph Street, Champaign, Illinois, in the Central District of Illinois. The Building consists of three stories containing 36 units, 12 of which are located on the ground floor. All the units in the Building were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. Building permits were issued for the Building in 1995 and an occupancy permit for the units in the Building was issued in October, 1996.

6. The Building's 36 units are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).

7. All of the 12 ground floor units at the Building are "covered multi-family dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A).

8. All of the ground floor units in the Building are subject to the accessibility requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

THE DEFENDANTS

9. Defendant James P. Bray is the developer, present and principal owner of the Building and was the manager of the Building when Mr. Schmidt lived there.

10. Defendant Carter Doyle of Doyle and Doyle Architects is the architect with whom Bray contracted to design plans for a multi-family building and who designed the architectural plans for the Building. Carter Doyle is licensed by the State of Illinois to practice as an architect. His architect's license number is 1011021. He has been licensed to practice as an architect in Illinois since 1984.

11. Defendant Doyle and Doyle Architects is a proprietorship owned and operated by Carter Doyle. It is located at 207 S. Dunlap, Savoy, IL 61874. It is licensed by the State of Illinois as a professional design firm. Its license number is 184-000780. It is the architectural firm that designed the Building through the work of Mr. Doyle.

THE HUD COMPLAINANT

12. Andrew Schmidt is a person with a disability under 42 U.S.C. § 3602(h) and 24 C.F.R. § 100.201. Mr. Schmidt is substantially limited in one or more major life activities because of his disability. He is a quadriplegic and uses a wheelchair for mobility and has difficulty doing manual tasks with his hands because of his disability. He resided in a ground floor unit in the Building from (on or about) August 15, 1996, through August 14, 1997.

ALLEGATIONS

13. Plaintiff realleges and herein incorporates by reference the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1-12 above.

14. The plans for the Building that Carter Doyle of Doyle and Doyle Architects designed and supplied to James P. Bray did not comply with the design and construction requirements set forth in the Act. 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C); 24 C.F.R. § 100.205(c).

15. James P. Bray, Carter Doyle, and Doyle and Doyle Architects are jointly responsible for the design and construction of the Building.

16 . In their design and construction of the Building, defendants failed to consider and implement the requirements of the federal Fair Housing Act pertaining to the design and construction of multi-family dwellings set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

17. James Bray, Carter Doyle, and Doyle and Doyle Architects have failed to design and construct the Building so that:

  1. the public use and common use portions are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;

  2. all doors within all the ground-floor units are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons with disabilities who use wheelchairs; and

  3. all the ground floor units contain the following features:

    1. an accessible route into and through the dwelling;

    2. light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats and other environmental controls in accessible locations; (iii) reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and

    3. usable bathrooms such that an individual using a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.

18. Although Mr. Schmidt resided in one of three ground floor units which provided greater accessibility than in the remaining nine ground floor individual units, throughout his tenancy at the Building he personally encountered features in the public and common use areas which were inaccessible to him. Included among these inaccessible features at the Building were the following:

  1. Eight steps, or risers, leading to the primary or east entrance which precluded him from entering the Building through that entrance;

  2. The presence of a round door knob at the primary or east entrance;

  3. Mailboxes and an intercom system which were located beyond his reach because they were too high on the wall and could only be gotten to through a corridor door which was equipped with round doorknobs rather than lever handles;

  4. A lack of a designated "handicapped" parking space in the underground garage, which, in any event, lacked an accessible route to exit since the only route involved the use of stairs.

19. On or about May 21, 1998, Mr. Schmidt filed a timely verified complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pursuant to Section 810(a) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a), alleging discrimination in housing on the basis of handicap. In his complaint, Schmidt alleged the Building was not designed and constructed in accordance with the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act.

20. Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(a), (b), and (f), the Secretary of HUD conducted and completed an investigation of the complaint filed by Schmidt, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report.

21. Based on the information gathered during the investigation, on October 21, 2002, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause existed to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred and accordingly, on or about October 23, 2002, the Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), charging the defendants with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

22. Thereafter, Mr. Schmidt made a timely election to have the Charge of Discrimination resolved in a civil action filed in federal district court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(a).

23. On or about November 18, 2002, the Chief Administrative Law Judge issued a Notice of Election of Judicial Determination and terminated the administrative proceeding on the complaint filed by Mr. Schmidt.

24. Following this Notice of Election, the Secretary of HUD authorized the Attorney General to commence a civil action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).

COUNT I

25. Plaintiff United States realleges and incorporates by reference, as is fully set forth herein, paragraphs 1 - 12 and 14 - 24 above.

26. Defendants James P. Bray and Carter Doyle, individually and doing business as Doyle and Doyle architects, through the actions referred to in paragraphs 14 - 18, have:

  1. Discriminated in the rental, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, dwellings to persons because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1);

  2. Discriminated against persons in the terms, conditions or privileges of rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with a dwelling, because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(2); and

  3. Failed to design and construct dwellings in compliance with the accessibility and adaptability features mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

27. Andrew Schmidt is an aggrieved person, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i), and has suffered damages as a result of the conduct of defendants James P. Bray, Carter Doyle, and Doyle and Doyle Architects, described above.

28. The discriminatory actions of defendants James P. Bray, Carter Doyle, and Doyle and Doyle Architects were intentional, willful and taken in disregard for the rights of persons with disabilities such as Andrew Schmidt.

COUNT II

29. Plaintiff realleges and herein incorporates by reference the allegations set forth in paragraphs 1 - 12 and 14 - 24 above.

30. The conduct of defendant James P. Bray described in paragraphs 14 - 18 constitutes:

  1. A pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619; and

  2. A denial to a group of persons of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619, which denial raises an issue of general public importance.

31. The conduct of defendant Carter Doyle, individually and doing business as Doyle and Doyle Architects, described in paragraphs 14 - 18 constitutes a denial to a group of persons of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619, which denial raises an issue of general public importance.

32. In addition to Andrew Schmidt, there may be other persons who have been injured by the discriminatory actions of defendants James P. Bray, Carter Doyle, and Doyle and Doyle Architects who are "aggrieved persons" as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i). Such persons may have suffered actual injury and damages as a result of the above actions and practices.

33. The discriminatory actions of defendants James P. Bray, Carter Doyle, and Doyle and Doyle Architects were intentional, willful and taken in disregard for the rights of Mr. Schmidt and other persons with disabilities.

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the court enter an ORDER that:

1. Declares that the policies and practices of defendants James P. Bray, Carter Doyle, and Doyle and Doyle Architects, as alleged herein, violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619;

2. Enjoins defendants James P. Bray, Carter Doyle, and Doyle and Doyle Architects, their officers, employees, agents, successors and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from:

  1. Failing or refusing to bring all ground floor units and public use and common use areas at the John Randolph Atrium Apartments into compliance with 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);

  2. Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps as may be necessary to restore, as nearly as practicable, all persons aggrieved by defendants' unlawful practices to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct; and

  3. Designing or constructing covered multi-family dwellings in the future that do not contain the accessibility and adaptability features required by 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

3. Orders defendants to allow access to the common and public use areas and the individual dwelling units at John Randolph Atrium Apartments and to take any other actions appropriate to ensure that any retrofits required to bring the complex into compliance with the accessibility provisions of the Fair Housing Act can be made in a prompt and efficient manner.

4. Awards such damages, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3) and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B), to fully compensate each person aggrieved by the discriminatory housing practices of defendants James P. Bray, Carter Doyle, and Doyle and Doyle Architects, for injuries resulting from the defendants' discriminatory conduct;

5. Awards punitive damages, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3) and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B), to each person aggrieved by the discriminatory housing practices of defendants James P. Bray, Carter Doyle, and Doyle and Doyle Architects;

6. Assesses a civil penalty against defendants James P. Bray, Carter Doyle, and Doyle and Doyle Architects, in an amount authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C) and 28 C.F.R. 85.3(b)(3), in order to vindicate the public interest.

The United States further prays for such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.


JOHN ASHCROFT
Attorney General


_________________________
RALPH F. BOYD, JR.
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

____________________________
JOAN A. MAGAGNA
D.C. Bar No. 910885

TIMOTHY J. MORAN
Illinois Bar ARDC No. 57161
MYRON S. LEHTMAN
California Bar No. 057597
Attorneys
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone: 202-514-4738

JAN PAUL MILLER
United States Attorney



____________________________
ELIZABETH COLLINS
Assistant U.S. Attorney
600 E. Monroe Street, Suite 312
Springfield, IL 62701-1625
Telephone: 217-492-4450
(Lead Attorney)


Document Filed: December 18, 2002.
General Information Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
 
Leadership
Steven H. Rosenbaum
Chief
Contact
Housing & Civil
Enforcement Section
(202) 514-4713
TTY - 202-305-1882
FAX - (202) 514-1116
To Report an Incident of Housing Discrimination:
1-800-896-7743
Mailing Contact
U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, NWB
Washington, D.C. 20530

Email: fairhousing@usdoj.gov

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