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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FO THE
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


United States of America,
     Plaintiff,

v.

Civil Action No.
3:00-cv-00-849-DRH

Dennis Fournie,
Patrick Daniels,
     Defendants.

___________________________________

COMPLAINT

The United States of America alleges:

  1. This action is brought by the United States on behalf of Wanakee Holman pursuant to Section 812(o) of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).

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

  3. The subject property is located at 62 Hillside Lane, Belleville, Il. 62223 and consists of four units.

  4. Defendant Dennis Fournie is a resident of Belleville, Illinois in the Southern District of Illinois. At all relevant times, he has been the owner of 62 Hillside Lane, Belleville, Illinois.

  5. Defendant Patrick Daniels is a resident of Belleville, Illinois in the Southern District of Illinois. At all relevant times, he has been the property manager of 62 Hillside Lane, Belleville, Illinois.

  6. The apartments located at 62 Hillside Lane, Belleville, Illinois are dwellings as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).

  7. Wanakee Holman, a black female, resided in the Southern District of Illinois at the time of the discriminatory acts alleged in this complaint.

  8. On or about the middle of July 1999, Ms. Holman left messages with the Defendants in response to an advertisement for a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment in the Bellville News Democrat. Defendants did not return her calls.

  9. On or about the end of July 1999, Ms. Holman visited the rental office for 62 Hillside Lane and asked an unidentified white male if the apartment was available. He answered that it was unavailable.

  10. On or about the end of July 1999, Ms. Holman was told by a tenant at the apartments who had spoken with Defendant Patrick Daniels, the property manager, that the apartment at 62 Hillside Lane was available. Ms. Holman subsequently visited the property, met with Mr. Daniels, and viewed the apartment.

  11. On or about the first week of August 1999, Ms. Holman called Mr. Daniels and asked if the apartment at 62 Hillside Lane was available. Mr. Daniels said the apartment was unavailable.

  12. On or about the first week of August 1999, a white female acquaintance of Ms. Holman called and spoke to a person who identified himself as the property manager to inquire about the availability of an apartment at 62 Hillside Lane. The manager described two different apartments which were available, including a two bedroom apartment on Hillside Lane.

  13. On or about August 10, 1999, a white male acquaintance of Ms. Holman called Patrick Daniels to inquire about the availability of the two bedroom apartment advertised in the Bellville News Democrat. Mr. Daniels confirmed that the apartment was available.

  14. On or about August 10, 1999, an African-American female acquaintance of Ms. Holman called Patrick Daniels to inquire about the availability of a two bedroom apartment on Hillside Lane. Mr. Daniels stated no apartments were available.

  15. The two bedroom apartment at 62 Hillside Lane remained available from mid-July until September 9, 1999, when the Defendants rented the apartment to a white male.

  16. On or about August 11, 1999, Ms. Holman filed a timely complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") alleging that the defendants unlawfully discriminated against her on the basis of race or color in violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a). In the complaint, which was amended on or about March 30, 2000, Ms. Holman alleges that, on or about the middle of July 1999 through August 10, 1999, defendants engaged in unlawful discrimination on the basis of race or color by refusing to rent her an apartment at 62 Hillside Lane.

  17. Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(a) and (b), the Secretary of HUD conducted and completed an investigation of Ms. Holman's complaint, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based on information gathered in the investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), determined that reasonable cause exists to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred. Accordingly, on August 30, 2000, the Secretary of HUD issued a Charge of Discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A) (the "Charge"), charging defendants with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

  18. On or about September 20, 2000, defendants elected to have the Charge resolved in a civil action filed in federal district court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(a).

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

  20. Defendants, through actions referred to in paragraphs 8-15 above, have:

    1. refused to rent or negotiate for, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, a dwelling because of race or color, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a); and

    2. represented to a person because of race or color that a dwelling was not available for inspection, sale, or rental when such dwelling was in fact so available, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(d).

  21. Ms. Holman is an aggrieved person, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i), and has suffered damages as a result of the defendants' conduct described above.

  22. The discriminatory actions of defendants were intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of Ms. Holman.

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

  1. Declares that the discriminatory housing practices of defendants as set forth above violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.;

  2. Enjoins the defendants, their agents, employees, and successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them from discriminating on the basis of race or color against any person in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling;

  3. Awards such damages as would fully compensate Ms. Holman for injuries caused by the defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3) and 3613(c)(1);

  4. Awards punitive damages to Ms. Holman pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3) and 3613(c)(1); and

  5. Awards such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.

JANET RENO
Attorney General

BILL LANN LEE
Assistant Attorney General

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

TIMOTHY J. MORAN
Deputy Chief
KENNETH M. SCOTT
Attorney
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justic
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035
(202) 305-1457

W. CHARLES GRACE
United States Attorney
9 Executive Drive
Suite 300
Fairview Heights, IL 62208

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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