UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
THE HILLEBOLD FAMILY TRUST,
JOHN HILLEBOLD as TRUSTEE,
and ROSEMARY HILLEBOLD,
INDIVIDUALLY and as TRUSTEE,
United States, by its attorney, PATRICK J. FITZGERALD, United States Attorney
for the Northern District of Illinois, for its complaint states:
This is a civil action brought by the United States of America to enforce Title
VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments
Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619 (The "Fair Housing Act"). This action is
brought by the United States on behalf of Joan M. Stover and the South Suburban
Housing Center pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended,
42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and
1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
Venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because the actions giving rise to the
United States' allegations occurred in the Northern District of Illinois and the
subject property is located in the Northern District of Illinois.
Joan M. Stover is a white female.
South Suburban Housing Center (SSHC) is a non-profit organization located in
Homewood, Illinois. SSHC's purpose is to promote a unitary housing market that
eliminates discrimination based on race or other protected characteristics and
fosters stable, long-term diverse communities in the south and southwest Chicago
The subject property is located at 1802 Heatherway Lane in New Lenox, Illinois.
It is a twelve-unit apartment building with six units on each floor. The subject
property is a dwelling as defined in Section 802(b) of the Fair Housing Act, 42
U.S.C. § 3602(b).
At all times relevant to this action, defendant Hillebold Family Trust was the
owner of the subject property located in New Lenox, Illinois.
At all times relevant to this action, defendants John and Rosemary Hillebold
were Trustees of the defendant Hillebold Family Trust.
At all times relevant to this action, defendant Rosemary Hillebold managed the
On or about November 1, 1994, Ms. Stover moved into apartment 2E, a two-bedroom
unit located at the subject property. At that time, her rent was $550 per
Shortly after Ms. Stover moved into the subject property, defendant Rosemary
Hillebold told her that as long as she owned the building, there would be no
Mexicans or blacks living there.
In or around November 2000, the defendants raised Ms. Stover's rent by $25 per
month, to $575 per month.
In or around December 2000, Stover's ex-fiancé, who is Caucasian, moved into her
apartment at the subject property and lived there for approximately one year.
Although defendant Rosemary Hillebold knew that Ms. Stover had a roommate, there
was no increase in her rent during this time.
In fact, until October 2004, over a period of ten years, except for the $25
increase in November 2000, Ms. Stover's rent never was increased.
In June 2004, Ms. Stover spoke to Ms. Hillebold about the possibility of having
her unit painted, stating that she wanted it painted only if it would not cause
an increase in her rent at her next lease renewal, which was to occur on October
31, 2004. Ms. Hillebold agreed to paint the apartment, and assured Ms. Stover
that she would not raise her rent.
In mid-July 2004, Ms. Stover's boyfriend, Turmond Durden, who is
African-American, moved into her unit at the subject property.
After defendant Rosemary Hillebold learned that Mr. Durden was living with
Stover, she increased Ms. Stover's rent by $50 per month, from $575 to $625.
Although prior to July 2004 Ms. Stover's requested repairs had been made in a
timely manner, after Mr. Durden moved in, repeated requests to repair Ms.
Stover's stove were ignored.
Ms. Stover's apartment never was painted.
On or about September 4, 2004, Ms. Hillebold drove to Ms. Stover's parents' home
and spoke with her mother, Barbara Stover, a person defendant had met only once
before. Ms. Hillebold told Barbara Stover that she was having problems with her
daughter and her black male friend, who was frequently on the property.
That same day, as a result of Ms. Hillebold's visit, Barbara Stover and her
husband went to the subject property to confront their daughter, Joan Stover. As
a result of that interaction, Joan Stover and her parents became estranged from
Ms. Stover and Mr. Durden decided that they had to move from the subject
property. On the evening of September 4, 2004, Ms. Stover spoke to Ms. Hillebold
and asked to be put on a month-to-month lease until she could find another place
During this telephone conversation, Ms. Hillebold agreed to put Ms. Stover on a
month-to-month lease, but announced that her rent would increase by another $50
per month, to $675 per month.
Ms. Stover was unable to find another place to live before the end of 2004. In
early January of 2005, Ms. Hillebold visited Ms. Stover's unit and told her she
needed to move out as soon as possible. Ms. Hillebold told Ms. Stover that she
could not show units at the building when Mr. Durden was around.
After Ms. Stover located housing in or around mid-January 2005, she advised Ms.
Hillebold of her intent to vacate her unit at the end of February. During this
conversation, Ms. Hillebold made discriminatory statements, including a
statement that she had nothing against "those people" but she preferred that
they not live in her building.
In or around January of 2005, Ms. Stover contacted SSHC to complain about
discrimination by Hillebold.
In response to the information provided by Ms. Stover, between February 1, 2005
and March 24, 2005, SSHC conducted several housing tests on the subject
property. Some black testers were told that no apartments were available for
rent when there were, in fact, apartments available for rent and when some white
testers were being told about those availabilities. In addition, some of the
black testers were quoted higher amounts for the security deposit than those
that were quoted to the white testers.
In or around May 2005, a prospective bona fide black applicant, Erin
King, applied for a two-bedroom unit at the subject property. Ms. King was told
that the security deposit was $1,000, although white testers had been told that
the security deposit was $700.
On or around June 27, 2005, Joan Stover and the South Suburban Housing Center
filed timely complaints of discrimination with the Secretary of the Department
of Housing and Urban Development ("the Secretary") alleging that Defendants had
engaged in housing discrimination on the basis of race in violation of the Fair
Pursuant to the requirements of Sections 810(a) and (b) of the Fair Housing Act,
42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(a) and (b), the Secretary conducted an investigation of
the complaints, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final
Based on the information gathered in that investigation, the Secretary, pursuant
to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause existed to
believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred. On September 25,
2006, the Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination pursuant to Section
810(g)(2)(A) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), charging
defendants with engaging in discriminatory housing practices, based on race, in
violation of the Fair Housing Act.
On October 10, 2006, Complainant South Suburban Housing Center timely elected to
have the charge resolved in a federal civil action pursuant to Section 812(a) of
the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(a).
On or about October 18, 2006, the Secretary authorized the Attorney General to
commence a civil action on behalf of the Complainants pursuant to Section 812(o)
of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
Fair Housing Act Claims
By the facts and conduct alleged above in paragraphs 10-33, defendants have:
against persons in the terms, conditions or privileges of rental, or in the
provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, of a dwelling
because of race, in violation of Section 804(b) of the Fair Housing Act, 42
U.S.C. § 3604(b);
statements with respect to the rental of a dwelling indicating a preference,
limitation, or discrimination based on race, or an intention to make any such
preference, limitation, or discrimination, in violation of Section 804(c) of the
Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c); and
to persons because of race that a dwelling was not available for inspection or
rental when such dwelling was in fact so available, in violation of Section
804(d) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(d).
Joan Stover is an aggrieved person within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i),
and has suffered damages as a result of the defendants' discriminatory conduct
as described above.
South Suburban Housing Center is an aggrieved person within the meaning of 42
U.S.C. § 3602(i), and, as a result of the defendants' discriminatory conduct as
described above, has suffered damages, including the frustration of its mission
and diversion of its resources.
Defendants' conduct described herein was intentional, willful, and taken in
disregard for the rights of Joan Stover and South Suburban Housing Center.
the United States prays that the Court enter an order that:
that Defendants' conduct as alleged herein violates the Fair Housing Act, as
amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601, et seq.;
Defendants, their agents, employees, and successors, and all other persons in
active concert or participation with them from discriminating on the basis of
race against any person in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling, pursuant to
42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3) and 3613(c)(1);
monetary damages to Complainants pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3) and
such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.
PATRICK J. FITZGERALD
United States Attorney
Assistant United States
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Document Filed: November 8, 2006