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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
LAFAYETTE DIVISION

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

BYRON RICHARD, D/B/A
HYLITES LOUNGE,
      Defendant.

_________________________________

COMPLAINT

The United States of America alleges:

  1. This action is brought by the Attorney General on behalf of the United States to enforce Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Public Accommodations), 42 U.S.C. § 2000a-5(a).

  2. This Court has jurisdiction of this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000a-6(a) and 28 U.S.C. § 1345.

  3. Defendant Byron Richard owns and operates the business establishment known as "Hylites Lounge" located on Highway 91 in Gueydan, Louisiana, in the Western District of Louisiana. This Defendant is a resident of the Western District of Louisiana.

  4. Hylites Lounge is a nightclub facility where persons are amused and entertained by, inter alia, dancing, listening to live music, playing pool and other games, and drinking alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Hylites Lounge offers its goods, services, and facilities to the public for a fee.

  5. Hylites Lounge is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 2000a(b)(3).

  6. The operations of the Defendant at Hylites Lounge affect commerce within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 2000a(c)(3).

  7. Defendant has himself, and acting through his employees and agents, implemented a policy and practice of denying to African-American persons, on account of race, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges of Hylites Lounge on the same basis as they make such available to non-African-American persons. This policy and practice has been implemented, among other ways, by refusing to admit African-American customers into the club while admitting white customers, and by refusing to serve African-American customers.

  8. The conduct of Defendant described in Paragraph 7 constitutes a pattern or practice of resistance to the full and equal enjoyment by African-American persons of rights secured by 42 U.S.C. § 2000a, et seq.; and the pattern or practice is of such a nature and is intended to deny the full exercise of such rights.

  9. Unless restrained by Order of this Court, the Defendant will continue to refuse to provide African-American persons with the full and equal enjoyment of rights secured to them by 42 U.S.C. §2000a, et seq.

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

  1. Declaring that the actions of the Defendant as set forth above violate Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000a, et seq.;

  2. Enjoining the Defendant, his officers, employees, agents, and successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from engaging in any act or practice which, on the basis of race or color, denies or abridges any rights secured by Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000a, et seq.; and

  3. Enjoining the defendant, his agents, employees, and successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them from failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps as may be necessary to remedy the past unlawful conduct, including but not limited to, informing the general public that the facilities of Hylites Lounge are available without regard to race or color, and restoring victims of defendant's past unlawful practices to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct.

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

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Lann Lee
Acting Assitant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

Joan A. Magagna
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

Brian F. Heffernan
Michelle Aronowitz
Attorneys
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
United States Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
(202)514-4713

Michael D. Skinner
United States Attorney

Janice E. Herbert (20218)
Assistant U.S. Attorney
800 Lafayette Street, Suite 2200
Lafayette, Louisiana 70501
(318)262-6618

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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