IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
SHERRY BLAIR; LEADERSHIP Plaintiffs,
COUNCIL FOR METROPOLITAN OPEN
Judge James B. Moran
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Case No: 04-cv-5387
Judge James B. Moran
On December 18, 2003, Plaintiffs Sherry Blair and the Leadership Council for
Metropolitan Open Communities (collectively, "Private Plaintiffs") filed a complaint against
George Mammarrapallil claiming that Defendant violated the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§
3601 et seq. Specifically, Plaintiff Blair alleges that Defendant discriminated against her by
refusing to rent an apartment to her, her African-American fiance, and her interracial child - and
by imposing more burdensome application procedures on them - on account of their race, in
violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a) and (b). Plaintiff Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open
Communities (hereinafter, "Leadership Council") alleges that Defendant discriminated against its
African-American tester by imposing more burdensome application procedures on her because of
her race, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b), and discriminated against families with children by
refusing to rent apartments to them, by imposing improper restrictions on the number of children
that could live in an apartment, and by making statements expressing a desire not to rent to families
with children, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a), (b), and (c).
Prior to the filing of their complaints in federal court, Plaintiff Blair and Plaintiff
Leadership Council filed complaints with the Department of Housing and Urban Development
("HUD") claiming that George Mammarrapallil discriminated against them in violation of the Fair
Housing Act. After investigating the complaints, HUD concluded that it had reasonable cause to
believe that Mr. Mammarrapallil had discriminated against the Leadership Council on the basis of
race in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3604(a) and (b) (1); however, Plaintiff Blair voluntarily withdrew
her complaint before HUD could make a final determination regarding her allegations against Mr.
Mammarrapallil. With respect to the Leadership Council's complaint, HUD issued a
Determination of Reasonable Cause and Charge of Discrimination on July 13, 2004, charging
Defendant with committing a discriminatory housing practice. On July 16, 2004, the Leadership
Council elected to have the charges resolved in federal court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(a), and
the Secretary of HUD authorized the Attorney General to commence a civil action on behalf of the
Leadership Council, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).
On August 16, 2004, the United States filed its complaint against George Mammarrapallil
alleging that he discriminated against the Leadership Council's African-American tester on the
basis of race and/or color by making housing unavailable to the African-American tester and
offering inferior terms and conditions of rental housing to that tester. The United States claims that
these discriminatory acts violate §§ 3604(a) and (b) of the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601
On October 29, 2004, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
consolidated the Private Plaintiff's case and the United States' case.
Private Plaintiffs, the United States, and Defendant desire to avoid costly and protracted
litigation and agree that the claims against Defendant should be settled without further litigation or
an evidentiary hearing. Therefore, Private Plaintiffs, the United States, and Defendant have agreed
to the entry of this Consent Decree.
THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
- JURISDICTION AND SCOPE
- The Court has subject matter jurisdiction over the claims in the civil action pursuant to
28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345, and 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o) and 3613.
- This Consent Decree is a settlement of disputed claims. The Consent Decree is entered
into without any admission by Defendant of having engaged in any discriminatory practices
proscribed by the Fair Housing Act or any other federal or state statute.
- Defendant Mammarrapallil, his employees, partners, agents, successors and assigns,
and all those acting in concert or participation with him in the ownership, operation, or
management of housing, are hereby enjoined from:
- Refusing to rent, or otherwise making unavailable, any dwelling to any person
because of the race or color of such person or his or her guest(s), family, or
friend(s), in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a); and
- Discriminating in the terms, conditions, or privileges of rental of any dwelling,
because of the race or color of any renter or any applicant for rent, or the guest(s),
family, or friend(s) of any such renter or applicant, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(b).
- By December 31, 2004, Defendant shall deposit $20,000.00 (twenty-thousand dollars),
into an escrow account for the purpose of compensating Plaintiffs. Within five (5) days of this
deposit, Defendant shall issue a certified check or trust account check payable to Plaintiff
Leadership Council in the amount of $20,000.00 (twenty-thousand dollars) for the benefit of
Plaintiffs. By March 1, 2005, Defendant shall deposit an additional $5,000.00 (five-thousand
dollars) into an escrow account for the purpose of compensating Plaintiffs. Within five (5) days of
this deposit, Defendant shall issue a certified check or trust account check payable to Plaintiff
Leadership Council in the amount of $5,000.00 (five-thousand dollars) for the benefit of Plaintiffs.
All of the expenses and costs associated with the escrow account shall be borne by Defendant.
Payments to Plaintiff Blair shall be pursuant to a side agreement between Plaintiff Leadership
Council and Plaintiff Blair.
- Through the attached declaration, see attached Exhibit B, Defendant has represented that
he currently does not own, manage, or otherwise operate any residential rental property and has no
plans to reenter the business. If within three (3) years of the date of entry of this Consent Decree,
Defendant purchases, assumes an ownership interest in, manages, or works at a dwelling that is
covered by the proscriptions of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3604, et seq., Defendant shall
notify Plaintiffs in writing within thirty (30) days of such event. Defendant shall state the name of
the dwelling that he has purchased, assumed an ownership interest in, or works at; the location of
the dwelling; and the nature of Defendant's relationship with the dwelling.
- DURATION OF CONSENT DECREE
- This Consent Decree shall remain in effect for three (3) years from the date of its entry
by the Court. However, if during that time, Defendant purchases, assumes an ownership interest
in, manages, or works at a dwelling that is covered by the proscriptions of the Fair Housing Act,
42 U.S.C. 3604, et seq., Plaintiffs may move this Court to impose additional remedial provisions,
including, but not limited to, an order imposing additional injunctive relief or mandating the
extension of this Decree.
- The parties shall employ their best efforts to resolve any differences that arise in the
implementation or interpretation of this Consent Decree. In the event that such efforts fail, any
party, after meeting-and-conferring with the other parties, may bring the matter to the Court's
attention for resolution.
- In the event of a violation by Defendant of this Consent Decree, any Plaintiff may move
this Court to impose any remedy authorized by law or equity, including, but not limited to, an order
requiring performance of an act or payment of a fine, an award of damages, and an award of any
costs and reasonable attorneys' fees that have been occasioned by the violation or failure to
- The Court shall retain jurisdiction for the duration of this Consent Decree to enforce the
terms of the Decree, after which time the United States' and the Private Plaintiffs' complaint shall
be dismissed with prejudice.
FOR PLAINTIFF UNITED STATES:
R. ALEXANDER ACOSTA
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
TIMOTHY J. MORAN
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Northwestern Building, 7th
Washington, D.C. 20530
Phone: (202) 305-1291
FOR PLAINTIFF SHERRY BLAIR:
Katten Muchin Zavis Rosenman
525 W. Monroe Street, Suite 1600
Chicago, IL 60661-3693
Phone: (312) 902-5200
FOR PLAINTIFF LEADERSHIP COUNCIL:
Kinoy Taren Geraghty & Potter
224 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60604
Phone: (312) 663-5210
FOR DEFENDANT MAMMARRAPALLIL:
16061 South 94th
Orland Hills, IL 60477
Phone: (708) 403-7300
1. HUD found no reasonable cause to believe that Defendant discriminated against the Leadership
Council on the basis of disability or familial status.
Entered: February 11, 2005