The United States Department of Justice Department of Justice Seal The United States Department of Justice
Search The Site
 

HCE Cases black banner

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
EASTERN DIVISION


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

RSC DEVELOPMENT GROUP, INC.;
RSC/HUNT CLUB, LLC; LP
CONSTRUCTION CO; and
RICHARD M. LETTVIN,
individually and D/B/A
RSC RENAISSANCE LIMITED
PARTNERSHIP,
     Defendants,

______________________________


COMPLAINT

The United States of America alleges:

  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. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1331, 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).

  3. Hunt Club Condominiums ("Hunt Club") is located at Main Street and Hunt Club Drive in St. Charles, Illinois, which is in the Northern District of Illinois.

  4. Hunt Club consists of eighty-six condominium units, located in two buildings with elevators. Each building has forty-three dwelling units.

  5. The forty-three units in the first building constructed at Hunt Club ("Building 1") were designed and constructed pursuant to plans designed by architect Stephen T. Powers. Mr. Powers was an officer of RSC Development Group, Inc. and LP Construction Co., a managing member of RSC/Hunt Club, LLC, and a general partner in RSC Renaissance Limited Partnership. Mr. Powers died in 1997.

  6. On or about June 19, 1995, Stephen T. Powers applied to the City of St. Charles, Illinois, for a building permit for the construction of the buildings which would become the Hunt Club Condominiums. That application listed the "owner" as "RSC Partnership" and the "general contractor" as "LP Construction." The addresses listed on the application for both RSC Partnership and LP Construction entities is 3765 Timbers Edge Drive, Glenview.

  7. Architectural drawings prepared by Mr. Powers for Hunt Club Condominiums listed RSC Development Group, 3765 Timbers Edge Drive, Glenview, Illinois as the "developer."

  8. Promotional materials provided to prospective customers at Hunt Club in 1996 identified RSC Development Group as the "builder" of Hunt Club. A brochure stated, inter alia, the following: "The RSC Development Group is a new company, but its principals have been addressing the housing needs of prospective home owners with the development of luxury condominium homes and townhomes in and around the Chicago area for the past two decades."

  9. RSC/Hunt Club, LLC also participated in the development of Hunt Club and in selling to units to individual owners. According to its Articles of Organization, RSC/Hunt Club, LLC was organized, in part, to own operate, manage, lease, sell or otherwise develop residential real estate, and to construct and sell condominiums or other residences thereon in St. Charles, Illinois. The only condominiums constructed and sold by RSC/Hunt Club, LLC were the Hunt Club Condominiums. The last unit sold by RSC/Hunt Club, LLC was to Mr. and Mrs. Burlison, on December 30, 1999. That sale was recorded in Kane County, Illinois property transfer records on January 11, 2000.

  10. The condominium units at Hunt Club are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b). All eighty-six units at Hunt Club ("the covered units") are "covered multifamily dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A).

  11. All of the covered units at Hunt Club were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991.

  12. All of the covered units at Hunt Club are subject to the accessibility requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).

  13. At all times relevant herein, Defendant RSC Development Group, Inc. was an Illinois corporation. Its last known registered office was located at 3765 Timbers Edge Drive, Glenview, IL 60025, which is within the Northern District of Illinois. This corporation was dissolved in or about June, 2000 but remains subject to suit under Illinois law.

  14. At all times relevant herein, Defendant RSC/Hunt Club, LLC was an Illinois limited liability company. Its last know principle place of business was located at 3765 Timbers Edge Drive, Glenview, IL 60025, which is within the Northern District of Illinois. This limited liability was dissolved in or about May, 2000 but remains subject to suit under Illinois law.

  15. At all times relevant herein, Defendant LP Construction Co. was an Illinois corporation. Its last known registered office was located at 3765 Timbers Edge Drive, Glenview, IL 60025, which is within the Northern District of Illinois. This corporation was dissolved in or about June, 2000, but remains subject to suit under Illinois law.

  16. At all relevant times herein, Defendant RSC Renaissance Limited Partnership was an Illinois limited partnership. Its business address was 3765 Timbers Edge Drive, Glenview, IL 60025. This limited partnership expired in or about December, 1996..

  17. Defendant Richard M. Lettvin resides at 3765 Timbers Edge Drive, Glenview, IL 60025, which is within the Northern District of Illinois. At all times relevant herein, Defendant Lettvin was a general partner of RSC Renaissance Limited Partnership, an Illinois limited partnership. This partnership expired in or about December, 1996. At all relevant times herein, Defendant Lettvin also served as president of RSC Development Group, Inc. and LP Construction Co. and as the managing member of RSC/Hunt Club, LLC.

  18. Defendants RSC Development Group, Inc., RSC/Hunt Club, LLC, LP Construction Co., RSC Renaissance Limited Partnership, and Richard Lettvin were, together with Mr. Powers, responsible for the design and construction of Hunt Club.

  19. Defendants have violated 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C) by failing to design and construct the dwellings in such a manner that:

    1. The public use and common use portions of dwellings in Building 1 at Hunt Club are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities;

    2. All the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings at Building 1 at Hunt Club are sufficiently wide to allow passage by disabled persons in wheelchairs;

    3. All premises within such dwellings at Building 1 at Hunt Club contain:

      1. an accessible route into and through the dwelling;

      2. usable bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space; and

      3. reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow the later installation of grab bars; and

    4. All premises within such dwellings at Building 2 at Hunt Club contain an accessible route into and through the dwelling.

  20. Defendants, through the actions referred to in paragraph 20, above, have:

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

    2. Discriminated in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such 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).

  21. The conduct of defendants described above 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.

  22. Persons who may have been the victims of defendants' discriminatory housing practices are aggrieved persons as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i), and have suffered injuries as a result of defendants' conduct described above.

  23. Defendants' conduct described above was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others.

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

  1. Declares that defendant's policies and practices, as alleged herein, violate the Fair Housing Act;

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

    1. Failing or refusing to bring the dwelling units and public use and common use areas at Hunt Club 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, the victims of defendant's unlawful practices to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct; and

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

  3. Awards such damages as would fully compensate each person aggrieved by defendant's discriminatory housing practices for their injuries resulting from defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1);

  4. Awards punitive damages to each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices because of the intentional and willful nature of defendants' conduct pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B); and

  5. Assesses a civil penalty as authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C) in order to vindicate the public interest.

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


JANET RENO
Attorney General
SCOTT R. LASSAR
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

BILL LANN LEE
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

JOAN C. LASER
Assistant United States Attorney
219 D. Dearborne Street
Room 1200
Chicago, Illinois 60604
(312) 383-1857

TIMOTHY J. MORAN
Deputy Chief
MYRON S. LEHTMAN
Trial Attorney
Housing & Civil Enforcement Section
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
(202) 514-4738


Document Filed: Janury 8, 2001

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

Stay Connected YouTube MySpace Twitter Facebook Sign Up for E-Mail Updates Subscribe to News Feeds