UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Civil Action No. 97 C 8177
JDL MANAGEMENT COMPANY and
KLLM ARCHITECTS, INC.,
The United States of America alleges:
- 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.
- This court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).
- Acorn Glen is a residential dwelling complex located at 5100 West 111th Street, Oak Lawn, Illinois. Acorn Glen is comprised of at least twelve ranch style townhomes and 108 condominium units. The 108 condominium units are located in six, three-story buildings. Three of the buildings have elevators and consist of twenty-four units each. The remaining three buildings do not have elevators and consist of twelve units, with four units on each floor. All of the 120 units at Acorn Glen were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991.
- Defendant JDL Management Co., Inc. (JDL) is an Illinois corporation whose principal place of business is located in the Northern District of Illinois. Defendant JDL is responsible for the design, development, construction, and sale of residential dwellings at Acorn Glen.
- Defendant KLLM Architects, Inc. (KLLM) is an architectural firm whose principal place of business is in the Northern District of Illinois. Defendant KLLM is responsible for the design of the ranch style townhomes and condominium units at Acorn Glen.
- The twelve ranch style townhomes and 108 condominium units are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b). The twelve ranch style townhomes, the seventy-six units in the three elevator buildings and the twelve ground floor units in the three non-elevator buildings are "covered multi-family dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(A).
- All of the Acorn Glen ranch style townhomes, the seventy-six units in the elevator buildings and the twelve ground floor units in the non-elevator buildings are subject to the accessibility requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
- Defendants have violated 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C) by failing to design and construct these dwellings in such a manner that: (a) the public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities; (b) all doors are sufficiently wide to allow passage by persons who use wheelchairs; and (c) all premises within such dwellings contain: (i) an accessible route into and through the dwelling; and (ii) reinforcements in the bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars.
- Defendants, through actions referred to in paragraph 9, above, have:
- 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); and
- Failed to design and construct dwellings in compliance with the accessibility and adaptability features mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 3604 (f)(3)(C).
- The conduct of defendants described above constitutes:
- 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
- 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.
- 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 may have suffered injuries as a result of defendants' conduct described above.
- 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:
- Declares that defendants' policies and practices, as alleged herein, violate the Fair Housing Act;
- Enjoins defendants, their officers, employees, agents, successors and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from:
- Failing or refusing to bring the dwelling units and public use and common use areas at Acorn Glen into compliance with 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
- Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps as may be necessary to restore, as nearly as practicable, the victims of defendants' unlawful practices to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct; and
- 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);
- Awards such damages as would fully compensate each per-son aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices for their injuries resulting from defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B);
- Assesses a civil penalty against each defendant 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.
Isabelle Katz Pinzler
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
Joan A. Magagna
Acting Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Isabelle M. Thabault
Sunny E. Pietrafesa, Attorney
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
Scott R. Lassar
United States Attorney
Joan C. Laser
Assistant United States Attorney
219 S. Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604
312-353-1857 > >