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Civil Rights Cases

 

Civil Rights Settlements

United States v. Citizens Republic Bancorp, Inc. and Citizens Bank

Complaint: (Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

Settlement Agreement: (Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

On May 5, 2011, the United States filed a complaint in United States v. Citizens Republic Bancorp, Inc. and Citizens Bank (E.D. Mich.), a Fair Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act pattern or practice case that was referred by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. The complaint alleged that Citizens Republic Bancorp, Inc. (CRBC), as the successor to Republic Bank, and Citizens Bank failed to provide their home mortgage lending services to the residents of majority African-American neighborhoods on an equal basis as those services are provided to residents of predominantly white neighborhoods in the Detroit metropolitan area, a practice commonly known as "redlining." On May 24, the Court declined to enter a proposed consent order, and on June 23, 2011, the United States and defendants filed a stipulated notice of dismissal based on the settlement agreement reached by the parties and attached to that notice. On June 28, 2011, the Court dismissed the case. Under the settlement agreement, defendants will open a loan production office in an African-American neighborhood in the City of Detroit and hire two community lenders; and invest in the formerly redlined majority African-American areas of Wayne County by providing $1.5 million in a special financing program to increase the amount of credit the bank extends in those areas, by partnering with the City of Detroit to provide $1.625 million in matching grants of up to $5,000 to existing homeowners for exterior improvements, and by conducting $500,000 in advertising, marketing, and consumer financial education targeted to those areas.

United States v. Acme Investments, Inc., et al

Complaint: (Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

Settlement Agreement: (Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

On July 7, 2010, the court entered a Consent Decree resolving all claims in United States v. Acme Investments, Inc., et al. (E.D. Mich.). The complaint, filed on March 3, 2010, alleged a pattern or practice of racial discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act by the owner and property manager, Laurie Courtney of Ivanhoe House Apartments located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The complaint alleged discrimination against African Americans in the rental and inspection of apartments. The case was developed through testing conducted by the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan, which filed suit on July 16, 2009, alleging the same violations. The cases were later consolidated by the court. Under the settlement, the defendants will pay $35,000 in damages to three victims who the United States contends were discriminated against because of their race at Ivanhoe House Apartments; pay $7,500 in a civil penalty to the United States; and pay $40,000 to the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan as damages for the non-profit’s efforts in testing and investigating the apartment complex. The settlement also requires the defendants and their employees to undergo fair housing training, conduct self-testing of the apartment complex, and provide periodic reports to the Justice Department and the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan. This case was handled jointly by the United States and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan. The consent decree will remain in effect for three years.

United States v. Tel-Clinton Trailer Courts, Inc.

Complaint: (Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

Settlement Agreement: (Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

On July 5, 2011, the United States filed a complaint and proposed consent decree in United States v. Tel-Clinton Trailer Courts, Inc. (E.D. Mich.). The Fair Housing Act complaint alleges that Tel-Clinton Trailer Courts Inc. – the owner and operator of Shamrock Village Mobile Home Park in Monroe, Michigan – engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of familial status by maintaining policies that prevented families with more than one child from residing there. The lawsuit also named as defendants Eugene J. Ponzio, the president of Tel-Clinton, and Mildred E. Wampler, the resident manager at Shamrock Village. Under the consent decree the defendants will pay $27,500 in damages and civil penalties, including a fund for individuals who suffered damages as a result of the defendants' conduct. The defendants will also develop and maintain non-discrimination policies at Shamrock Village and provide fair housing training to their employees. This case was based on testing conducted by the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan. The court entered the consent decree on July 13, 2011.

United States v. Peterson, et al.

Complaint: (Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

Settlement Agreement: (Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

On August 6, 2010, a federal jury in Detroit returned a $115,000 verdict against Glenn Johnson, Ronnie Peterson and First Pitch Properties LLC in United States v. Peterson, et al. (E.D. Mich.),a case under the federal Fair Housing Act alleging sexual harassment of female tenants. Over the course of a six day trial, the United States presented evidence that Glenn Johnson, the maintenance man, subjected six women to severe and pervasive sexual harassment, ranging from unwelcome sexual comments and sexual advances, to requiring sexual favors in exchange for their tenancy. One woman testified that Johnson refused to give her keys to her apartment until she agreed to have sex with him. Another woman testified that she had sex with Johnson at least 20 times because he threatened that the owner would evict her if she did not. The United States also presented evidence that Washtenaw County Commissioner Ronnie Peterson, who owned the properties, knew that Johnson was sexually harassing tenants but did nothing to stop it. Compensatory and punitive damages in the amount of $115,000 will be divided among the six female tenants whom the jury found were victims of the harassment.
On March 3, 2011, Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr., issued an order requiring defendant Johnson to pay a $55,000 civil penalty, the maximum civil penalty for a first violation of the Fair Housing Act, and orders defendant Peterson to pay a $27,500 penalty. The order also permanently bars Johnson from having any further involvement in the management, rental or maintenance of housing. The order requires Peterson to adopt and implement a comprehensive sexual harassment policy and complaint procedure at his properties. The complaint was filed on January 29, 2009, and was handled jointly by the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit. This case was referred to the Department of Justice by the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan.

United States v. Golden Corral:

Complaint: (Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

On May 8, 2013, the United States filed a Joint Motion for Entry of Proposed Consent Order and Appointment of Guarding Ad Litem, as well as the proposed Consent Order, in United States v. Corral of Westland, et al.  The proposed Consent Order resolves the Department’s allegations that Golden Corral of Westland, MI violated Title III of the ADA by demanding that Danielle Duford and her four daughters leave the restaurant based on the appearance of the children’s skin caused by a genetic skin disorder, epidermolysis bullosa.  The condition causes blisters to form on the skin in response to minor injuries and temperature changes.  Despite Ms. Duford informing the restaurant manager of her children’s disability and repeatedly emphasizing that they did not have a contagious disease, the manager required the family to immediately leave the restaurant, claiming that he had received complaints from other customers.  The Consent Order includes a training requirement, a non-discrimination policy, $50,000 in compensatory damages, and a $10,000 civil penalty. 

Baetz v. City of Highland Park:

Complaint: (Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

Consent Decree: (Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

On February 13, 2012, the United States filed a complaint and proposed Consent Order in Baetz v. City of Highland Park.  The Complaint alleges that the City of Highland Park, MI willfully violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) by failing to properly reemploy firefighter and U.S. Army reservist Paul A. Baetz in July 2009 when he returned from military service in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.  While Mr. Baetz was overseas in military service, the City of Highland Park promoted three auxiliary firefighters with less seniority than Mr. Baetz to full-time firefighter and refused to properly re-employ Mr. Baetz as a full-time firefighter upon his return.  Subject to certain conditions, USERRA requires employers to promptly re-employ returning service members in the positions they would have held had their employment not been interrupted by military service, or in a position of like seniority, status and pay. Under the terms of the settlement, the City of Highland Park must pay Baetz approximately $25,000 in compensation for lost wages, back pension contributions and other damages, and retroactively adjust the date of Mr. Baetz’s promotion back to the time he should have received it in 2009. 

In re: City of Flint

Settlement Agreement: (Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

In May 2012, the United States reached a settlement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) with the City of Flint, MI, to greatly improve accessibility for individuals with mobility impairments at all of the city’s polling places.  The case was commenced based on a referral from the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, and was investigated jointly by the Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Michigan.  Under the terms of the settlement, the City of Flint recognizes that accessible polling places are the cornerstone of its voting accessibility program and will make all of its polling places accessible to persons with disabilities by the November 2012 election.  The settlement also requires that accessibility based on ADA standards will be a major criterion in the city’s selection of future polling places.  To assist in achieving these ends, the Justice Department will provide technical assistance to the city of Flint on determining whether a polling place location can be made accessible on Election Day.

 

Civil Rights Cases

Consent Judgment Conditions of Confinement(Adobe pdf Format adobe pdf icon)

Consent Judgment Use of Force and Arrest and Witness Detention(Adobe pdf Format )

Report No. 4 - Quarterly Report (Adobe pdf Format )

Report No. 5 - Quarterly Report(Adobe pdf Format )

Report No. 6 - Quarterly Report(Adobe pdf Format )

Report No. 7 - Quarterly Report(Adobe pdf Format )

Report No. 8 - Quarterly Report(Adobe pdf Format )

Report No. 9 - Quarterly Report(Adobe pdf Format )

Report No. 10 - Quarterly Report(Adobe pdf Format )

Report No. 11 - Quarterly Report(Adobe pdf Format )

Report No. 12 - Quarterly Report(Adobe pdf Format )

Report No. 13 - Quarterly Report(Adobe pdf Format )

Report No. 14 - Quarterly Report(Adobe pdf Format )

Case No. 03-72258

United States v. City of Detroit
Case No. 03-72258


In June of 2003, the United States sued the City of Detroit pursuant to its authority under a federal civil rights law, 42 U.S.C. Section 14141.  This law makes it unlawful for State or local law enforcement officers to engage in a pattern or practice of conduct that deprives persons of rights protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. (42 U.S.C. § 14141). The types of conduct covered by this law can include, among other things, excessive force, discriminatory harassment, false arrests, coercive sexual conduct, and unlawful stops, searches or arrests. In order to be covered by this law, the misconduct must constitute a "pattern or practice" -- it may not simply be an isolated incident. The Consent Judgments in this case cover use of force, arrest and detention of witnesses and suspects without probable cause and conditions of confinement in the Detroit Police Department holding cells.
The remedies available under this law do not provide for individual monetary relief for the victims of the misconduct. Rather, they provide for injunctive relief, such as orders to end the misconduct and changes in the agency's policies and procedures that resulted in or allowed the misconduct. There is no private right of action under this law; only DOJ may file suit for violations of the Police Misconduct Provision.

 

 

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