IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
GENERAL PROPERTIES COMPANY,
|Demand for Jury Trial Case No.|
The United States of America alleges:
1. This action is brought 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 et seq.
2. This court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).
3. Venue is proper because the claims alleged herein arose in the Eastern District of Michigan, and concern or otherwise relate to real property located in the Eastern District of Michigan.
4. Defendant General Properties Company, L.L.C., d/b/a Whispering Woods Apartments, is incorporated under the laws of Michigan, and has its principal place of business in Livonia, Michigan.
5. Defendant General Properties Company is engaged in the operation and renting of multifamily dwellings in Livonia, Michigan, including the Whispering Woods Apartments, a 273-unit residential apartment complex located at 31200 Morlock Road, in Livonia, Michigan.
6. Whispering Woods Apartments is a "dwelling" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
7. Defendant Elliott C. Schubiner is the president and part owner of Defendant General Properties Company, L.L.C., and is a resident of the Eastern District of Michigan.
8. Defendant Schubiner is involved in, directs, and is in charge of the operation and management of Whispering Woods Apartments.
9. Since at least November 2003, defendants have been engaged in racially discriminatory housing practices at Whispering Woods Apartments, including, but not necessarily limited to, the following:
- Instructing property management companies and their employees not rent to or otherwise discriminate against African American prospective tenants;
- Failing to inform African American prospective tenants about, or negotiate for the rental of, available apartments, failing to show such persons available apartments, or telling such persons that certain apartments are not available, while telling similarly situated non-black persons about the availability of, or showing them, such apartments.
- Refusing to give African American persons the opportunity to apply for an apartment unless they pay a deposit while allowing similarly situated non-black persons to submit an application without paying any such deposit.
13. The conduct of Defendants described above constitutes:
- A refusal to rent, a refusal to negotiate for the rental of, or otherwise making unavailable or denying dwellings to persons because of race or color, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a);
- Discrimination against persons in the terms, conditions or privileges of rental, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection therewith, because of race or color in violation of 42 U.S.C.§ 3604(b);
- The making of statements with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicates a preference, limitation or discrimination based on race or color in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c); and
- A representation to persons because of race or color that dwellings are not available for rental when such dwellings are in fact so available, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(d).
14. The conduct of Defendants described above constitutes:
(a) A pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619; or
(b) 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.
15. Upon information and belief, there are persons who have been the victims of discriminatory housing practices by the Defendants. Such persons are aggrieved persons as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i), and have suffered injuries as a result of the Defendants' conduct described above.
16. The discriminatory actions of the defendants were intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of the victims of this discrimination.
WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the Court enter an ORDER that:
1. Declares that defendants' discriminatory practices violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.;
2. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(A), enjoins defendants, their agents, employees, and successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them, from continuing to discriminate on the basis of race or color against any person in any aspect of the rental of dwellings, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(A);
3. Awards monetary damages, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3613(c)(1), and 3614(d)(1)(B), to all persons harmed by the defendants' discriminatory practices; and
4. Assesses a civil penalty against each defendant in an amount authorized by 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C), to vindicate the public interest.
The United States further prays for such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.
| ALBERTO R. GONZALES |
| __________________________ |
STEPHEN J. MURPHY
United States Attorney
JUDITH E. LEVY (P55882)
Assistant U.S. Attorney
Eastern District of Michigan
211 West Fort Street
Detroit, MI 48226
Tel: (313) 226-9727
Fax: (313) 226-3271
| __________________________ |
WAN J. KIM
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM
TIMOTHY J. MORAN
Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530
Tel: (202) 353-9062
Fax: (202) 514-1116
Document Filed: April 28, 2006 > >