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The United States of America, by its attorney, Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, brings this action on behalf of Phyllis Wardiani, Belal Wardiani, and their three minor children pursuant to section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o), and alleges as follows:

1. This court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331, 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).

2. Phyllis Wardiani, her husband, Belal Wardiani, and their three minor children (collectively, "the Wardianis") are residents of Illinois.

3. Defendants Jean Chlypniacz and her adult son, Gregory Derlacki, are residents of Illinois and at all relevant times were the sole beneficiaries of a Land Trust holding legal title to an apartment building at 6353-5 West School Street, Chicago, Illinois ("the property"), which contains six residential rental units and is located in the Northern District of Illinois.

4. As beneficiaries of the Land Trust, Chlypniacz and Derlacki at all relevant times possessed the power to manage and control the property, to receive proceeds from its rental, and to keep, perform, and enforce all leases and agreements and covenants running with the land.

5. At all relevant times, Chlypniacz and Derlacki managed and lived at the property.

6. The six units in the property are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).

7. On or about May 3, 2001, Phyllis Wardiani answered an advertisement for a two-bedroom apartment at the property by calling the telephone number listed in the advertisement and speaking to defendant Chlypniacz.

8. Ms. Wardiani told Chlypniacz that she was interested in renting the apartment listed in the advertisement. Chlypniacz asked how many people would be living in it, and Ms. Wardiani told her that the apartment was for herself, her husband, and their three children.

9. Chlypniacz responded that she did not want any children living in the apartment and that she would not rent the apartment to her.

10. Ms. Wardiani then asked defendant Chlypniacz whether she was aware that she was discriminating against her, and Chlypniacz said that she knew about that, and hung up the phone.

11. Defendants refused to rent the advertised unit to the Wardianis because they planned to reside there with their minor children.

12. On or about May 22, 2001, the subject unit was rented to a single woman with no children.

13. On April 2, 2002, Ms. Wardiani filed a timely complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD"), alleging that she had been discriminated against because of familial status. She subsequently amended the complaint to add Belal Wardiani and their three minor children as additional aggrieved persons, and to add Chlypniacz and Derlacki as respondents.

14. Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3610(a) and (b), the Secretary of HUD conducted and completed an investigation of the complaint, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based on the information gathered in the investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause existed to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred. Accordingly, on or about April 1, 2004, the Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination ("the Charge") pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3610(g)(2)(A), charging Chlypniacz and Derlacki with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act.

15. On April 8, 2004, the Wardianis timely elected to have the Charge resolved in a civil action filed in federal district court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(a).

16. On April 9, 2004, the Chief Administrative Law Judge issued a Notice of Election and terminated the administrative proceeding on the complaint filed by the Wardianis.

17. Following this Notice of Election, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development authorized the Attorney General to commence a civil action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3612(o).

18. Defendants, through the actions referred to above, have:

  1. refused to rent, after the making of a bona fide offer, or to negotiate for the rental of, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, a dwelling because of familial status, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(a); and
  2. made, or caused to be made, statements with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicate a preference, limitation or discrimination based on familial status, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(c).

19. Phyllis Wardiani, Belal Wardiani and their three minor children are aggrieved persons, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i), and have suffered damages as a result of the defendants' discriminatory conduct described above.

20. The discriminatory actions of defendants were intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of the Wardianis.

21. Plaintiff demands trial by jury.

WHEREFORE, the United States prays that this Court enter an Order that:

1. Declares that the discriminatory housing practices of defendants as set forth above violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601, et seq.;

2. Enjoins the defendants, any agents, employees, and successors they may have, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them from discriminating on the basis of familial status against any person in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601, et seq.; and

3. Awards monetary damages to the Wardianis, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 3612(o)(3) and 3613(c)(1).

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

Respectfully submitted

United States Attorney


Assistant United States Attorney
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604
(312) 353-5327
Document Filed: May 7, 2004 > >
Updated August 6, 2015