FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Civil Action No. 00-C-1208
William H. Roddis,
- The United States filed this action against the above named Defendant on behalf of Monte D. McDowell, pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended 42 U.S.C. §3612(o). Defendant William H. Roddis is the sole owner of a sixty unit apartment building known as Imperial Apartments and located at 6766 & 6780 N. Appleton Avenue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In its Complaint, the United States alleges that Defendant discriminated against Mr. McDowell by refusing to rent, or otherwise make available to him, a unit at Imperial Apartments on account of his race and sex, in violation of Section 804 of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604.
- Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3612(o)(2), Monte D. McDowell ("Plaintiff-Intervenor") moved to intervene as of right in this action. The Court granted said motion.
- The parties desire to avoid costly and protracted litigation and agree that this action should be resolved by settlement, without a trial or other evidentiary hearing. Accordingly, the parties agree to the entry of this Consent Order, as indicated by the signatures appearing below.
- This order shall be binding on Defendant, his agents, and any persons with whom he contracts to provide rental management services for Imperial Apartments.
- Defendant, his employees, agents, assigns, anyone acting under his direction, and all those acting in concert or participation with him, are hereby enjoined from:
- Refusing to rent or refusing to negotiate for the rental of, or otherwise making unavailable dwellings to persons because of the race or sex of such persons;
- Imposing different terms and conditions in the rental of dwellings on the basis of race or sex;
- Making statements with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicate a preference or limitation on the basis of race or sex;
- Taking any other action in violation of the Fair Housing Act, as amended 42 U.S.C. §3601-3619.
- Within two weeks of the date of entry of this Order, Defendant shall pay twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) to Monte D. McDowell, in full and final settlement of any and all claims made or that could be made by him against Defendant in connection with the transactions or occurrences referenced in the Complaint, including any and all claims for damages and for attorneys' fees and costs. Said payment shall be by cashier's check made payable to The Trust Account of the law firm of First, Blondis, Albrecht, Bangert & Novotnak. In consideration of Defendant's payment of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00) to Monte D. McDowell, Mr. McDowell shall execute and deliver to Defendant a release in the form of Exhibit 1 attached hereto. (1)
- Defendant, his employees, agents, assigns, anyone acting under his direction and all those acting in concert or participation with him shall take the following affirmative measures in order to ensure compliance with all state and federal fair housing laws and to ensure that, in the future, all residential rental properties owned or operated by him will be made available for rental on an equal basis and under the same terms and conditions to all persons:
- Within thirty (30) days of the date of entry of this Order, Defendant and any other agent or employee of the Defendant with responsibility for the rental or showing of dwelling units at Imperial Apartments, shall have attended a program of educational training concerning their responsibilities under federal, state, and local fair housing laws, regulations, or ordinances, conducted by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council. Any expenses associated with this program shall be borne by the Defendant. All persons attending this program shall have their attendance certified in writing by the person conducting the educational program.
- Within thirty (10) days from the date of entry of this Order, Defendant must employ or otherwise contract with a rental management agency to manage the rental of any dwelling units at Imperial Apartments during the term of this Order. Within ten (10) days of entering into such a relationship, Defendant shall:
- instruct such agency in writing that all rentals at Imperial Apartments shall be in accordance with the Fair Housing Act, as amended, and that all dwelling units must be rented to any qualified prospective renter without regard to his or her race and sex;
- furnish to such agency a copy of this Order; and
- require all employees of such agency who will manage or assist in the rental of dwelling units in Defendant's property to sign the statement contained in Exhibit 2 so as to indicate that he or she has read this Order and that he or she understands his or her legal responsibilities under it and the Fair Housing Act, as amended.
- Defendant shall require the rental management agency to adopt and implement objective, uniform, and non-discriminatory procedures and criteria for the receipt and handling of rental inquiries, the processing of applications, the establishment of waiting lists (if any), and the approval of applicants for the rental of available dwellings and/or positions on waiting lists (if any). These procedures and criteria shall be posted and prominently displayed in any office or location where persons inquire about or apply for units at Imperial Apartments. A copy of these procedures and criteria shall be made available upon request to any person inquiring about or applying for such rental unit. Defendant shall also submit a copy of these procedures and criteria to the United States upon entry of this Order. If the United States has any objections to the procedures and criteria, it shall notify Defendant, in writing, within twenty (20) days after receiving the procedures and criteria from Defendant. If the United States does not so object, the procedures and criteria shall be effected. If the United States does timely object, the procedures and criteria shall not be effected until the objection is resolved. The parties shall confer in an effort to resolve any differences.
- Defendant or his agents shall inform all persons who appear in person at Imperial Apartments about the procedures and criteria as follows:
- provide a copy of the procedures and criteria to all persons who complete a lease application or request a copy of the procedures and criteria in person at the rental office;
- advise orally all other persons who appear in person where the procedures and criteria are posted and that a copy may be obtained at the rental office.
- All advertising related to the rental of any dwelling at Imperial Apartments or any other dwelling owned or operated by Defendant which is placed in any newspaper or telephone directory, or on radio, television or in other media, or on any sign, pamphlet, brochure, handout, business card, stationery, form or other writing that is routinely used to communicate with prospective tenants, shall include the words "Equal Housing Opportunity". The words shall be prominently placed and legible. In addition, all newspaper and radio advertising by Defendant shall conform to the provisions of the HUD advertising guidelines, which formerly appeared at 24 C.F.R. Part 109 (1989) (2) (a copy of which is attached as Exhibit 3).
- Defendant shall post in a prominent location in all rental offices utilized by his agents for the purpose of renting dwelling units at Imperial Apartments, a sign, no smaller than 11 inches by 14 inches, that indicates that all units are available on a nondiscriminatory basis (a poster which comports with the HUD regulations set forth at 24 C.F.R. Part 110 will satisfy this requirement).
- All standard rental applications used for Imperial Apartments shall contain the following language: "We are an equal opportunity housing provider. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, religion, handicap, or familial status (having children under 18 years of age)."
- The costs of all measures required by this Section shall be borne by Defendant separate and apart from any funds he is obligated to expend herein.
- Beginning ten (10) days after the date of this Order, Defendant shall establish and maintain the following records:
- An Inquiry Log, which shall conform to Exhibit 4 attached hereto and which shall specify the following information with regard to each person who inquires about renting from a unit at Imperial Apartments: full name; current address and telephone number; and any action taken on the inquiry (including whether the inquirer rented a dwelling). Defendant shall maintain the Inquiry Log at a location that is accessible to all individuals who inquire in person about renting a dwelling at Imperials Apartments. Defendant shall request that each such individual provide the information requested and complete any appropriate form;
- Representative samples of all advertising and any other printed materials used by Defendants to promote the rental of dwellings at Imperial Apartments, including but not limited to newspaper advertisements, fliers and business cards;
- A list of all persons whom Defendant has contracted with or employed to assist in the rental of units at Imperial Apartments;
- All application forms completed by prospective or actual tenants and all other documents relating to the application process, including credit check records, correspondence and receipts;
- All Waiting Lists(if any are kept); and
- All Apartment Availability Lists.
- For so long as this Order remains in effect, counsel for the United States shall have the right to inspect and copy any of the records described in the preceding section of this Order during normal business hours and upon reasonable written notice to Defendant. Counsel for the United States shall attempt to minimize any inconvenience and expense to the Defendant during any inspection and copying of such records.
- Defendant shall serve the following reports on counsel for the United States: (3)
- Within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order, Defendant shall provide a report indicating:
- All actions taken to comply with each provision of this Order;
- A list, by unit, indicating the race of the current occupants of each apartment unit at Imperial Apartments.
- Once every year and for so long as this Order remains in effect, Defendant shall provide to the United States a listing of all units at Imperial Apartments rented during the reporting period, including the name, address, telephone number, and race (4) of the renter. The reports under this provision shall be due no later than ten (10) days after the close of each annual period. The first such report shall be due no one year and ten (10) days after the date this Order is entered.
- Once each year and for so long as this Order remains in effect, Defendant shall provide to the United States copies of any and all Inquiry Logs for Imperial Apartments that are compiled during the reporting period. The Inquiry Logs shall be due no later than ten (10) days after the close of each annual period. The first such Inquiry Log shall be due no later than one year and ten (10) days after the date this Order is entered.
- Within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order, Defendant shall provide a report indicating:
- This action is dismissed with prejudice, except that the United States may petition the court at any time to enforce the Consent Order. This Consent Order shall remain in effect for a period of five (5) years following the date this Order is entered, and the Court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce the Order. The parties to this Consent Order shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of and compliance with the Order prior to bringing such matters before the Court for resolution.
In the event of a violation by Defendant of this Consent Decree, including a failure by Defendant to perform in a timely manner any act required by this Decree, the United States may move this Court to impose any remedy authorized by law or equity, including, but not limited to, an order requiring performance of an act or payment of a penalty, an award of damages, and an award of any costs and reasonable attorneys' fees that have been occasioned by the violation or failure to perform.
The signatures of the parties to this Consent Order constitute waivers by each party of any right to challenge the validity of this Consent Order at any time.
The Court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce the terms of this Order.
It is so ORDERED, ADJUDGED, and DECREED this _[4th]_ day of _[April]_, 2001.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Agreed to by the parties as indicated by the signatures below.
|For the Defendants:||For the Plaintiffs:|
WILLIAMS R. YEOMANS
Acting Assistant Attorney General
Foley & Lardner
777 East Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee Wisconsin 53202
JOAN A. MAGAGNA
TIMOTHY J. MORAN
DONALD WALKER TUNNAGE
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
THOMAS P. SCHNIEDER
United States Attorney
Assistant United States Attorney
For the Plaintiff-Intervenor:
First, Blondis, Albrecht, Nagert & Novotnak
158 North Broadway, Suite 600
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
In consideration of the agreement by William H. Roddis to enter into the Consent Order in United States v. William H. Roddis, United States District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin, 00-C-1208, and to pay to me the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000.00), the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, I, Monte D. McDowell, hereby release, acquit and discharge the Defendant, his partners, agents and employees, from any and all liability for any claims and damages, including any attorneys' fees and costs, that I may have against him, whether known or unknown, as a result of or based upon any violation, whether alleged or actual, of any state or federal law, including the Fair Housing Act, or any common law theory, occurring prior to the date of entry of said Consent Order.
I fully acknowledge and agree that this Release shall be binding on my heirs, representatives, executors, successors, administrators and assigns. I represent that I have not assigned or otherwise transferred to any person, firm, or other entity not a signatory to this Release any right, claim or cause of action against Defendant.
I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understand this Release and that its consequences have been explained to me by my own attorney and counsel for the United States. I have executed the same voluntarily and with full knowledge of its legal consequences.
Monte D. McDowell
County of _________________
State of North Carolina
Subscribed and sworn before me this _____ day of ___________, 2001.
My commission expires: __________________________________.
OF CONSENT ORDER AND FAIR HOUSING ACT
I, ______________________________, hereby acknowledge that I have received copies of and read the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-19, and the Consent Order entered by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in United States v. William H. Roddis, 00-C-1208.
I understand my obligation under these documents not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, religion, sex or familial status in making dwellings available for sale or for rental.
I agree to comply with the Fair Housing Act and the Court's Order. I fully understand my legal obligations under the Fair Housing Act and the Order, and I am aware that my failure or refusal to adhere to them could result in possible sanctions against me.
Sworn to and subscribed before me
this ___ day of _______, _____.
My commission expires ___________________.
1. Defendant shall forward the check to counsel for Plaintiff-Intervenor:
First, Blondis, Albrecht, Bangert & Novotnak
158 North Broadway, Suite 600
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
Upon receipt of the $25,000.00 payment, counsel for Plaintiff-Intervenor shall forward to Defendant the release form signed by Mr. McDowell.
2. These guidelines no longer appear in C.F.R. because they were removed therefrom in 1996 in an effort to streamline the regulations. They were nevertheless retained by HUD.
3. Any reports required by this Order shall be addressed to Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice, P.O. Box 65998, Washington, D.C. 20035-5998.
4. When the renter has not self-identified his or her race, this information should be reported based on a good faith observation.
Document Filed: April 24, 2001. > >