Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

FIRST SITE COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES,
INC.; THE WOODS, LLC;
JEFFREY TINERVAN; BLDD ARCHITECTS,
INC.; MILLIKIN UNIVERSITY,
     Defendants.

___________________________________

COMPLAINT

The United States of America alleges:

  1. 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.
  2. This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. § 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a).
  3. Venue is proper in this District. Each defendant is a resident of, or has its principal place of business within, the Central District of Illinois.
  4. Defendant First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., is an Illinois corporation engaged in property management whose principal place of business is in the Central District of Illinois.
  5. Defendant The Woods, L.L.C., is a limited liability company chartered in Illinois, and is the lessee of the land on which The Woods Apartments are built. The Woods, L.L.C., has its principal place of business in the Central District of Illinois.
  6. Defendant Jeffrey Tinervan is the sole owner of First Site Commercial Properties, Inc., and a principal of The Woods, LLC. Mr. Tinervan is a resident in the Central District of Illinois.
  7. Defendant BLDD Architects, Inc., is an Illinois corporation engaged in providing architectural services, and has its principal place of business in Decatur, Illinois, in the Central District of Illinois.
  8. Defendant Millikin University is a not-for-profit Illinois corporation engaged in providing educational services, and has its principal place of business in Decatur, Illinois, in the Central District of Illinois.
  9. The Woods is a multi-building residential development located in Decatur, Illinois, consisting of 132 units of rental residential units. The units are "dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
  10. All of the units contained at The Woods were designed and constructed for first occupancy after March 13, 1991. The 44 ground floor units at The Woods are "covered multifamily dwellings" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(7)(B) and are subject to the design and construction requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
  11. Defendants have failed to design and construct the covered dwelling units and common use areas at The Woods in such a manner that:
    1. The public use and common use portions of such dwellings are readily accessible to and usable by handicapped persons;
    2. All the doors designed to allow passage into and within all premises within such dwellings are sufficiently wide to allow passage by handicapped persons in wheelchairs; and
    3. All premises within such dwelling contain the following features of adaptive design:
      1. >An accessible route into and through the dwelling;
      2. Light switches, electrical outlets, thermostats, and other environmental controls in accessible locations;
      3. Reinforcements in bathroom walls to allow later installation of grab bars; and
      4. Usable kitchens and bathrooms such that an individual in a wheelchair can maneuver about the space.
  12. Defendants, through the actions described in paragraph 11, above, have:
    1. Discriminated in the rental of, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, dwellings to persons because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1);
    2. Discriminated in the terms, conditions, or privileges of rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such a dwelling, because of handicap, in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(2); and
    3. Failed to design and construct dwellings in compliance with the requirements mandated by 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C).
  13. The conduct of defendants described above constitutes:
    1. 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
    2. 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.
  14. Persons who 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.
  15. Defendants' conduct described above was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard for the rights of others.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF

WHEREFORE, plaintiff, the United States of America, prays that the Court enter an order that:

  1. Declares that defendants' policies and practices, as alleged herein, violate the Fair Housing Act;
  2. Enjoins defendants, their officers, employees, agents, successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with any of them, from:
    1. Failing or refusing, to the maximum extent possible, to bring the dwelling units and public use and common use areas at The Woods into compliance with the requirements of 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
    2. Failing or refusing to take such affirmative steps as may be necessary to restore, as nearly as practicable, the victims of the defendants' unlawful practices to the position they would have been in but for the discriminatory conduct; and
    3. Failing or refusing to design and construct any covered multifamily dwellings in the future in compliance with the requirements set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(3)(C);
  3. Awards such damages as would fully compensate each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory housing practices for their injuries and damages resulting from defendants' discriminatory conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B);
  4. Awards each person aggrieved by defendants' discriminatory conduct punitive damages because of the intentional and wilful nature of defendants' conduct, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B); and
  5. Assesses civil penalties against each defendant pursuant to 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.


JOHN ASHCROFT
Attorney General

FRANCES HULIN
United States Attorney
Central District of Illinois

RALPH F. BOYD, JR.
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief,
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section

DAVID HOFF
Assistant United States Attorney
U.S. Attorney's Office
Central District of Illinois
201 S. Vine Street, Ste 226
Urbana, IL 61801
Tel. (217) 373-5875
fax (217) 373-5891

TIMOTHY J. MORAN
Deputy Chief
MING-YUEN MEYER-FONG
Trial Attorney
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
Tel: (202) 305-1311
Fax: (202) 514-1116

Document Filed: May 14, 2002. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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