Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
(WESTERN DIVISION)


CONSTANCE SCHROEDER
   and
JASON SCHROEDER
     Plaintiff,

v.

Case No: 4-00-CV-00527 (GTE)
Case No: 4-01-CV-00785 (GH)

EARCLE IBBOTSON
     Defendant.

______________________________


CONSENT ORDER

This consolidated action is currently pending before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas. This consolidated action consists of two separate Complaints. Constance Schroeder and Jason Schroeder v. Ercel Ibbotson and Claire Ibbotson, Case No. 4-00-CV-00527 (GTE), is brought by private Plaintiffs Constance and Jason Schroeder pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1981, et seq., and the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601, et seq. The second action, United States v. Ercel Ibbotson, Case No. 4-01-CV-00785 (GTE), is brought by the United States of America pursuant to Section 812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 3612(o).

The Schroeders, who are white, are former tenants of Ercel Ibbotson. Defendant Ibbotson owns a rental trailer located at 819 ½ Tabor Ave., Sherwood, Arkansas. Defendant Ibbotson rented the trailer to Constance Schroeder and Jason Schroeder. During the term of their tenancy, Jason Schroeder's caseworker, James Rogers, who is African American, visited the Schroeders' rental home. The Schroeders' private Complaint alleges, inter alia, that Ercel Ibbotson indicated that he did not want James Rogers or any other African American individuals on his property. The Complaint also alleges that Defendant Ibbotson informed the Schoeders that if they did not accept that condition, they would have to move; Defendant Ibbotson then served the Schroeders with a written notice of eviction. The Complaint alleges that these actions violated the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601, et seq., and the Civil Rights Act of 1866, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 1981, et seq.

The United States' Complaint alleges that on various occasions, Mr. Ibbotson told both Constance and Jason Schroeder: (1) he did not want African American individuals on his property; and (2) they would have to move if they continued to have African American visitors on his property. The United States claims that Defendant Ibbotson served the Schroeders with a written notice of eviction, informing them that he did not want Mr. Rogers on his property. The Complaint also alleges that Defendant repeatedly used the word "nigger" when referring to African Americans in general and to James Rogers in particular. The United States' Complaint alleges that Defendant Ibbotson's conduct violated 42 U.S.C. 3604(c) and 3617 by: (1) making statements with respect to the rental of a dwelling that indicate a preference based on race and color; and (2) threatening and intimidating the Schroeders because of their association with James Rogers.

The Defendants denied and continue to deny these allegations.

The parties in these consolidated actions agree that, in order to conserve time and expense, this controversy should be resolved without further litigation. Therefore, without a trial or adjudication on the merits, the parties have consented to the entry of this Order. This Order shall not serve as a basis of collateral estoppel.

  1. PROHIBITORY INJUNCTION

It is ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the Defendants, their employees, and successors, are hereby enjoined from:

  1. Making statements with respect to the rental or sale of a dwelling that indicate a preference, limitation, or discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin;
  2. Coercing, intimidating, threatening, or interfering with any person in their exercise or enjoyment of their right to equal housing opportunity because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

It is further ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that

  1. The Defendants agree that they will not retaliate against Constance Schroeder and/or Jason Schroeder; and
  2. The Defendants shall attend one hour of training concerning their responsibilities under federal, state, and local fair housing laws, regulations or ordinances. This training session may be conducted by counsel for Defendants. Following the session, the Defendants shall certify that they have completed such training. A copy of such certification shall be forwarded to counsel for the private Plaintiffs and counsel for the United States within thirty (30) days of the training session.
  1. RELIEF FOR CONSTANCE AND JASON SCHROEDER

It is further ORDERED that, within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Order:

  1. The Defendants shall pay the total amount of Fourteen Thousand Two Hundred Fifty and No/100 Dollars ($14,250.00) as damages to the Schroeders. This amount shall be delivered in the form of a certified check made payable to the order of Constance and Jason Schroeder. In consideration for such payment, the Schroeders shall execute a release in a form agreed upon by the parties which counsel for the Schroeders shall tender to the Defendants contemporaneously with receipt of the Defendants' payment.
  1. RELIEF FOR JAMES ROGERS

It is further ORDERED that, within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Order:

  1. Defendants shall pay the total amount of Three Thousand Seven Hundred Fifty and No/100 Dollars ($3,750) to James Rogers. This amount shall be delivered in the form of a certified check made payable to the order of James Rogers. In consideration for such payment, Mr. Rogers shall execute a release in a form agreed upon by the parties which counsel for the Schroeder shall tender to the Defendants contemporaneously with receipt of the Defendants' payment.
  1. DISMISSAL

It is further ordered that these actions be, and hereby are, DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. For a period of three (3) years, this Court shall retain jurisdiction of this action for purposes of enforcing this Order. The parties to this Order shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any difference regarding interpretation or compliance with this Order prior to bringing such matter to the Court for resolution. All parties agree to bear their own costs and fees.


For DefendantsClaire and Ercel Ibbotoson For the Schroeders
Case No. 4-00-CV-00527

L. ONEAL SUTTER
Harril & Sutter
Little Rock, Arkansas

JOHN WALKER
1273 Broadway
Little Rock, Arkansas

For the United States
Case No. 4-01-CV-00785

RALPH F. BOYD
Assistant Attorney General

H.E. "BUD" CUMMINS
United States Attorney

RICHARD M. PENCE, JR.
Assistant United States Attorney

JOAN A. MAGAGNA
JEANINE M. WORDEN
ELISE S. SHORE
Attorneys
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
Department of Justice
950 pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
(202) 514-4701

Document Filed: February 7, 2002. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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