Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
EASTERN DIVISION



JAIME TRUJILLO, a minor,
by and through his parents and next friends,
Claudio and Luz Trujillo, CLAUDIO
TRUJILLO, and LUZ TRUJILLO,

           Plaintiffs,


BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
THE TRIUMVERA TOWER
CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION and
SARAH STOLLBERG, as President of the
Governing Board of the Triumvera
Tower Condominium Association,
No. 04-1933
Judge Hibbler
Magistrate Judge Bobrick

           Defendants, and

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Plaintiff-Intervenor,

v.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
THE TRIUMVERA TOWER
CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION and
SARAH STOLLBERG, as President of the
Governing Board of the Triumvera
Tower Condominium Association,

           Defendants.

__________________________________________)



CONSENT ORDER

   

1. The United States of America, Claudio, Luz, and Jaime Trujillo ("the Trujillos"), and the Board of Directors of the Triumvera Tower Condominium Association and Sarah Stollberg (collectively referred to as "Defendants") file this Consent Order to resolve the Trujillos' Complaint and the United States' Complaint-in-Intervention, both of which allege violations of Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601-3619 ("the Fair Housing Act").

I.   BACKGROUND

A.   Defendants

2. The Board of Directors of the Triumvera Tower Condominium Association ("the Board") is the governing board of the Condominium Association ("the Association") and is responsible for the management of the building and for the promulgation and enforcement of rules and regulations relating to the building and its residents.

3. Sarah Stollberg is, and was at all times relevant to the Trujillos' and the United States' complaints, the president of the Board.

B.    Triumvera Tower

4. Triumvera Tower is a condominium building located at 3925 Triumvera Drive, Glenview, Illinois, 60025. The building has 106 units on sixteen floors and is served by two entrances: one front entrance and one service entrance that is on the side of the building.

C.    Defendants' Rule Barring Wheelchairs, Buggies, and Bicycles from Front Entrance

5. The Association has promulgated and enforced an Association Rule (hereinafter, "the Rule") prohibiting use of the front entrance by those using bicycles, buggies, or wheelchairs. The Rule, contained in Rule H8 of the Association's Rules and Regulations, states that "Bicycles, buggies and wheelchairs must go through the service entrance." Defendants have enforced this Rule against the Trujillos and required that Jaime Trujillo and anyone accompanying him use the service entrance rather than the front entrance. Defendants also enforced the Rule against Marilyn Greco and her late husband Leonard Greco, who are former residents of Triumvera Tower.

D.    Relevant Requirements of the Fair Housing Act

6. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against any person "in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling, or in the provision of services or facilities in connection with such dwelling, because of a handicap of" that person, any person residing in the dwelling, or any person associated with that person. 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(2)(A)-(C).

7. The units at Triumvera Tower are "dwelling[s]" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).

8. Jaime Trujillo has a physical impairment that substantially limits him in the major life activity of, inter alia, walking. As such, he is "handicapped" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(h). See 24 C.F.R. § 100.201. Jaime Trujillo and his family own and occupy Unit 3C at 3925 Triumvera Drive.

E.    Consent of the Parties to Entry of this Order

9. The parties agree that this Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345 and 42 U.S.C. § 3614(a). The parties also agree that the controversy should be resolved without further proceedings and without a trial.

10. The Defendants admit that their actions in adopting, maintaining and enforcing the Rule violated the Fair Housing Act. This admission is not to be construed to impute gross negligence or fraud to the Association, Sarah Stollberg or any other member of the Board of Directors.

11. As indicated by the signatures appearing below, the parties agree to entry of this Consent Order.

It is hereby ADJUDGED, ORDERED, and DECREED that:

II.   GENERAL INJUNCTION

12. Defendants and each of their officers, employees, agents, successors and assigns, and all other persons acting in active concert or participation with them are enjoined from discriminating on the basis of disability, as prohibited by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(1)-(3), and from coercing, intimidating, threatening, or interfering with any person in their exercise or enjoyment of, or their aiding, encouraging, or assisting others in the exercise or enjoyment of, any of the rights protected by section 804 of the Fair Housing Act, as prohibited by 42 U.S.C. § 3617. (1)

III.   ELIMINATION OF RULE BARRING WHEELCHAIRS AND BUGGIES

13. Pursuant to this Order, Defendants have changed their Rules and Regulations (and any other relevant written materials) which prohibited those using wheelchairs, bicycles or buggies from using the front entrance of the Triumvera Tower building. Specifically, Defendants have deleted Rule H8 from the Association's Rules and Regulations and have adopted the Rules attached as Appendix A. Within ten (10) days after the date of entry of this Order, Defendants shall provide to the United States and counsel for the Trujillos a copy of all written rules, regulations, and other materials relating to the management or use of the condominium building, reflecting the removal of the former Rule.

14. Within ten (10) days of the date of entry of this consent decree, Defendants shall send the Notice attached as Appendix B to all Triumvera residents informing them that the Rule has been rescinded, and shall provide proof to the United States and to counsel for the Trujillos, within three (3) days of sending such Notice, that the Notice was sent. Such Notice shall state that the Rule was rescinded in order to comply with the federal Fair Housing Act.

15. Defendants shall not prohibit, discourage or intimidate, in person, in writing or otherwise, any owner, resident, prospective resident, or guest who uses a wheelchair, or any person accompanying such person, from using the entrance of his or her choice.

IV.   NOTICE OF DEFENDANTS' NON-DISCRIMINATION POLICY

16. Within ten (10) days of the date of entry of this Consent Order, Defendants shall post and prominently display in a conspicuous location on the ground floor of Triumvera Tower a sign no smaller than 10 by 14 inches indicating that the Condominium Association fully complies with the nondiscrimination provisions of the Fair Housing Act. A poster that comports with 24 C.F.R. Part 110 will satisfy this requirement.

17. For the duration of this Consent Order, in all future advertising in newspapers, and on pamphlets, brochures and other promotional literature regarding Triumvera Tower, Defendant shall place, in a conspicuous location, the statement "Equal Housing Opportunity" or the Fair Housing logo. This provision is not intended to apply to advertisements for sale or rental of units placed by unit owners in their capacity as individual owners.

V.   PAYMENTS AND WRITTEN APOLOGY TO THE TRUJILLOS

18. Within thirty (30) days of the date of entry of this Order, Defendants shall pay to the Trujillos the sum of SEVENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS ($70,000) in compensatory monetary damages and attorneys' fees and costs. A check payable in that amount shall be sent to counsel for Claudio and Luz Trujillo at Access Living, 614 West Roosevelt Road, Chicago, Illinois, 60607, Attn: Max Lapertosa, and shall be payable to Access Living. (2) This amount shall be designated and distributed as follows: $20,000 to be placed in trust for Jaime Trujillo, $20,000 for Claudio Trujillo, $20,000 for Luz Trujillo, and $10,000 for attorneys' fees and costs.

19. Within ten (10) days of the date of entry of this Order, Defendants shall issue a formal letter of apology to the Trujillos, signed by Ms. Stollberg and by each of the other board members of the Association, substantially similar in form to the letter attached in Appendix C. The Association shall mail a copy of the signed letter to counsel for the Trujillos and counsel for the United States within three (3) days of transmitting it to the Trujillos. (3)

VI.   PAYMENT TO MARILYN GRECO

20. Within thirty (30) days of the date of entry of this Order, Defendants shall pay to Marilyn Greco the sum of TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS ($10,000) in compensatory monetary damages. A check payable in that amount shall be made payable to Ms. Greco and sent to Joan Laser, Assistant United States Attorney, 219 South Dearborn Street, Suite 5000, Chicago, Illinois, 60604, provided that no amount shall be paid pursuant to this paragraph before Ms. Greco has executed a written release of all claims, legal or equitable, that she might have against Defendants relating to the claims asserted in this lawsuit. Such written release shall be substantially similar in form to the release form in Appendix F.

VII.    AGREEMENT BETWEEN PRIVATE PLAINTIFFS AND SARAH STOLLBERG

21. Sarah Stollberg has agreed to retire permanently as president of the Board of Directors and not to seek any further position with the Board. Accordingly, within fifteen (15) days of the date of entry of this Order, Ms. Stollberg shall resign from her position as president of the Board of Directors. Ms. Stollberg shall not thereafter accept employment with or participate, directly or indirectly, in the management or operation of the Board or in the management or operation of any aspect of the Condominium Association or the Triumvera Tower building. Within ten (10) days of Ms. Stollberg's resignation, the Board of Directors shall send a letter to counsel for the Trujillos confirming Ms. Stollberg's resignation and her agreement to comply with the provisions of this paragraph.

VIII.    CIVIL PENALTY

22. Defendants shall pay the total sum of THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS ($3,500) to the United States as a civil penalty pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C). Said sum shall be paid within thirty (30) days of the date of entry of this Order by submitting a check, made payable to the United States of America, to counsel for the United States. (4)

IX.    EDUCATIONAL PROGRAM

23. Within thirty (30) days of the entry of this Order, Defendants shall provide a copy of this Order to each Board Member and to all of Defendants' agents and employees and shall secure a signed statement from each agent or employee acknowledging that he or she has received and read the Order and had an opportunity to have questions about the Order answered. This statement shall be substantially in the form of Appendix D.

24. During the term of this Order, within thirty (30) days after the date he or she commences an agency or employment relationship with Defendants, each new Board Member, agent or employee shall be given a copy of this Order and be required to sign a statement acknowledging that he or she has received and read the Order and had an opportunity to have questions about the Order answered. This statement shall be substantially in the form of Appendix D.

25. Within sixty (60) days after the date of entry of this Consent Order, the Defendants, each Board Member, and their employees and agents shall complete an educational program on the Fair Housing Act, with specific emphasis on discrimination on the basis of disability. The training shall be conducted by a qualified party, approved by the United States and independent from and unaffiliated with the Defendants, and any expenses associated with this training shall be borne by Defendants. The Defendants shall obtain from the trainer certifications of attendance executed by all Defendants, Board Members, and employees and agents confirming their attendance. Each person who attends the training shall be given a copy of the Fair Housing Act and be required to sign a statement acknowledging that he or she has received and read the Fair Housing Act and had an opportunity to have questions about the Act answered. This statement shall be substantially in the form of Appendix E. The United States shall supply Defendants or counsel therefor with the names and contact information of parties in the greater Chicago Metropolitan Area who are qualified to conduct an approved educational program.

X.    MONITORING AND DOCUMENT RETENTION REQUIREMENTS

26. Within ninety (90) days of the date of entry of this Consent Order, Defendants shall deliver to counsel for the United States and counsel for the Trujillos the following documents:

  1. The name(s), address(es) and telephone number(s) of the trainer(s) who conducted the training described in Section IX of this Order, and copies of the training outlines and any materials distributed by the trainers;
  2. Copies of all signed statements from current employees, agents, and Board members required under Section IX of this Order;
  3. Copies of all written verifications of training required under Section IX of this Order; and
  4. A photograph showing the fair housing signs required by Section IV of this Order.

27. Within six (6) months of the date of entry of this Consent Order, and every twelve (12) months thereafter for the duration of this Consent Order, the Defendants shall deliver to counsel for the United States and counsel for the Trujillos a report regarding the signed statements of new agents or employees of Defendants who have completed the educational program during the previous year as required by Section IX of this Order.

28. During the period in which this Consent Order is in effect, the Defendants shall notify counsel for the United States in writing within fifteen (15) days of receipt of any written or oral complaint against the Defendants, Triumvera Tower, or the Defendants' agents or employees, regarding discrimination in housing on the basis of disability or alleging interference, retaliation, intimidation, or coercion on the basis of a person having exercised rights protected by the Fair Housing Act or having aided, assisted or encouraged others in exercising such rights. If the complaint is written, the Defendants shall provide a copy of it with the notification; if the complaint is oral, the Defendants shall include a written summary of it with the notification. The notification shall include the full details of the complaint, including the complainant's name, address, and telephone number. Defendants shall also promptly provide the United States with all information it may request concerning any such complaint, and shall notify the United States within fifteen (15) days of the resolution of any such complaint.

29. For the period of one (1) year following the date of entry of this Order, Defendants shall forward to counsel for the United States and to counsel for the Trujillos a copy of any written communication by the Association or its legal representative(s) with the Trujillos, with the exception of communications that are issued to the entire resident population of Triumvera Tower, within three (3) days of such communication.

30. For the term of this Consent Order, Defendants are required to preserve all records related to this Consent Order and to Triumvera Tower. Upon reasonable notice to Defendants, representatives of the United States shall be permitted to inspect and copy any records of Defendants or inspect the common areas of Triumvera Tower regarding issues bearing on compliance with this Consent Order at any and all reasonable times, provided, however, that the United States shall endeavor to minimize any inconvenience to Defendants from such inspections.

XI.    DURATION OF CONSENT ORDER AND TERMINATION OF LEGAL ACTION

31. This Consent Order shall remain in effect for four (4) years after the date of its entry. By consenting to entry of this Order, the parties agree that in the event that Defendants engage in any future violation(s) of the Fair Housing Act, such violation(s) shall constitute a subsequent violation pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C)(ii).

32. The Court shall retain jurisdiction for the duration of this Consent Decree to enforce the terms of the Decree, after which time the case shall be dismissed with prejudice. Plaintiffs may move the Court to extend the duration of the Decree in the interests of justice, which Defendants retain the right to oppose.

33. The parties to this Consent Order shall endeavor in good faith to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of and compliance with this Order prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution. The United States and the Trujillos agree that if either one reasonably believes that Defendants have violated any provision of this Order, they will provide the Board of Directors and counsel for the Association with written notice thereof and give the Association, through its Board of Directors, ten (10) days from its receipt of the notice to resolve the alleged violation before presenting the matter to this Court. In the event Defendants fail to resolve the alleged violations within the time set forth herein, the United States or the Trujillos may move this Court to impose any remedy authorized by law or equity, including, but not limited to, an order requiring performance of such act or deeming such act to have been performed, and an award of any damages and costs. Attorneys' fees shall be recoverable by the prevailing party to the same extent allowed under 42 U.S.C. § 3613(c).

XII.    BINDING EFFECT OF CONSENT DECREE

34. The provisions of this Consent Decree shall bind all future members or officers of the Board of Directors, whether paid or unpaid, for the life of the Decree.

XIII.    TIME FOR PERFORMANCE

35. Any time limits for performance imposed by the Consent Order may be extended by the mutual written agreement of the parties.

XIV.    COSTS OF LITIGATION

36. Except as provided in Paragraphs 18 and 33, supra, each party to this litigation will bear its own costs and attorneys' fees associated with this litigation.

XV.    RELEASE OF CLAIMS BY PRIVATE PLAINTIFFS

37. In consideration of the individual relief obtained herein, Plaintiffs Jaime, Claudio and Luz Trujillo and their heirs, executors, successors, administrators and assigns, hereby release Defendants, Sarah Stollberg and the Board of Directors, the Association, its officers, employees, agents and successors, from any and all liability arising out of the factual allegations and claims contained in their Complaint in this action; provided, however, that such release shall not encompass any claim or action to enforce this Decree.

SO ORDERED this ______ day of _______________, 2004:



______________________________
JUDGE WILLIAM J. HIBBLER
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE


Agreed to by the parties as indicated by the signatures appearing below:



FOR PLAINTIFF UNITED STATES:

PATRICK J. FITZGERALD
United States Attorney

R. ALEXANDER ACOSTA
Assistant Attorney General
__________________________
JOAN LASER
Assistant U.S. Attorney
219 S. Dearborn St., Suite 5000
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Tel: (312) 353-5300
__________________________
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM
Chief
TIMOTHY J. MORAN
Deputy Chief
RACHEL B. LEVINSON
Trial Attorney
Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil
Enforcement Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. - G St.
Northwestern Building
7th Floor
Washington, DC 20530
Tel: (202) 305-7126
Fax: (202) 514-1116


FOR PLAINTIFFS JAIME, CLAUDIO AND LUZ TRUJILLO:

_______________________
MAX LAPERTOSA
KENNETH M. WALDEN
ACCESS LIVING
614 W. Roosevelt Road
Chicago, Illinois 60607
Tel: (312) 253-7000

_______________________
CLAUDIO TRUJILLO

_______________________
LUZ TRUJILLO

_______________________
JAIME TRUJILLO

By: __________________________

FOR DEFENDANTS:

______________________
STEVEN BORKAN
JOHN SCHARKEY
STELLATO & SCHWARTZ, LTD.
120 North LaSalle
Suite 3400
Chicago, Illinois 60602

Date: _______________________

________________________
SARAH STOLLBERG
PRESIDENT
TRIUMVERA TOWERS CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION

Date: ______________________


APPENDIX A

REVISED RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE TRIUMVERA TOWER CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION


APPENDIX B

NOTICE TO TENANTS OF REVISED RULES AND REGULATIONS OF TRIUMVERA TOWER CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION

The Board of Directors of the Condominium Association of Triumvera Tower previously had a rule prohibiting bicycles, buggies, and wheelchairs from coming through the front entrance of the Triumvera Tower building. By action of the Board, the rule has been rescinded. The purpose of this action was to comply with the federal Fair Housing Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability.

Section I of the Rules and Regulations of the Triumvera Tower Condominium Association shall continue to regulate the use and storage of bicycles in or around the Condominium Association Building.


APPENDIX C



LETTER OF APOLOGY FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

TO THE TRUJILLO FAMILY



Dear Claudio, Luz, and Jaime Trujillo,

Please accept the apology of the Board of Directors and each of its officers for any inconvenience or distress caused by the Board's former Rule requiring those in wheelchairs to use the service entrance of the building. Our actions in promulgating and enforcing that Rule were wrong. We want to assure you that the prohibition on persons in wheelchairs using the front door has been eliminated and that no member, employee, or agent of the Board of Directors of the Triumvera Tower Condominium Association will enforce or attempt to enforce it against Jaime or any person accompanying him. We are committed to complying with the federal Fair Housing Act's prohibitions on discrimination on the basis of disability.


Sincerely,

__________________________
Sarah Stollberg, President

__________________________
Hy Noosbond, Vice President

__________________________
Phyllis Sperling, Treasurer

__________________________
Lillian Loeb, Secretary

__________________________
Minnette Bass, Board Member

__________________________
James Lacivita, Board Member

____________________________
Stanley Kolodziej, Board Member



Signed this _____ day of _________, 2004.


APPENDIX D

CERTIFICATION OF RECEIPT OF CONSENT ORDER

I have received and read the Consent Order. I understand my legal responsibilities and will comply with those responsibilities. I further understand that the Court may impose sanctions on me if I violate a provision of this Order. I have had all of my questions concerning this Order answered to my satisfaction.

____________________________
(Signature)

____________________________
(Print name)

____________
(Date)


APPENDIX E



CERTIFICATION OF FAIR HOUSING TRAINING

I have received and read the federal Fair Housing Act. On ____________________, I attended training on the federal Fair Housing Act. I understand my legal responsibilities and will comply with those responsibilities. I have had all of my questions concerning the Fair Housing Act answered to my satisfaction.

____________________________
(Signature)

____________________________
(Print name)

____________
(Date)


APPENDIX F

RELEASE OF CLAIMS

In consideration of the payment of the sum of _____________ dollars ($_______), pursuant to the Consent Decree entered in United States v. Board of Directors of the Triumvera Tower Condominium Association and Sarah Stollberg, Civ. No. 04-1933 (N.D. Ill.), I hereby release the defendants named in this action from any and all liability for any claims, legal or equitable, I may have against them arising out of the issues alleged in the above-styled action.

I fully acknowledge and agree that this release of the defendants shall be binding on my heirs, representatives, executors, successors, administrators, and assigns.

I hereby acknowledge that I have read and understand this release and have executed it voluntarily and with full knowledge of its legal consequences.

____________________________
(Signature)

____________________________
(Print name)

____________
(Date)


1. Nothing herein, or in any other provision of this Consent Decree referring to an "agent" of Defendants, shall be construed to include within the definition of "agent" Defendants' attorneys or accountants.

2. Defendants shall fax photocopies of the transmittal letter and the check to counsel for the United States at 202-514-1116.

3. For purposes of this Order, counsel for the United States is Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Building - G St., Washington, D.C. 20530, Attn: DJ# 175-23-753, or as otherwise directed by the United States.

4. As noted in footnote 3, supra, for purposes of this Order, counsel for the United States is Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section, Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Building - G St., Washington, D.C. 20530, Attn: DJ# 175-23-753, or as otherwise directed by the United States.


Document Filed: September 8, 2004 > >
Updated August 6, 2015

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