Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

v.

Civ. No. 010-1149 "G" (5)

JANET CHAMPAGNE and FLOYD
CHAMPAGNE,
     Defendant.

___________________________________


CONSENT ORDER

This action is brought by the United States of America on behalf of Eleanor Crocker pursuant to §812(o) of the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §3612(o). The defendants, Janet Champagne and Floyd Champagne, owned and still reside in one of two units in a duplex residence located at 641 Mehle Avenue, Arabi, Louisiana. The defendants rented the unit adjacent to their own to Eleanor Crocker in October, 1998, and Ms. Crocker, who is white, moved into the unit with the help of some African American friends from her church.

The United States alleged in its Complaint that after Ms. Crocker moved into the unit, the defendants made statements to her indicating a preference or discrimination because of race, interfered with her enjoyment of her dwelling, and intimidated her and coerced her into moving because they did not want African Americans in Ms. Crocker's unit, which conduct violates the Federal Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§3604(c and 3617. The defendants have jointly denied all of the allegations.

The parties agree that, in order to conserve time and expense, the controversy should be resolved without further litigation. Therefore, without a trial or adjudication on the merits, the parties have consented to entry of this Order.

  1. PROHIBITORY INJUNCTION

It is ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED that the defendants, their employees, agents, successors, and all those acting in concert or participation with them, are hereby enjoined from:

  1. Discriminating on account of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin against any person in any aspect of the rental or sale of a dwelling;

  2. 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;

  3. 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;

  4. Defendants hereby represent to the United States and to the Court that neither of them currently holds any ownership or managerial interest in any dwelling. If defendants, or either of them, obtain any ownership or managerial interest in any dwelling at any time within the next five (5 years, defendants shall report such interest to the United States at the address shown below within ten (10 business days of obtaining such an interest and, within 30 days of obtaining such an interest, shall attend at least 8 hours of training on the nondiscrimination provisions of the Fair Housing Act and any comparable state or local laws that prohibit discrimination in housing. Such training shall be provided by a local fair housing group, which shall provide the United States with certification of defendants' attendance at such training within ten (10 days after such training is provided.
  1. RELIEF FOR ELEANOR CROCKER

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

  1. The defendants shall pay the total amount of Eight Thousand and No/100 Dollars ($8000.00 as damages to Eleanor Crocker. This amount shall be delivered in the form of a certified check made payable to the order of Eleanor Crocker to counsel for the United States who shall, in turn, transfer it to Ms. Crocker. In consideration for such payment, Eleanor Crocker shall execute a release substantially in the form of Attachment A hereto and which counsel for the United States shall tender to the defendants upon receipt of the defendants' payment.

  2. Defendants shall mail to counsel for the United States issue a written apology to Eleanor Crocker in a letter substantially in the form of Attachment B.
  1. DISMISSAL

It is further ORDERED that this action be, and hereby is, DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. 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 differences regarding interpretation or compliance with this Order prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution. All parties agree to bear their own costs and fees.


For the Defendants: For the United States:

Walter R. Woodruff
Attorney for Defendants
Edward S. Bopp LC
6725 St.
Suite 102
P.O. Box 37
Arbi, Lousiana 70032-0037
(504) 271-6242

Jeanine M. Worden
Deputy Chief
Michael L. Barrett
Attorney
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, DC 20035-5998
(202) 514-2447


It is so ORDERED.

This _____ day of _____________, 2001, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

__________________________

United States District Judge


ATTACHMENT A
RELEASE

In consideration of the parties' agreement to the terms of the Order entered in United States of America v. Janet Champagne and Floyd Champagne, Civil Action No. 01-1149 "G"(5(E.D. La. and the Defendants' payment to me of $8,000, I hereby release and forever discharge all claims related to the facts at issue in the litigation referenced above, or in any way related to that litigation, and any other claims arising from alleged housing discrimination up to and including the date of execution of this release, that I may have against the Defendants, Janet Champagne and Floyd Champagne.


__________________________ Eleanor Crocker __________________________
Signature Printed Name Date Signed

Dear Ms. Crocker,

We are very sorry for the treatment that we gave you when you were our tenant at 641 Mehle Avenue, Arabi, Louisiana. The statements that I made regarding your African-American friends and visitors were inexcusable, as was our demand for you to vacate the apartment under the circumstances.

We have assured the government that, if we enter the rental business again, we will not discriminate in any way, whether it is because of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, or disability, and that we will not in any way even suggest to a tenant that they cannot have a guest in their apartment because of any of these reasons.

Sincerely,
Janet Champagne
Floyd Champagne


Document Signed: August 16, 2001. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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