Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
vs. Case No. 02-2172
DENNIS OHNSTAD, Individually, d/b/a
SURBANA ESTATES, a/k/a SUR-BANA
MOBILE ESTATES a/k/a SURBANA
ESTATES MOBILE HOME PARK;
JOHN NORTH; and SURBANA ESTATES
a/k/a SUR-BANA MOBILE ESTATES, a/k/a
SURBANA ESTATES MOBILE HOME PARK,
a/k/a SURBANA MOBILE ESTATES, INC., a/k/a
SUR-BANA MOBILE ESTATE, INC.,
The United States initiated this action against the defendants on July 30, 2002, on behalf of Tommy Murrietta and Linda Stanley. The complaint alleged that the defendants had discriminated against Ms. Stanley and Mr. Murrietta on the basis of race in connection with the rental of a mobile home at Surbana Estates Mobile Home Park, in violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§3604 and 3617.
The Parties have agreed to the entry of this Consent Order to resolve all claims of the United States against the defendants and to avoid further expenses and the uncertainties of litigation. By entering into this Consent Order, the defendants do not admit to any violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§3601, et seq..
I. GENERAL INJUNCTION
The defendants, their officers, agents, employees, successors, and all persons in active concert or participation with them are enjoined, with respect to the sale or rental of any dwellings as defined by 42 U.S.C. §3602(b), from:
- Refusing to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, refusing to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise making unavailable or denying a dwelling to any person because of race;
- Discriminating 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 therewith, because of race;
- Making, printing, or publishing, or causing to be made, printed, or published, any notice, statement, or advertisement with respect to the sale or rental of a dwelling that indicates any preference, limitation, or discrimination based on race, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation, or discrimination; and
- Coercing, intimidating, threatening, or interfering with any person in the exercise or enjoyment of, or on account of his or her having exercised or enjoyed, or on account of his or her having aided or encouraged any other person in the exercise or enjoyment of any right granted or protected by 42 U.S.C. §3604.
II. AFFIRMATIVE RELIEF
- Defendants shall post and prominently display in the sales/rental office and in any other office where there is sales or rental activity and/or personal contact with applicants for the sale or rental of dwellings from the defendants, a poster no smaller than 11 inches by 14 inches that indicates that all dwellings are available for sale and rent on a nondiscriminatory basis. The poster(s) shall comply with the requirements set out in 24 C.F.R. Part 110.
- Defendants shall within 30 days of the entry of this Order include the words "Equal Housing Opportunity" or the fair housing logo in all advertising conducted by the defendants in newspapers, telephone directories, radio or other media, and on all signs, pamphlets, brochures, and other promotional literature. The words or logo should be prominently placed and easily legible.
III. MANDATORY EDUCATION AND TRAINING
- Within 30 days of the entry of this Order, defendants shall provide a copy of this Order to all their agents and employees involved in the sale, rental or management of dwellings and secure the 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 Attachment A.
- During the term of this Order, within 30 days after the date he or she commences an employment relationship with the defendants, each new agent or employee involved in the rental or management of dwellings 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.
- Defendant Ohnstad shall undergo training on the provisions of the Fair Housing Act pertaining to discrimination on the basis of race. The training shall be conducted by a qualified third party unconnected to defendants or their employees, agents, or counsel. Defendants shall provide to the United States, within 30 days after the training, the name(s), address(es) and telephone number(s) of the trainer(s) and certifications executed by the trainers confirming the attendance of the trainee. This training shall take place not later than December 31, 2003.
IV. COMPENSATION OF AGGRIEVED PERSONS
The defendants shall pay to Linda Stanley the sum of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) and to Tommy Murrietta the sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) as aggrieved persons within the meaning of the Fair Housing Act, provided that no amount shall be paid pursuant to this paragraph before those individuals have executed a written release of all claims, legal or equitable, that they might have against the defendants relating to the claims asserted in this lawsuit (Attachment B). The defendants shall send checks for these amounts to Assistant United States Attorney David Hoff within 15 days after entry of this Order.
V. RECORD KEEPING AND REPORTING
- During the term of this Order, the defendants shall retain all rental records maintained in the normal course of their business - including, but not limited to, inquiry logs, applications, tenant files, and all records relating to actual or threatened evictions - created from the date of the entry of this Consent Order. Upon request and reasonable notice, and at reasonable intervals, the defendants shall produce or permit representatives of the United States to review any such records in the possession or control of the defendants, or their agents, employees, or representatives.
- During the term of this Order, the defendants shall give counsel for the United States, within 15 days of the receipt of any written complaint against the defendants regarding discrimination on the basis of race, or conduct prohibited by 42 U.S.C. §3617, a copy of the complaint and a description of the resolution of any such complaint within 15 days of resolution. The notice shall include the full details of the complaint, including the complainant's name, address and telephone number. The defendants shall also promptly provide the United States all information in their possession it may request concerning any such complaint and its actual or attempted resolution.
VI. COURT JURISDICTION, SCOPE AND TERM OF CONSENT ORDER
- The Parties have consented to the entry of this Order as indicated by the signatures below. To this end, the Parties stipulate and the Court finds that this Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§1331 and 1345 and 42 U.S.C. §3612(o). This Consent Order is effective immediately upon its entry by the Court.
- This case is dismissed with prejudice, except that the Court shall retain jurisdiction over this action and over the defendants for two years from the date of entry of this Consent Order to enforce the terms of the Order.
- 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. However, in the event of a failure by the defendants to perform in a timely manner any act required by this Consent Order or otherwise to act in violation of any provision thereof, 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 such act or deeming such act to have been performed.
So ORDERED this ______ day of __________________ , 2003.
The undersigned hereby apply for and consent to the entry of this Order:
|For the Defendants:
Lawrence E. Johnson, Esq.
William M. Roberts, Esq.
Lawrence E. Johnson & Associates, P.C.
202 West Hill Street
Champaign, Illinois 61824-1127
(217) 356-7000 (fax)
|For the United States:
Jan Paul Miller
United States Attorney
David H. Hoff
Assistant United States Attorney
201 South Vine Street, Suite 226
Urbana, Illinois 61802
(217) 373-5891 (fax)
Employee Acknowledgment Form
I , _________________________________ , hereby acknowledge that I have been provided with a copy of the Consent Order entered by the United States District Court in United States v. Ohnstad, et al., Case No. 02-2172 (C.D. Ill.). I have read the entire Consent Order and have had an opportunity to have questions about the Order and my responsibilities under it answered by _______________________________ , a person represented to me to be knowledgeable about its contents.
In consideration of the Consent Order entered in United States v. Ohnstad, et al., No. 02-2172 (C.D. Ill.), and of the payment of the sum of TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS ($10,000), pursuant thereto, I, Tommy Murrietta, hereby release the defendants named in this action, and all defendants who have been named in this action and the preceding administrative action, from any and all liability for any claims, legal or equitable, known or unknown, that I may have against them, from the beginning of time to the date of this release, including but not limited to the issues alleged in the aforementioned 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.
Document Filed: September 11, 2003 > >