EASTERN DISTRICT OF WISCONSIN
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
CIVIL ACTION NO. 00-C-1208
WILLIAM H. RODDIS,
The United States of America alleges:
- This action is brought by the United States on behalf of Monte D. McDowell pursuant to Section 812(o) of the 1968 Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §3612(o).
- This Court has jurisdiction over this action under 28 U.S.C. §1345 and 42 U.S.C. §3612(o).
- Imperial Apartments, a 60 unit complex located at 6766 and 6780 N. Appleton Avenue, Milwaukee, within the Eastern District of Wisconsin, are dwellings within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. §3602(b).
- At all relevant times, defendant William H. Roddis has been the sole owner of Imperial Apartments. Mr. Roddis resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
- Complainant Monte D. McDowell is a black male who resided in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, within the Eastern District of Wisconsin, at the time of the discriminatory acts alleged in this complaint.
- On or about December 6, 1994, Mr. McDowell applied for a one bedroom apartment at Imperial Apartments.
- Defendant refused to rent Mr. McDowell an apartment at Imperial Apartments claiming that because Mr. McDowell did not include his zip code on the application, defendant was unable to access his credit report.
- On or about January 5 and 6, 1995, after receiving a fair housing complaint from Mr. McDowell, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council conducted fair housing testing at Imperial Apartments. Testers are persons who, without the intent to rent an apartment or buy a house, gather information about housing for rent or sale in order to help determine whether or not discriminatory housing practices are occurring.
- During the test, defendant's rental agent made statements to a white female tester that indicated a preference for female tenants. The white female tester's application was subsequently approved by defendant, despite the fact that her application did not contain information sufficient for obtaining a credit report, and defendant did not access a credit report for her.
- On or about August 24, 1995, Monte D. McDowell filed a housing discrimination complaint, subsequently amended, with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) pursuant to the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §3610(a). In his complaint, Mr. McDowell alleged that defendant William Roddis discriminated against him on the basis of race and sex, in violation of Section 804(a) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3604(a), when he refused to rent him an apartment at Imperial Apartments.
- Pursuant to the requirements of 42 U.S.C. §3610(a) and (b), the Secretary of HUD (Secretary) conducted and completed an investigation of the complaint, attempted conciliation without success, and prepared a final investigative report. Based on information gathered in the investigation, the Secretary, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3610(g)(1), determined that reasonable cause exists to believe that discriminatory housing practices had occurred. Accordingly, on July 10, 2000, the Secretary issued a Charge of Discrimination pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3610(g)(2)(A), charging defendant with engaging in discriminatory housing practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act.
- On or about August 1, 2000, the defendant elected to have the Charge resolved in a civil action filed in federal district court, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3612(a).
- Following this election, the Secretary of HUD authorized the Attorney General to commence a civil action, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §3612(o).
- Defendant, through the actions referenced in paragraphs 6 through 10, has:
- refused to rent or negotiate for, or otherwise made unavailable or denied, a dwelling to a person because of race and sex, in violation 42 U.S.C. §3604(a); and
- discriminated in the terms, conditions or privileges of the rental of a dwelling, or in services or facilities in connection therewith, because of a person's race or sex, in violation of 42 U. S. C. §3604(b).
- Mr. McDowell is an aggrieved person, as defined in 42 U.S.C. §3602(i), and has suffered damages as a result of the defendant's conduct described above.
- The discriminatory actions of the defendant were intentional, willful and taken in disregard for the rights of the complainant.
WHEREFORE: the United States prays that the Court enter an ORDER that:
- Declares that the discriminatory housing practices of the defendant, as set forth above, violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§3601,et seq.;
- Enjoins the defendant, his agents, employees, and successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with him from discriminating on the basis of race and sex against any person in any aspect of the rental of a dwelling; and
- Awards punitive damages to Monte D. McDowell pursuant to Sections 812(o)(3) and 814(d)(1)(B) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§3612(o)(3) and 3614(d)(1)(B).
The United States further prays for such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.
|JANET RENO |
THOMAS P. SCHNIEDER
United States Attorney
for the E.D. of Wisconsin
BILL LANN LEE
Assistant Attorney General
CHARLES A. GUADAGNINO
Assistant UNited State Attorney
for the E.D. of Wisconsin
517 East Wisconsin Ave., Rm 530
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
JOAN A. MAGAGNA
Chief, Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
|ISABELLE M. THABAULT |
DONALD WALKER TUNNAGE
Housing & Civil Enforcement Section
Civil Rights Division
United States Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, D.C. 20035-5998
Tel.: (202) 305-2789
Document Filed: August 30, 2000 > >