Housing And Civil Enforcement Cases Documents

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
VALDOSTA DIVISION


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
     Plaintiff,

vs.

Civil Action No. 7:01-0008

EARL WALKER, d/b/a The Knights,
formerly Club 2000
     Defendant.

___________________________________


CONSENT DECREE INTRODUCTION
  1. The United States has filed a complaint in this action alleging that defendant Earl Walker has violated Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000a et seq., by discriminating against African-Americans. The defendant presently owns and operates a bar and nightclub known at various times as "The Knights" or "Club 2000" (hereinafter "Club 2000"). In its Complaint, the United States alleges that the defendant has engaged in a pattern or practice of denying to African-American persons, on the basis of their race, the full and equal use and enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of Club 2000. More specifically, the United States alleges that the defendant refused to serve African-American persons entering the nightclub.
  2. For the purpose of establishing jurisdiction, the parties stipulate that at all times relevant to the allegations of the United States, Club 2000 is a "place of public accommodation" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 2000a(b)(3), and that its operations "affect commerce" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 2000a(c).
  3. The United States and the defendant agree that in order to avoid protracted and costly litigation, their controversy should be resolved through the terms of this Consent Decree. Therefore, without a trial or adjudication on the merits, the United States and the defendant have consented to the entry of this Decree. Had this matter gone to trial, the United States would have presented evidence to establish that defendant has engaged in a pattern or practice of intentional race discrimination. Although a complete description of the United States' contentions will not be recited in this Consent Decree, the United States sets forth below a summary recitation of the evidence on which it would have relied had this case been tried, so as to further the public interest and help ensure speedy and effective compliance with this Consent Decree.
THE UNITED STATES' CONTENTIONS
  1. Defendant Earl Walker owns the business establishment known at various times as "The Knights" or "Club 2000," located at 4008 Bemiss Road, Valdosta, Georgia.
  2. Club 2000 is a nightclub facility where persons are amused and entertained by, among other things, dancing, listening to music, eating food and drinking alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Club 2000 offers its goods, services and facilities to the public for an entrance fee, known as a cover charge. Club 2000's clientele consists, in part, of servicemen and servicewomen of the United States Air Force stationed at nearby Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.
  3. Acting on his own and through his employees and agents, the defendant has implemented a policy and practice of denying to African-American persons, on account of their race and/or color, the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges of Club 2000 on the same basis as he makes such available to non-African-American persons. The defendant has implemented this policy and practice, inter alia, by refusing to admit African-American customers into the club while admitting white customers, by refusing to admit African-American customers on the same terms and conditions on which white customers are admitted, by charging African-American customers higher cover charges than white customers, using advertising, including a billboard outside his nightclub, appealing to race discrimination, and limiting the number of African-American customers at Club 2000.
PROHIBITIVE INJUNCTION
  1. Defendant Earl Walker, his agents, employees, successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with him in the ownership or operation of Club 2000 or of any other place of public accommodation, as defined in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in which the defendant presently has or subsequently acquires any ownership or management interest, are permanently enjoined from:
    1. Failing or refusing to admit any person to the premises of such establishment on account of that person's race or color;
    2. Denying to any person, because of his or her race or color, the full and equal enjoyment of all of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages and accommodations of such establishment;
    3. Discriminating on the basis of race or color in the terms, conditions, or privileges of admission to such establishment, or, because of race or color, providing different information about the terms, conditions, or privileges of admission; and
    4. Adopting practices, policies or procedures in the management of such establishment that are designed to exclude, or have the effect of excluding, persons therefrom on the basis of their race or color, or that are designed to discourage persons from patronizing such establishment on the basis of their race or color.
AFFIRMATIVE REMEDIES

  1. Within fifteen (15) days of the date of entry of this Consent Decree, defendant shall erect and maintain at each public entrance to Club 2000, or any other place of public accommodation, as defined in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in which he presently has or subsequently acquires any ownership or management interest, a printed sign stating in block letters at least two inches high that the establishment is open to all members of the public without regard to race or color. Such sign shall be printed in dark letters on a contrasting background and shall be located in a place clearly visible to all patrons as they enter the premises. Such sign shall include a statement that any person who feels they have been discriminated against by the management on the basis of race or color may write or call collect the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section of the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice, P.O. Box. 65998, Washington, D.C. 20035-5998, telephone number (202) 514-4713. The contents of such sign are set forth in Exhibit 1 attached hereto.
  2. Within sixty (60) days of the date of entry of this Consent Decree or by such date as the parties agree to be mutually satisfactory in light of the availability of the training resources referred to in this paragraph, the defendant and any of his employees or agents with responsibility for the management or provision of goods or services at Club 2000 or any other place of public accommodation, as defined in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in which defendant has any ownership or management interest, shall attend a program of educational training concerning the substantive provisions of federal, state and local civil rights laws, regulations or ordinances applicable to places of public accommodation, and their responsibilities under such laws. The parties shall mutually agree upon who shall conduct this training, which shall not be any less than three hours in duration. The reasonable costs of this program shall be borne by the defendant. All persons attending such a program shall have their attendance certified in writing by the person conducting the program.

  3. The defendant shall, no later than ten (10) days after entry of this Consent Decree, apprise each of his employees, agents, partners, or any other person who provides services in any capacity with regard to Club 2000 or any other place of public accommodation, as defined in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in which defendant has any ownership or management interest, of their obligations under this Consent Decree and under Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The defendant shall furnish each such employee, agent, partner, or other person covered by this paragraph with a copy of this Consent Decree. Each employee, agent, partner, or other person covered by this paragraph shall sign a statement in the form of Exhibit 2 acknowledging that he or she has received, read, and understood a copy of this Consent Decree, and declaring that he or she will perform his or her duties in accordance with this Consent Decree and Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. New employees shall be apprised of the contents of this Consent Decree and of their obligations under Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when their employment commences, shall be provided a copy of this Consent Decree, and shall execute the statement appended hereto as Exhibit 2 no later than five (5) days following their first day of employment.

  4. In the event that the defendant subleases, or otherwise permits the use of, the facilities at Club 2000 to third party persons or organizations for events, the defendant shall inform such persons or organizations that they may not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. Defendant shall also obtain from them, as a condition of their use of the building, a statement in the form of Exhibit 3 agreeing that they shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. If such third parties, despite this statement, discriminates on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin in their use of the facilities at Club 2000, defendant shall take action to discontinue the use of Club 2000 by such third parties.

  5. In order to ensure that all persons are made aware that Club 2000 will admit persons of all races, color, religion, and national origin, and to help eradicate any public perceptions regarding Club 2000 which have arisen from the defendant's prior discriminatory practices, the defendant shall, at least once a month for the first six (6) months from the date of entry of this Consent Decree, pay for advertisements in local newspapers or other print media, including but not limited to the following: The Valdosta Daily Times, and the Excalibur, a newspaper whose readership consists substantially of military members at Moody's Air Force Base. These advertisements shall be no less than one eighth of one page of the relevant newspaper or other print media in size, and shall indicate, inter alia, that Club 2000 is open to all members of the public on an equal basis, without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin. The text for the advertisement shall include the language set forth in Exhibit 4.
  6. For the duration of this Consent Decree, the defendant shall include in any advertisement for Club 2000 which he places in any newspaper or magazine or on radio or television or in any other media, a statement indicating that Club 2000 is open to all members of the public on an equal basis, without regard to race, color, religion or national origin. The text for any such advertisement shall include the language set forth in Exhibit 4.
REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
  1. The defendant shall, no later than sixty (60) days after the date of entry of this Consent Decree, serve upon counsel for the United States a report explaining his efforts to comply with this Consent Decree. This report shall consist of the following:
    1. A photograph of each public entrance to Club 2000, or any other place of public accommodation, as defined in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, operated by the defendant, clearly showing the signs required under paragraph 8 of this Consent Decree;
    2. A list of all advertisements made public in any manner since the entry of this Consent Decree, pursuant to paragraph 12 of this Consent Decree, together with representative samples of such advertisements;
    3. Copies of the statements signed by any and all employees pursuant to paragraph 10 of this Consent Decree;

  2. Six (6) months after the date of entry of this Consent Decree, and every six months thereafter for three (3) years from the date of entry of this Consent Decree, the defendant shall serve on counsel for the United States a written report explaining his efforts to comply with this Consent Decree. In this report, the defendant shall:
    1. Provide copies of all advertisements placed in any media in the preceding six-month period;
    2. Provide copies of all statements, required under paragraph 10, which have been executed by new employees in the preceding six-month period;
    3. Provide copies of all documents obtained from persons who rented or otherwise used the building in the preceding six-month period, including the statements required under paragraph 11;
    4. Notify counsel for the United States of any written or oral complaint which involves discrimination on the basis of race or color at Club 2000 or at any other place of public accommodation, as defined in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in which the defendant presently has or subsequently acquires an ownership or management interest, and which has come to the attention of the defendant or any of his employees, agents or other representatives in the preceding six-month period. If the complaint is written, the defendant shall include a copy of it in the report. If the complaint is oral, the defendant shall provide a written summary of it in the report and shall include in the report the complainant's name, address and telephone number, and any action taken or proposed by the defendant in response to the complaint;
    5. Notify counsel for the United States of any change in the location of Club 2000 or any other place of public accommodation, as defined in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in which the defendant presently has or subsequently acquires an ownership or management interest. Such notification shall include the address and the name of any new location or establishment and the dates of operation;
    6. Notify counsel for the United States of any new ownership or management interest the defendant has acquired or developed in any place of public accommodation, as defined in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, during the preceding six-month period. Such notification shall include the name of the establishment in which the defendant has acquired or developed such interest, the address of such establishment, the goods and/or services provided by such establishment and the dates of operation of such establishment. Upon reasonable request, the defendant shall provide to the United States copies of pertinent records or documents; and
    7. Notify counsel for the United States whether, during the preceding six-month period, the defendant has either ceased operating, or has licensed his name to others for the purpose of operating, Club 2000 or any place of public accommodation, as defined in Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in which the defendant had an ownership or management interest. Upon reasonable request, the defendant shall provide to the United States copies of pertinent records or documents.
ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS
  1. This Court shall retain jurisdiction of this case for the purpose of enforcing this Consent Decree. The parties shall endeavor to resolve informally any differences regarding interpretation of or compliance with this Consent Decree prior to bringing such matters to the Court for resolution. Before any party brings such matter to the Court, the moving party shall file with the Court a certification that the parties have conferred in an attempt to resolve the dispute.
  2. Defendant may move for dismissal of this case with prejudice at any time at least sixty (60) days after the last report required under paragraph 15 has been served on the United States.

It is so ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED this date ___________.

___________________________
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

FOR THE PLAINTIFF:

Joan A. Magagna
Chief
Isabelle M. Thabault
Deputy Chief
Ming-Yuen Meyer-Fong
Trial Attorney
United States Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, DC 20035-5998
Tel: (202) 305-1311
Fax: (202) 514-1116

William Gifford
Assistant United States Attorney
Middle District of Georgia
P.O. Box 1702
Macon, GA 31202-1702
Tel: (912) 752-8178
Fax: (912) 752-3445


FOR THE DEFENDANT:

EARL WALKER
in his individual capacity, and
d/b/a The Knights, formerly
Club 2000

Gary L. Moser, Esq.
Moser & Terry
P.O. Box 1451
Valdosta, GA 31603-1451
Tel. (229) 244-1527
Attorney for Defendant


EXHIBIT 1 N O T I C E THE KNIGHTS, FORMERLY CLUB 2000, IS OPEN TO ALL PERSONS WITHOUT REGARD TO THEIR RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN OR ANY OTHER CLASSIFICATION PROTECTED BY LAW.
WE ARE COMMITTED TO ENSURING THAT ALL MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ARE TREATED EQUALLY AND APPROPRIATELY, AND WE EMPHASIZE THAT EVERYONE IS INVITED AND WELCOME TO ENJOY THE BEST IN ENTERTAINMENT AT THE KNIGHTS/CLUB 2000.
IT IS AGAINST THE LAW FOR A PLACE OF PUBLIC ACCOMMODATION TO DISCRIMINATE ON THE BASIS OF RACE OR COLOR. IF YOU FEEL YOU HAVE BEEN DISCRIMINATED AGAINST AT THE KNIGHTS/CLUB 2000 ON THE BASIS OF YOUR RACE OR COLOR, YOU MAY WRITE OR CALL COLLECT THE HOUSING AND CIVIL ENFORCEMENT SECTION OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT:
P.O. Box 65998
Washington, DC 20035-5998
(202) 514-4713

EXHIBIT 2

I have been given and I have read a copy of the Consent Decree entered in United States v. Earl Walker, d/b/a The Knights, formerly Club 2000, Middle District of Georgia, Civil Action No. 7:01-0008. I understand the terms of that Decree and I further understand that federal law guarantees that no person may be denied, on account of their race, color, religion, or national origin, the full use and enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place such as The Knights, formerly Club 2000. With that understanding, I agree that, as a condition of my providing goods and/or services on behalf of The Knights/Club 2000 or any other place of public accommodation owned or managed by Earl Walker, neither I nor any other person who serves as my agent in any capacity, shall discriminate in any manner on account of race, color, religion or national origin in the provision of such goods and/or services.

_____________________
Name

_____________________
Home Address

_____________________
Home Telephone Number

_____________________
Date


EXHIBIT 3

I understand that federal law guarantees that no person may be denied, on account of their race, color, religion or national origin, the full use and enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place such as The Knights, formerly Club 2000. With that understanding, I agree that, as a condition of my rental or use of The Knights/Club 2000, neither I nor any other person who is employed by me or serves as my agent in any capacity, shall discriminate in any manner on account of race, color, religion, or national origin in my use of The Knights/Club 2000. I understand that any denial on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin, of the full use and enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of the leased premises of The Knights/Club 2000 would constitute an element of default and breach of the lease, which would entitle the lessor to terminate the lease and reenter the premises of The Knights/Club 2000.

_____________________
Name

_____________________
Home Address

_____________________
Home Telephone Number

_____________________
Date


EXHIBIT 4
ADVERTISEMENT

THE KNIGHTS, FORMERLY CLUB 2000, IS OPEN TO ALL PERSONS WITHOUT REGARD TO THEIR RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, NATIONAL ORIGIN OR ANY OTHER CLASSIFICATION PROTECTED BY LAW. We are committed to ensuring that all members of the public are treated equally and appropriately, and we emphasize that EVERYONE is invited and welcome to enjoy the best in entertainment at:

THE KNIGHTS/CLUB 2000
4008 Bemiss Road
Valdosta, GA 31605


Document Signed: June 26, 2001. > >

Updated August 6, 2015

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