IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS
JAIME TRUJILLO, a minor,
BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF
No. 04-1933Judge Hibbler
Magistrate Judge Bobrick
COMPLAINT IN INTERVENTION
The United States of America alleges:
1. This action is brought to enforce the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, as amended by the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988 ("Fair Housing Act"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
2. This court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1345 and 42 U.S.C. §§ 3613(e) and 3614(a).
3. Venue is proper in this District. Defendant Board of Directors of the Triumvera Tower Condominium Association is the governing board of the Triumvera Tower Condominium Association, an Illinois corporation with its principal place of business in the Northern District of Illinois. Defendant Sarah Stollberg is a resident of the Northern District of Illinois. The claims alleged in this action arose in the Northern District of Illinois.
4. Defendant Sarah Stollberg is and has been at all times relevant to this action the President of the Board of Directors of the Triumvera Tower Condominium Association.
5. Triumvera Tower is a condominium building located at 3925 Triumvera Drive, Glenview, Illinois, in the Northern District of Illinois.
6. Triumvera Tower is a "dwelling" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(b).
7. Jaime Trujillo is a minor tenant of Triumvera Tower. He has a physical impairment that substantially limits him in the major life activity of walking, and as such is "handicapped" within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 3602(h). Jaime Trujillo uses a wheelchair for mobility because of his handicap. Jaime Trujillo resides at Triumvera Tower with his father, Claudio Trujillo, and his mother, Luz Trujillo.
8. Defendants maintain and enforce a policy requiring persons in wheelchairs to use the rear service entrance to the condominium, rather than the front entrance. Defendants have expressed the policy both orally and in writing. This practice denies tenants with handicaps an equal opportunity to use and enjoy the condominium building.
9. Defendants have enforced the policy against Jaime Trujillo. On at least three occasions, defendants stated to the Trujillos or to Jaime Trujillo's nurse that Jaime was prohibited from using the front entrance, and that instead he was required to use the rear door to exit and enter. On March 4, defendants threatened to fine the Trujillos and to have the maintenance person physically block the door if they attempted to bring Jaime's wheelchair through the front entrance. The rear doorway is inconvenient and unsafe for Jaime Trujillo and inconvenient and burdensome for his caretakers and family.
10. The conduct of defendants constitutes discrimination 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, in violation of Section 804(f)(2) of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. § 3604(f)(2).
11. The conduct of the defendants constitutes:
- A pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of the rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.; and.
- A denial to a group of persons of rights granted by the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq., which denial raises an issue of general public importance.
12. Jaime Trujillo, Claudio Trujillo, and Luz Trujillo have been injured as a result of defendants' discriminatory housing practices and are aggrieved persons as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i).
13. There may be additional persons who have been the victims of defendants' discriminatory housing practices and who have suffered injuries as a result of defendants' conduct. Such individuals are also aggrieved persons as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 3602(i).
14. Defendants' conduct was intentional, willful, and taken in disregard of the rights of others.
WHEREFORE, the United States prays that the Court enter an ORDER that:
1. Declares that defendants' discriminatory practices violate the Fair Housing Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.;
2. Pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(A), enjoins defendants, their agents, employees, and successors, and all other persons in active concert or participation with them, from:
- Maintaining and enforcing their policy regarding wheelchairs;
- Discriminating on the basis of handicap against any person in any aspect of the sale or use of a dwelling;
3. Awards monetary damages to each victim of defendants' discriminatory housing practices, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(B), including the members of the Trujillo family; and
4. Assesses a civil penalty against the defendants in order to vindicate the public interest, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 3614(d)(1)(C).
The United States further prays for such additional relief as the interests of justice may require.
JOHN D. ASHCROFT
PATRICK J. FITZGERALD
STEVEN H. ROSENBAUM
TIMOTHY J. MORAN
New York State Bar No. 560115
Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Housing and Civil Enforcement Section
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530
Tel: (202) 305-3109
Fax: (202) 514-1116
Document Filed: May 19, 2004 > >