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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 15, 2019

Dyersburg Apartment Group Settles Race Discrimination Case

Memphis, TN – Lee Clark, 42, of Dyersburg, Tennessee and the United States have entered into a civil settlement with Dyersburg Apartments, Ltd. and MACO Management Company, a Missouri limited liability company. U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant announced the settlement today.

According to information presented in the consent order, in January 2012, Lee Clark (who is African American), sought to move into the Meadow Lane Apartments in Dyersburg, TN with his ex-wife and their two children. Approximately one week later, MACO rejected his application – allegedly because Clark had a prior felony conviction. Mr. Clark was later banished from the property. However, an investigation by the United States revealed that the defendants had not rejected or banished two comparable white applicants with criminal records.

The defendants agreed to a settlement wherein they will pay Mr. Clark $42,250. They have also reaffirmed their commitment to non-discrimination and agreed to make public postings on-site regarding anti-discrimination rules and include anti-discrimination language in their advertisements, rental applications, and rental agreements. Defendants' employees will receive non-discrimination training, and, for a period of three years, they will submit regular reports to the Department of Justice. Among other things, defendants will be required to report any oral or written complaint of race discrimination, any application denied due to criminal history or criminal record, and any Letter of Banishment issued.

U.S. Attorney D. Michael Dunavant said: "Racial discrimination in housing is illegal, immoral, and unacceptable. This office will uphold the rule of law by enforcing all of the requirements of the Fair Housing Act to adequately address and deter racial discrimination in housing, and we are satisfied that this settlement achieves justice for the victim and the community at large."

On August 13, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge J. Daniel Breen ordered Dyersburg Apartments, Ltd., and MACO Management Company to resolve this civil claim judgment of $42,250 payable to Lee Clark.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Brackstone prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

Contact: 
Cherri Green Public Affairs Cherri.green@usdoj.gov (901) 544-4231
Updated December 23, 2021