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Case Name Tinsley v. Pierce PH-MO-0002
Docket / Court 89-23 ( W.D. Mo. )
State/Territory Missouri
Case Type(s) Public Housing
Special Collection Court-ordered receiverships
Case Summary
On January 17, 1989, residents of T.B. Watkins Homes, a public housing development operated by the Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri, filed a class-action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the State of Missouri in the U.S. ... read more >
On January 17, 1989, residents of T.B. Watkins Homes, a public housing development operated by the Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri, filed a class-action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. §1983 against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the State of Missouri in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The plaintiffs asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, alleging that their constitutional rights had been violated by racial discrimination in the provision of public housing. Specifically, the plaintiffs asked the court for an injunction to prevent the defendants from demolishing the T.B. Watkins Homes.

On January 3, 1990, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri (Judge Dean Whipple) certified the plaintiffs as a class, holding that they had a private cause of action under the U.S. Housing Act section regulating demolitions, and that they had established a prima facie Title VIII claim. Tinsley v. Kemp, 750 F.Supp. 1001 (W.D.Mo. 1990).

On November 21, 1991, the parties entered into a Consent Decree, under which the defendants agreed to a comprehensive modernization and rehabilitation of the T.B. Watkins Homes. They agreed to transform the development into safe, decent, and sanitary housing, without any loss of units, to remain viable for at least twenty additional years. The development was to also see improvements in the areas of the playground, park areas, landscaping, outside lighting, and security.

On July 6, 1993, the District Court (Judge Whipple) appointed Robert E. Larson to be the Special Master for the case. On January 22, 1993, the District Court held the defendants in contempt for failure to comply with the Consent Decree, ordering them to pay $86,000 as well as the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees.

For the next ten years, the parties continued to quibble over the specific terms of the Consent Decree. On October 4, 2004, the District Court ordered them to begin working on a decree.

According to the PACER docket, which is accurate as of 01/12/2007, the District Court continues to oversee the case and is currently awaiting the parties' new Consent Decree proposal.

Kristen Sagar - 01/11/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Receivership
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Defendant(s) Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri
Plaintiff Description Residents of T.B. Watkins Homes, a public housing development operated by the Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1991 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Innovation or Illegitimacy: Remedial Receivership in Tinsley v. Kemp Public Housing Litigation
By: Carolyn Hoecker Luedtke (Harvard)
Citation: 65 Missouri L. Rev. 655
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Urban Institute Baseline Assessment of Public Housing Desegregation Cases
By: George Galster et al. (Urban Institute, Housing and Urban Development (HUD))
Citation: (2000)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
89-00023 (W.D. Mo.) 12/26/2007
PH-MO-0002-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
First Amended Complaint 02/09/1989
PH-MO-0002-0001 PDF | Detail
Opinion 01/03/1990 (750 F.Supp. 1001) (W.D. Mo.)
PH-MO-0002-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Consent Decree 11/25/1991 (W.D. Mo.)
PH-MO-0002-0002 PDF | Detail
Order 07/06/1993 (W.D. Mo.)
PH-MO-0002-0003 PDF | Detail
Order 09/06/1994 (W.D. Mo.)
PH-MO-0002-0004 PDF | Detail
Judges Whipple, Dean (W.D. Mo.)
PH-MO-0002-0002 | PH-MO-0002-0003 | PH-MO-0002-0004 | PH-MO-0002-0005 | PH-MO-0002-9000
Monitors/Masters Larsen, Robert E. (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Finn, Kelly P. (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-0001 | PH-MO-0002-0005 | PH-MO-0002-9000
Hauser, Tim (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-0002
Levin, Julie E. (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-0001 | PH-MO-0002-0002 | PH-MO-0002-0005 | PH-MO-0002-9000
Siefkas, Sharon Weedin (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-0001
Wilson, Carole W. (District of Columbia)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Castellani, Alleen S. (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-0002
Daniels, James F.B. (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Fields, Taylor (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-0005 | PH-MO-0002-9000
Herold, John W. (District of Columbia)
PH-MO-0002-0002 | PH-MO-0002-9000
James, Joseph (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-0001 | PH-MO-0002-9000
Lines, Jeff (Massachusetts)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Poschel, Vernon (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-0005
Thomas, Charles M. (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-9000
VanBebber, Allen C. (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Williams, John (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-0002 | PH-MO-0002-0005 | PH-MO-0002-9000
Other Lawyers Bath, Thomas J. (Kansas)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Eisenbrandt, James L. (Kansas)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Holtzman, Paul (Massachusetts)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Kurtz, John Wray (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Lowndes, Edwin T. (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Lundberg, Janet Steckel (Massachusetts)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Mann, Benjamin F. (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Pautler, Paul F. Jr. (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Shrager, Gail M (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Summers, Terrance (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Taylor, Andrea (Kansas)
PH-MO-0002-9000
Thum, Terence J. (Missouri)
PH-MO-0002-9000

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