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Case Name Project B.A.S.I.C. v. Kemp PH-RI-0001
Docket / Court 89-248 ( D.R.I. )
State/Territory Rhode Island
Case Type(s) Public Housing
Case Summary
In April 1989, Project B.A.S.I.C. ("BASIC"), a Rhode Island tenant-advocacy organization, filed a lawsuit against the State of Rhode Island under 42 U.S.C. §1983, the United States Housing Act, the federal Fair Housing Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act in the U.S. District Court for ... read more >
In April 1989, Project B.A.S.I.C. ("BASIC"), a Rhode Island tenant-advocacy organization, filed a lawsuit against the State of Rhode Island under 42 U.S.C. §1983, the United States Housing Act, the federal Fair Housing Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act in the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. The plaintiffs alleged that their constitutional rights had been violated by race-based mismanagement of public housing units in the city of Providence, and they asked the District Court for an injunction to prevent the proposed demolition of condemned public housing units in the city.

On July 17, 1989, the District Court (Judge Raymond James Pettine) denied the plaintiffs' request for an injunction, holding that they had stated cognizable claims, but that they had not demonstrated likelihood of success on the merits of those claims. The District Court ordered the plaintiffs to submit a memorandum of law within two months, detailing more specific allegations as to which statutes it believed to have been violated. The Court also entered an order establishing a time schedule for construction of replacement housing. Project B.A.S.I.C. v. Kemp, 721 F.Supp. 1501 (D.R.I. 1989). The defendants appealed.

On July 6, 1990, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit (Judge Stephen Breyer) remanded the case for reconsideration, holding that the amendment of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) "demolition permission" statute did not apply to post amendment demolition activities in the case at bar, but that alternative bases might exist for the District Court's time schedule injunction. Project B.A.S.I.C. v. O'Rourke, 907 F.2d 1242 (1st Cir. 1990).

On April 2, 1991, the District Court (Judge Pettine) denied the defendants' motions for summary judgment, holding that the plaintiffs had raised a genuine issue of material fact as to whether sufficient, comparable housing opportunities existed in nonminority areas of the city. Project B.A.S.I.C. v. Kemp, 637 F.Supp. (D.R.I. 1991).

On April 16, 1991, the parties entered into a stipulated settlement in the case, agreeing that HUD would fund 109 replacement housing units in specified areas of the city within 36 months. The settlement also stipulated that all parties would bear the costs of their own attorneys' fees. Project B.A.S.I.C. v. Kemp, No. 89-0248, 1991 WL 329756 (D.R.I. April 16, 1991).

Shortly after the stipulated settlement, a contractor selected to build the replacement housing filed a lawsuit to enjoin the housing authority's withholding of $500,000, pursuant to the order of HUD. On June 14, 1991, the District Court (Judge Pettine) issued an order holding HUD in contempt of the stipulated settlement, fining them $250,000, with an additional fine of $2000 per day until the organization removed all barriers to the money. Project B.A.S.I.C. v. Kemp, 768 F.Supp. 21 (D.R.I. 1991). The defendants appealed. On October 17, 1991, the First Circuit (Judge Bruce Marshall Selya) reversed the District Court's contempt order and remanded the case, holding that HUD had not been given fair notice of the violation. Project B.A.S.I.C. v. Kemp, 947 F.2d 11 (1st Cir. 1991).

We have no further information on the proceedings in this case, and as of 1/12/2007, there is no PACER docket available.

Kristen Sagar - 01/10/2007

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action None on record
Defendant(s) State of Rhode Island
Plaintiff Description Unincorporated association of tenants and housing advocates, including low-income and minority persons residing in housing project, challenging proposed demolition of high-rise apartment towers at public housing project
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1991 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Achieving Institutional Reform Through the Political Process: The Story of the Providence Housing Authority
By: Sookyoung Shin (Harvard)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ]

  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 ]

No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
PH-RI-0001-0005 PDF | Detail
Opinion and Order 07/17/1989 (721 F.Supp. 1501) (D.R.I.)
PH-RI-0001-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum and Order 04/25/1990 (D.R.I.)
PH-RI-0001-0003 PDF | Detail
Opinion 07/06/1990 (907 F.2d 1242)
PH-RI-0001-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Declaration of Professor Yale Rabin 03/11/1991
PH-RI-0001-0001 PDF | Detail
Memorandum and Order 04/02/1991 (776 F.Supp. 637) (D.R.I.)
PH-RI-0001-0010 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Settlement Stipulation 04/16/1991 (1991 WL 329756) (D.R.I.)
PH-RI-0001-0011 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Consent Order 04/22/1991 (D.R.I.)
PH-RI-0001-0002 PDF | Detail
Consent Order Regarding Homeless Shelter 04/23/1991 (D.R.I.)
PH-RI-0001-0004 PDF | Detail
Memorandum and Order 06/14/1991 (768 F.Supp. 21) (D.R.I.)
PH-RI-0001-0008 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 10/17/1991 (947 F.2d 11)
PH-RI-0001-0009 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Breyer, Stephen Gerald (First Circuit, SCOTUS)
Pettine, Raymond James (D.R.I.)
PH-RI-0001-0002 | PH-RI-0001-0003 | PH-RI-0001-0004 | PH-RI-0001-0006 | PH-RI-0001-0008 | PH-RI-0001-0010 | PH-RI-0001-0011
Selya, Bruce Marshall (D.R.I., FISCR, First Circuit)
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Arnwine, Barbara R. (District of Columbia)
Dacey, Timothy J. (Rhode Island)
Dineen, John William (Rhode Island)
PH-RI-0001-0005 | PH-RI-0001-0006
Fischbach, Steven (Rhode Island)
PH-RI-0001-0002 | PH-RI-0001-0004 | PH-RI-0001-0005 | PH-RI-0001-0006 | PH-RI-0001-0007 | PH-RI-0001-0008 | PH-RI-0001-0009 | PH-RI-0001-0010 | PH-RI-0001-0011
Goolkasian, Gail A. (Massachusetts)
Hershkoff, Helen (New York)
Holtzman, Paul (Massachusetts)
Kaye, Judith (Rhode Island)
PH-RI-0001-0002 | PH-RI-0001-0004 | PH-RI-0001-0008 | PH-RI-0001-0009 | PH-RI-0001-0010 | PH-RI-0001-0011
Lovell, Stephanie S. (Massachusetts)
Mann, Robert B. (Rhode Island)
PH-RI-0001-0008 | PH-RI-0001-0009 | PH-RI-0001-0010
Patrick, Deval L. (District of Columbia)
Defendant's Lawyers Almond, Lincoln D. (Rhode Island)
PH-RI-0001-0007 | PH-RI-0001-0009
Brodsky, Irving (Rhode Island)
PH-RI-0001-0002 | PH-RI-0001-0004
Butler, Mona (District of Columbia)
Clifton, Edward (Rhode Island)
Cosentino, Robert (Rhode Island)
PH-RI-0001-0004 | PH-RI-0001-0006 | PH-RI-0001-0008 | PH-RI-0001-0010
Curt, Suzanne (Rhode Island)
Daly, John F. (District of Columbia)
Dole, Ellen (Massachusetts)
Gerson, Stuart M. (District of Columbia)
PH-RI-0001-0007 | PH-RI-0001-0009
Goldberg, Arthur Joseph (District of Columbia)
Gross, David J. P. (District of Columbia)
PH-RI-0001-0008 | PH-RI-0001-0010 | PH-RI-0001-0011
Herold, John W. (District of Columbia)
Kimm, Peter Jr. (District of Columbia)
PH-RI-0001-0008 | PH-RI-0001-0010 | PH-RI-0001-0011
Lobue, Joseph W. (District of Columbia)
McHugh, Kevin F. (Rhode Island)
PH-RI-0001-0002 | PH-RI-0001-0004 | PH-RI-0001-0008 | PH-RI-0001-0010
Pelczarski, Karen A. (Rhode Island)
PH-RI-0001-0007 | PH-RI-0001-0011
Price, Richard M. (District of Columbia)
Ratner, Gershon M. (District of Columbia)
Reid, Stephen J. Jr. (Rhode Island)
PH-RI-0001-0006 | PH-RI-0001-0007 | PH-RI-0001-0008 | PH-RI-0001-0010 | PH-RI-0001-0011
Sammartino, Everett (Rhode Island)
PH-RI-0001-0008 | PH-RI-0001-0010
Schmeltzer, Howard M. (District of Columbia)
PH-RI-0001-0007 | PH-RI-0001-0009
Schnitker, John P. (District of Columbia)
Singer, Michael Jay (District of Columbia)
PH-RI-0001-0007 | PH-RI-0001-0009
Other Lawyers Baer, Arthur A. (New York)
Gonzales, Claire (District of Columbia)
Montgomery, Carleton K. (District of Columbia)
Smith, Jane M. (District of Columbia)
Thompson, Everald F. (Maryland)

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