University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States v. Biswas FH-AL-0003
Docket / Court 2:09-cv-00683 ( M.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On July 21, 2009, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3601, against Defendants, operators of the Rolling Oaks Apartments, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The lawsuit alleged race ... read more >
On July 21, 2009, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3601, against Defendants, operators of the Rolling Oaks Apartments, in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. The lawsuit alleged race discrimination, and sought declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief, along with civil penalties.

The lawsuit was based on fair housing testing that DOJ had conducted between July 2008 and January 2009, in which rental agents made a series of racialized remarks, steering white testers away from certain locations, and implying that black applicants were more likely to fail criminal background checks. Both the DOJ and the defendants cross moved for summary judgment; the Court denied both sets of motions on December 10, 2010.

Shortly thereafter, the parties reached a settlement agreement. On February 02, 2011, the Court (Judge Mark E. Fuller) approved a four-year consent decree. The Decree enjoined Defendants from refusing to rent a dwelling or offer information about a dwelling on the basis of race or color; requires Defendants to implement and notify the public of their nondiscrimination policy; to develop and implement uniform nondiscriminatory standards and procedures for informing persons of available units; and to pay civil penalties assessed individually to Defendants that total $15,500.

- 11/30/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
Defendant(s) Rolling Oaks Apartments
Plaintiff Description United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2011 - 2015
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
2:09-cv-00683 (M.D. Ala.) 02/07/2011
FH-AL-0003-9000 PDF | Detail
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
General Documents
Complaint 07/21/2009
FH-AL-0003-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section
Memorandum Opinion and Order 12/08/2010 (2010 WL 5093545) (M.D. Ala.)
FH-AL-0003-0003 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree 02/03/2011
FH-AL-0003-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Fuller, Mark E. (M.D. Ala.)
FH-AL-0003-0002 | FH-AL-0003-0003 | FH-AL-0003-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Canary, Leura Garrett (Alabama)
FH-AL-0003-0001 | FH-AL-0003-0002 | FH-AL-0003-9000
Dubois, James J. (Alabama)
FH-AL-0003-0001 | FH-AL-0003-0002 | FH-AL-0003-9000
King, Loretta (District of Columbia)
FH-AL-0003-0001 | FH-AL-0003-9000
Maurer, Michael S. (District of Columbia)
FH-AL-0003-0001 | FH-AL-0003-0002 | FH-AL-0003-9000
Rosenbaum, Steven H. (District of Columbia)
FH-AL-0003-0001 | FH-AL-0003-0002 | FH-AL-0003-9000
Yi, Daniel H. (District of Columbia)
FH-AL-0003-0001 | FH-AL-0003-0002 | FH-AL-0003-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bush, Anthony B. (Alabama)
FH-AL-0003-0002
Guillot, Joseph Charles (Alabama)
FH-AL-0003-0002 | FH-AL-0003-9000
Scott, Kenneth R. (Alabama)
FH-AL-0003-0002 | FH-AL-0003-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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