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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States v. Fred C. Trump, Donald Trump, and Trump Management, Inc. FH-NY-0024
Docket / Court 73-1529 ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
This case was brought against Fred and Donald Trump, and their real estate company, in 1973 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. We are working to obtain the relevant documents. In the meantime, the facts in the summary are from an article by Michael Kranish and Robert ... read more >
This case was brought against Fred and Donald Trump, and their real estate company, in 1973 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. We are working to obtain the relevant documents. In the meantime, the facts in the summary are from an article by Michael Kranish and Robert O'Harrow Jr. in the Washington Post, Inside the government’s racial bias case against Donald Trump’s company, and how he fought it (Jan. 23, 2016).

In October 1973, the Justice Department filed this civil rights case in federal court in Brooklyn against Fred Trump, Donald Trump, and their real estate company. The complaint alleged that the firm had committed systemic violations of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 in their many complexes--39 buildings, between them containing over 14,000 apartments. The allegations included evidence from black and white "testers" who had sought to rent apartments; the white testers were told of vacancies; the black testers were not, or were steered to apartment complexes with a higher proportion of racial minorities. The complaint also alleged that Trump employees had placed codes next to housing applicant names to indicate if they were black.

The Trumps retained Roy Cohn, former aide to Senator Joseph McCarthy, to defend them; they counter-claimed against the government, seeking $100 million in damages for defamation.

The case was assigned to District Judge Edward R. Neaher. He dismissed the counterclaim and allowed the Fair Housing Act suit to proceed.

After two years, the matter settled with a consent decree, signed June 10, 1975. It included the ordinary disclaimer of liability (the settlement was “in no way an admission” of a violation"), but prohibited the Trumps from "discriminating against any person in the terms, conditions, or privileges of sale or rental of a dwelling." Fred and Donald Trump were ordered to "thoroughly acquaint themselves personally on a detailed basis" with the Fair Housing Act. The agreement also required the Trumps to place ads informing minorities they had an equal opportunity to seek housing at their properties. According to a contemporary article in the New York Times, Trump Management was required to furnish the New York Urban League with a weekly list of all apartment vacancies, for two years; the League would get three days to provide qualified applicants for every fifth vacancy in Trump buildings where fewer than 10 percent of the tenants were black.

The Justice Department called the decree “one of the most far-reaching ever negotiated.” Newspaper headlines echoed that assessment. The New York Amsterdam News, for example, titled its article “Minorities win housing suit,” and told readers that “qualified Blacks and Puerto Ricans now have the opportunity to rent apartments owned by Trump Management.”

In his autobiography, Donald Trump took a different view: “In the end the government couldn’t prove its case, and we ended up making a minor settlement without admitting any guilt.”

- 05/08/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Comply with advertising/recruiting requirements
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Goals and Timekeeping
Provide antidiscrimination training
Recordkeeping
Defendant-type
Multi-family housing provider
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Steering
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Housing
Pattern or Practice
Racial segregation
Record-keeping
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) Trump Management, Inc.
Plaintiff Description U.S. 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 1975 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Inside the government’s racial bias case against Donald Trump’s company, and how he fought it
Written: Jan. 23, 2016
By: Michael Kranish and Robert O'Harrow Jr. (Washington Post)
Citation: Washington Post (Jan. 23, 2016)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Written: Dec. 04, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
73-c-1529 (E.D.N.Y.) 07/17/1979
FH-NY-0024-9000.pdf | Detail
Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
General Documents
Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Government's Complaint for Failure to State a Claim or for a More Definite Statement Pursuant to FRCP Rule 12
FH-NY-0024-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Memorandum of the United States in Support of the Entry of an Order to Show Cause
FH-NY-0024-0024.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Correspondence Regarding Compliance with Consent Order
FH-NY-0024-0038.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Dep't of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement
Miscellaneous Internal Memorandums (DOJ)
FH-NY-0024-0039.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Dep't of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement
Proposed Order
FH-NY-0024-0042.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Miscellaneous Stipulations
FH-NY-0024-0043.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Discovery Materials
FH-NY-0024-0044.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Dep't of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement
Miscellaneous Letter Motions
FH-NY-0024-0045.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Declarations of Paul and Paula Ziselman
FH-NY-0024-0048.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Open Housing Center Spotlight Ads
FH-NY-0024-0049.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Dep't of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement
General Correspondence
FH-NY-0024-0050.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Dep't of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement
FBI Records (disclosed under FOIA)
FH-NY-0024-0051.pdf | Detail
Complaint for Injunction Pursuant to Fair Housing Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 3601, et seq. 10/15/1973
FH-NY-0024-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Summons 10/15/1973 (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0024-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Notice of Appearance 11/02/1973
FH-NY-0024-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Motion for a More Definite Statement 12/07/1973
FH-NY-0024-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Affidavit in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss or for a More Definite Statement 12/11/1973
FH-NY-0024-0001.pdf | Detail
Affidavit [of Roy Cohn] 12/11/1973
FH-NY-0024-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Motion to Dismiss 12/12/1973
FH-NY-0024-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Counterclaim 12/12/1973
FH-NY-0024-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Memorandum of the United States in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss, Motion for More Definite Statement, and in Support of Plaintiff's Motion to Dismiss the Counterclaim 01/04/1974
FH-NY-0024-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Memorandum of the United States in Response to the Affidavits of Donald Trump and Roy Cohn 01/08/1974
FH-NY-0024-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Notice of Motion to Dismiss Defendants' Counterclaim 01/08/1974
FH-NY-0024-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Defendants' Reply Memorandum of Law in Support of Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Counterclaim 01/22/1974
FH-NY-0024-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Order 02/05/1974 (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0024-0017.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Answer 02/08/1974
FH-NY-0024-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Transcript 02/28/1974
FH-NY-0024-0019.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Motion and Notice of Motion for Sanctions 04/23/1974
FH-NY-0024-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions 04/23/1974
FH-NY-0024-0021.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Miscellaneous Minute Orders 06/01/1974 (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0024-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Notice of Motion [with Affidavit of Roy Cohn and attachments] 07/30/1974
FH-NY-0024-0022.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Affidavit of Donna F. Goldstein 08/02/1974
FH-NY-0024-0046.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Affidavit of Frank E. Schwelb 08/02/1974
FH-NY-0024-0047.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Affidavit 08/05/1974
FH-NY-0024-0002.pdf | Detail
Response of United States to Defendants' Motion of July 26, 1974 08/05/1974
FH-NY-0024-0023.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Order to Show Cause 08/05/1974 (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0024-0025.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Application of the United States that Defendants' Motion for Sanctions Be Heard, Denied with Prejudice and Stricken After Hearing 09/24/1974
FH-NY-0024-0026.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Memorandum of United States in Support of Its Application to Deny Defendants' Motion for Contempt with Prejudice, for an Early Hearing, and Strike 09/24/1974
FH-NY-0024-0027.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Transcript 11/07/1974
FH-NY-0024-0041.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Memorandum Order 02/20/1975 (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0024-0028.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Order 05/19/1975 (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0024-0029.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Order to Show Cause 06/06/1975 (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0024-0031.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Consent Order 06/10/1975 (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0024-0034.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Transcript 06/10/1975
FH-NY-0024-0036.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff's Request to Enforce a Settlement Agreement 07/04/1975
FH-NY-0024-0030.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Plaintiff's Application for Order to Show Cause [With Attached Affidavits of Frank E. Schwelb and Donna Goldstein] 07/04/1975
FH-NY-0024-0032.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Affidavit [of Roy Cohn] 07/09/1975
FH-NY-0024-0033.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Supplemental Order 10/28/1975 (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0024-0035.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Correspondence Regarding Alleged Incidents of Discrimination 05/30/1976
FH-NY-0024-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Dep't of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement
Letter [from Drew S. Days to Betty Hoeber, attaching statistics showing the change in racial composition at Trump buildings] 07/12/1977
FH-NY-0024-0040.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Dep't of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Housing and Civil Enforcement
Motion for Supplemental Relief 03/07/1978
FH-NY-0024-0037.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Nat'l Archives (NARA)-details in other
Judges Catoggio, Vincent A. Court not on record [Magistrate]
FH-NY-0024-0003 | FH-NY-0024-0044 | FH-NY-0024-0050 | FH-NY-0024-0050
Neaher, Edward Raymond (E.D.N.Y.)
FH-NY-0024-0003 | FH-NY-0024-0017 | FH-NY-0024-0025 | FH-NY-0024-0028 | FH-NY-0024-0029 | FH-NY-0024-0031 | FH-NY-0024-0034 | FH-NY-0024-0035 | FH-NY-0024-0041 | FH-NY-0024-0043 | FH-NY-0024-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Boyd, Edward John (New York)
FH-NY-0024-0019 | FH-NY-0024-0043 | FH-NY-0024-0044
Brachtl, Henry A. (New York)
FH-NY-0024-0008 | FH-NY-0024-0014 | FH-NY-0024-0015 | FH-NY-0024-0019 | FH-NY-0024-0020 | FH-NY-0024-0021 | FH-NY-0024-0026 | FH-NY-0024-0027 | FH-NY-0024-0034 | FH-NY-0024-0036 | FH-NY-0024-0039 | FH-NY-0024-0043 | FH-NY-0024-0044 | FH-NY-0024-0050
Days, Drew S. III (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0024-0004 | FH-NY-0024-0037 | FH-NY-0024-0038 | FH-NY-0024-0040 | FH-NY-0024-0045 | FH-NY-0024-0050
Goldberg, Norman P. (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0024-0023 | FH-NY-0024-0024 | FH-NY-0024-0026 | FH-NY-0024-0027 | FH-NY-0024-0030 | FH-NY-0024-0032 | FH-NY-0024-0034 | FH-NY-0024-0041 | FH-NY-0024-0044 | FH-NY-0024-0045
Goldstein, Donna F. (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0024-0030 | FH-NY-0024-0032 | FH-NY-0024-0034 | FH-NY-0024-0044 | FH-NY-0024-0044 | FH-NY-0024-0045 | FH-NY-0024-0046 | FH-NY-0024-0050
Goldweber, Elyse S. (New York)
FH-NY-0024-0002 | FH-NY-0024-0005 | FH-NY-0024-0008 | FH-NY-0024-0014 | FH-NY-0024-0015 | FH-NY-0024-0019 | FH-NY-0024-0020 | FH-NY-0024-0021 | FH-NY-0024-0044 | FH-NY-0024-0050
Handley, Harvey L. III (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0024-0004 | FH-NY-0024-0037 | FH-NY-0024-0038 | FH-NY-0024-0039 | FH-NY-0024-0040 | FH-NY-0024-0045 | FH-NY-0024-0050
Heffernan, Brian F. (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0024-0037 | FH-NY-0024-0038 | FH-NY-0024-0039 | FH-NY-0024-0045 | FH-NY-0024-0050
Kelley, David T. (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0024-0038 | FH-NY-0024-0050
LaRue, Homer C. (New York)
FH-NY-0024-0037 | FH-NY-0024-0050
Morse, Robert A. (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0024-0005 | FH-NY-0024-0043
Porter, James D. (New York)
FH-NY-0024-0044
Pottinger, J. Stanley (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0024-0005 | FH-NY-0024-0038 | FH-NY-0024-0044 | FH-NY-0024-0045 | FH-NY-0024-0050
Richardson, Elliot L. (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0024-0005
Schwelb, Frank E. (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0024-0005 | FH-NY-0024-0008 | FH-NY-0024-0014 | FH-NY-0024-0015 | FH-NY-0024-0019 | FH-NY-0024-0020 | FH-NY-0024-0021 | FH-NY-0024-0023 | FH-NY-0024-0024 | FH-NY-0024-0026 | FH-NY-0024-0027 | FH-NY-0024-0030 | FH-NY-0024-0032 | FH-NY-0024-0034 | FH-NY-0024-0037 | FH-NY-0024-0039 | FH-NY-0024-0041 | FH-NY-0024-0044 | FH-NY-0024-0045 | FH-NY-0024-0047 | FH-NY-0024-0050 | FH-NY-0024-0050
Trager, David G. (New York)
FH-NY-0024-0034 | FH-NY-0024-0036 | FH-NY-0024-0037 | FH-NY-0024-0041 | FH-NY-0024-0044 | FH-NY-0024-0050
Turner, James P. (District of Columbia)
FH-NY-0024-0023 | FH-NY-0024-0024
Defendant's Lawyers Cohn, Roy M. (New York)
FH-NY-0024-0004 | FH-NY-0024-0009 | FH-NY-0024-0011 | FH-NY-0024-0012 | FH-NY-0024-0018 | FH-NY-0024-0019 | FH-NY-0024-0033 | FH-NY-0024-0034 | FH-NY-0024-0036 | FH-NY-0024-0038 | FH-NY-0024-0041 | FH-NY-0024-0044 | FH-NY-0024-0045 | FH-NY-0024-0050
Friedman, Stanley M. (New York)
FH-NY-0024-0045
Rosen, Michael (New York)
FH-NY-0024-0022
Shuman, Jeffrey A. (New York)
FH-NY-0024-0018 | FH-NY-0024-0043 | FH-NY-0024-0044
Tosti, Matthew J. (New York)
FH-NY-0024-0051
Other Lawyers None on record

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