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Case Name Wetzel v. Glen St. Andrew Living Community, LLC FH-IL-0019
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-07598 ( N.D. Ill. )
Additional Docket(s) 17-01322  [ 17-1322 ]
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Attorney Organization Lambda Legal
Case Summary
On July 27th, 2016, a 68-year-old woman who identifies as lesbian brought a civil right action under the Fair Housing Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act. The action was brought in the Northern District Court of Illinois. The plaintiff sought declaratory, injunctive, and compensatory and punitive ... read more >
On July 27th, 2016, a 68-year-old woman who identifies as lesbian brought a civil right action under the Fair Housing Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act. The action was brought in the Northern District Court of Illinois. The plaintiff sought declaratory, injunctive, and compensatory and punitive damages against Defendants Glen St. Andrew Living Community (GSALC) and their administrators.

Plaintiff alleged that, throughout her time at GSALC, she was subjected to a pattern of discrimination and harassment because of her sex and sexual orientation, including persistent verbal harassment, threats, intimidation, and three separate assaults, at the hands of other residents. She alleged that she was called countless homophobic slurs, taunted about her relationship with partner and their child, threatened with bodily harm, bullied and intimidated in all of the communal spaces in the facility, and physically injured by other residents. She further alleged that, although she repeatedly complained about the sex- and sexual orientation-based harassment to GSALC staff, they gave no response. Instead, it was alleged that staff marginalized and alienated Marsha and retaliated against her for complaining about the harassment.

The defendants moved to dismiss the case on Aug. 22, 2016, which the court granted on Jan. 18, 2017. The court held that the plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted because she did not allege a motive or intent to discriminate on the part of the defendants, that GSALC housing was discriminatory by being uninhabitable, or that the defendants acted because of her sexual orientation or gender.

The plaintiff appealed to the Seventh Circuit, which remanded the case to the District court based on a more expansive reading of the Fair Housing Act, holding that liability exists under the FHA when a landlord receives notice of tenant-on-tenant harassment based on a protected status, but does not take any reasonable steps to stop that harassment. The court applied the Title IX standard of deliberate indifference to the application of the FHA.

Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on October 31, 2018 reiterating the allegations of her initial complaint and basing her legal conclusions on the standard promulgated by the Seventh Circuit. However, on March 4, 2019, the two parties filed to jointly stipulate to the dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice, having reached an independent settlement agreement.

After the Seventh Circuit decision, Defendant had petitioned to the Supreme Court, but the petition was dismissed pursuant to the two parties’ settlement agreement.

Sihang Zhang - 01/04/2017
Virginia Weeks - 02/22/2018
Dan Toubman - 04/05/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
Single family housing provider
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Housing
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
Defendant(s) Glen St. Andrew Living Community
Plaintiff Description A lesbian senior who alleges that a living facility failed to protect her from harassment, discrimination and violence by other residents because of her sex and sexual orientation.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Lambda Legal
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filed 2016
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Date: Dec. 4, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis Law Student)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:16-cv-07598 (N.D. Ill.)
FH-IL-0019-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/05/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 26] (2017 WL 201376) (N.D. Ill.)
FH-IL-0019-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 01/18/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion (901 F.3d 856)
FH-IL-0019-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 08/27/2018
Source: Westlaw
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory, Injunctive, and Other Relief [ECF# 52]
FH-IL-0019-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/31/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice [ECF# 62]
FH-IL-0019-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/04/2019
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Blakey, John Robert (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-9000
Der-Yeghiayan, Samuel (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0001 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Wood, Diane Pamela (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0004
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ingelhart, Kara N. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0002 | FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Litchfield, John Louis (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0002 | FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Loewy, Karen Lee (New York) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0002 | FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Lopez, William Mariano (New York) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0002 | FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Palazzolo, Kyle A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-9000
Wheeler, Ellen M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0002 | FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Esposito, Paul V (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Hausten, Lisa Anne (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-9000
Kollross, Melinda Sue (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Ryan, James H. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-9000
Watson, Lindsay A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-9000

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