The Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights is pleased to report that the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) issued a decision on December 21, 2007 awarding a total of $55,394 against a landlord who posted a "no kids" sign at his Chicago three-flat building. The federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against families with children in the rental of housing.
In HUD v. Godlewski, a discriminatory advertisement case, Judge Constance O'Bryant awarded Complainant Lolita Lindo, who was searching for an apartment for herself and her son, $18,000 in damages for emotional distress and $2000 for expenses and inconvenience. She awarded Complainant Chicago Lawyers' Committee $24,394 for frustration of mission & diversion of resources and imposed an $11,000 civil penalty. She also granted injunctive relief and enjoined the respondent from transferring any real estate he owns until he satisfies the judgment. Judge O'Bryant found the respondent in default in May 2007 for failing to answer the charge of discrimination or otherwise plead or participate in the proceedings, and he did not participate in the September 11, 2007 hearing. The attorneys' fees petition is pending.
Bryan Lytton, Ken Schuler, John Ganz, and Alan Devlin of Latham & Watkins LLP are the volunteer attorneys on the case.