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Pre-Texas Dept. of Housing Cases
In the following cases, a common pattern can be seen in that plaintiffs prior to the Texas Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs case had a more difficult time proving discriminatory intent, or receiving any compensation for causes of action brought under the FHA:
Curtis v. Loether, 415 U.S. 189 (1974).
An African-American woman brought a suit against Caucasian respondents who had allegedly failed to rent her an apartment because of her race. She based her complaint on the provisions of the FHA, seeking injunctive relief and punitive damages. The Supreme Court held that the plaintiff could demand a jury trial in an action for damages, redressing violations of the fair housing provisions in the Civil Rights Act.
Village of Arlington Heights v. Metropolitan Development Corp., 429 U.S. 252 (1977).
In this 1977 Supreme Court case, the Metropolitan Housing Development Corporation applied to the Village of Arlington Heights for rezoning of a 15-acre plot of land from single family and multi-family residential, into federally subsidized low-to-moderate income housing. The Court found that there was no discriminatory intent, and that the rezoning did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.
U.S. v. Mitchell, 580 F.2d 789 (5th Cir. 1978).
The Attorney General sued Mitchell, his real estate company, and his agents, seeking damages and an injunction in order to stop racially discriminatory housing practices. The Court of Appeals affirmed the District Court's opinion, deciding that the defendants had "steered" African Americans into a separate section of a large apartment complex.
Bonasera v. City of Norcross, 342 F. App'x 581 (11th Cir. 2009).
A Hispanic woman living in a predominantly white neighborhood, who rented rooms in her house to boarders, sued the city and several employees under the FHA, claiming that her prosecution and conviction for violating single-family zoning laws was motivated by racial discrimination, and that the city selectively enforced its zoning regulations in a way which created a disparate impact on Hispanics. The Court of Appeals held that plaintiff failed to demonstrate discriminatory intent or a disparate impact on Hispanics.
President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act of 1968
Digest Topic and Key Numbers*
The following Topic and Key Numbers are helpful in discovering related case law and secondary sources:
78k1075 Civil Rights, Rights Protected and Discrimination Prohibited in General, Housing, In General
78k1071 Civil Rights, Rights Protected and Discrimination Prohibited in General, Property Rights
78k1033(1) Civil Rights, Rights Protected and Discrimination Prohibited in General, Discrimination in General
78k1085 Civil Rights, Rights Protected and Discrimination Prohibited in General, Interference, coercion, or intimidation; retaliation
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