Case: United States v. Bob Lawrence Realty

1:73-cv-13468 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia

Filed Date: 1973

Closed Date: 1973

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

The Department of Justice filed suit against the six Defendant-realtors, alleging that the Defendants, acting singly and in concert with each other, induced homeowners to sell their properties by telling them that African-Americans were moving into the neighborhood. U.S. District Court Judge Edenfield rejected the Defendants motion to dismiss on May 17, 1970, and found that the DOJ's allegations were sufficient to support a cause of action under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601-19. United S…

The Department of Justice filed suit against the six Defendant-realtors, alleging that the Defendants, acting singly and in concert with each other, induced homeowners to sell their properties by telling them that African-Americans were moving into the neighborhood. U.S. District Court Judge Edenfield rejected the Defendants motion to dismiss on May 17, 1970, and found that the DOJ's allegations were sufficient to support a cause of action under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601-19. United States v. Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc., 313 F. Supp. 870 (N.D. Ga. 1970). Brought as a blockbuster case, the DOJ sought only injunctive relief against further violations of the FHA. Judge Edenfield granted one Defendant-realtor's motion for partial summary judgment on January 28, 1971, after finding that that Defendant may have violated the FHA by acting on its own but did not act in concert with the other Defendants. United States v. Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc., 327 F. Supp. 487 (N.D. Ga. 1971).

On December 27, 1971, the District Court entered a permanent injunction barring the Defendant-realtors from violating that FHA by making statements about the alleged influx of minority homeowners into Atlanta neighborhoods. United States v. Mitchell, 335 F. Supp. 1004 (N.D. Ga. 1971). The District Court noted, however, that while many of the Defendants' agents had made statements to homeowners in violation of the FHA, the Defendants had also reacted to expressions of racism held by private homeowners, which were not barred by the FHA. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the entry of an injunction on February 13, 1973, after rejecting a Defendant-appellant's argument that Congress lacked constitutional authority to enact the FHA. United States v. Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc., 474 F.2d 115 (5th Cir. 1973). The Supreme Court denied the Defendant-appellant's petition for a writ of certiorari on October 9, 1973. Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc. v. United States, 414 U.S. 826 (1973).

The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Andrew Nash (8/2/2008)

People


Judge(s)

Ainsworth, Robert Andrew Jr. (Louisiana)

Attorney for Plaintiff

Barenblat, Martin (District of Columbia)

Attorney for Defendant

Asinof, Wesley R. (Georgia)

Dorsey, Hugh M. (Georgia)

Eberhardt, C.W. (Georgia)

Expert/Monitor/Master/Other

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Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

70-cv-13468

Order [Denying Motion to Dismiss]

United States v. Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc.

May 19, 1970

May 19, 1970

Order/Opinion

71-cv-13468

Order [Re: Summary Judgment Motions]

United States v. Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc.

Jan. 28, 1971

Jan. 28, 1971

Order/Opinion

71-cv-13468

71-cv-13467

Order [Granting Injunction to Plaintiffs]

United States v. Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc.

Dec. 27, 1971

Dec. 27, 1971

Order/Opinion

72-01655

Order [Affirming D.C. Grant of Injunction]

United States v. Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc.

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Feb. 13, 1973

Feb. 13, 1973

Order/Opinion

72-01574

Memorandum Decision

Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc. v. United States

Supreme Court of the United States

Oct. 9, 1973

Oct. 9, 1973

Order/Opinion

72-01574

[Opinion Denying Rehearing]

Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc. v. United States

Supreme Court of the United States

Dec. 3, 1973

Dec. 3, 1973

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Jan. 23, 2024, 3:10 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Georgia

Case Type(s):

Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1973

Closing Date: 1973

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

USA sought injunctive relief against Atlanta real estate firm for allegedly engaging in pattern of inducing persons to sell/rent their homes by representations regarding the entry into neighborhood of persons of a particular race, religion or nationality.

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc. (Atlanta), Private Entity/Person

Ray Mitchell Realty Company (Atlanta), Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.

Available Documents:

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Order Duration: 1971 - None