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)

Edenfield, Berry Avant (Georgia)

Goldberg, Irving Loeb (Louisiana)

Ingraham, Joe McDonald (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barenblat, Martin (District of Columbia)

Gabel, Carl W. (District of Columbia)

Keeling, Thomas M. (District of Columbia)

Leonard, Jerris (District of Columbia)

Mitchell, John N. (District of Columbia)

Norman, David L. (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Ainsworth, Robert Andrew Jr. (Louisiana)

Edenfield, Berry Avant (Georgia)

Goldberg, Irving Loeb (Louisiana)

Ingraham, Joe McDonald (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Barenblat, Martin (District of Columbia)

Gabel, Carl W. (District of Columbia)

Keeling, Thomas M. (District of Columbia)

Leonard, Jerris (District of Columbia)

Mitchell, John N. (District of Columbia)

Norman, David L. (District of Columbia)

Schwelb, Frank E. (District of Columbia)

Stokes, John W. Jr. (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Asinof, Wesley R. (Georgia)

Dorsey, Hugh M. (Georgia)

Eberhardt, C.W. (Georgia)

Gortatowsky, Julian E. (Georgia)

Haldi, Glenville (Georgia)

May, Earle B. (Georgia)

Stone, Noah J. (Georgia)

Weltner, Charles L. (Georgia)

Other Attorney(s)

Hoare, Michael J. (Missouri)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Order [Denying Motion to Dismiss]

United States v. Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc.

313 F.Supp. 870

May 19, 1970 Order/Opinion

Order [Re: Summary Judgment Motions]

United States v. Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc.

327 F.Supp. 487

Jan. 28, 1971 Order/Opinion

Order [Granting Injunction to Plaintiffs]

United States v. Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc.

335 F.Supp. 1004

Dec. 27, 1971 Order/Opinion

Order [Affirming D.C. Grant of Injunction]

United States v. Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc.

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

474 F.2d 115

Feb. 13, 1973 Order/Opinion

Memorandum Decision

Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc. v. United States

Supreme Court of the United States

414 U.S. 826, 94 S.Ct. 131, 38 L.Ed.2d 59

Oct. 9, 1973 Order/Opinion

[Opinion Denying Rehearing]

Bob Lawrence Realty, Inc. v. United States

Supreme Court of the United States

414 U.S. 1087, 94 S.Ct. 610, 38 L.Ed.2d 494

Dec. 3, 1973 Order/Opinion

Resources

Title Description External URL

Constitutional Law - Blockbusting-Antiblockbusting Section of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 Held not Violative of First Amendment. Finding of "Group Pattern or Practice" Does Not Require a Showing of Conspiracy or Concerted Action

Fordham Urban Law Journal

An action was brought by the Attorney General against the president of a realty group and four other real estate brokers to enjoin alleged violations of anti-blockbusting provisions of the Fair Housi… Jan. 1, 1974 https://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/ulj/vol2/iss2/8/

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

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.

Availably 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