Case: Clark v. Universal Builders, Inc.

1:69-00115 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Filed Date: Jan. 20, 1969

Closed Date: 1983

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

Plaintiffs filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the Defendant-construction company, alleging that the installment contracts the Defendant entered into with minority Plaintiffs contained less favorable terms than those offered to white home purchasers. Plaintiffs filed suit under federal civil rights states, 42 U.S.C. 1981, 1982, arguing that the Supreme Court's ruling in Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., 392 U.S. 409 (1968), provided them with a cause …

Plaintiffs filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against the Defendant-construction company, alleging that the installment contracts the Defendant entered into with minority Plaintiffs contained less favorable terms than those offered to white home purchasers. Plaintiffs filed suit under federal civil rights states, 42 U.S.C. 1981, 1982, arguing that the Supreme Court's ruling in Jones v. Alfred H. Mayer Co., 392 U.S. 409 (1968), provided them with a cause of action for unfavorable credit terms based on race. The District Court upheld the Plaintiffs' claim under Section 1982. On January 6, 1970, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the District Court's ruling and rejected the Defendant-appellant's argument that the statute of limitations barred the Plaintiffs' suit under Section 1982. Baker v. F & F Inv., 420 F.2d 1191 (7th Cir. 1970). The Supreme Court denied the Defendant-appellants' petition for writ of certiorari on October 12, 1970. Universal Builders, Inc. v. Clark, 400 U.S. 821 (1970).

During trial U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Sam Perry granted the Defendants' motion for a directed verdict, finding that Plaintiffs' exploitation theory could not support a cause of action under 42 U.S.C. 1982. The Seventh Circuit reversed Judge Perry on July 26, 1974, holding that Section 1982 is violated if the facts demonstrate that Defendants exploited a situation created by socioeconomic forces tainted by racial discrimination. Clark v. Universal Builders, Inc., 501 F.2d 324, 330 (7th Cir. 1974). The Supreme Court denied the Defendants' petition for a writ of certiorari. Universal Builders, Inc. v. Clark, 419 U.S. 1070 (1974).

On remand, U.S. District Court Judge Austin denied the Defendants' motion to dismiss the Plaintiffs' causes of action in their amended complaint under 42 U.S.C. 1981, 1982, and 1985(3), but granted the motion to strike with respect to a claim under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Clark v. Universal Builders, Inc., 409 F. Supp. 1274 (N.D. Ill. 1974). The District Court subsequently entered judgment for the Defendants, finding that the Plaintiffs had failed to adduce evidence proving either a traditional or an exploitation theory of unlawful discrimination in lending. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the District Court's ruling on April 19, 1983. Clark v. Universal Builders, Inc., 706 F.2d 204 (7th Cir. 1983).

Summary Authors

Andrew Nash (6/2/2008)

People


Judge(s)

Austin, Richard William (Illinois)

Coffey, John Louis (Wisconsin)

Cudahy, Richard Dickson (Illinois)

Grant, Robert Allen (Illinois)

Sprecher, Robert Arthur (Illinois)

Swygert, Luther Merritt (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Boodell, Thomas J. (Illinois)

McClure, John F. (Illinois)

Samuels, Ronald S. (Illinois)

Thigpen, Carol R. (Illinois)

Judge(s)

Austin, Richard William (Illinois)

Coffey, John Louis (Wisconsin)

Cudahy, Richard Dickson (Illinois)

Grant, Robert Allen (Illinois)

Sprecher, Robert Arthur (Illinois)

Swygert, Luther Merritt (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Boodell, Thomas J. (Illinois)

McClure, John F. (Illinois)

Samuels, Ronald S. (Illinois)

Thigpen, Carol R. (Illinois)

Tucker, John C. (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Turoff, Michael (Illinois)

Weitzenfeld, Burton Y. (Illinois)

Other Attorney(s)

McNally, William J. (Illinois)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

00208

Order [Denying Writ of Certiorari]

Universal Builders, Inc. v. Clark

Supreme Court of the United States

400 U.S. 821, 91 S.Ct. 40

Oct. 12, 1970

Oct. 12, 1970

Order/Opinion

72-01665

Opinion [Reverses and Remands District Court Decision]

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

501 F.2d 324

July 26, 1974

July 26, 1974

Order/Opinion

1:69-00115

Ruling on Motions

409 F.Supp. 1274

March 11, 1976

March 11, 1976

Order/Opinion

82-01770

82-01859

Opinion [Affirming Decision]

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

706 F.2d 204

April 19, 1983

April 19, 1983

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 10, 2022, 3:02 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance

Key Dates

Filing Date: Jan. 20, 1969

Closing Date: 1983

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

1,000 black home buyers who purchased newly constructed single family dwellings from defendants under land installment contracts during a period from 1957-1969.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Universal Builders, Inc. (Chicago), Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1982

Availably Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Funding

Discrimination-area:

Lending

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Race, unspecified