Case: United States v. Sabbia

1:10-cv-05967 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Filed Date: Sept. 20, 2010

Closed Date: 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 20, 2010, the United States filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3612(o) against the owners of a single family home, their real estate agent and his employer, and a real estate brokerage firm. The plaintiff filed the action on behalf of an African-American family (and their real estate agent) to whom the defendants refused to sell their home on the basis of their race. The plaintiff sought i…

On September 20, 2010, the United States filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3612(o) against the owners of a single family home, their real estate agent and his employer, and a real estate brokerage firm. The plaintiff filed the action on behalf of an African-American family (and their real estate agent) to whom the defendants refused to sell their home on the basis of their race. The plaintiff sought injunctive, declaratory and monetary relief, and civil penalties.

The plaintiff alleged that when the owner first engaged the services of a real estate agent, he told the agent that he would prefer not to sell to a black family, but that for the right price, he didn't care who bought it. The agent found the family, negotiated with their agent and, on behalf of the owners, agreed to a price and drafted a sales contract. The owners discovered the family was black and refused to sign the sales contract, saying they had changed their minds about moving, had trouble finding a new home, trouble finding a suitable school, and other reasons the family found pretextual.

On January 28, 2010, the family filed a charge with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. After an investigation, HUD found reasonable cause to believe that the owners had violated the Fair Housing Act. The owners then offered the home to the family, but at a much higher price. The family refused and the lawsuit was filed.

On November 09, 2011, the Court (Judge Der-Yeghiayan) approved a three-year Partial Final Consent Order agreed to by the Plaintiff, the real estate agent, his employer, and the brokerage firm (the "Settling Defendants"). The Consent Decree did not include the homeowners, the claims against whom were still to be litigated. The Consent Decree 1) enjoined the settling defendants from refusing to sell or negotiate on the basis of race or color, and 2) ordered Defendants to pay $30,000 in compensatory damages. It also required training and education for new agents, notice of non-discrimination policies and other injunctive relief.

On July 27, 2012, a second final partial consent decree was approved by the judge between the plaintiff and the owners. This 3-year decree required the owners to agree to non-discriminatory practices, to permit compliance testing and monitoring, and to pay $6,000 to the family's realtor.

As of March 2019, there have been no further updates to the case; the case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Denise Heberle (8/2/2012)

Lisa Limb (3/22/2019)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5545879/parties/united-states-v-sabbia/


Judge(s)

Der-Yeghiayan, Samuel (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Fitzgerald, Patrick J. (Illinois)

Hunt, LaShonda A. (Illinois)

Johnson, Patrick Walter (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Block, Alexandra Kay (Illinois)

Feldman, Edward W (Illinois)

Heller, Bennett R. (Illinois)

Holmes, David M. (Illinois)

Kralovec, Michael Joseph (Illinois)

Lemersal, Joseph R. (Illinois)

Judge(s)

Der-Yeghiayan, Samuel (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Fitzgerald, Patrick J. (Illinois)

Hunt, LaShonda A. (Illinois)

Johnson, Patrick Walter (Illinois)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Block, Alexandra Kay (Illinois)

Feldman, Edward W (Illinois)

Heller, Bennett R. (Illinois)

Holmes, David M. (Illinois)

Kralovec, Michael Joseph (Illinois)

Lemersal, Joseph R. (Illinois)

Meenan, Daniel C. Jr. (Illinois)

Sekerka, Angela McManus (Illinois)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:10-cv-05967

Docket

July 27, 2012

July 27, 2012

Docket
1

1:10-cv-05967

Complaint

Sept. 20, 2010

Sept. 20, 2010

Complaint
42

1:10-cv-05967

Partial Consent Decree

Nov. 9, 2011

Nov. 9, 2011

Settlement Agreement
44

1:10-cv-05967

Partial Final Consent Order [II]

United States of America v. Sabbia

July 27, 2012

July 27, 2012

Settlement Agreement

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5545879/united-states-v-sabbia/

Last updated July 24, 2022, 3:05 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
36

MEMORANDUM Opinion Signed by the Honorable Samuel Der-Yeghiayan on 5/19/2011: Mailed notice (mw, )

May 19, 2011

May 19, 2011

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Illinois

Case Type(s):

Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 20, 2010

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States on behalf of an African American family denied purchase of a home on the basis of race.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

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

Daniel and Adrienne Sabbia (Chicago), Private Entity/Person

The Lowe Group Chicago, Inc. (Chicago), Private Entity/Person

Jeffrey Lowe (Chicago), Private Entity/Person

Midwest Realty Ventures, LLC (Chicago), 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:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 36,000

Order Duration: 2011 - 2014

Issues

Discrimination-area:

Housing Sales/Rental

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black