Case: United States v. City of Birmingham

80-cv-70991 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Filed Date: 1980

Closed Date: Oct. 1, 1984

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Case Summary

This case involved the policy and practice of a city in the 1980s that prevented the construction of racially integrated housing. The United States filed this lawsuit against the City of Birmingham (“City”) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleging that the City had engaged in a policy and practice that prevented a non-profit corporation from developing racially integrated low-income senior citizen and family housing. The United States alleged that the City’s pra…

This case involved the policy and practice of a city in the 1980s that prevented the construction of racially integrated housing. The United States filed this lawsuit against the City of Birmingham (“City”) in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, alleging that the City had engaged in a policy and practice that prevented a non-profit corporation from developing racially integrated low-income senior citizen and family housing. The United States alleged that the City’s practices violated Sections 804(a) and 817 of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (the Fair Housing Act).

In 1975, the City recognized a need for senior-citizen housing and invited interested parties to submit proposals for the creation of a senior-citizen housing project. In December of 1976, the City entered into an agreement with Baldwin House for sale of the land that would be used for the project and the corporation had one year to obtain financing from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (“MSHDA”). The United States argued that the City had interfered with Baldwin House’s plan and that this interference was racially motivated. 

On May 27, 1982, the court granted judgment in favor of the United States on the issue of liability and injunctive relief. The district court concluded that the City had interfered with the Baldwin House’s plan to construct low-income family housing and that this interference was, in part, racially motivated. The court found that Baldwin House’s application was proceeding smoothly through MSHDA financing until the City became involved. 538 F.Supp. 819.

The City appealed the district court’s grant of injunctive relief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

On February 8, 1984, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment, but limited the injunction to prohibit the City from engaging in any conduct because of race or with discriminatory motive on account of race. The district court had previously enjoined the City from engaging in any conduct that interfered with Baldwin House’s efforts. 727 F.2d 560. 

On October 1, 1984, petition for writ of certiorari was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court. 105 S.Ct. 95. 

This case is closed. 

 

Summary Authors

Rhea Sharma (3/19/2024)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

80-cv-70991

Memorandum Opinion

May 27, 1982

May 27, 1982

Order/Opinion

538 F.Supp. 538

82-01559

Opinion

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

Feb. 8, 1984

Feb. 8, 1984

Order/Opinion

727 F.2d 727

Resources

Docket

Last updated March 30, 2024, 3:08 a.m.

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

Case Details

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Public Housing

Key Dates

Filing Date: 1980

Closing Date: Oct. 1, 1984

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Birmingham (Oakland), City

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Available Documents:

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief granted

Discrimination Prohibition

Issues

General/Misc.:

Housing

Discrimination Area:

Disparate Treatment

Discrimination Basis:

Race discrimination

Affected Race(s):

Black