Case: NAACP, Boston Chapter v. Boston Housing Authority

1:88-cv-01155 | U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts

Filed Date: June 14, 1988

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

This is a case about racially segregated public housing in Boston. On June 14, 1988, the Boston chapter of the NAACP filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiff sued the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), the mayor of Boston, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Communities and Development, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981-1983, 3604, 3608; and …

This is a case about racially segregated public housing in Boston. On June 14, 1988, the Boston chapter of the NAACP filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The plaintiff sued the Boston Housing Authority (BHA), the mayor of Boston, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Communities and Development, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981-1983, 3604, 3608; and Massachusetts state law.

The plaintiffs claimed that the BHA maintained racially segregated public housing by discouraging Black applicants to apply to its site-specific waiting lists in the predominantly white neighborhoods of South Boston, Charlestown, and East Boston. The plaintiffs also alleged that the BHA had violated multiple court orders and compliance agreements from previous lawsuits dating back to 1962, as recounted in Boston Housing Authority v. Atlanta Int'l Ins. Co. (where the defendants sued its insurance company to pay for litigation costs and damages). 781 F.Supp. 80 (D. Mass. 1992).

The case was assigned to Judge Joseph L. Tauro. According to a later opinion, the plaintiffs filed for a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction on July 12, 1988. We do not have additional information about the contents or the outcome of that motion.

Although we don't have access to the initial litigation documents, it appears that on the first day scheduled for trial, the parties asked for a private conference with the judge. Judge Tauro agreed to work with both parties in order to reach a settlement instead of continuing with litigation.

After more than a year of negotiation, the court approved a settlement on October 4, 1989. As part of the agreement, the parties stipulated that the plaintiff class "include all minority applicants to the BHA who sought or inquired about BHA housing prior to June 14, 1988, and who have claimed or may claim to have been the subject of any discrimination based on race with respect to obtaining such housing." 723 F. Supp. 1554 (D. Mass. 1989).

The BHA agreed to integrate its white housing developments and pay damages. The BHA would pay $2,500 to each class member, except for those "housed as emergencies." Those housed as emergencies in developments where minorities predominated would receive $1,000. For minorities on a waiting list to live in the neighborhood of Charlestown as of February 1, 1988, the BHA would pay $500. The BHA also agreed to pay all named plaintiffs an aggregate amount of $120,000. Id.

Half of the BHA's payments was to be paid by April 15, 1990; another 25% would be paid for each of the following years. The payments would go into a Community Benefit Fund containing $250,000-$500,000 in order to promote fair housing efforts in Boston. This fund was jointly administered by the NAACP and the BHA. The BHA also agreed to provide quarterly progress reports. Id.

As stipulated by the settlement, the plaintiffs filed separately for attorneys' fees. On March 16, 1993, the court approved a settlement for the attorney's fees. We do not know the result of the settlement.

This case has finished.

Summary Authors

Lauren Yu (2/10/2021)

People


Judge(s)

Tauro, Joseph Louis (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Arnwine, Barbara R. (District of Columbia)

Cohen, Nadine M. (Massachusetts)

Peterson, Mary N. (Massachusetts)

Steinberg, Laura (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bluestein, Richard M. (Massachusetts)

Budd, Wayne A. (Massachusetts)

Lundberg, Janet Steckel (Massachusetts)

Solomon, Rod (Massachusetts)

Wallis, Albert W. (Massachusetts)

Judge(s)

Tauro, Joseph Louis (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Arnwine, Barbara R. (District of Columbia)

Cohen, Nadine M. (Massachusetts)

Peterson, Mary N. (Massachusetts)

Steinberg, Laura (Massachusetts)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Bluestein, Richard M. (Massachusetts)

Budd, Wayne A. (Massachusetts)

Lundberg, Janet Steckel (Massachusetts)

Solomon, Rod (Massachusetts)

Wallis, Albert W. (Massachusetts)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:88-cv-01155

Docket [PACER]

NAACP v. Boston Housing Authority

Aug. 24, 1993

Aug. 24, 1993

Docket

1:88-cv-01155

Opinion

723 F.Supp. 1554

Oct. 4, 1989

Oct. 4, 1989

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

Last updated Aug. 9, 2022, 3:01 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link

Case closed (vah) (Entered: 01/16/1990)

Dec. 29, 1989

Dec. 29, 1989

86

Joint motion by N.A.A.C.P., Tanya Boman, Annie Hailey, Boston Housing Autho, Of Boston, Housing &Urban Deve, Communities &Develo to extend time for deft's to respond to pltf's application for atty's fees. filed. (sad) (Entered: 01/15/1991)

Jan. 4, 1991

Jan. 4, 1991

Judge Joseph L. Tauro . Endorsed Order granting [86−1] joint motion to extend time for deft's to respond to pltf's application for atty's fees.to 2/1/91 cc/cl (sad) (Entered: 01/15/1991)

Jan. 7, 1991

Jan. 7, 1991

Refer to Paper Docket for entries prior to January 1, 1991. (sad) (Entered: 01/15/1991)

Jan. 15, 1991

Jan. 15, 1991

87

Letter to Ms. Coughlin Re dates for possible meeting with the Judge on 2/12/91 or 2/20/91 From james Jj. Marcellino filed (sad) (Entered: 02/12/1991)

Feb. 5, 1991

Feb. 5, 1991

88

Statement of compliance i filed. (sad) (Entered: 02/22/1991)

Feb. 15, 1991

Feb. 15, 1991

89

Notice of Hearing: on 3/15/91 at 10:00am in court room 12th floor, cc/cl. (sad) (Entered: 02/25/1991)

Feb. 20, 1991

Feb. 20, 1991

91

List of additional class members whose payments were made on 2/28/91 filed (sad) (Entered: 03/13/1991)

March 6, 1991

March 6, 1991

93

Statement of compliance by Boston Housing Authority (vah) (Entered: 04/11/1991)

April 10, 1991

April 10, 1991

92

Motion by Boston Housing Autho, Of Boston, Housing &Urban Deve, Communities &Develo to extend time to file requests for findings and rulings to 4/26/91 (vah) (Entered: 04/11/1991)

April 11, 1991

April 11, 1991

Judge Joseph L. Tauro . Endorsed Order granting [92−1] motion to extend time to file requests for findings and rulings to 4/26/91 (vah) (Entered: 04/11/1991)

April 11, 1991

April 11, 1991

94

Memorandum by N.A.A.C.P., Tanya Boman, Annie Hailey in opposition to [92−1] motion to extend time to file requests for findings and rulings to 4/26/91 (sad) (Entered: 04/23/1991)

April 11, 1991

April 11, 1991

95

Plaintff's submission of Proposed Findings of fact and conclusions of law in connection with their fee application N.A.A.C.P., Tanya Boman, Annie Hailey filed c/s (sad) (Entered: 04/25/1991)

April 15, 1991

April 15, 1991

96

Deft's Motion by Boston Housing Autho, Of Boston, Housing &Urban Deve, Communities &Develo to submit a memorandum in excess of twenty pages filed c/s (sad) (Entered: 05/01/1991)

April 26, 1991

April 26, 1991

97

Motion by Boston Housing Autho, Of Boston, Housing &Urban Deve, Communities &Develo to serve ints filed c/s (sad) (Entered: 05/01/1991)

April 26, 1991

April 26, 1991

98

Exhibits to deft's memo in oppo to plf's application for Atty's fees and in support of proposed findings and rulings filed. (sad) (Entered: 05/01/1991)

April 26, 1991

April 26, 1991

99

Memorandum by Boston Housing Autho, Of Boston, Housing &Urban Deve, Communities &Develo in opposition to pltf's application for Atty's fees and in support of proposed findings and rulings filed (sad) (Entered: 05/01/1991)

April 26, 1991

April 26, 1991

100

Proposed Findings of fact and conclusions of law by Boston Housing Authority on pltf's application for atty's fees filed. (sad) (Entered: 05/01/1991)

April 26, 1991

April 26, 1991

101

Exhibits to deft's memorandum in opposition to pltfs' application for atty's fees and in support of proposed findings and rulings filed (Voume II) (sad) (Entered: 05/01/1991)

April 26, 1991

April 26, 1991

104

BRA 'S Statement of Compliance as to its second payment to claimants filed c/s (sad) (Entered: 05/30/1991)

May 9, 1991

May 9, 1991

102

Motion by N.A.A.C.P., Tanya Boman, Annie Hailey for leave to file reply filed c/s (sad) (Entered: 05/16/1991)

May 10, 1991

May 10, 1991

103

Response by N.A.A.C.P., Tanya Boman, Annie Hailey in opposition to [97−1] motion to serve ints filed c/s (sad) (Entered: 05/16/1991)

May 10, 1991

May 10, 1991

105

Reply by N.A.A.C.P., Tanya Boman, Annie Hailey to response to [86−1] joint motion to extend time for deft's to respond to pltf's application for atty's fees. filed c/s (sad) (Entered: 06/04/1991)

May 24, 1991

May 24, 1991

106

two corrected copies of defts' memo in oppo to pltfs'application for Atty's fees &in support of proposed findings and rulings filed (sad) (Entered: 07/23/1991)

July 19, 1991

July 19, 1991

Terminated document(s) mooting [102−1] motion for leave to file reply, mooting [97−1] motion to serve ints, mooting [96−1] motion to submit a memorandum in excess of twenty pages Requested by mlc. (tmc) (Entered: 09/12/1991)

Sept. 12, 1991

Sept. 12, 1991

107

Motion by the Community Benefit Fundd Advisory Board For Court Aapproval to Affiliate With the Boston Foundation , FILED.(c/s) (cmg) (Entered: 03/30/1992)

March 27, 1992

March 27, 1992

108

Chief Judge Joseph L. Tauro . Order granting [107−1] motion For Court Aapproval to Affiliate With the Boston Foundation . . . The Community Benefit Fund Advisory Board's Motion to Affiliate with the boston Foundation is hereby

May 12, 1992

May 12, 1992

110

Notice of Hearing: Conference for members of the Community Benefit Fund Advisory Committee. It is requested that Attys Rdolph Pierce and Peter Berry be present set status conference for 3:30 2/17/93 before Chief Judge Joseph L. Tauro , FILED.(cc/cl) (cmg) (Entered: 01/26/1993)

Jan. 25, 1993

Jan. 25, 1993

111

Ltr. to Court dated 12/3/93 from Rudolph F. Pierce advising of his Resignation as Chair of the Community Benefit Fund, FILED.(c/s) (cmg) (Entered: 02/23/1993)

Feb. 22, 1993

Feb. 22, 1993

112

Ltr. dated 12/15/92 to Court from Peter Berry advising of resignation as member of the Community Benefit Fund Advisory Board, FILED. (cmg) (Entered: 02/23/1993)

Feb. 22, 1993

Feb. 22, 1993

113

Chief Judge Joseph L. Tauro . Procedural Order ISSUED: Members of the Community Benefit Fund Advisory Board shall meet with this Court for the purpose of resolving the following issues: 1. Whether there are presently any vacancies on the Board; 2. How present and future vacancies on the Board are to be filled. 3. How the Board, consistent with the objective of providing equal housing opporunity for persons of all races int eh City of Boston, will administer the Community Benefit Fund, set status conference for 3:00 3/15/93 before Chief Judge Joseph L. Tauro , FILED.(cc/cl, cl to board members) (cmg) (Entered: 02/23/1993)

Feb. 22, 1993

Feb. 22, 1993

114

Ltr. to Chief Judge Tauro from David J. Cortiella advising of recent developments re: BHA positions, FILED.(c/s) (cmg) (Entered: 03/11/1993)

March 1, 1993

March 1, 1993

Proposed Attys' Fees Settlement Agreement, FILED. (cmg) (Entered: 03/19/1993)

March 15, 1993

March 15, 1993

115

Chief Judge Joseph L. Tauro . Order ISSUED: Atty's Fees Settlement Agreement APPROVED AND SO ORDERED, FILED.(cc/cl) (cmg) (Entered: 03/19/1993)

March 16, 1993

March 16, 1993

Status conference held (cmg) (Entered: 04/01/1993)

March 30, 1993

March 30, 1993

116

Chief Judge Joseph L. Tauro . Clerk's Notes: Conference re: new members of Community Fund Advisory Board. B.H.A. representatives will be s. Margarette J. Dukes, Asst. Administrator for Human Resources and Fradique A. ROcha, General Counsel. NAACP will submit 2 new names, one of which wil be Nadine Cohen, Esq., from Lawyers Committee. NAACP will also suggest a replacement for RUdolph Pierce as Chair of Committee. A letter shall be sent to Court from newly designated committee advising it as to where funds will be held. Mr. Pierce will contact NAACP's suggestions for replacement of Board Chair and notify Court as to whether either one is willing to serve as Chair, FILED. (cmg) (Entered: 04/01/1993)

March 30, 1993

March 30, 1993

117

Letter from Rudolph Pierce to Judge Tauro re: Biography of Susan Spurlock (tmc) (Entered: 08/27/1993)

Aug. 18, 1993

Aug. 18, 1993

118

Chief Judge Joseph L. Tauro . Order: With the consent of all parties to this action, Susan Hicks Spurlock, Esquire, is appointed to serve as Chair of the Community Benefit Fund. SO ORDERED. cc/cl. (tmc) (Entered: 08/27/1993)

Aug. 24, 1993

Aug. 24, 1993

Case Details

State / Territory: Massachusetts

Case Type(s):

Public Housing

Key Dates

Filing Date: June 14, 1988

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

All minority applicants to the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) who sought or inquired about BHA housing prior to June 14, 1988, and who have claimed or may claim to have been the subject of any discrimination based on race with respect to obtaining such housing.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Boston Housing Authority (Boston, Suffolk), City

Mayor of Boston (Boston, Suffolk), City

Department of Housing and Urban Development (Washington, D.C.), Federal

Massachusetts Executive Office of Communities and Development, State

Defendant Type(s):

Housing Authority

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1983

42 U.S.C. § 1981

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

State law

42 U.S.C. § 1982

Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 500,000

Content of Injunction:

Preliminary relief request withdrawn/mooted

Issues

General:

Housing

Housing assistance

Pattern or Practice

Public benefits (includes, e.g., in-state tuition, govt. jobs)

Racial segregation

Discrimination-area:

Housing Sales/Rental

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black