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Case Name Wetzel v. Glen St. Andrew Living Community, LLC FH-IL-0019
Docket / Court 1:16-cv-07598 ( N.D. Ill. )
Additional Docket(s) 17-01322  [ 17-1322 ]
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Attorney Organization Lambda Legal
Case Summary
On July 27th, 2016, a 68-year-old woman who identified as lesbian brought a civil right action under the Fair Housing Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act. The action was brought in the Northern District Court of Illinois. The plaintiff sought declaratory, injunctive, and compensatory and punitive ... read more >
On July 27th, 2016, a 68-year-old woman who identified as lesbian brought a civil right action under the Fair Housing Act and the Illinois Human Rights Act. The action was brought in the Northern District Court of Illinois. The plaintiff sought declaratory, injunctive, and compensatory and punitive damages against Defendants Glen St. Andrew Living Community (GSALC) and their administrators.

The plaintiff alleged that, throughout her time at GSALC, she was subjected to a pattern of discrimination and harassment because of her sex and sexual orientation, including persistent verbal harassment, threats, intimidation, and three separate assaults, at the hands of other residents. She alleged that she was called countless homophobic slurs, taunted about her relationship with partner and their child, threatened with bodily harm, bullied and intimidated in all of the communal spaces in the facility, and physically injured by other residents. She further alleged that, although she repeatedly complained about the sex- and sexual orientation-based harassment to GSALC staff, they gave no response. Instead, it was alleged that staff marginalized and alienated Marsha and retaliated against her for complaining about the harassment.

The defendants moved to dismiss the case on August 22, 2016, which the court granted on January 18, 2017. The court held that the plaintiff failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted because she did not allege a motive or intent to discriminate on the part of the defendants, that GSALC housing was discriminatory by being uninhabitable, or that the defendants acted because of her sexual orientation or gender.

The plaintiff appealed to the Seventh Circuit. On September 25, 2018, the appeals court issued an order, remanding the case to the district court based on a more expansive reading of the Fair Housing Act. It held that liability exists under the FHA when a landlord receives notice of tenant-on-tenant harassment based on a protected status, but does not take any reasonable steps to stop that harassment. The appeals court applied the Title IX standard of deliberate indifference to the FHA. After this Seventh Circuit decision, the defendant had petitioned to the Supreme Court, but on February 22, 2019, the Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of certiorari.

In light of the Seventh Circuit's holding back in the district court, the plaintiff filed an amended complaint on October 31, 2018. It reiterated the allegations of her initial complaint and basing her legal conclusions on the standard promulgated by the Seventh Circuit. However, on March 4, 2019, the two parties filed to jointly stipulate to the dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice, having reached an independent settlement agreement. On March 5, 2019, the district court dismissed that case with prejudice. The case is now closed.

Sihang Zhang - 01/04/2017
Virginia Weeks - 02/22/2018
Dan Toubman - 04/05/2020


compress summary

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
Single family housing provider
Disability
Mobility impairment
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Housing
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 3601 et seq.
Defendant(s) Glen St. Andrew Living Community
Plaintiff Description A elderly woman who identified as lesbian and who alleged that a living facility failed to protect her from harassment, discrimination and violence by other residents because of her sex and sexual orientation.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Lambda Legal
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filed 07/27/2016
Case Closing Year 2019
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Wetzel v. Glen St. Andrew Living Community, LLC: Seventh Circuit Holds Landlords May Be Liable for Tenant-on-Tenant Discriminatory Harassment.
Harvard Law Review
Date: May 10, 2019
By: Harvard Law Review (Harvard Law School)
Citation: 132 Harv. L. Rev. 2050
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Wetzel v. Glen St. Andrew Living Community
Lambda Legal
Date: August 27, 2018
By: Lambda Legal
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Date: Dec. 4, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis Law Student)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
N.D. Ill.
03/05/2019
1:16-cv-07598
FH-IL-0019-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Ill.
01/18/2017
Memorandum Opinion [ECF# 26] (2017 WL 201376)
FH-IL-0019-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
U.S. Court of Appeals
08/27/2018
Opinion (901 F.3d 856)
FH-IL-0019-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Ill.
10/31/2018
First Amended Complaint for Declaratory, Injunctive, and Other Relief [ECF# 52]
FH-IL-0019-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
N.D. Ill.
03/04/2019
Joint Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice [ECF# 62]
FH-IL-0019-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Blakey, John Robert (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-9000
Der-Yeghiayan, Samuel (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0001 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Wood, Diane Pamela (Seventh Circuit) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0004
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ingelhart, Kara N. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0002 | FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Litchfield, John Louis (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0002 | FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Loewy, Karen Lee (New York) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0002 | FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Lopez, William Mariano (New York) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0002 | FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Palazzolo, Kyle A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-9000
Wheeler, Ellen M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0002 | FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Esposito, Paul V (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Hausten, Lisa Anne (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-9000
Kollross, Melinda Sue (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-0003 | FH-IL-0019-9000
Ryan, James H. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-9000
Watson, Lindsay A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
FH-IL-0019-9000

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