Jeff Nowak, McDermott, Will & Emery
Sharon K. Legenza, Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc.
CHICAGO LAWYERS' COMMITTEE ANNOUNCES THAT LATINO FAMILY SETTLES SOURCE OF INCOME DISCRIMINATION SUIT
CHICAGO (February 4, 2002) — The Chicago Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc., and McDemott, Will & Emery announced today that they have reached one of the largest settlements ever in a source of income housing discrimination case before the Chicago Commission on Human Relations. The Complaint, filed by Miguel and Maria Ramos against Daniel Kinsler, their former landlord, settled for $7,500 during the course of the Commission's investigation.
In their Complaint, the Ramoses alleged that they were forced out of their apartment after having informed Kinsler that they had received, and wanted to use, a federal rental subsidy voucher (formerly known as Section 8) to offset their monthly rent. After Kinsler received notice of this subsidy, the Ramoses alleged that Kinsler repeatedly harassed them by pounding on their door, breaking into their apartment, and by allegedly telling them he was not going to allow voucher recipients in his building. A short time later, Kinsler filed an eviction action against the Ramoses. The Ramoses had lived in Kinsler's building for two years prior to the filing of the eviction action.
The Chicago Fair Housing Ordinance prohibits a landlord from discriminating against a tenant because of the tenant's “source of income,” which includes federal rental subsidy vouchers (Section 8 vouchers). This provision, which prohibits source of income discrimination, applies to all landlords, regardless of the number of rental units in the landlords' buildings.
Jeff Nowak, a labor and employment attorney with McDermott, Will & Emery, represented the Ramoses pro bono. McDermott, Will & Emery is an international law firm with more than 900 lawyers who practice from the firm's offices in Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Munich, New York, Orange County, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C.
The Chicago Lawyers’ Committee, through its 40-plus member law firms and staff lawyers, provides free legal services to challenge discrimination and other violations of civil rights in both the public and private sectors. For more information about the Chicago Lawyers' Committee's Fair Housing Project, please contact Sharon K. Legenza, Director, at 312-630-9744, or visit the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee website at www.clccrul.org.