Published January, 1989

Baxter v. City of Belleville, 720 F. Supp. 720 (S.D. Ill. 1989)

Relying on the Seventh Circuit's four-prong impact analysis outlined in Metropolitan Housing Development Corp. v. Village of Arlington Heights, 558 F.2d 1283 (7th Cir. 1977), the District Court found that denying a special use permit to open a residence for people with AIDS violated the Fair Housing Act (FHA). The court first found that the plaintiff had standing to sue, as his rights (not just potential resident's rights) were implicated under the FHA. Affirming that people with HIV and AIDS are disabled under the FHA, the court found that the plaintiff had a high likelihood of success under discriminatory intent and disparate impact analyses. In doing so, the court rejected defendant's direct threat defense, asserting that "irrational hysteria and public panic cannot support activity that violates the FHA and is clearly discriminatory."

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