Chicago sues landlord for bias against children

August 20, 1998
When city worker Timothy Novak and his wife, Susan, faced eviction from their Northwest Side apartment just before Christmas, 1996, they began searching for a new home for themselves and their four kids.
     Many landlords rejected them, including Felix Padlan, owner of a three-bedroom apartment for rent in the 8600 block of Foster Avenue.
     Now the City of Chicago is taking Padlan to court, accusing him of violating the city's fair housing ordinance by discriminating against the Novaks on the basis of parental status.
     In a lawsuit filed this week, city lawyers asked a Cook County Circuit judge to enforce a 1997 ruling by the city Human Relations Commission, which ordered Padlan to pay $21,033 plus interest to compensate the Novaks.
     It is believed to be the first time the city has filed suit to force a landlord to comply with a commission order in a case involving parental status discrimination.