Craigslist Sued for Fair Housing Act Violation–Chicago Lawyers Committee v. Craigslist

By Eric Goldman

Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Inc. v. Craigslist, Inc., Case No. 06C-0657 (N.D. Ill. complaint filed Feb. 3, 2006)

Craigslist, the free online classified site, has been sued by a group of lawyers for violating the Fair Housing Act based on user-submitted classified ads that indicate discriminatory housing preferences. If this sounds familiar, it’s because was sued under the exact same law for exactly the same behavior and won an easy victory under 47 USC 230. The case is on appeal, so perhaps the appellate court will see things differently. Otherwise, I don’t understand the thinking of plaintiffs–particularly a group of lawyers–who bring lawsuits like this in the face of a clear federal exculpatory statute and directly-on-point adverse precedent.