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A plaintiff who brings an action under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.S. § 2000d, can secure a preliminary injunction against threatened discrimination by showing a probability of success on his Title VI claim and irreparable injury. He need not await an administrative inquiry, including by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and he should not be entitled to secure a delay simply because an administrative inquiry has not been completed. If the pendency of that inquiry is justification for maintaining the status quo, such a claim must be pursued by the agency itself.
In an effort to save money, defendant City of New York decided to close a hospital that served mostly minorities due to the aging facilities, its small size, and operating deficits. Plaintiffs, minority city residents and a union, filed an action against defendants, city and federal agencies and officials, under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.S. § 2000d, because the disparate effect on minorities indicated discrimination. The trial court denied the injunction. Plaintiffs appealed.
Should the city have been enjoined from closing the hospital that served mostly minorities?
The court affirmed the trial court’s decision, holding that the plaintiffs had no likelihood of success on the merits. The decision to close the hospital was based on an assessment of all local hospitals and an examination of alternatives. Because the decision was based on expertise and a review of alternatives, the court refused to interfere with the justifiable political decision, despite the disparate impact on minorities.