Stanley Jancik (defendant) published an advertisement for a rental apartment stating a preference for a “mature person”. A public interest organization suspected that the advertisement might indicate discriminatory intent and sent individuals under fictitious identities to inquire about the rental. During interviews with the undercover inquirers, Jancik made statements that the organization asserted as evidence of intent to discriminate on the basis of race and family status. The organization filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (plaintiff). The Department concluded that Jancik had violated a provision of the Fair Housing Act prohibiting the publication of any rental advertisement indicating a discriminatory preference. Jancik appealed.