Articles Posted in U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

by
Plaintiff brought this class action against his former landlord (Landlord) alleging that Landlord violated several provisions of the Massachusetts Security Deposit Law by impermissibly deducting certain charges from his security deposit and failing to return the deposit within thirty days after he moved out of his leased apartment. Plaintiff sought recovery under the Security Deposit Law’s penalty provision, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 186, 15B(7), which includes the availability of treble damages. The district court concluded that Plaintiff was entitled to recover his security deposit but was not entitled to recovery under section 15B(7), and denied Plaintiff’s class certification motion on mootness grounds. The First Circuit certified a question regarding the relevant provisions of the Massachusetts Security Deposit Law to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court and refrained from deciding the merits of Plaintiff’s other claims until that question was resolved. View "Phillips v. Equity Residential Management, LLC" on Justia Law

by
In 2013, Plaintiff, a participant in the Section 8 Federal Housing Choice Voucher Program, listed among her assets a trust that had been established in 2010 to hold Plaintiff's proceeds from a series of tort settlements. The Brookline Housing Authority (BHA) subsequently determined that Plaintiff was “over-income” for continued participation in the Program, as locally administered by the BHA. Plaintiff appealed, requesting that the BHA exclude at least some of these trust disbursements from its income calculation in reasonable accommodation of her disability. The BHA reaffirmed its determination. Thereafter, Plaintiff sued, alleging that the BHA had violated state and federal law by incorrectly calculating her income under the relevant federal regulations and by engaging in disability-based discrimination. The district court ruled in favor of BHA. The First Circuit (1) reversed the district court’s ruling on Plaintiff’s 42 U.S.C. 1983 claim brought under the Housing Act, holding that the BHA misconstrued federal regulations in calculating Plaintiff’s income; (2) vacated the district court’s ruling on Plaintiff’s state and federal discrimination claims and remanded with instructions to dismiss those claims as moot; and (3) affirmed the district court’s denial of Plaintiff’s remaining claims. Remanded. View "DeCambre v. Brookline Housing Auth." on Justia Law