Articles Posted in US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

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The Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1996 (FCIA) does not limit injunctive relief against an executive branch officer enforcing a court order, and the Sheriff in this case was not entitled to immunity from plaintiffs' request for declaratory and injunctive relief. The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's dismissal of a class action challenging the constitutionality of Washington Revised Code 59.18.375, which allows tenants to be evicted from their homes without a court hearing. The panel held that original plaintiffs had standing to sue at the time they filed this action, which was the relevant time frame for analyzing Article III standing; plaintiffs who were subsequently added to the action did not have standing to sue because their circumstances left their prospects of injury too speculative to support Article III standing; and, even after original plaintiffs settled their dispute with their landlord, the action was not moot because the dispute was capable of repetition, yet evading review. On the merits, the panel held that the district court misread the statute and that the text of section 375 makes clear that a hearing was not mandatory; the Rooker-Feldman doctrine did not apply because plaintiffs were not asking the district court to review and reject the judgment entered against them in state court; the Sheriff's two alternative arguments for affirmance of the district court's judgment -- that the action must be brought under 42 U.S.C. 1983 and that the Sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity -- lacked merit; and the Sheriff's remaining arguments were without merit. Accordingly, the panel remanded for further proceedings. View "Moore v. Urquhart" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment on the pleadings in an action challenging a city ordinance that limits the rights of landlords to commence and conduct buyout negotiations. The panel held that the Ordinance did not prevent plaintiffs, an individual property owner and several landlord organizations, from commencing buyout negotiations if a tenant refuses to sign the disclosure form; the Disclosure Provision did not violate plaintiffs' First Amendment rights; the creation of a publicly searchable database of buyout agreements did not violate landlords' right to privacy under the California Constitution; the Ordinance did not violate landlords' rights to equal protection or due process; and the Condominium Conversion Provision did not violate landlords' "liberty of contract." View "San Francisco Apartment Assoc. v. City and County of San Francisco" on Justia Law

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The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment on the pleadings in an action challenging a city ordinance that limits the rights of landlords to commence and conduct buyout negotiations. The panel held that the Ordinance did not prevent plaintiffs, an individual property owner and several landlord organizations, from commencing buyout negotiations if a tenant refuses to sign the disclosure form; the Disclosure Provision did not violate plaintiffs' First Amendment rights; the creation of a publicly searchable database of buyout agreements did not violate landlords' right to privacy under the California Constitution; the Ordinance did not violate landlords' rights to equal protection or due process; and the Condominium Conversion Provision did not violate landlords' "liberty of contract." View "San Francisco Apartment Assoc. v. City and County of San Francisco" on Justia Law