August 2021

Eviction moratorium does not violate contract clause

The Ninth Circuit upheld a city eviction moratorium against a contracts clause challenge. Apartment Ass'n of Los Angeles County, Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, 2021 WL 3745777 (9th Cir. 2021). While the law did affect contract rights, it was reasonable and appropriate and did not constitute retroactive deprivation of vested rights as required for the clause to apply. The court cited Home Building...

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Sexual harassment of tenant by property manager violates Fair Housing Act

The Eleventh Circuit joins other courts that have held that sexual harassment by a landlord (or an agent of the landlord) can constitute sex discrimination in violation of the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. §3601 to §3613 if the behavior would not have occurred but for the tenant's sex.

This formulation has been adopted by other courts, see United States v. Hurt, 676 F.3d 649 (9th Cir. 2012), Quigley v. Winter, 598 F.3d 938 (8th Cir. 2010), and suggests that a landlord that sexually harasses both men and women would not be liable for engaging in sex discrimination — a result that...

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Kansas "ag gag" law unconstitutional infringement on free speech

A Kansas statute (Kansas Farm Animal and Field Crop and Research Facilities Protection Act, Kan. Stat. §47-1825 to §47-1828) criminalized entry into an agricultural facility "without the effective consent of the owner" if the intent is to "damage the enterprise." Animal Leg. Defense Fund v. Kelly, 2021 WL 3671122 (10th Cir. 2021). The Tenth Circuit struck down...

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