Due Process

Takings clause applies to physical seizure of personal property

The Supreme Court held in Horne v. Dep't of Agric., — U.S. — (2015), that the takings clause applies to physical takings of personal property (like cars) as well as to real property. Thus a government program designed to shore up the price of raisins by requiring farmers to hand over a certain percentage of the raisin crop to the government effected a categorical physical taking of personal property.

The limit on supply of raisins for sale was intended to increase the price farmers...

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Postforeclosure judicial process satisfies due process clause

The Sixth Circuit has ruled that nonjudicial foreclosure satisfies constitutional due process requirements because the homeowner/borrower was given notice of the foreclosure and notice of who to cure the default or seek a loan modification and how to redeem the property (get it back) after the foreclosure sale during a six-month redemption period. Garcia v. Fed. Nat'l Mortg. Ass'n,  782 F.3d 736 (6th Cir. 2015). These statutory procedures...

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Sex offender residency law struck down as unconstitutional by California Supreme Court

The California Supreme Court has struck down a voter initiative that barred all sex offenders from living within 2000 feet of schools and parks. In re Taylor, 83 U.S.L.W. 1299, 2015 BL 54822 (Cal. 2015). The court held that the ban deprived sex offenders of liberty without due process of law because it rendered many sex offenders homeless and was not reasonably related to government interests in protecting children. Because 97 percent of the county was off limits to sex offenders, many had no...

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City can demolish blighted structure it believes is financially unreasonable to repair

The Michigan Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling that had held it to be unconstitutional for a city to demolish a structure that the city believes is financially unreasonable to repair even if the owner claims to want to make the repairs. The court held that it does not constitute a deprivation of due process of law to require the demolition given the fact that the owner allowed the property to become dilapidated and the city could rationally believe that demolition was the best remedy to remove the public nuisance....

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Housing discrimination by town officials still a problem

A number of recent cases has revealed the persistence of racial discrimination affecting municipal decisions about housing. The Sixth Circuit found, for example, in Hidden Village, LLC v. City of Lakewood, Ohio, 734 F.3d 519 (6th Cir. 2013), that town officials may have engaged in a campaign of harassment designed to induce African American residents to move out of town. The case involved a Lutheran religious organization that helped young people released from foster care or juvenile detention to enter...

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Rent escrow law held constitutional

The Ninth Circuit has upheld a city administrative program that regulated landlords whose buildings violated the housing code by allowing tenants to pay a reduced rent into a publicly administered escrow fund which is paid to the landlord once the violations are corrected.    Sylvia Landfield Trust v. City of Los Angeles, 2013 WL 4779664 (9th Cir. 2013). Four landlords challenged the program as a violation of their substantive rights under the due process clause. The court...

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State seizure of unused traveler's checks survives substantive due process challenge

Kentucky had a law declaring unused traveler's checks to be abandoned property if they are not used after a period of fifteen years; such property escheated to the state. When the legislature reduced the period from fifteen to seven, the change was challenged as a violation of due process of law. The Sixth Circuit held that the legislation was consistent with the due process clause on the ground that substantive due process requires only that the legislation be rationally related to a legitimate government interest. In this case, the legislation shortening the period from fifteen years to...

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Eighth Circuit upholds finding that landlord sexually harassed a tenant in violation of the Fair Housing Act but affirms the trial court's reduction of the jury's punitive damages award

In Quigley v. Winter, 598 F.3d 938 (8th Cir. 2010),the Eighth Circuit upheld a trial court ruling that landlord sexually harassed tenant in violation of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), but it affirmed the  trial court's reduction of the jury's punitive damages award. The jury awarded $13,685 in compensatory damages and $250,000 in punitive damages. The trial court reduced the punitive damages award to $20,527.50.

The landlord engaged in a variety of inappropriate behavior, rubbing tenant's arm,...

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