SCOTUS Denies Cert. on N.Y. Rent Stab. Laws Case
By Katherine Clarke, The Real Deal [R.E. industry blog],Mon., 23rd April, 2012, 12:00 P.M.[Updated at 3:30 p.m. with comment from Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, q.v., infra, & updated at 12:30 p.m. with comment from Harmon]
Despite an unexpectedly thorough review from the U.S. Supreme Court in recent months, the court has declined to hear the case of James Harmon, the Upper West Side landlord challenging rent stabilization laws, according to court papers filed today. Harmon challenged the constitutionality of having him subsidize tenants to live in his own home at 32 West 76th Street. He previously said it’s unfair for him to subsidize his long-time tenants when they can afford to pay market rates. His three rent-stabilized tenants pay $1,000 monthly for their apartments, he said. Though courts on all levels routinely upheld rent stabilization laws, and despite the fact that his own case has been dismissed by two state courts, Harmon, who is a former New York federal prosecutor and represented himself in the case, caught the attention of the U.S. Supreme Court in December, in his bid to fight the regulations, it was previously reported. But, despite the Supreme Court requesting the city file a response explaining the courts’ aforementioned dismissals, the case is now closed. “The Harmon family is disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision,” Harmon, whose brownstone is between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue, told The Real Deal in a statement. “We still believe that the constitution does not allow the government to force us to take strangers into our home at our expense for life. Even our grandchildren have been barred from living with us. That is not our America.” He continued: “Because of rent stabilization, it will now continue to be difficult for us to keep our home of five generations.” A supporter of Harmon’s fight, Sherwin Belkin, a founding partner of the law firm of Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman, issued the following statement to The Real Deal: “Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman, on behalf of the Community Housing Improvement Program, had filed an amicus brief in support of the owners,” Belkin said. “Certainly we are disappointed that the Supreme Court has elected not to hear this case. We fully expect that members of the real estate industry will continue examining cases that present compelling constitutional claims.” Another attorney, Terrence Oved, chairman of law firm Oved & Oved’s real estate department, who was not involved in the case, said he was somewhat surprised that the court had denied hearing the case despite expressing interest in it over the last few months. “We thought the court was going to take this on,” he said. “These laws have been in New York City for 40 or 50 years and were drafted in response to an emergency housing situation.”If the court had chosen to hear the case, it might have affected the rental market in the city, he said. “In anticipation of a decision, a lot of landlords thinking of putting properties subject to rent stabilization on the market might have held them back,” he noted. Assembly member Linda Rosenthal, who oversees Harmon’s district, released the following statement on the Supreme Court’s decision: “I am gratified that the United States Supreme Court has denied review of the Harmon case, which could have spelled the end of rent regulation in New York City. This is a victory for millions of rent-regulated tenants throughout New York City who would not be able to afford to live in this City were it not for rent regulation.” The Supreme Court declined to comment on the decision.
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No. 11-496 Title: James D. Harmon, Jr., et ux., Petitionersv.Jonathan L. Kimmel, et al.Docketed: October 20, 2011Linked with 10A1205Lower Ct: United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Case Nos.: (10-1126) Decision Date: March 8, 2011 Rehearing Denied: May 20, 2011~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings and Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Jun 7 2011 Application (10A1205) to extend the time to file a petition for a writ of certiorari from August 18, 2011 to October 17, 2011, submitted to Justice Ginsburg.Jun 15 2011 Application (10A1205) granted by Justice Ginsburg extending the time to file until October 17, 2011.Oct 17 2011 Petition for a writ of certiorari filed. (Response due November 21, 2011)Oct 25 2011 Waiver of right of respondent Darryl C. Towns to respond filed.Oct 31 2011 Waiver of right of respondent Jonathan L. Kimmel to respond filed.Nov 21 2011 Brief amici curiae of Rent Stabilization Association of New York, Inc., et al. filed. (Distributed)Nov 21 2011 Brief amici curiae of Pacific Legal Foundation, et al. filed. (Distributed)Nov 21 2011 Brief amici curiae of Atlantic Legal Foundation and Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence filed. (Distributed)Nov 22 2011 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of December 9, 2011.Dec 5 2011 Response Requested . (Due January 4, 2012)Dec 21 2011 Order extending time to file response to petition to and including February 3, 2012, for all respondents.Jan 4 2012 Brief amicus curiae of Community Housing Improvement Program, Inc. filed.Jan 26 2012 Order further extending time to file response to petition to and including March 5, 2012, for all respondents.Mar 2 2012 Brief of respondent Jonathan L. Kimmel in opposition filed.Mar 5 2012 Brief of respondent Darryl C. Towns in opposition filed.Mar 13 2012 Application (11A871) to file reply brief in excess of word limits, submitted to Justice Ginsburg.Mar 14 2012 Response (11A871) to application from respondent Darryl C. Towns filed.Mar 14 2012 Reply (11A871) of applicants James D. Harmon, Jr., et ux. filed.Mar 14 2012 Application (11A871) denied by Justice Ginsburg.Mar 20 2012 Reply of petitioners James D. Harmon, Jr., et ux. filed. (Distributed)Mar 21 2012 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of April 13, 2012.Apr 16 2012 DISTRIBUTED for Conference of April 20, 2012.Apr 23 2012 Petition DENIED.~~Name~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~Address~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Phone~~~Attorneys for Petitioners: James D. Harmon Jr. 32 West 76th Street (212) 595-1322 Counsel of Record New York, NY 10023 email@example.comParty name: James D. Harmon, Jr., et ux.Attorneys for Respondents: Leonard J. Koerner Chief Assistant Corporation Counsel (212) 788-1034 Counsel of Record NYC Law Department 100 Church Street New York, NY 10007 firstname.lastname@example.orgParty name: Jonathan L. Kimmel Barbara D. Underwood Solicitor General (518) 416-8016 Counsel of Record Office of the Attorney General The Capitol Albany, NY 10271 email@example.comParty name: Darryl C. TownsOther: Sherwin Belkin Belkin Burden Wenig &Goldman LLP (212) 867-4466 270 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10016 firstname.lastname@example.orgParty name: Community Housing Improvement Program, Inc. Martin S. Kaufman Atlantic Legal Foundation (914) 834-3322 2039 Palmer Avenue Larchmont, NY 10538 email@example.comParty name: Atlantic Legal Foundation and Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence R. S. Radford Pacific Legal Foundation (916) 419-7111 930 G Street Sacramento, CA 95814 firstname.lastname@example.orgParty name: Pacific Legal Foundation, et al. Brian R. Smith 280 Trumbull Street (860) 275-8200 Hartford, CT 06103 email@example.comParty name: Rent Stabilization Association of New York, Inc., et al.
Now is the winter of our fiscal discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of Mario; And all the clouds that lour'd upon our Senate In the deep bosom of the Catskills buried.From ALAN FLACKS at: firstname.lastname@example.org