New York Law Journal: High Court Not Likely to Hear Rent Law Challenge, Experts Say

 

High Court Not Likely to Hear Rent Law Challenge, Experts Say

Harmon v. Kimmel, 11-496, was filed against New York City in 2008 by James Harmon and his wife Jeanne. Southern District Judge Barbara S. Jones (See Profile) dismissed the case in February 2010.
Second Circuit Judges Amalya L. Kearse (See Profile), Robert D. Sack (See Profile) and Robert A. Katzmann (See Profile) affirmed the dismissal in a summary order in March 2011. The Harmons then petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for writ of certiorari. Earlier this month, the Court asked the city to file a response to the petition by Jan. 4. The deadline has been extended to Feb. 3. Continue reading

Popular Support Builds for the Harmons

 

Challenge to Manhattan’s Rent Control Laws Goes to Supreme Court

December 27, 2011

A landlord in NYC is fighting Rent Control and taking the case to the US Supreme Court. This could have wide ramifications for landlords all across the US, including Los Angeles. Let’s support James Harmon in his fight against Rent Control.


Article Taken From New York Times:
By ANEMONA HARTOCOLLIS
Published: December 19, 2011

James D. Harmon Jr. learned the value of a house as a child, shoveling coal into the furnace of one of two Upper West Side buildings owned by his grandfather, a French immigrant who worked as a waiter. “Jimmy, you take care of your building and your building will take care of you,” his grandfather told him.

“But the word he used in French wasn’t building” Mr. Harmon recalled the other day. “The word he used in French was ‘maison,’ which means home.”
Now Mr. Harmon, 68, who grew up in one of those buildings — a bow-fronted town house on West 76th Street near Central Park — has gone to the United States Supreme Court contending that New York City’s rent laws constitute a “taking” of his property without just compensation, a violation of his constitutional rights.

The regulations are meant to support the government’s goal of maintaining affordable housing for its citizens. Instead, he says, the laws have forced him and his family to shoulder the government’s burden and extend what is essentially “privatized welfare” to rent-stabilized tenants who are paying rent 59 percent below market rates and who have rights of succession to their lodgings in his house.

“Put yourself in our position,” Mr. Harmon, a former federal prosecutor, said of himself and his wife, Jeanne. “Suppose somebody told you, you’ve got an extra bedroom, we’d like to put someone in there for as long as they want to stay, and you have to take care of them for the rest of their lives and the rest of your life. That’s really what this is like.”

Pacific Legal Foundation Supports Harmon Rent Control Challenge

 

Supreme Court Just Might Upset Rent Controls in 
New York City

WRITTEN BY BOB ADELMANN   
MONDAY, 26 DECEMBER 2011 22:30

When R.S. Radford, a principal attorney for the public interest law firm Pacific Legal Foundation, learned about the ruling against a property owner suffering under New York City’s rent control laws, he appealed the case to the Supreme Court. At issue in the case, Harmon v. Markus, is whether James and Jeanne Harmon, the owners of a handsome brownstone near Central Park, are entitled to relief from the city’s onerous rent control laws that force them to accept lower-than-market rents from three of their renters.

Harmon filed the original lawsuit against the chair of the Rent Guidelines Board claiming that the rent control laws violated his Fifth Amendment rights under the Constitution’s “taking” clause. (“No person shall be … deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.”) When he was denied, he appealed, claiming that he had been denied the right of due process under the 14th Amendment. The Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit dismissed it out of hand, and that’s when Pacific Legal jumped in.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Editorial): High Court Has Apparent Interest in Challenge to Rent Stabilization

 

High Court Has Apparent Interest in Challenge to Rent Stabilization

by Samuel Newhouse, published online 12-21-2011
One Supreme Court Justice Tells City to File AnswerBy Samuel Newhouse
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
BROOKLYN — If one homeowner has his way, the nation’s highest court may soon be examining New York City’s rent-stabilization laws for the first time since the 1920s, with potentially powerful ramifications for residents in the County of Kings.

This month, the U.S. Supreme Court ordered that the city file response papers by Jan. 4 to the petition of James Harmon, 68, and his wife, the owners of a five-story brownstone on the Upper West Side in Manhattan.

Having lost his case at both the trial court and the Circuit Court, the city waived its right to file opposition papers to Harmon’s petition to the nation’s high court, presumably confident that the Supreme Court would deny cert and dismiss Harmon’s petition. However, one of the nine justices (it is unknown which) has told the city to file response papers, indicating an apparent interest in the case.

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The American Spectator: Challenge to Manhattan’s Rent Control Laws Goes to Supreme Court

 

Challenge to Manhattan’s Rent Control Laws Goes to Supreme Court

By  on 12.21.11 @ 1:49PM


A challenge to New York City’s onerous rent control laws hasbeen granted cert by the Supreme Court according to the New York Times. The plaintiff, James Harmon, aformer lawyer in the Reagan adminisration and an alumnus of WestPoint, inherited the house from his grandparents, who worked longhours as a governess and a waiter to afford the home. Harmon arguesthat the rent stablization laws amount to the government taking hisproperty without properly compensating him for it.
Harmon has taken to the Supreme Court because the lower courts,and even his assemblywoman, Linda B. Rosenthal, are fine with thecurrent regime. Rosenthal herself is quoted in the Timessounding a bit like an Occupy Wall Street devotee:

Ms. Rosenthal said Mr. Harmon had asked for an exception to rentregulations for his building, which she found untenable because itwould, she said, extend to thousands of other people in “thevanishing middle class.”
“I understand he thinks he could make more money, that he isbeing deprived,” she said. “But I have so many constituents whowould willingly trade his problems for theirs.”
As for luck, she said, Mr. Harmon was “lucky enough to inherit atown house.”
She said her views had nothing to do with the fact that shelives in a rent-regulated apartment, though she added, “If Ididn’t, I probably wouldn’t be representing tenants in thisdistrict because I couldn’t afford to live in the city.”

The New York Times: A Landlord’s Uphill Fight to Ease Rent Restrictions

 

THE APPRAISAL

A Landlord’s Uphill Fight to Ease Rent Restrictions

 

                                                                                                                Kirsten Luce for The New York Times
Jeanne Harmon and James D. Harmon Jr., above at their town house in Manhattan, are challenging a rent-stabilization law.
James D. Harmon Jr. learned the value of a house as a child, shoveling coal into the furnace of one of two Upper West Side buildings owned by his grandfather, a French immigrant who worked as a waiter. “Jimmy, you take care of your building and your building will take care of you,” his grandfather told him.
“But the word he used in French wasn’t building” Mr. Harmon recalled the other day. “The word he used in French was ‘maison,’ which means home.”
Now Mr. Harmon, 68, who grew up in one of those buildings — a bow-fronted town house on West 76th Street near Central Park — has gone to the United States Supreme Court contending that New York City’s rent laws constitute a “taking” of his property without just compensation, a violation of his constitutional rights.
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West Side Spirit: Landlord Turns to Supreme Power on Rent

 


Landlord Turns to Supreme Power on Rent

Upper West Side landlord James Harmon is tired of his rent stabilized tenants paying well below market rate for the apartments in the five-story West 76th Street brownstone he inherited, so he’s turned to the U.S. Supreme Court to relieve him—and the rest of the state—of rent regulations. Harmon filed a lawsuit against the chair of the Rent Guidelines Board, Jonathan Kimmel, and the commissioner of New York State Homes and Community Renewal, Darryl Towns, alleging that the rent regulations violate his Fifth Amendment right to receive compensation from the state for what he says is the taking of his property. When the court ruled that there was no taking of property, Harmon appealed on the basis of the 14th Amendment, claiming that he had been denied the right to due process. That’s what caught the attention of a law firm in California, Pacific Legal Foundation, which has jumped in in support of Harmon’s case to ask the Supreme Court to hear his appeal.

R.S. Radford, the attorney who filed the amicus brief on behalf of the firm, as well as the conservative policy think tank the Cato Institute and the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute, said that Pacific Legal takes on cases that affect the public interest.

Daily News: Take This Case

EDITORIALS

Manhattan attorney Jim Harmon has asked the high court to decide whether rent-stabilization regulations, as applied to his five-story brownstone on the upper West Side, are so severe as to amount to an unconstitutional taking of his property.

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