The Harmons File An Application to Have Their Case Heard By the U.S. Supreme Court

 

Final Petition – Harmon v. Kimmel

No. 11-
IN THE
Supreme Court of the United States
ON PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT
(800) 274-3321 • (800) 359-6859
A
JAMES D. HARMON, JR. and JEANNE HARMON,
Petitioners,
v.
JONATHAN L. KIMMEL, in his offi cial capacity
as MEMBER AND CHAIR OF THE NEW YORK
CITY RENT GUIDELINES BOARD, CITY OF NEW
YORK; DARRYL C. TOWNS, in his offi cial capacity as
COMMISSIONER, NEW YORK STATE HOMES AND
COMMUNITY RENEWAL,
Respondents.
PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI

Affordable Housing Advocates Support Harmon Rent Control Challenge, Part 1

 


RENT CONTROL’S CONSTITUTIONALITY: PART 1, COMETH THE HOUR
January 25, 2012 


Even dropped from the Empire State Building, it can’t kill anyone
Even dropped from the Empire State Building, it can’t kill anyone

Though ’tis a consummation devoutly to be wished, I had given up believing that rent control would ever be ruled an economic taking without due process or just compensation (even though it is both), because the procedural and administrative defenses mounted by a determined confiscatory local government are so tortuous to besiege and scale that for nearly forty years no one has. 

Destined to have his name in the law books? James Harmon


Destined to have his name in the law books? James Harmon

Continue reading

CHIP Files Amicus Brief in Support of the Harmons

 

No. 11- 496
IN THE
Supreme Court of the United States
ON PETITION FOR A WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT
JAMES D. HARMON, JR. and JEANNE HARMON,
Petitioners,
v.
JONATHAN L. KIMMEL, in his offi cial capacity
as MEMBER AND CHAIR OF THE NEW YORK
CITY RENT GUIDELINES BOARD, CITY OF NEW

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

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.

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.

Harmon v. Kimmel – Pacific Legal Foundation Amicus Brief

 

No. 11-496
In the
Supreme Court of the United States
Ë
JAMES D. HARMON, JR., and JEANNE HARMON,
Petitioners,
v.
JONATHAN L. KIMMEL, in his official capacity
as Member and Chair of the New York City Rent
Guidelines Board, City of New York; DARRYL C.
TOWNS, in his official capacity as Commissioner,
New York State Homes and Community Renewal,
Respondents.
Ë
On Petition for Writ of Certiorari
to the United States Court of Appeals
for the Second Circuit
Ë
BRIEF AMICUS CURIAE OF
PACIFIC LEGAL FOUNDATION,
CATO INSTITUTE, AND SMALL PROPERTY
OWNERS OF SAN FRANCISCO INSTITUTE
IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS JAMES D.
HARMON, JR., and JEANNE HARMON

New York Rent Control Headed for Supreme Court?

 

November 30, 2011 RS Radford, Pacific Legal Foundation
Of all the failed policies of Progressive-era politics, none is more egregious than rent control.  And nowhere is the failure of rent control more obvious than in New York City, where high-salaried professionals and rock stars often enjoy a legal “entitlement” to pay rent amounting to a tiny fraction of the value of their apartments.


Originally conceived as class legislation, rent control in New York no longer even pits the haves against the have-nots.  It rewards the politically savvy, the well-connected, and the lucky, at the expense of both large and small property owners who make the mistake of providing housing to those who need a place to live.  New York courts have long turned a blind eye to the economic insanity and blatant injustice of rent control, reasoning that it’s within the purview of the legislature to enact insane and unjust policies, so long as due process is followed.

Oops, check that.  According to a recent decision of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, due process is no longer required.  In fact, a property owner who tried to argue that New York City’s rent regulations violated his due process rights was bounced out of court on the grounds that since (by the Second Circuit’s standards) rent control is not an unconstitutional “taking” of property under the Fifth Amendment, it is not even possible to allege that the law is a due process violation under the Fourteenth Amendment!

The case, Harmon v. Kimmel (formerly Harmon v. Markus) has now been taken to the United States Supreme Court.  Pacific Legal Foundation, joined by the Cato Institute and Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute, has filed a brief supporting Jim Harmon in his quest for justice.  You can see the brief here, and read Cato’s take on it here.  Prominent law professor Richard Epstein has also weighed inon the Harmon case.

Surprisingly, the Supreme Court has never come down with a blanket statement concerning the constitutionality of rent control.  It has upheld rent regulations under particular circumstances (wartime emergencies, for example), and declined to strike down others because of problems with the legal theories under which they were challenged.  It should not be unreasonable to expect the Court at least to direct the Second Circuit to listen to Jim Harmon’s due process argument.