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 2

 



RENT CONTROL’S CONSTITUTIONALITY: PART 2, COMETH THE MAN

January 26, 2012 
Continued from yesterday’s Part1.]


In yesterday’s Part 1, we met the Don Quixote of rentcontrol, lifelong New Yorker James Harmon, whose case challenging the statutelost on appeal to the U. S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, but may be heardby the Supreme Court granting certiorari.  To fill in the legalarguments, I’ve used RichardEpstein’s Wall Street Journal op-ed (Palatino brown) and Cato’sdescription of its amicus brief (Georgia gray), because the NewYork Times’s (December 19, 2011) story, though sympathetic,glides over them, preferring to focus on the long-suffering plaintiff:


A couple’s home is its castle … unless it’s rent stabilized, that is

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

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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

Prof. Epstein Weighs in to Support the Harmons

 


Rent Control Hits the Supreme Court

Private apartment owners should not have to fund a

 public welfare program.


OPINION | JANUARY 4, 2012

People who don’t live in New York City probably haven’t confronted the market-distorting injustices of rent control and similar rent-stabilization laws. But they may recall their outrage in 2008 upon reading that New York Rep. Charles Rangel worked the system by paying a total of $3,894 a month for four rent-stabilized luxury apartments in Harlem, about half the market price.
Remarkably, a serious constitutional challenge to rent-control and stabilization laws may finally be in the works. The challenge arises from James and Jeanne Harmon, who own a town house on West 76th Street in New York City. The upper floors are occupied by tenants who are entrenched under New York’s rent-stabilization law, paying rents at only a fraction of the value of their units. Mr. Harmon, a most persistent man whom I have from time to time advised, is attempting to strike down this law.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals blew off his suit in March, but Mr. Harmon has filed petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court, and, miracles of miracles, the high court has asked New York City and the tenants to respond. His story has been sympathetically featured in the New York Times, the Daily News and the New York Post. Perhaps there is still some life in the challenge to rent controls. There darn well ought to be.
In broad and emphatic language, the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution provides that “no person shall be . . . deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” Rent control collides with the last prohibition, the “takings clause.”
All versions of rent-control laws share a single dominant characteristic: They allow a tenant to remain in possession of property after the expiration of a lease at below-market rents. New York even gives the tenant a statutory right to pass on the right to occupy the premises at a controlled rent to family members who have lived with them for two or more years. The tenants in Mr. Harmon’s complaint pay rent equal to about 60% of market value. Continue reading

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.

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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