Sylvia Landfield Trust v. City of Los Angeles

Summarized by:

  • Court: 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Archives
  • Area(s) of Law: Civil Rights § 1983
  • Date Filed: 09-09-2013
  • Case #: 11-55904
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Judge Pregerson for the Court; Circuit Judges Fletcher and Nguyen
  • Full Text Opinion

A program that authorizes the housing department to place property into an escrow program when it becomes inhabitable does not violate due process since it is rationally related to a legitimate governmental goal.

Four plaintiffs whose apartment building were placed into the Los Angeles Rent Escrow Account Program ("REAP") by the City of Los Angeles ("the City") allege that their due process rights were substantively violated. REAP is a program authorizing Los Angeles Housing Department to place property into REAP when a landlord fails to repair habitability violations. The Ninth Circuit held that placing the plaintiffs’ property in REAP did not violate their substantive due process because REAP is governmental action that is rationally related to a legitimate goal and is not “clearly arbitrary and unreasonable, having no substantial relation to the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare.” The goal of implementing REAP is to protect residents of unsafe housing conditions and combat substandard housing in Los Angeles. Plaintiffs’ rental units were placed in REAP because they were deemed “untenantable.” The panel also held that the plaintiffs’ allegation that the City uses REAP to enrich the government and third-party contractors did not contain any facts to plausibly establish a claim. AFFIRMED

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