Earlier this week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit denied landlord plaintiff-appellants challenging the Minneapolis fair chance ordinance passed in 2019. The landlords alleged that the ordinance, which limits the ability of landlords to conduct criminal background checks, was an unconstitutional taking. The appellate court, in a decision in early-2019, held that the ordinance constituted a restriction on use of the property and not an unconstitutional taking.
The plaintiffs asked the 8th Circuit for a panel or en banc rehearing of the court’s March decision to affirm a lower court ruling, with plaintiffs arguing the appellate court had not properly considered a recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent on takings in Cedar Point Nursery et al. v. Hassid. More information about that April petition is here, Minneapolis Landlords Seek 8th Circ. Redo In Ordinance Row.
As noted in a Law 360 story,
Under the Minneapolis ordinance in question, landlords can’t turn down prospective tenants based on credit, criminal or rental history before first undergoing an analysis of the circumstances of the would-be renter. That ordinance took effect in 2020.
The landlords filed their suit in September 2020, and U.S. District Judge Paul A. Magnuson denied the plaintiffs’ motion for a preliminary injunction in November of that year, saying the ordinance actually did allow landlords to choose their tenants, provided they conducted the required assessment and explained to would-be tenants reasons for the denial.
The cases are 301, 712, 2103 and 3151 LLC et al. v. Minneapolis, case number 20-3493, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and 301, 712, 2103 and 3151 LLC et al. v. City of Minneapolis, case number 0:20-cv-01904, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.
The landlords are represented by Robert Hayes, Calli Padilla, Mark Jacobson, Steven Katkov and Cassandra Jacobsen of Cozen O’Connor. Minneapolis is represented by Assistant City Attorney Brian Carter.
Eric J. Ellman is Senior Vice President for Public Policy and Legal Affairs at the Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA) in Washington, DC. He also served for eight months as Interim President and CEO of the Association. More