ROSARIO PERRY, State Bar Number 55061

ROBERT J. FRANKLIN, State Bar Number 225424

DIONNE M. MARUCCHI, State Bar Number 205959

Members of The Law Offices of Rosario Perry

An unincorporated law firm

312 Pico Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90405-1108

Telephone Number:  310-394-9831

Fax Number:  310-394-4294

 

Attorneys for Plaintiffs

 

 

 

 

                                            UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE

 

                                                  CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

 

 

 


ACTION APARTMENT ASSOCIATION, INC.,  a California corporation, and MATHEW MILLEN, 

an individual,

Plaintiffs,

 

vs.

 

 

SANTA MONICA RENT CONTROL BOARD, a municipal entity, and MARY ANN YURKONIS, an individual,

 

Defendants.

 

 

 

 

 

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CASE NO. CV-0410343-AHM

 

 

COMPLAINT FOR VIOLATIONS OF

CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW [42 U.S.C.  SECTION 1983]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

I.     Jurisdiction and Venue

 

1.                  This Court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and alternatively 28 U.S.C. § 1343

 (a) (3).

2.          Venue is proper in the Central District under 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b) because a substantial

part of the events giving rise to Plaintiffs’ claims occurred in the Central District.


II.   The Parties

 

3.                  Plaintiff Action Apartment Association, Inc. (“Action”) is a California corporation with

its principal place of business in the state of California.  Action is an association of housing providers.  Many of its members suffer immediate or threatened injury caused by the municipal policies challenged herein.   Among Action’s purposes is protection of its members’ constitutional property rights.  Neither the claim asserted nor the relief requested requires the participation of Action’s individual housing providers in this lawsuit.           

4.                  Plaintiff Mathew Millen is and at all relevant times was a citizen of California residing

in Los Angeles County, California. 

5.                  Defendant Santa Monica Rent Control Board (the “Rent Control Board”) is a municipal

 entity comprised of elected officials.  It is located in Los Angeles County, California.

6.          Defendant Mary Ann Yurkonis is the Rent Control Board’s Administrator.  She is sued

in her official capacity.

 

                                                         III.   Allegations

 

7.                  On December 20th 2002, the City of Santa Monica enacted Rent Control Board Charter

Amendment Section 1804 (b).   (hereinafter “Section 1804 (b)”).

8.          Section 1804 (b) regulates and limits the rent housing providers can charge for

rent-controlled apartments in the City of Santa Monica.  

9.                  The Rent Control Board adopted Section 1804 (b) as its  official policy.

10.        Under color of Section 1804 the Rent Control Board and Ms. Yukonis restrict the rent

housing providers can charge in the City of Santa Monica. 

11.        Rent Control Board Charter Amendment Section1800, enacted the same day as Section

 1804 (b),  authorizes the Rent Control Board to enforce Section 1804 (b) in order to address serious housing problems within Santa Monica.

12.        However,  Section 1804 (b) fails to address Santa Monica’s housing problems.


13.              Furthermore, Section 1804 (b) protects wealthy tenants with below-market rents.  There is

no legitimate municipal interest in protecting wealthy tenants by having housing providers subsidize the wealthy.

14.              Indeed, Section 1804 (b) fails to substantially advance any legitimate municipal interest. 

15.        Action’s membership includes housing providers who own Santa Monica rental properties.

16.              Defendants’ enforcement of Section 1804 (b) proximately caused Actions’ members the

loss of their property rights and other injuries including monetary losses.

17.        Millen is the owner of rental property located at 1759 Sixteenth Street in Santa Monica.

He purchased the property in or about 1981.  

18.              Defendants’ enforcement of Section 1804 (b) to Unit A of Millen’s property proximately

 caused Millen the loss of his property rights and other injuries including monetary losses.

19.              Defendant’s enforcement of Section 1804 (b) continues and shows no promise of

 abatement.

20.        Defendant’s ongoing enforcement of Section 1804 (b) threatens further harm to Plaintiffs.

 

                                                  IV.   Claims for Relief

 

First Claim for A Facial Taking in Violation of the U.S. Constitution

Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments. 

(Against All Defendants)

 

21.        Plaintiffs incorporate by reference every allegation contained in Paragraphs 1 through 20. 

22.        Section 1804 (b) regulates land use buts fails to substantially advance a legitimate

 municipal interest and so is facially invalid under the U.S. Constitution Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

23.        Defendants’ regulation of Plaintiffs’ property under color of facially invalid Section 1804

 (b) violates Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights and entitles them to relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.       

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Second Claim for an As-Applied Taking in Violation of the U.S. Constitution

Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

                                                              (Against All Defendants)

 

24.              Plaintiffs incorporate by reference every allegation contained in Paragraphs 1 through 23.

25.              Defendants’ regulation of Plaintiffs’ property under color of Section 1804 fails to

 substantially advance a legitimate municipal interest.

26.        Defendants’ application of Section 1804 (b) to Plaintiffs is therefore an unconstitutional

as-applied taking in violation of the U.S. Constitution Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

27.              Defendants as-applied taking under color of Section 1804 (b) entitles Plaintiffs to relief

under 42 U.S.C.  § 1983.

 

 

Third Claim for Reasonable Attorneys Fees Under 42 U.S.C. § 1988.

                      (Against All Defendants)

 

28.              Plaintiffs incorporate by reference every allegation contained in Paragraphs 1 through 28.

29.        Defendants violated Plaintiffs’ constitutional rights under color of law in violation of

 U.S.C.  § 1983.

30.              Defendants’ violation of 42 U.S.C.  § 1983 entitles Plaintiffs to reasonable attorneys fees

 under 42 U.S.C  § 1988. 

 

                V.        Prayer

 

            WHEREFORE,  Plaintiffs pray that this court:

 

As to the First Claim for Relief:

 1.        Declare that Section 1804 (b) is facially unconstitutional.


 2.        Enjoin Defendants from enforcing Section 1804 (b).

3.         Award Plaintiffs cost of suit and other relief as the Court deems proper.

 

As to the Second Claim for Relief:

1.         Declare that Section 1804 (b) cannot be constitutionally applied to Plaintiffs’ property.

2.         Enjoin Defendants from applying Section 1804 (b) to Plaintiffs’ property.

3.         Award Plaintiffs cost of suit and other relief as the Court deems proper.

 

As to the Third Claim for Relief:

1.         Award Plaintiffs reasonable attorneys fees.   

 

Dated December 20, 2004

 

LAW OFFICES OF ROSARIO PERRY

312 Pico Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90405

 

 

___________________________________

ROBERT J. FRANKLIN

Attorney for Plaintiffs

ACTION APARTMENT ASSOCIATION, INC.