Following the construction industry and related legal topics in the United States.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Full Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to Hear Fair Housing Accessibility Case on March 25, 2008

Some time ago, we reported on the Garcia v. Brockway case (503 F.3d 1092 (9th Cir.2007), an important fair housing accessibility lawsuit. At issue is when the two-year statute of limitations for actions alleging defective design and/or construction under the Fair Housing Act begins to run --- when construction is completed, or when the alleged violation is discovered. The plaintiffs appealed a decision from a panel of the Ninth Circuit affirming two lower court rulings that the statute begins to run when construction is completed (when the last certificate of occupancy is issued).

The plaintiffs argued the "continuing violation" theory, that there is no statute of limitations on these claims as long as a unit is allegedly out of compliance with the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act. On January 7, 2008, the court ordered a full 15-judge panel to rehear the case. The "en banc" rehearing is set for March 25, 2008.

The National Multi-Family Housing Council and the National Apartment Association filed a friend of the court brief, arguing that application of the continuing violation theory would render the statute of limitations contained in the Act meaningless. To read NMHC/NAA's amicus brief, go to


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