The United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit reversed a dismissal that had thrown out a lawsuit by a non-Hispanic landlord suing Juniper, Florida for race discrimination in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because of its enactment of an Overcrowding Ordinance and enforcement only against properties that housed Hispanic immigrant tenants.
The Overcrowding Ordinance stated that no more than five persons, not related by blood or marriage, could occupy a single housing unit. The Overcrowding Ordinance did provide an exemption for children less than eighteen years old.
The Eleventh Circuit held that the non-Hispanic landlord could sue the Juniper for race discrimination because it suffered financial injury on lost rent and the lost sale of its property, the injuries were caused by the enactment of the Overcrowding Ordinance, and the damages sought in the lawsuit would remedy the injuries. The Eleventh Circuit also held that the non-Hispanic landlord had third party standing to assert the rights of the Hispanic tenants. The Eleventh Circuit dismissed the district court’s finding that “a non-Hispanic landlord lacks standing to bring a race discrimination claim on behalf of its Hispanic residents.”
Keep reading for GZB’s summary of Young Apartments, Inc. v. Town of Jupiter, Florida, U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, No. 07-12076, decided June 5, 2008.