California Superior Court Strikes Ordinance Amendment re Increased Relocation Payments to Tenants in Ellis Evictions
The Board of Supervisors amended the Rent Ordinance effective June 1, 2014 to require landlords to pay increased relocation payments to tenants evicted under the Ellis Act. On October 21, 2014 the U.S District Court found in Levin v. CCSF that the new amendment was unconstitutional on its face and enjoined the City from enforcing the new law. The prior Ellis relocation benefits set forth in Rent Ordinance Section 37.9A remain in effect during the City's appeal of the district court's ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a separate state court challenge in Jacoby v. CCSF, San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC-14-540709, Judge Quidachay ruled on February 19, 2015 that the new amendment is also preempted by the Ellis Act because the amounts payable are unreasonable and not within the contemplation of the Legislature when it enacted and amended the Ellis Act. Since the amendment was previously enjoined by the federal court decision, the state court decision has no additional effect at this time.