California Superior Court Strikes Second Ordinance Amendment re Increased Relocation Payments to Tenants in Ellis Evictions - Update #2 (10/2/15)

Effective July 14, 2015, the Board of Supervisors amended Rent Ordinance Sections 37.9A(e)(3)(E)-(H) to provide that as of June 1, 2014, each tenant displaced under the Ellis Act is entitled to the greater of (1) the existing rent relocation payment or (2) the difference between the tenant’s current rent and the market rental rate as determined by the Controller’s Office, multiplied to cover a two-year period.  A copy of Ordinance No. 68-15 amending Rent Ordinance Section 37.9A is provided here for your convenience.

In a state court challenge in Coyne v. CCSF, San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CPF-15-514382, Judge Quidachay ruled on October 2, 2015 that the new amendment to Section 37.9A "is preempted by the Ellis Act, and is invalid as-applied to the individual Petitioners and on its face, and it is unenforceable." The court enjoined the City from enforcing the new amendment. The Judgment Granting Petition for Writ of Mandate in Coyne v. CCSF is available here.

It is the City’s position that the City is also enjoined from enforcing Ordinance No. 68-15 by the injunction issued by the U.S. District Court in Levin v. CCSF (United States District Court Case No. 3:14-ev-03352-CRB), and the City has therefore never enforced Ordinance No. 68-15. The City has appealed the District Court’s order to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The prior Ellis relocation benefits set forth in Rent Ordinance Section 37.9A remain in effect.