Villas at Parkside v. City of Farmers Branch, Civil Action No. 3:06-CV-2371-L.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Northern District of Texas
Writing for the CourtSam A. Lindsay
Citation577 F.Supp.2d 858
PartiesVILLAS AT PARKSIDE PARTNERS d/b/a Villas at Parkside, et al., Plaintiffs, v. The CITY OF FARMERS BRANCH, Defendant.
Docket NumberCivil Action No. 3:06-CV-2371-L.,Civil Action No. 3:07-CV-0061-L.,Civil Action No. 3:06-CV-2376-L.
Decision Date28 May 2008
577 F.Supp.2d 858
VILLAS AT PARKSIDE PARTNERS d/b/a Villas at Parkside, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
The CITY OF FARMERS BRANCH, Defendant.
Civil Action No. 3:06-CV-2371-L.
Civil Action No. 3:06-CV-2376-L.
Civil Action No. 3:07-CV-0061-L.
United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division.
May 28, 2008.

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COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

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William A. Brewer, III, James S. Renard, Michael L. Smith, Bickel & Brewer, Dallas, TX, Nina Perales, Marisol L. Perez, David Urias, David Hinojosa, Diego Bernal, Marisa Bono, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, San Antonio, TX, Lisa Graybill, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Texas, Austin, TX, Lee Gelernt, Omar C. Jadwat, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Immigrants' Rights Project, New York City, Lucas Guttentag, Jennifer C. Chang, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation Immigrants' Rights Project, San Francisco, CA, David J. Healey, Andrew R. Swartz, Kenneth W. Edwards, Weil Gotshal & Manges, LLP, Houston, TX, David Broiles, Cagle and Broiles, Fort Worth, TX, for Plaintiffs.

John F. Boyle, Jr., L. Stanton Lowry, Matthew C.G. Boyle, Michael K. Kallas, Kristy J. Orr, Boyle & Lowry, LLP, Irving, TX, Darrell G-M Noga, Fee, Smith, Sharp & Vitullo, LLP, Dallas, TX, for Defendant.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING PERMANENT INJUNCTION

SAM A. LINDSAY, District Judge.


Before the court is Plaintiffs'1 Motion

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for Partial Summary Judgment,2 filed February 22, 2008.3 After carefully considering the motions, responses, replies, record, and applicable law, the court grants Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment.

I. Procedural History

Plaintiffs seek summary judgment of two of their claims regarding the constitutionality of Farmers Branch Ordinance 2903 (the "Ordinance"), an ordinance adopted by the Farmers Branch City Council on January 22, 2007. The Ordinance was the second iteration of a law originally adopted by the City Council on November 13, 2006, Ordinance 2892. A state court issued a temporary restraining order enjoining implementation of Ordinance 2892 on January 9, 2007, finding that Ordinance 2892 "may have been approved and adopted in violation of the Texas Open Meetings Act." Thereafter, the City Council repealed Ordinance 2892 and adopted the Ordinance. The Ordinance called for an election to allow the voters of Farmers Branch to vote for or against it. Ordinance (hereinafter, "Ord.") § 5.

On May 12, 2007, the voters of Farmers Branch approved the Ordinance by a margin of 4,058 "for," and 1,941 "against." The Ordinance was to go into effect May 22, 2007. Id. § 7. On May 21, 2007, however, the court granted Plaintiffs' applications for temporary restraining order, temporarily enjoining the enforcement of the Ordinance and preventing the Ordinance from going into effect. See Mem. Op. and Order Granting TRO (May 21, 2007). The court held a preliminary injunction hearing on June 5, 2007, extended the temporary restraining order with the parties' consent until June 19, 2007, and granted Plaintiffs' requests for a preliminary injunction on June 19, 2007. Since the court issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting the city from effectuating or enforcing the Ordinance, the city filed a motion to dismiss the Villas Plaintiffs' claims for compensatory damages. The court granted the motion and dismissed with prejudice the claims for compensatory damages. Accordingly, only requests for declaratory and injunctive relief remain.4

II. Ordinance 2903

The title of the Ordinance is:

An ordinance repealing Ordinance 2892; adopting revised apartment complex rental licensing standards, mandating a

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citizenship certification requirement pursuant to 24 [Code of Federal Regulations] 5 et seq.; repealing Ordinance 2900; calling an election for May 12, 2007, to consider this ordinance (for or against); providing for enforcement; providing a penalty clause; providing a severability clause; and providing an effective date.

Ord. Title (original in all capital letters). The preamble to the Ordinance states that "the City Council finds and determines that the benefits and protections provided through the HUD citizenship and immigration status certification processes would also benefit the City;" that "the City of Farmers Branch is authorized to adopt ordinances pursuant to its police power to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens;" and that "the City of Farmers Branch has determined that it is a necessity to adopt citizenship and immigration certification requirements for apartment complexes to safeguard the public, consistent with the provisions of 24 CFR 5, et seq." Id. Preamble.5 The Ordinance also states that "the purposes of this Ordinance are to promote the public health, safety, and general welfare of the public." Id.

The Ordinance amends Chapter 26, Article IV of the City's Code of Ordinances relating to apartment complex rental. Specifically, the Ordinance adds language to section 26-116(d)(3) and creates a new section 26-116(f) titled "Citizenship or Immigration Status Verification." Id. § 3(A)(B).

Subsection (1) of the new section (f) defines various terms used in the section, and states that the definitions are consistent with 24 CFR 5.504. Id. § 3(B)(f)(1). The term "Evidence of citizenship or eligible immigration status" is defined as "the documents which must be submitted to evidence citizenship or eligible immigration status for residency in the United States." Id. "Citizen" is defined as "a citizen or national of the United States." Id. "National means a person who owes permanent allegiance to the United States, for example, as a result of birth in a United States territory or possession." Id. Noncitizen is defined as "a person who is neither a citizen nor national of the United States." Id.

Subsection (2) provides: "The owner and/or property manager shall require as a prerequisite to entering into any lease or rental arrangement, including any lease or rental renewals or extensions, the submission of evidence of citizenship or eligible immigration status for each tenant family consistent with subsection (3)." Id. § 3(B)(f)(2).

Subsection (3) relates to "[e]vidence of citizenship or eligible immigration status" and lists the evidence required to show tenants' citizenship or immigration status. Id. § 3(B)(f)(3). This section sets out the documentation that tenants must provide. Noncitizens must provide: (1) a signed declaration of "eligible immigration status;" (2) a "form designated by [United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement]6 as acceptable evidence of immigration status;" and (3) a "signed verification consent form." Id. § 3(B)(f)(3)(ii)(a)-(c).

Subsection (4) outlines the owner and/or property managers' obligations with regard

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to the evidence of citizenship or "eligible immigration status:"

(i) The owner and/or property manager shall request and review original documents of eligible citizenship or immigration status. The owner and/or property manager shall retain photocopies of the documents for its own records and return the original documents to the family. Copies shall be retained by the owner and/or property manager for a period of not less than two (2) years after the end of the family's lease or rental.

(ii) The owner and/or property manager shall require that each family member submit evidence of citizenship or immigration status only once during continuous occupancy. The owner and/or property manager is prohibited from allowing the occupancy of any unit by any family which has not submitted the required evidence of citizenship or eligible immigration status under this Section....

Id. § 3(B)(f)(4)(i)-(ii).

Section 4 of the Ordinance provides both a clause regarding severability of portions of the Ordinance and a statement regarding the intent and effect of the Ordinance in relation to federal immigration law:

If any section, paragraph, subdivision, clause or phrase of this Ordinance shall be adjudged invalid or held unconstitutional, the same shall not affect the validity of this Ordinance as a whole or any part of any provision thereof other than the part so decided to be invalid or unconstitutional. The intention of this Ordinance and the exercise of the police power of the City is not an attempt or effort to promulgate new and additional Immigration Laws or to conflict in any manner with the Federal Government's promulgation and enforcement of Immigration Laws.

Id. § 4.

Finally, the Ordinance includes a section describing penalties for violation. Specifically, section 6 of the Ordinance provides: "any person violating any of the provisions of this ordinance shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in a sum not to exceed $500 and a separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues." Id. § 6.

Plaintiffs have moved for partial summary judgment, asking the court to enter judgment on their claims that (1) the Ordinance is preempted by federal law and (2) the Ordinance violates the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. They request that the court enter partial summary judgment on these claims, declare the Ordinance unconstitutional, and permanently enjoin the enforcement and effectuation of the Ordinance.7

III. Legal Standard—Motion for Summary Judgment

Summary judgment shall be rendered when the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323-25, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Ragas v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co., 136 F.3d 455, 458 (5th Cir.1998). A dispute regarding a material

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fact is "genuine" if the evidence...

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13 practice notes
  • Nat'l Solid Wastes Mgmt. Ass'n v. City of Dall., Civil Action No. 3:11–cv–3200–O.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Northern District of Texas
    • October 16, 2012
    ...of an ordinance [903 F.Supp.2d 471]would yield fines and criminal penalties. See Villas at Parkside Partners v. City of Farmers Branch, 577 F.Supp.2d 858, 878 (N.D.Tex.2008). Here, the Franchisees face a real and immediate threat of fines and criminal penalties. The Flow Control Ordinance p......
  • Cent. Ala. Fair Hous. Ctr. v. Magee, Civil Action No. 2:11cv982–MHT.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Alabama
    • December 12, 2011
    ...Branch, 701 F.Supp.2d 835 (N.D.Tex.2010) (Boyle, J.) (“ Farmers Branch II ”); Villas at Parkside Partners v. City of Farmers Branch, 577 F.Supp.2d 858 (N.D.Tex.2008) (Lindsay, J.) (“ Farmers Branch I ”); Lozano v. City of Hazleton, 496 F.Supp.2d 477 (M.D.Pa.2007) (Munley, J.); Garrett, 465 ......
  • Parkside v. The City Of Farmers Branch, Civil Action No. 3:08-CV-1551-B
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Texas
    • March 24, 2010
    ...description of ordinance 2903 can be found in Judge Lindsay's published opinion, Villas at Parkside Partners, et al. v. Farmers Branch, 577 F.Supp.2d 858, 871, 876 B. Ordinance 2952 On January 22, 2008 and in attempt to address concerns raised in the litigation over Ordinance 2903, the City......
  • U.S.A v. State Of Ariz., No. CV 10-1413-PHX-SRB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Arizona
    • July 28, 2010
    ...of state law that is likely preempted by IRCA and IIRIRA is not enjoined); Villas at Parkside Partners v. City of Farmers Branch, 577 F.Supp.2d 858, 878 (N.D.Tex.2008) (concluding that there is a likelihood of irreparable injury if enforcement of a city ordinance that is preempted by the IN......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
12 cases
  • Nat'l Solid Wastes Mgmt. Ass'n v. City of Dall., Civil Action No. 3:11–cv–3200–O.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Northern District of Texas
    • October 16, 2012
    ...of an ordinance [903 F.Supp.2d 471]would yield fines and criminal penalties. See Villas at Parkside Partners v. City of Farmers Branch, 577 F.Supp.2d 858, 878 (N.D.Tex.2008). Here, the Franchisees face a real and immediate threat of fines and criminal penalties. The Flow Control Ordinance p......
  • Cent. Ala. Fair Hous. Ctr. v. Magee, Civil Action No. 2:11cv982–MHT.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Middle District of Alabama
    • December 12, 2011
    ...Branch, 701 F.Supp.2d 835 (N.D.Tex.2010) (Boyle, J.) (“ Farmers Branch II ”); Villas at Parkside Partners v. City of Farmers Branch, 577 F.Supp.2d 858 (N.D.Tex.2008) (Lindsay, J.) (“ Farmers Branch I ”); Lozano v. City of Hazleton, 496 F.Supp.2d 477 (M.D.Pa.2007) (Munley, J.); Garrett, 465 ......
  • Parkside v. The City Of Farmers Branch, Civil Action No. 3:08-CV-1551-B
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Northern District of Texas
    • March 24, 2010
    ...description of ordinance 2903 can be found in Judge Lindsay's published opinion, Villas at Parkside Partners, et al. v. Farmers Branch, 577 F.Supp.2d 858, 871, 876 B. Ordinance 2952 On January 22, 2008 and in attempt to address concerns raised in the litigation over Ordinance 2903, the City......
  • U.S.A v. State Of Ariz., No. CV 10-1413-PHX-SRB.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. District of Arizona
    • July 28, 2010
    ...of state law that is likely preempted by IRCA and IIRIRA is not enjoined); Villas at Parkside Partners v. City of Farmers Branch, 577 F.Supp.2d 858, 878 (N.D.Tex.2008) (concluding that there is a likelihood of irreparable injury if enforcement of a city ordinance that is preempted by the IN......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
  • Policing the Polity.
    • United States
    • Yale Law Journal Vol. 131 Nbr. 6, April 2022
    • April 1, 2022
    ...'ordinance relating to immigration.'"); Second Amended Complaint at 1-2, 8-9, Villas at Parkside Partners v. City of Farmers Branch, 577 F. Supp. 2d 858 (N.D. Tex. 2008) (No. No. 3-06CV2371-L), 2007 WL 1348174; Villas at Parkside Partners v. City of Farmers Branch, 726 F.3d 524, 541 (5th Ci......

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