University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name New Line Realty Corp. v. United Committees of University Heights FH-NY-0011
Docket / Court Case. No. 1021/2004 ( State Court )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Case Summary
This lawsuit, brought in 2003 by several landlord corporations, was filed against the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition ("NWBCCC") for engaging in organizing in those landlords' buildings. In June 2006, the Bronx Supreme Court ruled that NWBCCC could file counter-claims against the ... read more >
This lawsuit, brought in 2003 by several landlord corporations, was filed against the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition ("NWBCCC") for engaging in organizing in those landlords' buildings. In June 2006, the Bronx Supreme Court ruled that NWBCCC could file counter-claims against the five landlord corporations under NY State's anti-SLAPP (Strategic Litigation Against Public Participation) law aimed at preventing harassing lawsuits that hinder organizing efforts. The NWBCCC was attempting to organize tenants in the corporations' buildings to call attention to substandard housing conditions and press for much-needed repairs.

According to reports, the trial court initially granted a temporary restraining order to prevent the organizers from "trespassing" onto the realty company's property. Although the court eventually held that the realty firms had failed to submit any evidence in support of its claims, it allowed the litigation to proceed for years. Meanwhile, the SLAPP suit was exceedingly effective at halting the NWBCCC's advocacy. Further, the NWBCCC incurred more than one million dollars in attorney's fees and costs, siphoning funds from the mission and serving as an effective threat to other community organizations.

In July 2008, the court granted summary judgment against the landlords and dismissed the case. See New Line Realty Corp. v. United Committees of University Heights, Case. No. 1020/1004 (N.Y. Jul. 24, 2008).

Denise Heberle - 07/16/2012


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Housing Sales/Rental
General
Housing
Sanitation / living conditions
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) United Committees of University Heights
Plaintiff Description New York City landlords who wished to keep a community group from publishing materials concerning the deteriorating conditions of local apartment complexes.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 2006 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Insurer Must Pay $100.5 Million in Redlining Case
The New York Times
Written: Oct. 27, 1998
By: Joseph B. Treaster
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Nationwide Settles Virginia Redlining Suit
Property Casualty 360
Written: May. 06, 2000
By: Amanda Levin
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Written: Dec. 04, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Decision 06/19/2006 (2006 N.Y.Misc.LEXIS 2872)
FH-NY-0011-0001 PDF | LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Press Release 07/10/2006
FH-NY-0011-0002 PDF | External Link | Detail
Court Rejects Landlord Suit Against Tenant Organizers 07/24/2008
FH-NY-0011-0003 PDF | Detail
Judges Manzanet, Sallie (State Appellate Court)
FH-NY-0011-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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