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Case Name City of Miami v. Bank of America Corp. FH-FL-0007
Docket / Court 1:13-CV-24506 ( S.D. Fla. )
Additional Docket(s) 1:13-cv-24508-WPD  [ 13-2016 ]  S.D. Fla.
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Fair Housing/Lending/Insurance
Case Summary
On December 13, 2013, the City of Miami filed this lawsuit in the district court for the Southern District of Florida. The plaintiff sued Bank of America and Countrywide Financial under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (FHA). The plaintiff city, represented by multiple private attorneys and the Miami ... read more >
On December 13, 2013, the City of Miami filed this lawsuit in the district court for the Southern District of Florida. The plaintiff sued Bank of America and Countrywide Financial under the Fair Housing Act of 1968 (FHA). The plaintiff city, represented by multiple private attorneys and the Miami City Attorney’s Office, sought injunctive relief and damages for discriminatory lending practices. Specifically, the City claimed that the defendants engaged in redlining and reverse redlining, both of which led to a disproportionately high number of loan foreclosures in Miami neighborhoods with high minority populations.

The case was initially assigned to Judge Joan A. Lenard and then later reassigned to Judge Robin S. Rosenbaum upon Judge Lendard’s recusal. On February 8, 2014, the defendants, represented by private counsel, filed a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. The case was reassigned for the second and final time to Judge William P. Dimitrouleas on May 20, 2014.

On July 8, 2014, the court granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court found that the city lacked standing to sue under the FHA because neither of the economic injuries suffered were “‘somehow affected by a racial interest.’” 2014 WL 3362348. In addition, the court held that the City did not “allege facts that isolate[d] Defendants' practices as the cause of any alleged lending disparity” and that the statute of limitations had expired. 2014 WL 3362348. The plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration on July 21, which the Court denied on September 8.

The City of Miami appealed the case to the Eleventh Circuit on October 7, 2014. On May 12, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals consolidated the appeal with that of City of Miami v. Wells Fargo & Co. for the purposes of oral arguments only. The Court of Appeals by a three-judge panel (Stanley Marcus, Charles Wilson, and District Judge Harvey Schlesinger) affirmed the district court's holding in this case in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings consistent with the opinion. 800 F.3d 1262. Without passing on the merits of the City’s case, the Court of Appeals held that the City had constitutional standing to bring its FHA claim and that “the district court erred in dismissing those claims with prejudice on the basis of a zone of interests analysis, a proximate cause analysis, or the inapplicability of the continuing violation doctrine.” 800 F.3d 1262.

The City filed a second amended complaint in the Southern District of Florida on November 30, 2015. The complaint sought to provide specific allegations that the defendant had violated the FHA within the statute of limitations. The defendants filed another motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim. The court granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss the second amended complaint on March 17, 2016. 171 F.Supp.3d 1314. The court gave the plaintiffs time to file a third amended complaint, which the City filed on April 29, 2016. The defendants filed a motion to dismiss this latest complaint.

According to SCOTUSblog.com, on June 28, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States agreed to hear the case in order to resolve the question dividing lower courts as to whether city governments could sue to enforce the equality guarantees of the FHA. Both before and after the Supreme Court agreed to hear the two cases, several prominent organizations such as the American Bankers Association and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed amicus briefs on this issue. The Supreme Court consolidated City of Miami v. Bank of America Corp. and City of Miami v. Wells Fargo & Co. The Court of Appeals granted an order staying City of Miami v. Bank of America Corp. while the case was pending in the Supreme Court.

Oral arguments took place on November 8, 2016. Justice Breyer, joined by Justices Ginsburg, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Chief Justice Roberts, delivered an opinion in favor of the City on May 1, 2017. Justices Thomas, Alito, and Kennedy wrote an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part. The 5-3 decision vacated and remanded back to the Eleventh Circuit, holding that 1) the City of Miami did have standing to sue under the FHA and 2) the Eleventh Circuit erred in its assessment of proximate cause under the FHA. Per the Supreme Court, proximate cause requires “some direct relation between the injury asserted and the injurious conduct alleged.” 137 S. Ct. 1296. The Supreme Court instructed the Eleventh Circuit to further define a proximate cause standard consistent with the opinion and then to apply it to the City’s claim. The Supreme Court issued the judgment on June 2, 2017.

On remand, Judge Stanley Marcus for the Eleventh Circuit directed the parties to file briefs as to the meaning of proximate cause under the FHA and how the Court should proceed. On April 30, 2018, both parties submitted their supplemental briefs. In addition, the Court of Appeals granted leave for several amici to file briefs addressing these issues in an unpublished opinion on May 30. 2018. U.S. App. LEXIS 14288. The case is still ongoing.

Julia Florey - 03/29/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Bank or credit provider
Discrimination-area
Lending
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Housing
Pattern or Practice
Predatory lending
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
City/County Plaintiff
Race
Black
Race, unspecified
Causes of Action Fair Housing Act/Fair Housing Amendments Act (FHAA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 3601 et seq.
Defendant(s) Bank of America Corporation
Plaintiff Description The City of Miami, a Florida municipal corporation.
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filing Year 2013
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  The Origins of Fair Lending Litigation
Date: Dec. 4, 2008
By: Andrew Nash (Washington University in St. Louis Law Student)
[ Detail ] [ PDF ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:13-cv-24506 (S.D. Fla.)
FH-FL-0007-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/09/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
FH-FL-0007-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/13/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion to Dismiss [ECF# 71] (2014 WL 3362348) (S.D. Fla.)
FH-FL-0007-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/08/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Motion for Reconsideration [ECF# 76] (2014 WL 4441368) (S.D. Fla.)
FH-FL-0007-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 09/08/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Order of Dismissal [ECF# 77] (S.D. Fla.)
FH-FL-0007-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/16/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Court of Appeals Order to Remand Further Proceedings [Ct. of App. ECF# 82] (800 F.3d 1262)
FH-FL-0007-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/01/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Dismissing Second Amended Complaint [ECF# 98] (171 F.Supp.3d 1314) (S.D. Fla.)
FH-FL-0007-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 03/17/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Amended Complain [ECF# 102] (2016 WL 4773146)
FH-FL-0007-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/29/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Supreme Court Opinion (137 S.Ct. 1296 / 197 L.Ed.2d 678)
FH-FL-0007-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 05/01/2017
Source: Westlaw
show all people docs
Judges Alito, Samuel A. Jr. (Third Circuit, SCOTUS) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0010
Breyer, Stephen Gerald (First Circuit, SCOTUS) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0010
Dimitrouleas, William P. (S.D. Fla.) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0003 | FH-FL-0007-0004 | FH-FL-0007-0005 | FH-FL-0007-0007 | FH-FL-0007-9000
Kennedy, Anthony McLeod (Ninth Circuit, SCOTUS) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0010
Schlesinger, Harvey Erwin (M.D. Fla.) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0006
Snow, Lurana S. (S.D. Fla.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Thomas, Clarence (D.C. Circuit, SCOTUS) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0010
Plaintiff's Lawyers Berman, Steve W. (Washington) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0001 | FH-FL-0007-9000
Byszewski, Elaine T. (California) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0001 | FH-FL-0007-9000
Chemerinsky, Erwin (California) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0001 | FH-FL-0007-0008 | FH-FL-0007-9000
Dermody, Kelly M. (California) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Evans, D Porpoise (Florida) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Geman, Rachel (New York) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Gordon, Lee M. (California) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Harke, Lance August (Florida) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0001 | FH-FL-0007-0008 | FH-FL-0007-9000
Liberson, Joel Keith (California) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0008 | FH-FL-0007-9000
Liberson, Howard S. (California) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0001 | FH-FL-0007-0008 | FH-FL-0007-9000
Madden, Patrick F (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Mendéz, Victoria (Florida) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0001 | FH-FL-0007-0008 | FH-FL-0007-9000
Peck, Robert S (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-0001 | FH-FL-0007-0008 | FH-FL-0007-9000
Savett, Sherrie B (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Schalman−Bergen, Sarah (Pennsylvania) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Seltz, Daniel E. (New York) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Spector, Joshua B (Florida) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Carver, Christopher Stephen (Florida) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Hefferon, Thomas M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Herbert, Brendan I (Florida) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Kaliman, Marissa Ximena (Florida) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Levenberg, Keith (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
McGarry, James W (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000
Sheldon, Matthew S (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
FH-FL-0007-9000

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