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Bellevue Manor Assocs. v. United States

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

November 4, 1998, Argued and Submitted, Seattle, Washington ; January 20, 1999, Filed

No. 98-35148

Opinion

OPINION

 [*1250]  SHADUR, Senior District Judge:

This appeal stems from a dispute between private landlords who participate in the federal rent subsidy program familiarly known as "Section 8 housing" and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development ("HUD") concerning what method HUD may use to calculate annual rent adjustments. Its procedural posture calls for us to address a question of first impression [**2]  in this Circuit: the effect of the Supreme Court's decision in Rufo v. Inmates of Suffolk County Jail, 502 U.S. 367, 116 L. Ed. 2d 867, 112 S. Ct. 748 (1992) on this Circuit's prior standard for evaluating a Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 60(b)(5) petition brought on equitable grounds in a case that does not involve what has been characterized as "institutional reform litigation."

Background

In 1974 Congress enacted the Section 8 low-income housing program embodied in 42 U.S.C. § 1437f ("Section 1437f"). ] Under that program tenants make rental payments to private landlords based on the tenants' income and ability to pay, and HUD subsidizes that rent with assistance payments intended to provide the landlords with a fair rent (see Cisneros v. Alpine Ridge Group, 508 U.S. 10, 12, 123 L. Ed. 2d 572, 113 S. Ct. 1898 (1993)). ] HUD's payments make up the  [*1251]  difference between each tenant's contribution and the "contract rent" agreed to by the landlord and HUD (id.), which is based on "fair market rental" plus an allowance for the costs of participating in the Section 8 program (Section 1437f(c)(1)). Under Section 1437f(c)(2)(A)  [**3]  the contracts with private landlords provide for periodic rent adjustments "to reflect changes in the fair market rentals established in the housing area for similar types and sizes of dwelling units or, if the Secretary determines, on the basis of a reasonable formula."

As originally enacted, Section 1437f(c)(2)(C) capped those adjustments in this fashion:

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165 F.3d 1249 *; 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 625 **; 99 Cal. Daily Op. Service 526; 99 Daily Journal DAR 630; 42 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 963

BELLEVUE MANOR ASSOCIATES, Plaintiff-Appellant, and BOUNDRY VILLAGE APARTMENTS; BRANDT NORWEST COMPANY; BURIEN HOUSE ASSOCIATES; MARY CARPINITO; CASHMERE MANOR ASSOCIATES; CEDAR HEIGHTS PARTNERSHIP; CEDARWOOD APARTMENT INVESTORS; CENTRALIA MANOR ASSOCIATES; CHARTER HOUSE ASSOCIATES; CHEHALIS MANOR ASSOCIATES; EASTWOOD SQUARE ASSOCIATES; EMERSON MANOR ASSOCIATES; ENTIAT GARDENS LIMITED PARTNERSHIP; FERNDALE VILLA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP; HARBOR MANOR ASSOCIATES; GORDON HENDRICKSON; JOANNE HENDRICKSON; HERITAGE ASSOCIATES; WOODLAKE MANOR III; HOMESTEAD ASSOCIATES; KENNEWICK GARDEN COURT ASSOCIATES; ANACORTES MANOR ASSOCIATES; LAKEVIEW MANOR; WOODLAND GLEN ASSOCIATES; MAGNOLIA APARTMENT INVESTORS; KURTIS R. MAYER; PAMELA MAYER; MCKINLEY TERRACE ASSOCIATES; MEADOW PARK GARDEN COURT ASSOCIATES; MONROE APARTMENT ASSOCIATES; MONTESANO HARBOR ANNEX CO.; NORTHWOOD SQUARE ASSOCIATES; OLYMPIAN ASSOCIATES; PATRICIA HARRIS MANOR ASSOCIATES; PINE GARDEN PROPERTIES; SKAGIT VILLAGE ASSOCIATES; SOUTHHILL ASSOCIATES; SOUTHWOOD SQUARE ASSOCIATES; TACOMA PARTNERSHIP; MARIANNE UCHIMURA; MINORU UCHIMURA; VASHON TERRACE ASSOCIATES; WENATCHEE HOUSE ASSOCIATES; WILBUR MANOR ASSOCIATES, Plaintiffs-Intervenors-Appellants, v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, acting through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Defendant-Appellee.

Prior History:  [**1]  Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. D.C. No. CV-86-01626-BJR. Barbara J. Rothstein, Chief Judge, Presiding.

Disposition: AFFIRMED.

CORE TERMS

injunction, rent, landlords, cases, district court, flexible, vacated, contracts, equitable, declaratory judgment, parties, rent adjustment, terms, final judgment, petitions, courts, studies, modify, commercial contract, provision of a rule, modification, stringent, rights, consent decree, grant relief, circumstances, low-income, hardship, factors, formula

Public Health & Welfare Law, Housing & Public Buildings, Low Income Housing, Real Property Law, Landlord & Tenant, Rent Regulation, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Judgments, Relief From Judgments, Reversal of Prior Judgments, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Extraordinary Circumstances, Preclusion of Judgments, Res Judicata, Entry of Judgments, Consent Decrees, Appellate Jurisdiction

Public Health & Welfare Law, Housing & Public Buildings, Low Income Housing, Real Property Law, Landlord & Tenant, Rent Regulation, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Judgments, Relief From Judgments, Reversal of Prior Judgments, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Extraordinary Circumstances, Preclusion of Judgments, Res Judicata, Entry of Judgments, Consent Decrees, Appellate Jurisdiction