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Court of Appeal of California, Sixth Appellate District
July 2, 1990
[*1380] [**100] Midpeninsula Citizens for Fair Housing (MCFH) sued Westwood Investors and Richard Gregersen, the owners and manager of a Cupertino apartment building, claiming that the rental policy at the apartment complex limiting occupancy to one person per bedroom was discriminatory within the meaning of the Unruh Civil Rights Act ( Civ. Code, § 51 et seq.; hereafter Unruh Act.) The trial court entered judgment in favor of the Westwood defendants solely on the basis that MCFH did not have standing to sue under the Unruh Act.
In this appeal MCFH argues that it has standing both under the Unruh Act and under California's unfair competition statute, Business and Professions Code section 17204. CA(1a)(1a) We agree with the trial court that MCFH did not have standing under the Unruh Act. CA(2a)(2a) However, the recent case of Consumers Union of United States, Inc. v. Fisher Development, Inc. (1989) 208 Cal.App.3d 1433 [257 Cal.Rptr. 151] persuades us that standing is nonetheless proper under Business and Professions Code section 17204. But since that section provides only for injunctive relief, and the one [***3] person per bedroom policy challenged by MCFH is no longer in effect at the Westwood apartments, no remedy is available to MCFH and the case is consequently moot.
Because we regard the matter of standing to be an issue of "continuing public interest," we will proceed to address that issue in spite of the mootness of MCFH's case-in-chief. ( John A. v. San Bernardino City Unified School Dist. (1982) 33 Cal.3d 301, 307 [187 Cal.Rptr. 472, 654 P.2d 242].)
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221 Cal. App. 3d 1377 *; 271 Cal. Rptr. 99 **; 1990 Cal. App. LEXIS 714 ***
MIDPENINSULA CITIZENS FOR FAIR HOUSING, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. WESTWOOD INVESTORS et al., Defendants and Respondents
Subsequent History: [***1] A petition for a rehearing was denied July 31, 1990.
Prior History: Superior Court of Santa Clara County, No. 612100, Thomas Charles Hastings, Judge.
Disposition: We reverse the judgment and remand the matter with directions that the trial court dismiss the action as moot. The trial court may nonetheless entertain a motion by plaintiff for attorneys' fees under Code of Civil Procedure section 1021.5. Each party is to bear its own costs on appeal.
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Torts, Types of Damages, Punitive Damages, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Justiciability, Standing, Business & Corporate Compliance, Public Health & Welfare Law, Housing & Public Buildings, Fair Housing, Civil Rights Law, Contractual Relations & Housing, Fair Housing Rights, Fair Housing Amendments Act, Preliminary Considerations, Fair Housing Act, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Administrative Law, Judicial Review, Reviewability, Standing, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Trademark Law, Federal Unfair Competition Law, Lanham Act