Jury Finds City of Carson Violated Constitutional Rights With Rent Restrictions

May 05, 2016  

Los Angeles -- May 5, 2016 -- A federal court jury found today that the City of Carson violated a property owner’s constitutional rights when imposing retroactive rent restrictions soon after he purchased a US$23 million mobile home park in 2006. In finding Carson liable, the jury granted a US$3.3 million monetary award for the years of lost income, with the likelihood that number will be raised even higher by the court.

“We are pleased with the jury’s thoughtful consideration of the constitutional rights of a property owner,” said O’Melveny partner Matthew Close, lead trial counsel for the plaintiff. “While the full amount of compensation is still to be determined, the victory proves that under the previous leadership of Mayor Dear the City of Carson acted unfairly and unconstitutionally.”

The case was brought by plaintiff James Goldstein, a well-known philanthropist with a passion for architecture, basketball, and fashion, against the city. He recently donated his John Lautner-designed home to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), along with an endowment for its maintenance and preservation. Goldstein has owned and operated high-quality mobile home parks for more than 30 years, including a second park in Carson, and once served on Carson’s Mobilehome Park Rental Review Board.

“Although the sudden change to rent control rules that had been in place for decades meant our client was losing money every month, Jim never failed to maintain the mobile home park’s five-star amenities and put the needs of his tenants first,” said Richard Close, a partner at Gilchrist & Rutter.

The case extends far beyond this one mobile home park, addressing the constitutionality of regulatory takings throughout the industry.

“The verdict is likely the first successful constitutional regulatory takings jury verdict in the country pertaining to rent control in mobile home parks and provides vindication to our client in his decade-long fight to protect his constitutional rights,” said Thomas Casparian, trial co-counsel from Gilchrist & Rutter.

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About Gilchrist & Rutter
Gilchrist & Rutter, based in Santa Monica, CA., for 31 years has provided real estate legal services to its clients. We counsel our clients to solve their problems and achieve their objectives efficiently and effectively.


Julie Fei