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Supreme Court Takes ‘Harder Look’ at Cert Petition Challenging NY Rent Control

Posted Mar 6, 2012 6:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A former prosecutor is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to grant cert in a challenge to New York’s rent control regulations that has lost at the trial and appellate levels.

James Harmon, who now runs a corporate investigations firm, is seeking to overturn the regulations in a Fifth Amendment suit he filed with his wife, the Wall Street Journal reports. The Supreme Court “is taking a harder look at their appeal than anyone expected,” the story says. The justices asked the city and state of New York to respond to the suit and set today as the deadline.

Harmon inherited his brownstone in the 1990s. One of the tenants is Nancy Wing Lombardi, an executive recruiter who pays about $1,000 a month for the one-bedroom she has rented since 1976. She also owns a home near the shore in Southampton.

"Contrary to popular myth, the rent stabilization law is not targeted to help the needy," according to the Harmons’ cert petition. "The Harmons effectively have been financing the approximately $1,500 monthly mortgage payments on the Long Island home of one of their rent-stabilized tenants."

The case is Harmon v. Markus, according to SCOTUSblog and the Pacific Legal Foundation. Hat tip to How Appealing.

Additional coverage:

Washington Post: “George F. Will: Supreme Court should take on New York City’s rent control laws”

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