Friday was a bad day for Rentberry in Seattle. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Jones ruled against it in its lawsuit challenging the City of Seattle’s moratorium on rent-bidding web sites. And in a separate case, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a blow to Rentberry’s key argument — and its best hope of winning on appeal.
This morning, Council member Lisa Herbold’s bill requiring developers to replace any affordable housing units demolished by construction projects got its first hearing, in the Planning, Land Use and Zoning Committee. And it didn’t get the warm welcome that one might expect. Rather, there was a complicated and sometimes frustrating conversation.
In January 2018, Judge James Robart declared the City of Seattle to be in “full and effective compliance” with the Consent Decree the city and the DOJ signed with regard to biased policing. That declaration kicked off a two-year “sustainment period” in which the city is required to remain in compliance, and show it is doing so through a scheduled series of audits and other reports.
Last month I wrote about the status of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s legal challenge to the City of Seattle’s ordinance authorizing Uber and Lyft drivers to engage in collective bargaining. Briefly:
- Last year the city tried to get the case thrown out, arguing that it had “state-action immunity.” The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, and sent the case back down for further proceedings .
- In December, the City Council amended its ordinance so that it no longer authorizes collective bargaining over compensation, which was very likely to be found to be illegal price-fixing among competitors..
- In response, the Chamber of Commerce said that despite the change, it still believes the ordinance violates the Sherman Antitrust Act.
- The Chamber of Commerce indicated last month that it will move for summary judgment, skipping a trial. This is only allowed if there are no relevant facts in dispute.
- The city responded that it believes there are still relevant facts to be discovered, and will oppose the Chamber’s motion on those grounds.
- The court set a schedule for both sides to file legal briefs, starting with the Chamber of Commerce.
Last Friday, the Chamber started the ball rolling by filing its brief. Here’s what it says.
The legal challenge to the city’s Fair Chance Housing ordinance has been put on hold by U.S. District Court Judge John Coughenour, who is overseeing the case, in order to ask the Washington Supreme Court to clarify a point of state law.
Since the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a split-decision last fall, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s legal challenge to Seattle’s ordinance granting collective-bargaining rights to Uber and Lyft drivers has been back in the hands of the district court. But it’s proceeding in starts and stops, with the occasional flurry of motions and other legal filings. Today a joint status report filed by the parties extends that pattern.
Just before Christmas, the state Court of Appeals ruled that Initiative 124, which codified certain protections for hotel workers and was passed by Seattle voters in 2016, impermissibly contained more than one topic and invalidated the ordinance.
Earlier this week, the City of Seattle and UNITE HERE Local 8, the hospitality workers’ union, announced that they are appealing that ruling to the state Supreme Court.
The Seattle Times reports that a King County Superior Court judge today agreed to hear an appeal of the Disciplinary Review Board’s decision on disciplining Officer Adley Shepherd, who punched a handcuffed suspect in the face when she kicked him in the forehead as he attempted to place her in the back seat of his police car.
Today the Washington State Supreme Court denied a request by the City of Seattle to hear its appeal of a legal challenge to the city’s income tax ordinance, instead redirecting it to the Court of Appeals for further proceedings.
Last week Mayor Durkan announced that the city had reached an agreement with a group of property owners in the proposed Waterfront LID area that would allow the LID to move forward and ensure that the Waterfront Park project is fully funded. The Mayor’s Office has made available a copy of that agreement, along with the accompanying legislation and other documents that have been transmitted to the City Council for its review and approval.