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Horvitz & Levy is a solutions-based firm focused on appellate success. We are distinguished by our commitment to responsive service and on-going innovation in the areas of civil appellate litigation, amicus curiae support, and trial strategy consultation.

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In this pro bono appeal, Horvitz & Levy LLP successfully upheld an injunction barring a residential landlord from circumventing West Hollywood’s rent stabilization system by removing rent-stabilized units from the market and then re-renting them at full market rates. 

Horvitz & Levy’s client, John Sheehe, was one of several residents of a rent-stabilized apartment building. Sheehe was evicted from his apartment when his landlord purported to exit the rental market under the Ellis Act, which generally protects landlords’ right to leave the rental business. But the landlord never actually intended to leave the market. Rather, shortly after evicting her long-term tenants, the landlord offered units in her building for rent to new tenants at market rates, thereby violating West Hollywood’s Rent Stabilization Ordinance. 

Sheehe sued his landlord, and the trial court entered a preliminary injunction prohibiting the landlord from renting apartment units formerly occupied by rent-stabilized tenants during the pendency of the litigation. The trial court subsequently denied the landlord’s motion to dissolve the injunction. 

The Court of Appeal (Second District, Division One) affirmed. The Court of Appeal held that its decision in a previous appeal involving the same apartment building had no preclusive effect in this case because the earlier appeal construed a settlement agreement that did not apply here. The court further held that the landlord’s remaining arguments were procedurally barred because the landlord could have raised them in an appeal from the original order granting the preliminary injunction.