The Five All-Time Most Influential Cases in California

The cases cited below are all published opinions from fair housing litigation in California's state and federal courts. While no two cases are alike and fair housing law itself requires case-by-case analysis, the breadth of these precedential decisions have helped tenants, advocates and owners to resolve numerous fair housing matters informally.

Since all of the cases have been published by either the state or federal court systems, parties have also used these cases in support of their claims during litigation. The name of the case, legal citation, and brief summary are provided.

  • Auburn Woods I Homeowners Association v. Fair Employment and Housing Commission

    Summary: This court ruled that the Homeowners Association's refusal to waive "no animal" rule to accommodate depressed residents' need for a companion dog violates California's own reasonable accommodation in housing requirement.

    Legal Citation: 121 Cal. App. 4th 1578 (California Third District Court of Appeal 2004)

  • Giebeler v. M & B Associates

    Summary: In this groundbreaking decision, the Giebeler court considered the question in whether the Fair Housing Act required the apartment owners reasonably to accommodate a tenant’s disability by assessing individually the risk of nonpayment created by his specific proposed financial arrangement, rather than inflexibly applying a rental policy that forbids cosigners. The court agreed with the tenant that the law prohibits such inflexibility.

    Legal Citation: 343 F. 3d 1143 (9th Circuit Court of Appeal 2003)

  • Janush v. Charities Housing Development Corporation

    Summary: In Janush, the court upheld a mentally disabled tenant's claim that her pet birds and cats, although not trained as service animals, provided her with companionship necessary to her mental health.

    Legal Citation: 169 F. Supp. 2d 1733 (Northern District Court 2000)

  • Southern California Housing Rights Center v. Los Feliz Towers Homeowners Association

    Summary: In this federal fair housing case, the court denied the condominium association's request for a dismissal and allowed the plaintiff's challenge to the association's refusal to provide a more accessible parking space.

    Legal Citation: 426 F. Supp. 2d 1061 (Central District Court 2005)

  • U.S. v. California Mobile Home Park Management Co.

    Summary: The court analyzed the issue of whether a mobile home park would have to waive its daily and monthly guest fees for a disabled tenant who required regular visits from a home health care aide. The court then sent the case back to trial court with further instruction for further trial. The plaintiff ultimately could not show that show that the fees policy prevented a third party from being able to provide care services, or that it diminished the care she could receive.

    Legal Citation: 29 F. 3d 1413 (9th Circuit Court of Appeal 1994)