Lawsuit permanently ends Oregon’s ban on real estate “love letters”
May 11, 2022
Portland, Oregon; May 11, 2022: Oregon’s ban on “love letters” between prospective home buyers and sellers is over for good after a federal judge signed a consent decree, in which the state admits that the ban violates freedom of speech for real estate brokers and prospective buyers.
Last month, U.S. District Judge Marco Hernández granted a preliminary injunction, blocking the ban while litigation continued. Now, the judge has signed off on a consent decree ending the ban permanently.
For Total Real Estate Group and other real estate brokers in the state, the consent decree means they can operate their businesses and facilitate communication between prospective home buyers and sellers freely, without fear of legal consequences.
“The entry of the consent decree sends a clear message that states cannot infringe upon home buyers’ and sellers’ right to communicate freely,” said Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Daniel Ortner. “The State of Oregon clearly recognized that it could not justify its ban on sharing information that helps sellers find the best buyer for their home. Other states considering similar unlawful policies should stop attempts to ban love letters and instead protect freedom of speech and economic opportunity.”
Last year, Oregon became the first state to pass a law banning real estate brokers from transmitting non-customary communications between home buyers and sellers, fearing that so-called “love letters” might be used to discriminate in housing transactions — but without any evidence of such discrimination.
The case is Total Real Estate Group v. Strode, filed in United States District Court for the District of Oregon.
Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit legal organization that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 14 victories out of 16 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.