June 25, 2018

The case must go on! New Orleans couple wins the right to sue in federal court

New Orleans, Louisiana; June 25, 2018: The City of New Orleans tore down their townhouse without warning. And despite the city’s best efforts to get their case tossed out, an appeals court has now cleared the way for David and Lourdes Garrett to take their triple-constitutional challenge to federal court.

“As mind-boggling as it is that a city would just demolish someone’s private property without even a courtesy call or reimbursement, it’s even more frustrating to have a federal court deny us a chance at justice,” said David Garrett. “We’re ecstatic—Lourdes and I will finally get our day in court!”

The Garretts claim the city violated their constitutional protections against property takings, due process failure, and unreasonable seizure when it demolished the townhouse they had just bought—from the city. A federal district court had denied the claims, saying federal courts couldn’t protect the Garretts’ property rights. But on Friday, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the earlier ruling, saying all of the claims can and should be heard in federal district court.

While the decision clears the way for the Garretts to seek justice for the outrageous destruction of their property, it also clarifies the broader fact that property rights are not second-class rights in federal court.

“The appeals court made the right call: federal property rights deserve prompt federal judicial protection,” said PLF Senior Attorney J. David Breemer. “And we are happy the Garretts will have a chance to vindicate their constitutional rights in federal court, exactly where this case belongs.”

The case is Garrett v. New Orleans. More information is available at pacificlegal.org/NewOrleans.

About Pacific Legal Foundation

Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) is the nation’s leading public interest legal organization devoted to preserving individual rights and economic freedom. Since 1973, donor-supported PLF has successfully litigated for limited government, private property rights, and free enterprise in the nation’s highest courts.

 


For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Collin Callahan at ccallahan@pacificlegal.org.

For the media

If you are member of the media and need immediate assistance, please call 202-465-8733 or email our media team at

media@pacificlegal.org.

Donate