Villas at Parkside v. The City Of Farmers Branch 1. Please re-read (read) the McClain case on p. 11. Brief that case. (Briefing format appears below.) Just do a “skeleton” brief for this case. (Limit it to the Caption, Facts, Issue and Holding. Do not include the procedural history and the rationale.) Please remember all briefs must be typed!
2. Re-read pp. 13-14, the Villas at Parkside Partners case. On a separate sheet of paper, brief that case (Again, briefing format appears below. For the 2nd brief, please include all parts of a brief this time; including the procedural history and the rationale. These two parts were not discussed during class. However, make a “good faith attempt” based upon the info contained below about each part.) Please remember all briefs must be typed!
Each brief should be completed on a separate sheet of paper and each should not exceed one typed page.
Please be prepared to discuss and to hand in a hardcopy of each brief. (No excuses!)
All assignments completed outside of class must be typed in order to be submitted for credit.
DO NOT go to any outside source for assistance with briefing either of the two cases.
If anyone has extra time and wants to complete the assignment that will be due Monday, it is:
Please answer/respond to the first four (4) “Case Studies” questions on p. 24. (Limit your response to each question to 2 sentences (or less)–quality and not quantity!) Homework Assignment
Assigned Wednesday, January 23, due Friday, January 25, 2019:
1. Please re-read (read) the McClain case on p. 11. Brief that
case. (Briefing format appears below.) Just do a “skeleton” brief for this
case. (Limit it to the Caption, Facts, Issue and Holding. Do not include the
procedural history and the rationale.) Please remember all briefs must be
2. Re-read pp. 13-14, the Villas at Parkside Partners case. On a separate
sheet of paper, brief that case (Again, briefing format appears below. For the
2nd brief, please include all parts of a brief this time; including the procedural
history and the rationale. These two parts were not discussed during
class. However, make a “good faith attempt” based upon the info contained
below about each part.) Please remember all briefs must be typed!
Each brief should be completed on a separate sheet of paper and
each should not exceed one typed page.
Please be prepared to discuss and to hand in a hardcopy of each
brief. (No excuses!)
All assignments completed outside of class must be typed in order to be
submitted for credit.
DO NOT go to any outside source for assistance with briefing either of
the two cases.
If anyone has extra time and wants to complete the assignment that will
be due Monday, it is:
Please answer/respond to the first four (4) “Case Studies” questions on
p. 24. (Limit your response to each question to 2 sentences (or
less)–quality and not quantity!)
The following is the basic format for a brief of a case.
(the parties to the lawsuit) (always underlined, bold, or italicized)
(identify the parties at each level–(hand-write it (symbol) in above the parties’
(where the case is “reported”)
Facts: (Brief summary of the relevant information contained in the
case. Concisely state what took place that resulted in the filing of the lawsuit.)
Issue: (Question before the court. Always start it with “Whether”–always end
it with a question mark.)
Proc. Hist: (Holding/decision from each lower level court that the case went
Holding: (Answer to the issue.)
Rat: (Rationale is “why/how” the court reached its decision. It is an
explanation for the court’s holding.)
The jurisdiction of federal courts is limited to that given to them by the Constitu-
tion and federal statutes. As a result, federal courts hear only cases that involve con-
stitutional questions, treaties between the United States and a foreign nation, federal
statutes, and citizens of different states.
McClain and others (petitioners) brought a class action on behalf of real estate pur-
chasers and sellers. The action was against real estate trade associations, firms, and
brokers (respondents). The complaint stated that the respondents had engaged in a
price-fixing conspiracy in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, a federal statute that
prohibits unreasonable restraints on trade, including price-fixing.
The petitioners’ complaint alleged the following: (1) the respondents’ activities were
“within the flow of interstate commerce and have an effect upon that commerce” and
(2) respondents assist their clients in securing financing and insurance involved with
the purchase of real estate and much of this financing and insurance comes from out-
side the state. The purpose of these allegations is to show the interstate connection of
the respondents’ activity, thereby raising a federal Sherman Act issue.
The U.S. District Court dismissed the complaint, finding that the respondents’ activities
involving real estate were purely local in nature and did not substantially affect interstate
commerce. The U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed, and the petitioner appealed.
In vacating the judgment and remanding the case, the U.S. Supreme Court reasoned
that it is possible for the petitioners at the evidentiary stage of the case to demon-
strate that the local real estate brokerage activities have a not insubstantial effect
upon interstate commerce, and thus may violate the Sherman Act:
[I]t cannot be said that there is an insufficient basis for petitioners to proceed at
trial to establish Sherman Act jurisdiction. It is clear that an appreciable amount of
commerce is involved in the financing of residential property in the Greater New
Orleans area and in the insuring of titles to such property. The presidents of two of
the many lending institutions in the area stated…that those institutions commit-
ted hundreds of millions of dollars to residential financing during the period cov-
ered by the complaint. The testimony further demonstrates that this appreciable
commercial activity has occurred in interstate commerce. Funds were raised from
out-of-state investors and from interbank loans obtained from interstate financial
institutions. Multistate lending institutions took mortgages insured under federal
programs which entailed interstate transfers of premium and settlements. Mort-
gage obligations physically and constructively were traded as financial instru-
ments in the interstate secondary mortgage market. Before making a mortgage
loan in the Greater New Orleans area, lending institutions usually, if not always,
required title insurance, which was furnished by interstate corporations.
McClain v. Real Estate Board of New Orleans, Inc., 444 U.S. 232 (1990).
Introduction to Law and Legal Systems
congressional intent to preempt is inferred from the existence of a com-
prehensive federal regulatory scheme in the area, or
state law conflicts with federal law or its purposes.
The next case examines the preemption doctrine in light of a conflict between a city’s desire
to regulate housing and the federal government’s legislation in the area of illegal immigrants.
Villas at Parkside Partners v. the City of Farmers Branch
United States Court of Appeals
675 F.3d 802 (Fifth Cir. 2012)
Background. A housing ordinance required
all adults living in rental housing within the City
of Farmers Branch, Texas (the City), to obtain
an occupancy license from the building inspec-
tor conditioned upon the occupant’s citizenship
or lawful immigration status. The federal district
court found that the ordinance was preempted by
federal law and, thus, infringed upon Congress’s
constitutional power. The City appealed the district
court’s summary judgment decision.
Decision. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
upheld the district court’s decision striking down
the ordinance as contrary to the U.S. Constitution.
Judge Reavley: We conclude that the ordinance’s
sole purpose is not to regulate housing but to
exclude undocumented aliens, specifically Latinos,
from the City of Farmers Branch and that it is an
impermissible regulation of immigration. We hold
that the ordinance is unconstitutional and presents
an obstacle to federal authority on immigration and
the conduct of foreign affairs.
In the field of immigration, the power to regulate
“is unquestionably exclusively a federal power.”
The exclusivity of Congress’s power stems from
multiple constitutional sources, including the Fed-
eral Government’s power ‘[t]o establish [a] uniform
Rule of Naturalization,’ … its power “[t]o regulate
Commerce with foreign Nations, … and its broad
authority over foreign affairs.” It is clear from these
sources of the federal power that immigration is
inextricably tied to national interests in many areas,
one of the most significant of which is foreign
relations…. Given the breadth of the Constitu-
tion’s understanding of immigration as a domain of
the federal government, state and local laws that
attempt to affect aliens will, with limited exceptions,
be preempted by the national interest …
The text of the Ordinance, and the circumstances
surrounding its adoption, show that its purpose and
effect are to regulate immigration, an area of federal
concern, rather than to regulate housing. The
preamble to the Ordinance specifically states that
the Ordinance is intended to aid the enforcement of
“federal immigration law,” not housing law…
· [The City previously express[ed] frustration
over the federal government’s purported failure to
enforce immigration laws and to prevent the “influx
of illegal aliens… estimated in the millions” that
were “coming in across our most southerly border.”
The resolution declared the City’s intent to “take
whatever steps it legally can to respond to the
legitimate concerns of our citizens.
The regulatory scheme created by the Ordi-
nance has none of the indicia one would expect of
a housing regulation. For example, the Ordinance
says nothing about the location, design, construc-
tion, maintenance, ownership, or alteration of resi-
dential rental units. It also provides no regulation
for the number of residents or the permitted uses
PART ONE Nature of Real Estate Law
The Ordinance creates an application process
for an occupancy license, but the applicant is not
required to submit information about his employ-
ment or credit history, his past residence informa-
tion, or his criminal history. All that is required,
besides standard information such as one’s name
and address, is one’s citizenship information….
national federal problem with immigration and
the relations of this country with other countries,
especially Mexico. Growing evidence of this
national problem can be seen in federal court liti-
gation, as numerous state and local governments
seek to target problems, real or imagined, with
The removal of illegal immigrants is thus the
precise and intended effect of the Ordinance.
Although the Ordinance provides no express
removal mechanism, removal is the practical
result of the Ordinance because it regulates who
may be an occupant based solely on immigration
status. This functional denial to aliens of access to
rental housing based on their immigration status
is “tantamount to the assertion of the right to deny
them entrance and abode,” an area that is histori-
cally one of federal, not state, concern.
This country has a large Latino population and
millions of Latinos live here without legal permis-
sion. However, the great majority live quietly, raise
families, obey the law daily, and do work for our
country. For all that they contribute to our welfare.
they live in constant dread of being apprehended
as illegal aliens and being evicted, perhaps
having their families disrupted. As unsatisfactory
as this situation is it is the immigration scheme
we have today. Any verbal and legal discrimina-
tion against these people, as Farmers Branch
exemplifies by this ordinance, exacerbate the
difficulty of that immigration scheme. This is a
national problem, needing a national solution.
And it impacts the nation’s relations with Mexico
and other nations…
As noted above, the national government is
entrusted with significant constitutional power to
regulate immigration flowing from … its power
over foreign affairs. In light of this close relation-
ship between immigration and foreign relations,
then, it is necessary that the federal government,
rather than individual states, have “broad” power
over the presence of aliens, including the power
to determin(e) what aliens shall be admitted to
the United States, the period they may remain,
regulation of their conduct before naturalization,
and the terms and conditions of their natural-
ization.” Indeed, Congress has exercised its
exclusive power by enacting the Immigration
and Nationality Act (“INA”), which “established
a ‘comprehensive federal statutory scheme for
regulation of immigration and naturalization and
set the terms and conditions of admission to the
country and the subsequent treatment of aliens
lawfully in the country **
Because the sole purpose and effect of this ordi-
nance is to target the presence of illegal aliens
within the City of Farmers Branch and to cause
their removal, it contravenes the federal govern-
ment’s exclusive authority over the regulation of
immigration and the conditions of residence in
this country, and it constitutes an obstacle to fed-
eral authority over immigration and the conduct of
foreign affairs. The ordinance is unconstitutional,
and the judgment of the district court is affirmed.
1. Why was the ordinance deemed to be
Could the ordinance have been modified to
avoid an unconstitutional result and yet achieve
the same objective? Explain.
Should a city or a state have the right to remove
illegal immigrants from its borders when they
are having a negative impact on its economy?
Why or why not?
Because the Ordinance has no other purpose
than to exclude undocumented aliens who are in
the city seeking residence, it adds to the serious
Purchase answer to see full