This article, in slightly different form, originally appeared in the New York Law Journal. Daniel Wise can be reached at [email protected]. ALM is Real Estate Media’s parent organization.

A rule allowing residents in government-owned buildings designated for rehabilitation to be evicted without a statement of reasons or an opportunity to challenge the action is “patently unconstitutional,” a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled recently. Eastern District Judge Frederic Block ordered a hearing on Jan. 28 to determine how much process is due to residents of buildings the US Department of Housing and Urban Development wants cleared.

In Linares v. Jackson (06-CV-876) Judge Block strongly suggested that at a minimum he would require before eviction can proceed a clear statement that the residents’ apartments were in such disrepair as to need “substantial rehabilitation.” He further ruled that, “it seems obvious” that residents should be given an opportunity to challenge that determination in an administrative proceeding before eviction proceedings are commenced in state court.

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