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Roommate.com LLC's Third Brief on Cross-Appeal

Roommate.com LLC's Third Brief on Cross-Appeal

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Published by: Eric Goldman on Feb 07, 2012
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CASE NOS. 09-55272, 09-55875, 09-55969UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALSFOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
ROOMMATE.COM, LLC,
 Defendant-Appellant and Cross-Appellee
,vs.FAIR HOUSING COUNCIL OF SAN FERNANDO VALLEY;FAIR HOUSING COUNCIL OF SAN DIEGO;each individually and on behalf of the general public,
 Plaintiffs-Appellees and Cross-Appellants.
APPELLANT ROOMMATE.COM, LLC’STHIRD BRIEF ON CROSS-APPEAL
On Appeal from the United States District Courtfor the Central District of CaliforniaDistrict Court Case CV03-9386 PA (RZx)QUINN EMANUEL URQUHART &SULLIVAN, LLPSusan B. Estrich (Bar No. 124009)Scott B. Kidman (Bar No. 119856)Christopher E. Price (Bar No. 200796)865 South Figueroa Street, 10th Floor Los Angeles, California 90017-2543Telephone: (213) 443-3000Facsimile: (213) 443-3100TIMOTHY L. ALGER (Bar No. 160303)P.O. Box 60537Palo Alto, California 94306Telephone: (714) 470-5042Attorneys for Defendant-AppellantRoommate.com, LLC
 
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TABLE OF CONTENTSPage
PRELIMINARY STATEMENT .......................................................................... 1ARGUMENT ........................................................................................................ 5I. PLAINTIFFS LACK EVIDENCE OF CONCRETE INJURY NECESSARY FOR STANDING .............................................................. 5A.
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Plaintiffs’ Purported Investigation Does Not Confer Standing ............................................................................................ 6B. Plaintiffs’ Outreach Efforts Do Not Confer Standing ..................... 8C. Future Monitoring Costs Fail to Confer Standing ......................... 10II.
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THE FHA DOES NOT APPLY TO POSTINGS FOR ROOMMATES IN SHARED HOMES ................................................... 11A.
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Plaintiffs Mischaracterize the Nature of this Case ......................... 11B. As a Matter of Statutory Interpretation, the FHA Does NotReach Arrangements To Share Single Dwellings .......................... 13C. Plaintiffs’ Precedent Confirms that the FHA Applies Only toCommercial Housing Arrangements .............................................. 16D. Plaintiffs Fail to Address Roommate’s “BFOQ” Argument ......... 21III.
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THE DECISION BELOW CREATES A STATUTORYCONFLICT WITH FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONALRIGHTS .................................................................................................... 22A.
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Section 3604(c) Cannot Be Used To Punish a Website ThatMatches Roommates Based on Lawful Preferences ...................... 23B. Roommate Unquestionably Has Standing To Raise ItsConstitutional Arguments .............................................................. 24C. Roommate Selection Implicates the Right of IntimateAssociation ..................................................................................... 27
 
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The Interests of Roommate and its Users Are NotDiminished by the Nature of the Postings ........................... 282. Roommate Living Is Intimate Association .......................... 31D.
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Even if Considered “Commercial,” Roommate SelectionFalls Within Constitutional Protections ......................................... 361.
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Roommates.com Does Not Involve Illegal Activity ........... 382. The Government Does Not Have a Substantial Interestin Controlling Speech About Roommate Selection ............. 413. Regulation of Roommate Postings Does Not DirectlyAdvance, and Is Not “Directly Linked” to anyGovernment Interest ............................................................ 444. The Restriction Sought Is More Extensive than Necessary ............................................................................. 45IV.
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THE INJUNCTION IS FATALLY OVERBROAD ................................ 48A.
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The Injunction Makes Searching for CompatibleRoommates More Difficult ............................................................ 48B. The Injunction Impairs the Speech Rights of People Beyondthe Reach of the FHA ..................................................................... 51C. Any Injunction Must Be Narrowly Tailored .................................. 52CONCLUSION ................................................................................................... 53RESPONSE AND REPLY BRIEFAS TO ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND COSTS ........................................... 54SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT ................................................................. 54I. THE DISTRICT COURT FAILED TO REDUCE PLAINTIFFS’AWARD DUE TO LIMITED SUCCESS ............................................... 54A.
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Plaintiffs Obtained Only a Limited Victory ................................... 541.
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Plaintiffs Completely Lost Their Central Claim for Liability ................................................................................ 55

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